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Italian Dolomites and French 3 Vallees – a few more personal comparisons

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
It has been claimed that the Italian Dolomites is the biggest skiing domain with 1200km piste. However it is made up by 12 unlinked areas spreading over several provinces. The biggest linked skiing area, which visitors do not have to leap into a bus for the next chairlift, is Sella Ronda. It is effectively a close loop linkage between 4 individual areas of Val Gardena, Canazei, Arabba and Alta Badia providing 510km piste.

The known biggest linked area is the French 3 Vallees which has 600 km piste and 200 chairlifts.

Having visited both places several times I gradually form the following views which may be of interest to the other SH.

The mega French resort is generally bigger with a higher concentration of piste runs. However it is quite difficult to apportion one’s skiing activities in 3 Vallees as the resort is just a massive concentration of linked piste. Italian Dolomites has many loops and the skiing is better spent in defined routes and directions. As an example one can do the 42km Sella Ronda circuit clockwise or anti-clockwise. The Ortisei/Alps du Sisui/Santa Christina has also a loop of its own (requiring one bus link). Then we have the World War I skiing tour, requiring two bus links, that goes round Arabba, Civetta, Cortina and Alta Badia. On top of these there are now established fast bus links to several skiing areas from the Sella Ronda hub. Thus the Dolomites does offer a vast variety of terrains over a huge area. One can ski in a wide open sunny valley in Cortina, or inside the Hidden Valley party shielded from sunshine, or on the rocky outcrop of Cinque Torri or forest runs of Civetta.

Sometimes I feel skiing in 3 Vallees is like skiing inside a city or a factory with congested chairlifts. This is particularly evident in the Les Menuires area where lifts are crossing each other in several directions over my head. Dolomites is a lot more spaced out and skiers/boarders are able to disappear easily without running into each other.

In term of access and transfer the French is way out ahead with fast roads and nearby airports. Dolomites is a region far away from UK visitors and the access is notoriously difficult due to lack of major fast roads. Dolomites is infested with mountain passes.

Some of the 12 areas of Dolomites are not fully linked individually. Cortina di Ampezzo for example has 4 to 5 separate sub areas. Thus without going into other sub areas it would be boring just to ski one place because it is not be big enough. In this respect 3 Vallees is made for skiing wanting to stay in one place for the full week (or several weeks).

The Dolomites and indeed many Alpine skiing domains are more suitable to be explored by skiers with own transport. The Super Dolomites ski pass isn’t much dearer than those sold for individual areas but cover every one of the 12 areas. The accommodations tend to be spread out and not concentrated at a few locations. The 3 Vallees on the other hand is ideal for visitors without transport. Thus many parts of the Dolomites will have limited appeal to packaged holiday skiers but DIY visitors with cars will find it attractive.

Scenery of Dolomites is in a league of its own. This is the area where 3 Vallees can’t even come closer.

Cost wise I didn’t find any significant difference as a DIY visitor. On the whole self-booked accommodations seem to be easier in Italy than France. Catered chalets are popular mainly in France.

Re-visit possibility is a lot better with Dolomites. May be this is because I only managed to ski 7 out of its 12 areas so far. As with regard to 3 Vallees I wouldn’t mind not going back again.

Variety of runs, chairlifts, infrastructure and food will be in Dolomites favour because it covers an area many times bigger than the 3 Vallees.

I suppose I am not comparing like to like as 3 Vallees is just a mega resort whereas Dolomites is a skiing region. However theses are the two biggest areas with vast possibilities for anybody interest in the skiing.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
interesting stuff - been to 3V a few times and going again this saturday (yessssssss) but would love to visit the Dolomites (still hoping to go this March). The dispersed nature of the Dolomites would make having your own transport very useful beyond just doing the transfer bit.

Although the area is linked - are the link bits enjoyable to ski or do they tend to be cat-track type pistes?
How did mountain restaurants compare? (typically 3v are too fancy/expensive for my liking)
Could you manage Dolomites without pre-booking accom to give more flexibility?
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
On the other hand if you had transport you could compare region with region - The Dolomites with the Terentaise (Val d'Isere/Tignes, Les Arcs/La Plagne, Trois Vallee, St Foy, La Rosierre). You could stay in Bourg St Maurice and ski any of them.
The problem with moving about several places in the Dolomites (as I have done) is that recently fewer and fewer places are willing to let out rooms other than Saturday to Saturday. In general you have to book at the last moment or stay in slightly unpopular locations.
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Aren't the two incomparable?

I love them both. Would encourage all that haven't done both to do so. In a nutshell 3Vs for a bloody good ski and the Dollies for the experience.
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This is really interesting as I'm considering Sella Ronda as one of my options for family holiday this easter. I dont know the Dolomites at all but have skied lots in the 3V . I have the usual problem of finding something to suit eveyone. I like high mileage ski areas and Im quite happy for a week beating up black and red runs with maybe a day or so of off-piste. but the missus wants pretty village, nice views, blue and green runs and mosy importantly drag lifts!? Would we find all that anywhere in the Dolomites?
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DaveMcSki,

For drag lifts go with Swiss resorts, especially the smaller ones.

Sella Ronda and most of the Dolomites areas I skied are aimed at families of mixed abilities. That is the impression I have with most of the Italian resorts. Austrian does the harder stuff. Italian resorts don't do green runs but their blue slopes are alright. Alps du Sisui for example is a family orientated resort near Ortisei/Sant Christina which is the next lower station from Val Gardena (one of the 4 corner points of the Sella Ronda. Corvara (in ALta Badia) is another resort full of blue runs.

Sella Ronda and Dolomites are fairly modern and drag lifts are in a small minority. I think the current Sella Ronda circuit has only one drag lift in one of the direction whereas several years ago there were two; one in clockwise and the other anticlockwise.

eithnem,

IMO the linked piste in Dolomites are as good as any French and Austrian resorts. We don't eat much for lunch and couldn't tell much difference between mounatin restaurants. In general we didn't need to spend more than 20 Euro as a couple. I know there are expensive restaurants in 3V but we could ski around to avoid them.

Since we had a car so we stayed at one place and drove around to sample the Dolomites. The 3-star hotel offered a 4-course meal half board and the cost was 50 Euro per head per day. We only had to buy our own ski passes and lunches. We were the only residents staying for a full week. Most only stayed for 2 to 3 nights.
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saikee, Thanks. Its a pain but she really doesnt like heights so i guess i better look elsewhere Sad
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DaveMcSki, not that many places left in the Alps with loads of drags - most people don't like them. Are Gondolas OK?
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DaveMcSki, there are still quite a few drag lifts round here, but they are gradually being replaced by chairs, so it's less easy to do big distances just with drags. In the Arly valley Flumet, Notre Dame de Bellecombe and Praz sur Arly have quite a lot of drags, serving some quite difficult runs (stiff reds, couple of blacks) as well as easier runs, though some of the drags are pretty challenging - steep, long and sweep you off your feet stylee. In Les Saisies, which is more snow sure and has more gentle runs, the options are better in French school holidays when they bring several drags into service to supplement the chairs, when the latter have big queues. At those times there are really quite a few options using only drags. Even at other times there are a few "circuits" which can be done only with drags (easy drags which leave you on your feet) with some green and gentle blue runs. Off the top of my head, 11 green/blue runs accessible by drags from the village, without using any chairs. It's a moderately pretty village, given that at 1650 metres it's hardly (as they always claim) "traditional Savoyard". The traditional Savoyards had more sense than to build their villages so high!
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DaveMcSki, Just come back from La Clusaz - definitely fits the bill in terms of drag lifts - and when you add on Le Grand Bornand has a great variety of skiing too including some decent off piste opportunities. Traditional Alpine village, near Geneva and Chambery, even kept the mother in law (along to babysit) entertained. Madeye-Smiley
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snowball, I dont really need lots of them, just a few leading from the village or from somewhere accessible by bus. basically cable cars are a definite no, Gondolas are next worst and chairlifts are possible if they dont go too high. In the 3V the altiport at meribel provided several days fun with just one drag that has several ways down. through trees etc

number9dream, Ive been to La Clusaz a couple of times and really liked it but i would like to try different places.

pam w, Dont know much about your area, but it sounds right for OH I,ll prob come back too you with some more questions if thats ok.
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saikee, nice comparison pretty much spot on IMHO. I'll add that while many of the French areas are known for fairly gnarly off piste the Dolomites offer a plethora of couloirs that easily compete with what the Western Alps have.


Last edited by And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports. on Fri 5-02-10 9:36; edited 1 time in total
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Armitageblue wrote:
Aren't the two incomparable?

I love them both. Would encourage all that haven't done both to do so. In a nutshell 3Vs for a bloody good ski and the Dollies for the experience.


x2
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
DaveMcSki, that must be a really difficult fear to live with, esp if you enjoy skiing.

Draglifts are an endangered species, thankfully for most of us. The process of extinction is well underway in the Dolomites, with some really long drags being replaced by gondolas and chairs in the last 10 years.

There is still a cluster of drags serving some useful runs in the Alta Badia area above the resort of Corvara, though I think you might need to use a short chair to access them, they are called Capanna Nera, Pralongia I, Crep de Mont & Incisa, to find them on this map click the tab 'Impianti di Risalita' (lift installations) and select 'Sciovie' (draglifts):

http://www.dolomitisuperski.com/altabadia/en-US/skimap-alta-badia-1833EN.html
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
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DaveMcSki, yes, no problem - send me a PM. I sympathize with your OH's problem.

I spent just 3 days in the Dolomites, some years ago. Only 3 hours skiing - at Cortina - as it wasn't really a ski trip and my companions weren't skiers. But the whole area is stunning - I'd have loved to buy an apartment there, but too many horror stories about Italian property, some of them from people with fluent Italian and family connections, put me off. The scenery in the Dolomites makes a lot of the French Alps look very ordinary. I also loved how successful a few hours with BBC Italian tapes were - and how incredibly (and ridiculously) flattering the Italians were to anyone who spoke 40 words. Not like the French who have that special look in the eye that comes on when you start - the "right, I am really going to have to concentrate now because you talk so funny" look. Not that having less than fluent French is a problem in the 3 Valleys. wink
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 Poster: A snowHead
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eithnem, Regarding restaurants, the quality in the Dolomites is really high IMO, and the prices very reasonable. €10 would get you a glass of wine, a toastie on a proper bap, and an espresso. Lots of home cooking, excellent pasta, soups etc. Quite a few do great cakes too. One tip we got was to share a main course between two instead of getting yet another toasted sandwich. A great chance to sample lots of the local cuisine while still leaving room for the enormous and delicious dinners.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I post this thread as I feel Dolomites has been under-reported and under-rated.

After having visited 30 skiing facilities each in France and Austria and 18 skiing facilities each in Switzerland and Italy Dolomites stands out as my most favourable skiing place. It has variety, space and scenery that St Anton/Lech, Ischgl, Zermatt, St. Moritz and Davos/Kloster couldn’t offer. In over 10 years of skiing over 13 countries my wife and I had many wonderful experience but found our best skiing day was in Cortina di Ampezzo.

On paper it is unfair to compare Dolomites with any skiing resort because it is a skiing region comprised by 12 separate areas. However the Dolomites super ski is relatively inexpensive, 40 Euro per day and about 11% more expensive than individual area like Cortina alone. Relative to the rest of the Alps a mobile skier with own transport will find the Dolomites is a fantastic arrangement. It is quite common for skiers to pay more than 40 Euro for a day pass in many Swiss and French resorts offering a fraction of the skiing facilities.

One of the strong appeals is a determined effort to provide linkages between the various areas. Thus it has been made convenient to sample a vast area with different facilities, terrains and sceneries. I was impressed by the fast 3-miles bus link between Pedera of Alta Badia with Piculin of Kronplatz this year as in my 2006 piste map both Piculin and Pedera chairlifts weren’t shown then. In term of possibilities, ski routes, day trips and choices Dolomites is truly a paradise for the skiers/boarders and there is nothing comes close it. Salzburg also operates a regional ski pass but the effort to link up the facilities is in a different league.

The other strong appeal is that the skiing is conducted in the back ground of a national park with massive rocky outcrops which would be hard to get to unless by skiing when a large area could be explored. Therefore the opportunity to enjoy the outstanding natural beauty is part of the deal when skiing the Dolomites. A typical example is the Hidden Valley which is almost created entirely for the piste users as there is nothing inside and only way to see it in winter is to ski it. For us it is easy to see runs among forest or bare terrain above the tree line but finding dwarf pines and evergreen trees was quite refreshing. Initially we thought the area was badly polluted and but now we believe it is due to the limited organic content from the relatively young broken down or weathered rock at the foot of the rocky outcrop that couldn’t support the tall trees.

I think Dolomites also wins when it come to weather as it is south of Switzerland and Austria. Geologically the mountains on the whole are well spaced out. Thus it forms a nice sun trap. Swiss and Austrian also have outstanding and beautiful skiing resorts but they are often inside narrow valleys, like Ischgl/Samnaun, Davos/Kloster and Saalbach/Hinterglemm, which are good for retaining the cold but are also less sunny because a lot of areas are shielded from the sun by the fellow mountains.

The French also have excellent skiing resorts but the rivalry between different resort owners and between the national and regional interests make the linkages between resorts the least advanced when comparing with the Austrian and the Italian.

The main disadvantage of the Dolomites is it really needs a car to explore it properly. What is more the car needs a good set of winter tyres and ideally has a 4WD mechanism too. May be it is this requirement that has kept the Dolomites relatively unspoiled up to now.
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Quote:

The French also have excellent skiing resorts but the rivalry between different resort owners and between the national and regional interests make the linkages between resorts the least advanced when comparing with the Austrian and the Italian.

I think the Dolomites is a wonderful area, with the best mountain scenery I've ever seen, but I do question that statement. Do Austria and Italy really have more advanced linkages than are found in Espace Killy, the 3 Valleys and La Plagne/Les Arcs? You can justifiably criticise those areas for lots of other reasons, but hardly for primitive linkages. And there are a number of other pretty impressively linked areas, including the Portes du Soleil, Serre Chevalier and others.
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pam w, agreed. As saikee himself said in his interesting first post, the Trois Vallees is essentially one seamlessly linked integrated area. It doesn't need linkages because it's just one big area. For those people who have a car it is becoming easier to visit the different ski domains owned by the CDA company through their "Zen" card or whatever it is called this season.
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Hi Saikee

Would you have any more info on the hotel

"Since we had a car so we stayed at one place and drove around to sample the Dolomites. The 3-star hotel offered a 4-course meal half board and the cost was 50 Euro per head per day. We only had to buy our own ski passes and lunches. We were the only residents staying for a full week. Most only stayed for 2 to 3 nights"
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kendub,

We stayed in Albergo Alpino of Pieve Di Livinallongo which is 5 miles from Arabba but it is closer to the Hidden Valley chairlift at Lagzuoi, Cortina Ampezzo and the Area No.12 Civetta accessible via Alleghe. It is a very friendly and nice hotel. We found their Italian food excellent too. Colfosco and Corvara have more accommodations though.

In general if you are interested in say B&B (hotels) you can ask the B&B (or hotels) registered with Google map to display them. The prices are similar to many travel agencies. I use either Bergfex or just the Google map.

I chose the accomodation for its startegic location mainly as with a car I can stay virtually anywhere. In our last trip we wanted to sample Cortina di Ampezzo especially as it is supposed to be the top Italian resort.

pam w,

The linkages I mentioned is mostly by regular or devoted buses and the manner they were introduced into the Dolomites. Every region piste map has the 12 areas together with the own sketch for the local runs. The bus links are colored in. It is remarkably efficient IMO. Take the World War I ski tour for example it needs two bus links and an optional horse drag. We started the circuit in Arabba and skied two runs to the bottom of Marolada, then took a 15km bus link to Civetta Alleghe, then skied to Pescul which is on the other side of Civetta (only two lifts and two runs again), took the second or last 15km bus link to Fedare which is the bottom of the Cinque Torri circuit, then 3 lifts and 3 runs to the bottom of Lagazuoi to try the Hidden Valley. The end of the Hidden Valley has a horse drag (2 Euro per head) which is rather novel way to get to Corvara chairlifts. Six more lifts and runs and the Skiers will be back to the starting point. The World War I ski tour covers 4 (Arabba, Civetta, Cortina and Alta Badia) of the 12 areas of Dolomites and is a day's skiing manageable by most intermediates.

The linkage can be done at any point of the circuit and in reverse direction.

The Sella Ronda is the main and the biggest loop but I am sure there are many smaller loops to be explored. The Ortisei/Alps di Susis/Santa Cristina is also an rewarding experience involving a devoted single lane bus run on a road which has no other vehicle involved and the snow is left in place. The loop goes through a funicula at santa Cristina and also the actual town centre of Ortisei.

My point of the linkage is in Dolomites it is an integrated solution and the majority is free. I never expected to be able to ski Kronplatz, which is the No. 2 Area of Dolomites, in my last trip but the piste map shows that that could be easily done and I found out it was indeed the case.

We can get an odd day to ski other Tarentaise resort when purchasing a weekly ski pass either in 3V or Paradiski but the choice is limited to one day. In Dolomites the Super ski pass is for a complete region! The most expensive way is to buy a Super Ski day pass and that is 40 Euro which can't get us to ski in 3V or Paradiski for a day. I am not aware either if there are free buses for for one Tarentaise resort visitors to visit another resort, say from Paradiski to Espace Killy or 3V. In Dolomites plenty of literature is available to advertise the linkages and how best to enjoy the region.
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I can't imagine why anyone would want to go from Espace Killy to Paradiski, or vice versa - the areas are so huge. There are a number of areas with big passes covering many centres (Portes du Soleil, Evasion Mont Blanc etc) and if you want to do different non-linked areas with a car (a good idea) then you just buy the days you need in each centre - the savings on a 6 day pass (rather than shorter ones) is generally very modest.

In our immediate area there are certainly free buses linking some areas. For example we can get a bus to Les Contamines (which is not lift linked) and there are buses between Flumet and Crest Voland (they are lift-linked, but the journey would take quite a while). For most of the area though it's quicker to use the lifts than the roads. There is also heaps of free car parking, close to the lifts in all the base areas. I do like the idea of a horse tow, though! snowHead You can do ski-joering here but that's quite expensive.
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saikee, isn't the point that any of the large domains in the Tarentaise or the Traois Vallees that they are more than big enough to satisfy skiers who are visiting for a week or two, so having a bus service to another resort is a bit overkill? So, for example, you can ski from Villaroger to Champagny without having to use to use any road transport, or from Courchevel Moriond to Orelle in the 4th Valley.

But if that mega mileage isn't enough you can ski from La Thuile in Italy to Orelle in France (via La Rosiere, Les Arcs, La Plagne, Courchevel, Meribel & Val Thorens). All that would involve just two short bus rides (La Ros to Bourg St Maurice; Champagny to Le Praz). You'd have to ski quick though, because that's a hell of a long way. For the more adventurous it's possible to ski from Val d'Isere to Les Arcs (via Tignes, Champagny & La Plagne). Plenty of options for travelling huge distances, with the added benefit of having (mostly) no need to resort to road transport.
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Quote:

But if that mega mileage isn't enough you can ski from La Thuile in Italy to Orelle in France (via La Rosiere, Les Arcs, La Plagne, Courchevel, Meribel & Val Thorens). All that would involve just two short bus rides (La Ros to Bourg St Maurice; Champagny to Le Praz).


rob@rar, Wow that is a goos one. Wonder if that is manageable in a day Very Happy
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Frosty the Snowman wrote:
Quote:

But if that mega mileage isn't enough you can ski from La Thuile in Italy to Orelle in France (via La Rosiere, Les Arcs, La Plagne, Courchevel, Meribel & Val Thorens). All that would involve just two short bus rides (La Ros to Bourg St Maurice; Champagny to Le Praz).


rob@rar, Wow that is a goos one. Wonder if that is manageable in a day Very Happy


I suspect not. To give it a chance you'd probably need a taxi waiting for you at the bottom of Ecudets to whisk you to the Funicular in Bourg, and similar in Champagny to get to Le Praz. You'd then need lift queue priority, a pair of decent GS skis and balls of steel.
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Quote:

balls of steel

well he's got a Mojo of steel!
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
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Hi Saikee

Is the Albergo near a ski or chair lift
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rob@rar, I hate to think what the cumulative cost of the lift passes to do that would be!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
RobW, €129 approx for three one-day lift passes (Espace San Bernardino, Paradiski, Trois Vallees).
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I'm just thinking about the quickest route.......and La Rosiere would have the best piste Laughing
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 Poster: A snowHead
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kendub,

No Pieve di Livinallongo is 5 miles from Arabba.

If you don't have own transport stick to Colfosco and Covara of Alta Badia, town centre of Arabba, Canazei or Val Gardena.

Instruction of using Google to get resort accommodation

In Google just type the location of the resort, for example “Arabba, Italy”.

When the map of the resort is displayed then type in the search box “hotel”

The location and information of each hotel will appear at the screen. Some may provide their own web sites but all will have a contacting email address. One can zoom in or out to see how close the accommodation to the skiing resorts. Just send the emails to enquire about the availability and price.

For visitors without own transport selecting accommodation close to the main road and near the target resort would be recommended.



rob@rar,

The designated routes in Dolomites like the Sella Ronda, WWI skiing tour etc are designed to be accomplished by intermediated without ball of steel. Many areas are strongly family orientated.


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Fri 5-02-10 16:00; edited 1 time in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I have been to the dolomites three times - once in Arabba, twice in Selva - and never missed having a car to get around. The amount of piste connected to the Sella Ronda is enormous. (Although we did once take a coach trip to Cortina for the day, and the short minibus ride to get to the Lagazuoi lift is absolutely worth it.)
(Just back from LesArcs)
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HChalkley,

The Sella Ronda is a linkage of 4 of the 12 areas of Arabba, Alta Badia, Canazei and Selva. Getting around to other areas is possible by involving time to ski to the nearest linkage points.

As an example if I want to ski Kronplatz (Area 2) from Arabba I have to ski to Alta Badia first, then ski to the extreme end of Alta Badia at a place call Pedera to catch the link bus to Piculin where I could take 5 gondola runs to the mid height of Kronplatz. I did it by driving the 25 miles distance from my accommodation to Piculin and could spent the full day there without the need to catch the last chairlifts to ski two resorts back.

I agree that a car is not necessary in any skiing trip but to explore the area fully then having own transport is beneficial.
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saikee wrote:
rob@rar,

The designated routes in Dolomites like the Sella Ronda, WWI skiing tour etc are designed to be accomplished by intermediated without ball of steel. Many areas are strongly family orientated.

Indeed, as are the many, many options for travelling from one resort to another via different piste combinations that you have in Paradiski, Trois Vallees, etc. All of which can be done at whatever speed you want, without having to rely on road transport.

The route I suggested, with tongue very firmly in cheek, is in excess of 60km as the crow flies. None of it is very steep (all on blues and reds) and would only require 'balls of steel' because of the incredible distances involved. I only quoted that route it as you seem to suggesting that the Tarentiase/3V resorts is somehow less well endowed than the Dolomites for long distance options for mileage munchers. I think nothing could be further from the truth, especially when you consider that the French mega-resorts don't need bus routes to enable village-village treks.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
rob@rar wrote:
But if that mega mileage isn't enough you can ski from La Thuile in Italy to Orelle in France (via La Rosiere, Les Arcs, La Plagne, Courchevel, Meribel & Val Thorens). All that would involve just two short bus rides (La Ros to Bourg St Maurice; Champagny to Le Praz). You'd have to ski quick though, because that's a hell of a long way. For the more adventurous it's possible to ski from Val d'Isere to Les Arcs (via Tignes, Champagny & La Plagne). Plenty of options for travelling huge distances, with the added benefit of having (mostly) no need to resort to road transport.


the La Grave and Alpe d'Huez guides offices advertise a trip (4 or 5 days I think) where you go from La Grave to Chamonix mostly off piste using lifts, the odd taxi ride and (they claim) not more than an hour of skinning at a time

you could extend that to Verbier if you were prepared to do a bit more than an hour's skinning above Argentiere
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Arno wrote:


you could extend that to Verbier if you were prepared to do a bit more than an hour's skinning above Argentiere


Why stop there when you could carry on to Sass Fee.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
rob@rar,

Your earlier post in fact brings out the very difference between the two major skiing domains between the French Tarentaise and the Italian Dolomites.

The French has 600, 425 and 300km piste in 3V, Paradiski and Espace Killy. The 1200km piste of Dolomites is made by 12 areas each in small size relative to the French. The Dolomites’ Selva, Cortina di Ampezzo, Alta Badia, Kronplatz, Civetta and Arabba have 170, 140, 130, 105, 82 and 62 km piste respectively. Thus while skiers can stick with one resort for the whole week in France they will have to venture out their resident skiing area in Dolomites because the smaller sizes of each areas. As the Super ski pass covers for it so it is natural to ski around the neighbouring areas.

This can be both an advantage and disadvantage. For example I would have difficulty in telling the difference between French Les Arc 1600 and 2000 or between Tignes and Val D my memory with each area of the Dolomites is more distinct, like Cortina has wide and open valley, Civetta is a lot tighter with many forest runs, Kronplatz is similar to Austrian Ski Welt where everybody meets at the centre peak, Arabba is more challenging having the highest peak of Marmolada while Alta Badia is full of blue runs for intermediates. The Hidden Valley is almost completely opposite to Cinque Torri because the former is shielded while the other is fully exposed to the sun.

Thus in France one tends to ski a large number of runs inside a single area in Tarentaise whereas in Italy Dolomites the skiing is conducted over multiple areas spreading over a large territory each having a relatively smaller number of runs.

It is up to the individual to choose the best for oneself and I hope this thread brings out the relevant differences and the choices available.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I've been to the 3V and the Dolomites. I preferred the Dolomites. Selva is only 1.5hrs from Innsbruck by taxi which was quicker than the 3hr trip to 3V from Geneva. The food, the service and the friendliness of the natives are far superior in the Dolomites. Plus the food, the hotels, the lift passes are cheaper in the Dolomites. The pistes are prettier. The mountains are prettier. It is quieter. The linked villages are prettier. Les Menuires? Yuk.
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I do plan to go back to the Dolomites - maybe a camping trip from here, in the summer? Has anyone camped down there? I've camped in one or two other places in Italy, on the way down to the south of France. Quite strange camp sites, with permanent caravan pitches embellished with all kinds of personal sun terraces, annexes and the like - reminded me of the personalisation of sheds on british allotments. Was a marked contrast with Switzerland, that's for sure. Have forgotten all my Italian though - will have to swot it up as it made a difference to the trip (and was essential when we stayed in a hotel where they'd never had british guests before and spoke no English).
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pam w,
Quote:

Has anyone camped down there?

No, but I've stayed several times in this charming, family-run hotel: http://www.tyrol-hotel.eu/en/. It's in a beautiful valley, a perfect walking base. Ah, I need to return....
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