The Dolomites in Winter
The beauty of the Dolomites in winter is enchanting. A magical whiteness envelopes forests, high pastures and peaks, penetrates rock faces and wakens feelings of sheer joy and marvel akin to those of a child who sees snow for the first time.
Skiing, ski mountaineering, cross country skiing, winter hiking with snowshoes, off-piste skiing, telemark, ice skating, sledging and all other activities that involve sliding over snow have always belonged to the Dolomites rich patrimony.
For more than a century the Dolomites have been one of the most developed and historically important centres for winter sports in the world. The Dolomites offer perfect pistes for all levels, evocative cross country circuits, impressive ice stadiums, some of the most beautiful ski mountaineering itineraries in the Alps, short walks and long winter hikes, breathtaking off-piste descents and an infinite number of other possibilities that include all the valleys in the Dolomites.
For the next Winterseason lifts will be open from 1st December 2007 to 6th April 2008.The Dolomiti Superski carousel is the jewel in the crown of what’s on offer in the Dolomites: 1200 km of pistes, 460 lifts and 475 interconnected pistes. A single ski pass is all that is needed for this immense 12 valley winter carousel. It's just waiting there to be discovered!
From Cortina d'Ampezzo to Plan de Corones in the Alta Badia, from Val Gardena and the Alpe di Siusi to Val di Fassa and Carezza, to Arabba, Alta Val Pusteria and Val di Fiemme. And from San Martino di Castrozza and Passo Rolle to Valle dell'Isarco, the Tre Valli, the Civetta group and the newest addition, the Marmolada, Queen of the Dolomites.
What is on offer here is absolutely unique, with hundreds of runs to suit all levels. The innumerable thrilling descents offered by the Dolomiti Superski complex are the stuff dreams are made of.
Unforgettable descents such as those beneath the Tofane and Cinque Torri, the Faloria in the splendid Cortina valley, the Great War ski-tour or the classic Giro dei Quattro Passi which crosses the Pordoi, Sella, Gardena and Campolongo passes, guarantee great joy and satisfaction, as do the new Dolomiti Stars that combine Arabba, Padon, Marmolada, the Civetta group and Falcade. And of course the Skyrama Tre Valli must not be forgotten, as it connects Moena, Arabba and Falcade via Passo San Pellegrino.
Dolomites in Summer
Summer is the season when nature shows itself in full splendour. It is an explosion of colours and vitality that reawakens man's desire to learn and explore. And the combination of the beautiful Dolomites in full bloom and long summer days is ideal for all outdoor activities, providing yet further incentive to get out and about.
The possibilities offered by this immense natural gymnasium are innumerable and should be made the most of, the only condition being that this incredible gift of nature is respected completely.
From alpinism to sports climbing, routes of all types and grades exist, weaving their way up an infinite number of splendid rock faces, seemingly created for what here in the Dolomites has historically been one of the major sports. And then there are of course the 'Vie Ferrate' and equipped paths, 'invented' here, enabling easy access to the summits of the greatest and highest Dolomite peaks.
The Dolomites are also a paradise for mountain bikers, as they offer many different itineraries for cyclists of all abilities.
To fully enjoy the silence and fabulous panoramas of some of the most famous mountains one can choose from the many paths designated specifically to mountain bikers, whilst remembering not to ride on those reserved for hikers.
Hiking along the "Alte Vie"
The important Alte Vie have been created specifically for trekkers and hikers: these long itineraries cross through entire Dolomite groups and allow for an in-depth understanding of the area as, day after day, walkers come into direct contact with nature and the mountains themselves.
The close-knit and varied network of paths, be they long and difficult or short and simple, offers all walkers the possibility of enjoying the forests, rock faces, rivers, lakes and the outstanding beauty of the Monti Pallidi, the Pale Mountains. The Mountain Guides, based in every village in the Dolomites, will of course be pleased to offer advice and accompany you in complete safety throughout all these activities.
Adrenalin adventures and other sports
For those wishing to feel the emotions that only flying can offer there are many specialised schools and centres. Beginners and experts alike can choose from paragliding and hang-gliding to admire forests and steep mountain faces from up high.
Water sports such as canoeing, kayaking, rafting, sailing and windsurfing can all be carried out in this region comprised of thousands of rivers and enchanting lakes.
And all other outdoor activities such as horse riding, golf and tennis are also well catered for. In addition, there are numerous swimming pools and sport centres that offer a full range of sports.
[Back to top]
VIE FERRATE IN THE DOLOMITES
Ferrata Passo Santner
The Ferrata del Santner, situated on Catinaccio’s impressive west face, seems to have been made specifically to extenuate the beauty and very particular nature of the entire Dolomites massif. It follows a natural line diagonally leftwards and, leading relatively easily into the heart of King Laurin’s kingdom, is quite simply unforgettable. One of the most famous rock formations in the Dolomites meets the eye at the gateway to the Gartl valley: the mythical Torri del Vaiolet. The Ferrata Passo Santner is without a doubt one of the most beautiful and famous round-trips in the Dolomites.
From Pozza di Fassa drive to Passo Costalunga and continue on right at the fork for the Laurin chairlift at M.ga Frommer. Take this to Rif. Fronza alle Coronelle. From Carezza take the chairlift to Rif. Paolina and continue on path no. 552-549 to Rif. Fronza. From Vigo di Fassa take the cable car Ciampedič to Rifugio Ciampedič and then continue on paths no. 549 and 552 to Rif. Fronza.
From Rif. Fronza take path no. 550 up polished rocks quickly to the fork. Turn off left onto path no. 542 to cross Catinaccio’s SW face. The start of the ferrata proper is located on a scree terrace.
Ferrata delle Mčsules
This is the ferrata on the Sella and, seeing that it dates back to 1912, also the oldest. It takes a line through the NW Face of Piz Ciavaces, first climbed in 1909 by Mayer and Haupt. The first 250m up the splendid vertical wall are airy and demanding but the difficulties ease off once the characteristic ledge at half-height is reached. The ferrate is one of the most beautiful in the area and consequently extremely popular. Those who prefer not to queue up… have been warned.
Take the road to the Passo Sella.
The walk-in takes about 15 minutes. From Passo Sella follow the obvious path NW, traversing beneath the Sella towers to the base of the ferrata situated to the right of a large black streak which marks the line of a waterfall.
Begin by climbing up cables to a series of chimneys with pegs. Continue past fantastic vertical rock up the NW Face (ladders and fixed cables) to reach a ledge and amphitheatre: follow this the broken ledge at half-height (2250m). Having surpassed the major difficulties enjoy the splendid view onto the Alps far in the distance and, close up, the elegant and imposing Sassolungo. Traverse left along the enormous ledge to the start of the second part of the ascent which, via gullies and stepped terrain, leads more easily to the Piz Selva summit (2941m).
From the Mesules plateau follow path no. 649 to forcella Antersase. Descend along path no. 647 down Val Lasties to reach the Passo Sella road which, in 2.5km, leads back up to the pass.
Ferrata Brigata Tridentina
This is justifiably a highly popular ferrata. One of the main reasons is the natural beauty of the Sella walls which, combined with the exposure, make the ascent up to the Torre Exner a highly satisfying outing. Other factors include its easy access, the possibility of cutting the itinerary short in bad weather, Rifugio Cavazza, the option of climbing up to Pissadů and, last but not least, the famous suspension bridge. Try to avoid the weekend crowds so as to get the most of this fantastic outing.
Take the road to Passo Gardena and the car park and disused quarry at 1956m, six hairpin bends beneath the Pass towards Val Badia.
From the car park at 1956m follow the marked path to the base of the ferrata. Alternatively, from Passo Gardena take path no. 666 for about 30 mins to join the ferrata slightly above the start.
Start by climbing up the first vertical face using the metal cables to reach a terrace and the path that leads in from Passo Gardena. Continue to beneath the east face of Torre Exner and follow the well-equipped ferrata up and leftwards. A variation leads off through the wide gully at about 2350m to the Masores plateau and Rifugio Cavazza. The ferrata however continues steeply up the east face to reach a series of ladders shortly beneath the summit, to then traverse leftwards across the suspension bridge which spans the deep gap. Once on the Masores terrace, stride across to Rifugio Cavazza and lake Pissadů just a stone’s throw away.
Take path no. 666 northwest down Val Setůs. Cables have been fixed on the steepest sections and snow patches may still be present in late August. The path joins up with the one that coasts beneath Torre Brunico and leads back down to the car park.
[Back to top]
A22 Modena Brennero, direction Brennero. Exit at 'Egna-Ora' for Val di Fassa and Val di Fiemme. Exit at 'Chiusa Val Gardena' for Val Gardena and Val di Funes. Exit at Bressanone for Val Pusteria, Val Badia, Valle di Braies and Valle Luson.
A27 Venezia-Mestre Pian di Vedoia, direction Pian di Vedoia. Exit at Belluno for San Martino di Castrozza, Agordino and Marmolada. Exit at Pian di Vedoia (the last exit on the A27) for Cortina d'Ampezzo, Val di Zoldo, Valli del Cadore and Comelico.
SS48 leads from Egna Ora (A22) to Cortina via Val di Fiemme (Cavalese, Predazzo), Val di Fassa (Moena, Vigo, Campitello, Pera, Canazei), Passo Pordoi, Arabba, Alsauro, Andraz, Passo Falzarego, Pocol and Cortina d'Ampezzo.
SS51 leads from Pian di Vedoia (the end of the A27 motorway) to Dobbiaco via Longarone, Ospitale di Cadore, Valle, Venas, Vodo, Borca di Cadore, San Vito di Cadore, Cortina d'Ampezzo, Ospitale, La Stua and Carbonin.
[Back to top]