Monday, December 11, 2017

The Sellaronda - The Sequel

Skiing near Passo Pordoi, with a vew toward Sassolungo and Sassopiatto.View from Nature Hotel Delta.
Left: Skiing near Passo Pordoi, with a vew toward Sassolungo and Sassopiatto. Right: View from Nature Hotel Delta.

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is a public holiday celebrated on December 8 in Italy and – to many – that’s come to mean the possibility of a three-day ski weekend. It just so happens that most ski resorts open right around this date. In 2016, December 8th was a Thursday, which was perfect for a four-day weekend.  In 2017, the 8th fell on a Friday, for a three-day weekend. In 2018, it falls on a Saturday, which is not good at all.  However, it won’t matter because our little group of the last two years (2016 and 2017) swore off making the trip to the Dolomites in 2018. Why? The traffic was so bad getting back from Val Gardena to anywhere south of Trento. Sunday, the 10th as we drove back, it was snowing, and the roads were packed and treacherous. Compounding the problem is that many people use the long weekend to visit the Christmas markets in Trentino-Alto Adige, which typically open in late November and early December.  Busloads of visitors from places far south of this region are all heading back home on that Sunday as well.

Given the travel nightmare getting home, we experienced great skiing because there was much more snow in 2017 than in 2016. In 2016, we were skiing on toilet-paper slopes. (See Alta Badia Dolomites Weekend and Skiing the Sellaronda.) Beautiful white, man-made strips of snow surrounded by an autumn brown landscape with now snow cover.

In 2016, our friends guided us around the slopes and navigated the Sellaronda. This year, we had our big boy ski pants on and did ourselves. How lost can you get, right? You just follow the orange (clockwise) or green (counter-clockwise) arrows. Yet, somewhere we missed a sign and ended up somewhere off track near Ciampinoi. It was easy to backtrack and find the right route.


Hot chocolate at La Ütia.Dessert at Sotciastel.Kaiserschmarrn at Mesoles.
Left: Hot chocolate at La Ütia. Center: Dessert at Sotciastel. Right: Kaiserschmarrn at Mesoles.

"Tutres" as Maso Runch."Panicia" - barley soup at Maso Runch. Polenta and meat dish at Maso Runch.
Left: "Tutres" as Maso Runch. Center: "Panicia" - barley soup at Maso Runch. Right: Polenta and meat dish at Maso Runch.

Skiing on the slopes east of Sella Massif, north of Arabba, with a view south.Skiing above Corvara in Badia.
Left: Skiing on the slopes east of Sella Massif, north of Arabba, with a view south. Right: Skiing above Corvara in Badia.

Skiing near Arabba with the Sella Massif in the background.
Skiing near Arabba with the Sella Massif in the background.

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