Mountaineering legend Reinhold Messner once said: “The Dolomites are perhaps not the highest mountains in the world, but they are certainly the most beautiful“. And star architect Le Corbusier called them “the most beautiful natural architecture in the world”. Since 2009, The Dolomites, with their steep ridges and mountain walls, are listed as a UNESCO world heritage.
Every night, an incredible natural phenomenon takes place in the mountains – at the Rosengarten, the Rotwand, at Sellastock, Kreuzkofel and at the Trofana. The Italians call the phenomenon “Enrosadina”. The special mineral composition makes the mountain walls glow red, then take on a violet tone and finally fade to darkness. In front this beautiful backdrop a beautiful terrain opens up for winter sports fans. The region not only boasts numerous high-altitude ski areas, but the different ski areas have also united to form the world’s largest lift pass union – Dolomiti Superski.
This super-sized ski region is famous not only because of the 1956 Olympic Games that were held in Cortina d’Ampezzo. Since then, the Dolomites have been the venue of many high-class international sporting events. Every year, the FIS World Cup takes the skiing elite to places such as Val Gardena, Alta Badia and Cortina d’Ampezzo. Europe Cup events are held in Plan de Corones, Pozza di Fassa and Obereggen. Legendary pistes such as the “Saslong”, the “Gran Risa”, the “Olimpia at Trofana”, “Bellunese” on the Marmolada Glacier, the “Lagazuoi”, the “Tognala Un”o or the “Trametsch” attract passionate winter sport fans to the region year after year. Furthermore, the region offers the famous ski tour “Sellaronda” which leads around the Sella mountain massif. With its length of 40 km it connects the four Ladinian valleys of Val Gardena, Alta Badia, Arabba and the Fassa Valley. The “Mountain Infantry Tour” is another famous tour.
During the 2012/2013 winter season, 9,397,456 lift pass days were sold and winter sport fans skied down a total of 40 million metres of height. Here, you have a wide array of choices: the ski areas offer something for everyone, and include the Olympic and World Cup resort of Cortina d’Ampezzo with its 140 km of piste, the World Cup resort Alta Badia (130 km), as well as the Val Gardena/Alpe di Siusi areas (175 km), Val di Fassa/Karerpass (120 km), Arabba/Marmolada (62 km), Sextner Dolomites (77 km), Val di Fiemme/Obereggen (100 km), San Martino di Castrozza/Passo Rolle (60 km), Val d’Isarco (85 km), Trecalli (100 km) and Civetta with 80 km of piste. The numerous ski areas offer a vast range of possibilities for both freeriders and freestylers, as well as for those who prefer more carefully prepared pistes. The Dolomites are the home of 24 snow parks, of which four are located in Sextner Dolomites, three in San Martino di Castrozza and two each in Val d’Isarco, Val di Fassa and Karerpass. Popular powder snow slopes can be found in for example the Mittagstal, on the Pordoi Charte, at the Cristallo and in the Chedultal. A major attraction for many visitors to Valcada (Val di Fassa) is the” Col Margherita Freeride Park”. The terrain here is not prepared, but frequently checked.
Whoever boasts the title “the world’s largest lift pass union” has a lot to live up to. Dolomiti Superski is doing a good job, partly thanks to its continuous modernisations of ski lifts. This season for example, two older lifts and a two-seat lift in Val Gardena, at the Karerpass and at Plan de Corones were replaced with modern cabin lifts, and another chair-lift was constructed in Arabba to help skiers avoid a slower transport route. Furthermore, the ski area is increasingly getting better Internet connection. The area’s 100 wifi hotspots make sure that guests can share their holiday experiences instantly with family and friends back home. Free Internet access is possible at all lift pass offices, at all major ski lifts, as well as in many ski huts and tourist offices. Various applications provided by the ski area keep skiers updated with news and current slope conditions. A new “social loyalty platform” called SkiBeep has been launched, and it gives its users “credits” when sharing photos, videos and news on Facebook or Twitter, when “checking in” at certain places or using the Dolomiti Superski online services.
Do you feel like spending your next ski holiday in the Dolomites? SnowTrex offers numerous accommodations in Dolomiti Superski’s most popular ski areas.
by Richard Axelsson