The season is kicking off in style here in the Dolomites! Sunny slopes, great piste conditions and lovely guests has made for a very enjoyable first week. Despite the lack of natural snow the skiing is fantastic thanks to the snow cannons and resort maintenance working around the clock over the last few weeks, so much so that the resort was able to host the Men’s Downhill, Super G and Giant Slalom FIS World cup competitions over the weekend.
Some of the Chalet Angelo guests and staff, including myself, headed over the pass into Selva on the Saturday to catch the men’s Downhill. On the purchase of an entry ticket at the top of the course we were able to watch the racers warm up, start and follow them on an adjacent run all the way down to the finish line where the crowds made for an amazing atmosphere! The speed of the racers and the height they were taking off of the rollers was breath-taking. We immersed ourselves in the crowds to watch the rest of the race on the big screen and even managed to sneak a cheeky photo with Austrian racer Otmar Striedinger! The Norwegian Askel Svindal claimed top place on the podium at the end of the day.
On Sunday Marcel Hirscher took first place in the Giant Slalom, racing down the Gran Risa black run into La Villa. The “Frecce Tricolori” (The Italian equivalent of the Red Arrows) did a fly by between the first and second runs, trailing green, white and red throughout the valley!
The last event was the Men’s Parallel Giant Slalom on Monday evening, which was dominated by the Norwegians with Kjetil Jansrud in 1st and Svindal just behind. All in all it was a fantastic weekend that brought the racing world’s attention the beautiful Alta Badia. Great skiing with an impressive backdrop and clear blue skies throughout. Can’t ask for much better than that.
Thanks to Beth for the superb blog post!
Despite no natural snow falling at all this season, the main pistes were open and in great condition from top to bottom. That was due to the area’s fabulous snowmaking system, which I rate as the best in the world. Snow machines were in action day and night everywhere you looked.
Diego Clara of the lift company Dolomiti Superski, which is responsible for the pistes too, told me: “Out of 1,200km of pistes in our region, 1,100km are covered by snowmaking and over 500km are open already.” The Dolomites was the first area in Europe to introduce snowmaking back in 1980 and has set the pace ever since. There are now 4,700 snow guns in the region, the biggest of which can produce 60 cubic metres of snow per hour. And the snow the guns produce lasts much longer than natural snow – because there is less air in it, it warms up less quickly.
Dave Watts (Telegraph, 18 December 2015)
*900km of Piste now open (26-12-15) – See the Full Article – Snow-making keeps pistes open in the Dolomites