Our chalet: Ciasa Roch
This year we stayed in Ciasa Roch a two star B&B with some added bonuses. Incredibly comfortable beds ensured a good night sleep, and a comprehensive breakfast offering including cereals, bread, cheese, meats and plenty of coffee to fuel up the day ahead. Ciasa Roch also boasted a great shower – which deserves a mention as after a long day skiing.
We also met some of the hotels residents, who ensured our stay was purrfect… (awful. I know.)
Each night save one, we ate at the hotel across the road, Hotel Christian. Included in the price of the stay, each evening included a five course meal, including an (almost comically) extensive salad bar. Naturally I got too excited on the first night, and over did the cheese, wouldn’t you?
Our first day on the hill, after hopping on the ski bus that goes from directly outside the hotel, we beelined for Arabba where we knew the runs would be wider, colder and well groomed. Warming up on the red runs heading down to the Arabba flyover. The hazy cloud softening the sun’s rays and keeping us at a balmy -6 at the top.
Through the afternoon the clouds cleared and a beautiful vista met us at every turn as we meandered our way through piste and side-piste alike. Stopping for coffee at the perfectly situated Rifugio Padon.
Our lunch stop that we frequented this holiday was Chiosco Da Paolo. Near the base of the Arabba flyover, and the lifts that set you off on the Orange Sellaronda and Marmolada runs, this Rifugio had THE BEST and handily most affordable lunch food you could get. Two house burgers, fries and two large Moretti’s were €34, and worth every cent.
Day Two - fresh snow day
Any drop of snow found in the middle of March in any European ski resort is a blessing. While the Dolomites didn’t have the troubles of the French Alps this season, parts of the hill were starting to look bare on the day we arrived. Thankfully we awoke to a sprinkling of snow.
This of course puts pressure on visibility and how much skiing you can really do, safely. We elected to head down the mountain to Kronplatz, where we’d not skied before, and heard good things about open runs and different terrain. In hindsight, it might have been a bridge too far. While on its day Kronplatz looked to be a fantastic resort, this day with low visibility and a good part of it sitting lower in altitude compared to the rest of the mountain. After a few runs, and even taking on the Sylvester run, which made the journey worth it and a great challenge for more able skiers and a good one to tick off the list.
Day Three - The Sellaronda (orange)
More snow overnight, and a sharp dip in temperatures had us heading up the Boe lift on first chair at 08:30, a feat I’d not achieved for many years and a worthwhile effort considering the perfect conditions that lay in front of us. With some expert advice from Collett’s team, Hannah & Emily, off we embarked on one of the most popular routes in this expansive area.
The orange Sellaronda is takes you round the different resorts of the Dolomites and gives you a great variety of skiing and opportunity stop and take in the Tyrolean culture and cuisine. While learner skiers might want to wait a while to take it on, if you can handle red runs with relative ease, the Sellaronda is a relaxing and easy to follow route.
Highlights for me are always the runs around Val di Fassa, and the entirety of the Cabinopia Dantercepies area – each boasting a great variety of runs you can charge through, lap, or take at your own pace.
For lunch, we’d made faster progress than expected – so we took our time over it at La Stua and enjoyed pasta, burrata and fries while basking in the sunshine. 10/10. Absolutely perfect way to spend an hour.
Day four - The Marmolada
With the temperature dropping again to -16 at the top of the world, we headed back through familiar territory in Arabba to ascend the three stepped cable car to the Marmolada Glacier, squeezing ourselves in with other budding skiers and snowboarders hoping to catch what turned out to be the only morsel of powder left in the region.
Day Five - the 50k challenge
Making the right decision on an injury precaution, my companion opted to finish off his week’s skiing after the Marmolada day, so on the Friday, I was skiing solo. So while he took the advice of Hannah & Emily to head off on a winter walk, up to the frozen waterfalls toward Badia – I set myself a challenge.
As a strong skier, and as someone who doesn’t mind a challenge, I opted to throw myself into tacking both the Marmolada and the entire orange Sellaronda in a single day.
It was a challenge I relished, and found myself at the 48km mark just as I was hitting the final approach to complete the circuit, with just 2km to go to meet my challenge goal, I ascended the Colfosco bubble lift to round off what would be my last run of the week.
Day Six - Corvara > La Villa and back again
With two sets of tired legs, and temperatures rising – we decided a walk might be a more suitable last day than heading back up on the first lift for the third time in a week.
Hannah and Emily helped us map a route from our Corvara base, down a woodland trail that took us to the next village over, La Villa.
The 8km walk took us through sunny woodland and shaded glades, we ended up in La Villa in under two hours, giving us plenty of time to enjoy a pizza and a Tiramisu at Pizzeria La Fana, which was a perfect way to cap off our excursions. La Fana giving some serious competition to my personal tried and tested favourite, Pizzeria Fornella – which is where we took ourselves to on Collett’s day off. (Go early to avoid queuing for over an hour!)