February in the Dolomites

19 February 2013

Well thus far February has started with the same characteristics as the rest of the season, fantastic snow and great conditions both on and off the piste. Beautiful blue skies have resulted in the temperature dropping dramatically over the last few days preserving the snow on the trees and generally giving everything a very Narnia-esque feel!

Guests and staff alike have been enjoying the good conditions. Here in Corvara we’ve been diversifying our ski and snowshoe programme as much as possible, allowing us some great days out in rarely frequented areas such as Alba, Kronplatz and the WW1 tour. Both the staff and our many returning guests have really enjoyed getting to explore previously unvisited areas. The WW1 tour is currently in the best condition I’ve seen in three years, with excellent snow around Civetta, Cinque Torri and the Hidden Valley, and the icefalls in the Sottuguda gorge have been getting good and fat with the cold weather, which makes that section of the tour particularly stunning. Add in a gourmet ski lunch at Rifugio Averau and you’ve got a worthy day to end the week on!

Following the front line of the Great War, with a total length of 82.50km (31km of skiing) it is not a ski day for the faint hearted, but it does allow you to experience the Dolomites and its fascinating history from an unprecedented variety of locations.

It’s not all about the skiing however! Thanks to the blue sky days and lovely deep snow, we’ve been expanding our snowshoe programme as well. Over in Badia, staff and guests from Chalet Haus Valentin have been exploring the area north to the north of the village, previously undiscovered by Collett’s Organised Snowshoeing days. Dan had a great day out on the ‘Wengen Wanderweg’ last week, with the final push to the summit of the route being hard work but well-rewarded with the stunning views of Sas de Putia and the surrounding area, and making that Gluhwein back at the chalet even more deserved!

On Wednesday, armed with snowshoes, touring skis and a snowboard (don’t hold it against him), Owen, Lynne, Alice and myself went to recce another additional snowshoe route high up on the Falzarego Pass. Much digging, scrabbling and sinking ensued as we attempted to find the best possible route in some very deep snow. It turned out to be an excellent snowshoe route, with all the charm of the Hidden Valley and a stunning view down the Val Travanezes with none of the crowds, and will hopefully feature in our programme next week.

The forecast is for more snow at the start of next week, giving way to crisp blue sky days from Wednesday onwards, so it looks like the season started as it meant to go on!

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