Happy New Year from the Dolomites
We greeted the New Year with a quiz at Ciasa Verena enjoying a few drinks with family and new found friends, our guests prevailed by rising bright and early for a big day out on the ski slopes for New Years Day. And what better way to start 2014 than by heading to the Marmolada to ski the 12km red run down into Malga Ciapela!
Stepping out of the chalet, the weather report held strong as we looked up to nothing but a blue sky. A fast moving stream of people meant we were on our way up the Boé lift nice and quickly as Rich, our ski host for the day, talked us through the route.
The beauty of heading out early, especially on New Year’s Day, is having the slopes almost to yourself for the first hour or so. The snow has barely been touched and skiing becomes effortless as you expel your energy on absorbing the view around and across to the Portavescovo ridge instead. The ski run down into Arabba was long and enjoyable, weaving its way round and back down into the valley.
Reaching the first gondola to take us to the summit, the group decided it would be a good time for a hot chocolate stop and who could blame them! We found a sweet little hut on the side of the road, lovely and warm inside and surprisingly quiet considering the ever growing queue for the lift outside. When we did go outside to join it, the process was smooth and before long we were gathered inside the lift to head up higher.
Standing at the 3,269m summit of the Marmolada - 'Queen of the Dolomites' - is truly like being on top of the world – snow-capped peaks on a day like today stare back at you from every direction across to Austria and as far as the eye can see. Temperatures sure do drop at this height however so after a quick photo we eagerly started our descent before the next gondola of people caught us up. After a short steep start, the ski slope opened up and became a windy and enjoyable run with plenty of room to stop and give our burning knees a rest – something each and every one of us needed to do more than once. Looking back up to where we had come from, I definitely felt a sense of achievement which I’m sure was shared amongst the group.
After a full and successful day out in the mountains, it was time to look forward to the evening procession in the village. To end the first day of the year, instructors from the Corvara ski school came together for a torchlit descent, followed by impressive paragliding-flights overhead and a memorable pyromusical show.
Happy New Year from all at Collett’s Mountain Holidays, we hope you have a great start to 2014!
Collett's blogs are written by our resort diarist, photographer, walker and skier, Kelly Diggle.