As our first guests were greeted by a spectacular sunset over the beautiful peaks of the Dolomites and staff were busy beavering away making final touches to the hosted chalets and apartments in Arabba, Corvara and Badia, the FIS Ski World Cup Grand Slalom took place in the Alta Badia on Sunday. Guests staying in our hosted apartments in Arabba who arrived the previous day were able to see American Ted “Ligety Split” Ligety take the top spot on the podium with a combined time of 2:37:27 for his runs on the Gran Risa. Ligety also had the fastest single run at 1:17:10 – not a speed we would suggest any of our guests try to match! Ligerty, whose favourite event is the Giant Slalom, beat his closest rival, twenty year old Marcel Hirscher of Austria, by just over 2 seconds while two time former Giant Slalom winner Davide Simoncelli of Italy had to settle for 5th place.
Here in Badia, the week kicked off with some great snowshoe itineraries including favourites Runch Hut Round and Lake to Lake. One of our new snowshoe routes was trialled for the first time with guests and received rave reviews from returners, who enjoyed visiting a new valley and seeing the impressive Fanes massif from a very different angle. Our organisers have plans to research more new routes throughout the season and so watch this space for updates.
Jo, who is joining us for her first winter season having spent the summer as a Collett’s walk organiser with myself and Dan in the Pyrenees, took a group of guests from Haus Valentin out to nearby Armentarola for a day of cross-country skiing. The result being smiles and achy muscles all round!
Skiers in all three villages have had some great itineraries as well, including the Sella Ronda, Marmolada and play days on the Pralongia Plateau. Conditions are tip top both on and off the piste after a foot of snow fell last Friday, making for some stunning days out on the mountain.
All the chalets are adorned with lovely Christmas decorations ahead of next weeks' celebrations and everyone is getting into the festive spirit. I’ll let you know next week how it all goes providing I’m not too full of turkey to write!
Merry Christmas from Flee and all the Collett's staff in Italy and the UK!