Showing posts with label Dolomites. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dolomites. Show all posts

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Italian Dolomites


Saturday, 1 March 2008

Ski performance - Civetta 2008

Every time I went skiing to Dolomites I have posted my ski performance stats from the official Dolomiti Superski site.

I can't see why should it be any different this time.

However there is one inaccuracy in that summary. Something is missing in the "Present season until yesterday" item. It's the 145 kilometers of slopes we did in December in Trevalli that's missing. You can check out that report here.

On the list of slopes we did this year there is also Gran Risa. This is the place of Alta Badia FIS Alpine Ski World Cup giant slalom race.

5+1 ski ticket allows you to go anywhere you want inside the wast Dolomiti Superski area for a day. This year we visited La Villa for the first time.

I must say Gran Risa slope is really something. It is quite steep but you can find many steeper slopes in the neighborhood. The combination of the steepness and length of this slope is what's really impressive. It just goes on and on...
If you do it in one piece and relatively fast I am sure you too will feel the pressure in your eardrums building up and your thighs should be burning quite nicely when you reach the end (that's if you're not the Terminator). Apart from that a sweaty drop or two should also come dripping from under your helmet.

It is something you should definitely try. Only then you can start to understand what those World Cup participants are doing on daily basis.


Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Elan S10

For as long as I can remember I have been using Elan skis. I guess it's because Elan is a Slovenian trademark and they are also making really good skis.
They are working on innovations all the time for others to copy afterwards. They say Elan was the first company to introduce carve approach. Now everybody is doing it.

Skis of my choice for the last couple of seasons have been Elan S10 Fusion.
Even though it wasn't cheap I am very satisfied with the purchase. With them I can easily enjoy throughout a whole day of skiing without getting my legs too tired.

Despite of that I think next time I'll choose just a bit stiffer model. Stiffer skis make you work harder but at the same time offer better grip on hard and icy surfaces.


Monday, 25 February 2008

Mount Pelmo and Mount Civetta

Civetta ski area amongst other things also offers great views of the Dolomites. This is one of the things why I always like to go back to this place.

One of the best views of Mount Pelmo is from Civetta ski area. Because of its height (3168 m) and shape, it can be easily spotted even from a large distance.

We like the area so much that M. and I are planning a visit to the Dolomites also during the summer months. We are hoping to do some hiking and climbing.

I hope you like this couple of nice views captured by my camera. The first one features Mount Pelmo and the second one a windy peak of Mount Civetta (3219 m) - photo was taken from a chairlift.


Friday, 22 February 2008

Dolomites still looking good

We are back from skiing in Civetta and as expected we had a great time. There is a lot of snow in Italian Dolomites at this moment and the weather was simply gorgeous. Throughout the last week we hardly saw any clouds and even those few didn't come rolling across the sky until the time we were leaving.

I even came across a discussion the other day where people were talking about the best week for skiing in Dolomites area this season. Mostly they agreed last week was the best so far. I really couldn't argue that. Lucky me, I guess.

It was blue sky and sunshine all over and I have the tan to prove it! Mornings were a bit cold - especially on high altitudes, but through the day it got quite warm. We saw people sunbathing next to almost every mountain cottage.

We of course didn't use much of our time for that. Mostly our first priority was skiing but nevertheless we could not entirely ignore a wide selection of home-made products offered by local innkeepers. We especially liked a wide selection of homemade spirits (or grappa as Italians call them). It was almost impossible to find a kind of herb or fruit, that wasn't dipped into a strong local schnapps and offered to customers.

Those with a local sort of apples were my favorite. The little apples were barely cherry size, yet very delicious. If you take into consideration where those apples grow, I guess you shouldn't be at all surprised with their size. After all we are talking about altitudes between 1.000 and 2.000 meters above sea level.

Before I could afford to fully experience those tasty liquors I had a choice to make. I was on an antibiotic prescription at the time and as you should know - alcohol and antibiotics don't mix well. It was already my fifth week on those drugs and I had another week ahead of me.
I did a little research and decided that five weeks and a few days will just have to do.

You can see my unfortunate dilemma on the last photo above.


Friday, 8 February 2008

Skiing in Civetta

It's time to go skiing again. For the last couple of years we have been going to Dolomites this time of year. Civetta is the destination of our choice. We obviously like it a lot (otherwise we wouldn't be going there year after year) and we can hardly wait to hit the road tommorrow after lunch.

I hope we'll have nice weather and as many nice photo opportunities as possible.

If you want, you can check some photos from last year. You can find them on these links: link1, link2 and link3.

I also published a skiing checklist last year and used it earlier today. I have to say it still works fine.

Enjoy next week as much as possible. I know I will.


Monday, 21 January 2008

Trevalli Ski-opening official stats

For a couple of years now the official Dolomiti Superski homepage is offering some statistics for you to check out after you get back home.

I always try to remember and check them out. This year they upgraded the statistics with a graphical representation.

This is how a summary of my four days of skiing in Trevalli looks like. I noticed the numbers are a bit lower than usually. The reason for that is quite obvious from my previous two posts.
I posted a similar summary after my last year's skiing adventure in Civetta. You can check it out here.


Thursday, 17 January 2008

The hard part of skiing

Since in Trevalli there are no night skiing opportunities, we had to find something else to do during late hours.

It is quite usual for our group to cause some mild disturbance in an otherwise peaceful family vacation environment. This time however it was not the case.
There was this group of 18 men (aged 40 to 50) stationed in the same building with us and they were true party animals. We were no match for them. They said they do a thing like this twice a year. That's the only two times in a year their wives let them off the chain (so they put it). They seemed to try real hard to make the most of it.

They brought over 150 liters of alcohol with them. Mostly it was beer and wine, but there was also some home made schnapps, herb brandy, tangerine liqueur, walnut liqueur, blueberry brandy and I'm pretty sure that was not all. Personally I only managed to try those. I must say they were all homemade drinks and without an exception tasted pretty good.

They also had a pile of sausages, various dry salami and a whole leg of prosciutto with them. It all added up to a selection of meat products that I'm sure even a medium-size butchery would be proud of.

When they started to party you could barely hear yourself thinking. An accordion and a guitar encouraged them to sing louder and louder as the hours went by.
Fortunately they weren't in their best shape (or so they said), so they managed an all night party only every other night.

Surprisingly we saw them also on the slopes during the day. It was quite hard work for us too. Partying late and skiing all day long from 10 AM to 4 PM every day was quite a challenge.

They made me laugh every time I saw them. You could just never tell what they were up to. Of course they had their equipment with them on the slopes too (accordion included).

I am not sure how much skiing they actually did, because I saw them mostly around those neat mountain huts by the slopes.
Usually there are tables set in front of these huts. It feels really great to just sit there for a while and soak the sun. The only thing that spoils the idyllic atmosphere are the prices of food and drinks they offer. You could bring your own sandwiches and hot tea, but there are signs everywhere saying: "No picnic!" or "No packed lunch!".

If you try to ignore them, there is usually a waiter around to nag about it.

Well these neighbors of ours didn't seem to bother. They simply put their leg of prosciutto in a stand on one of the tables, just next to the 10 liter wine container they brought with them. They sang a song or two and slowly carved into the prosciutto with a 30 cm carving knife.

The waiter just pretended they weren't there and kept avoiding them. It was a laugh!
Oh yeah and the prosciutto was excellent!


Monday, 14 January 2008

Ski season opening in Trevalli

I finally (with some substantial delay, but hey in the end I did it and that's what counts) decided to share some info on how my first skiing trip of this season went.

We had a great time and will definitely try to do it again. The only problem with this kind of ski-opening trips can be snow, or better put - the lack of it. It is always a bit of a gamble since you have to book the accommodation at least two months in advance. At that time you don't have a clue what the weather and snow conditions are gonna be.
Fortunately this time all went well.

It happened in the middle of December and included four days of skiing, relaxing and partying. The car trip took us just over four hours one way (Ljubljana to Falcade and back). It went by without any problems.

We went as a group of 13. In case if you are wondering - no, there was no lack of luck (I guess this time 13 wasn't an unlucky number at all).
Mostly we knew each other, there was only one couple that was new to me. We got along great.

We were divided into four apartments and instantly turned into four perfect little families. When it was time to party we (as usually when we go somewhere as such a group) occupied one of the apartments and tried to destroy as much of our common enemy as possible. As you might have guessed, this enemy of ours is also called alcohol.
Because of the long hours of skiing that were always in front of us on the next morning, we didn't take it too far. Most of us really love skiing, so it was our first priority.

A smaller part of our group (a female colleague) wasn't expecting that and consequentially while others were skiing, she tried to pass the time tasting various local drinks (most of which were alcoholic).
Those cute little huts (I like to call them skier traps) placed just next to ski slopes offer a variety of spirits, beers and similar stuff. Everybody tasted at least some of those. For an instance Bombardino was the first choice of many.

The skiing was great. Most of the snow was artificial, but it was enough of it and most of the slopes were opened.
That meant around 90 km of slopes were available. Trevalli ski resort is just big enough not to get bored in four days.
The name of this part of Dolomiti Superski area - Trevalli translates to Three Valleys and that's just what it is - three valleys full of ski-lifts and slopes. Two of those valleys are connected and the third is just a short ride away.

From Col Margherita, at a height of 2.650 m one can also see ski slopes in Civetta ski area and Mt. Pelmo rising above them. It was a nice view especially because we are going there again in February.

More about the other side of skiing in my next post.


Tuesday, 20 February 2007

Skiing in the Dolomites, Italy (Part 2)

Considering the topic of the previous post I also have to post a few photos of snow cowered slopes. If I don't do that you might think that all we were doing last week was emptying bottles.

In the Part 1 of “Skiing in the Dolomites” I have posted a summary of my ski report. I tried to do a comparison with previous years, but I can't find any old ski passes (data since the 2004-05 winter can be accessible on the Dolomiti Superski web site). I was almost sure I didn't throw them away. If I have any luck finding them sometime later I'll do the comparison then. You know how it is - you always seem to find things you don't need at the moment.

I hope you are able to get a taste of the Dolomites winter atmosphere from a photo selection bellow.
Some of the mountains in the backgrounds of my photos are repeating over and over again. I just couldn’t help myself - they are simply magnificent. On the first two photos Monte Pelmo (3168 m) is visible in all its beauty. First one is Col dei Baldi and the second is Col Fioret.
The next one is a demonstration of what not to do anywhere near the yellow sign.
On the last photo there is an apartment house in which we have stayed for a third time in a row. Considering the price, location and furnishing, the apartment is a real bargain.


Sunday, 18 February 2007

Thirsty travelers in the Dolomites

People say dehydration is a dangerous thing. With hours and hours of skiing also comes thirst and one has to take care of it. As a consequence of that, last week we drank many liters of liquid every day. But just like the Thirsty traveler on Travel Channel, we couldn't miss the opportunity to taste some of the local beverages. Mostly alcoholic ones. We had to be very careful though - skiing and alcohol don't go together well.

There were loads of various home distilled fruit products (prugna, fichi, genziano), many kinds of beers (we loved a German Franziskaner Weissbier), wines (Chianti, Cabernet and Cabernet Frank), vin brulè (hot wine), various hot chocolate and egg-nog cocktails with funny names (Bombardino, Civettino and Caramelino).
I have tasted and liked almost every one of the mentioned beverages. There was only one exception – genziano. That is a gentian-flavoured alcoholic drink, which I would dare to say is the bitterest thing on this planet.

In case if the Italians ran out of alcohol, we also brought some with us. We wouldn't go on such a trip without a few liters of Slovenian wine, some pear-schnapps and a couple six-packs of beer. There has to be some strange reason why we have chosen a toast (Zdravljica) for our national anthem.
The above mentioned pear-schnapps is called "Viljamovka" in Slovenian. It is named after a sort of pear. Usually inside of a bottle there is a whole pear. The pear is put in a bottle when still growing and is small enough to slide inside. Then it is left to ripe inside the bottle until it is cut off from the tree.

On the first photo bellow there is a captured moment from the Franziskaner beer drinking, the second shows a bottle of home made Viljamovka schnapps (with a pear still inside). An ice-bar with various kinds of temptations for the Thirsty traveler/skier can be seen on the bottom two photos.


Saturday, 17 February 2007

Skiing in the Dolomites, Italy (Part 1)

And I am back - finally!

I have spent a week on white slopes of the Italian Dolomites. It was a great week full of skiing, eating, drinking and of course enjoying quality time with my skiing companions.

Almost the first thing I did when I got home was to check one of the cool features of the official Dolomiti Superski web site. It is called "Check your own ski-performance". In the provided report one can check altitudes reached, kilometers of slopes covered as well as the map with the routes covered.
Besides the skiing activity all of the inactivity can also be seen on a graphical timeline.
Quite interesting indeed.

There are many cute little wooden "rifugi" (refuges/bars/restaurants) on the slopes. Most of them were just calling for a short stop. We named them "traps". They are mainly using various home distilled fruit products for bait. With much success if I may add.

Here is a summary of my 6-day report.

All this is a side product of monitoring the skiers movement within the Dolomites ski area. If you buy a multi-day ski pass, you get one with a chip and your name on it. Every time you use a ski lift, the chip sends a message to the system. I guess they designed the system primarily with the skiers’ safety in mind. In spite of that I just can't get rid of the "big brother is always watching you" feeling.
I have also noticed that my last few rides went by unnoted. Obviously even the Big brother doesn't see it all. I wish!

Once again I have managed to take some gorgeous photos of the scenery. As soon as I download them from my camera, I'll post some of them. Until then - "All you need is just a little patience..."


Monday, 5 February 2007

Browsing through my photo archives #1

It has been a while since I was browsing through my e-photo archives. Today I was looking for a particular photo - which in the end I didn't find...
I have promised myself a hundred times that I will start cataloging my photos, but I have never found enough time (nor will) to actually do it.

Anyhow... I have stumbled on some couple-year-old photos from a skiing adventure in Italian Dolomites. I got very excited about the idea of going there again in a week or so. Can't hardly wait!

Here's a taste of what I'm excited about. Jealous?

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