Dolomites February 2022

February 25, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

Pictures from my ex-tempore ski trip to the Dolomites from 12th to 19th February 2022. After 2 years not being able to travel to Alps I grabbed this opportunity to travel. Fabulous 7 days of skiing. I stayed at Hotel Solaia in the village of Wolkenstein in Selva di Val Gardena valley.

Direct access from hotel to Sella Ronda.

All of the photos were taken with Samsung Galaxy S21 5G cell phone. The phone has 3 types of rear cameras and front camera for selfies. In my opinion the photos are pretty good.

Here is link to all of the photos, or you can read this post and see them in slideshows day by day.

I tracked my skiing with Sports Tracker app.

 

2022-02-12 1st Dolomiti ski day

The flight from Helsinki to Innsbruck was brutally early, and the bus trip from the airport was just 2 hours. We got our hotel rooms immediately, so I was able to go skiing for the afternoon. Already at noon I was on skis and heading up to the peaks.  I decided to try if I could make the Sella Ronda Green direction (counter-clockwise) during the afternoon, and did succeed. I did 65 km around the Sella group peaks, out of which 34 km downhill. As Saturday is the “switch day” most people leaving and arriving, there were very few people and almost no queues.

Sports Tracker data:

https://www.sports-tracker.com/workout/ianleiman/6207eb43793989488c5276df

GPX route on Google Maps:

https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=1aeVjr6l8GXemjTIpVETp2YXafaLok8Pu&usp=sharing

2022-02-13 2nd Dolomiti ski day

The 2nd day was as sunny as the first, so decided to leave early and make the Sella Ronda Orange direction (clockwise). But I had made a serious error by registering my Green (Covid) Pass to the wrong ski pass. This was not possible to fix in the Dolomiti Superski App, so I had to queue to a Ski Pass counter to sort it out. Wasted one hour in the queue, but it only took a minute to fix the problem. So it was 10:30 when I finally got started. As it was such a gorgeous day, decided to make a small detour from the Ronda to the Marmolada, the highest peak in the area at 3232 meters. The view from the top was amazing. From there a decent 1558 meters vertical 6 km continuous run, a rare treat. Because I had wasted so much time in the morning, only managed to do one hour more skiing than 1st day.

Sports Tracker data:

https://www.sports-tracker.com/workout/ianleiman/62091d3857920a10128f07cc

GPX route on Google Maps:

https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/edit?mid=1pRznQNXQQ5-agDoh-eeU_8CATyj0mWmw&usp=sharing

2022-02-14 3rd Dolomiti ski day

I left my skis to full service the previous day after returning from the round, and the skis were going to be ready next morning at 8 AM. So woke up early to pick the skis up. There were in dire need of service. Now they felt like new again, edges super sharp and gliding like a dream.

On 3rd day no longer ski pass problems either, so I got a really early start. The day was going to be mostly sunny and some clouds arriving later in afternoon. Decided to do Sella Ronda Orange once again, but this time a detour to the Alta Badia area, which was really sunny. On the black run 17 down to La Villa, I managed to 115 km/h from the skis. In the afternoon the clouds started to roll in from west and next day heavy snowfall was predicted.

Sports Tracker data:

https://www.sports-tracker.com/workout/ianleiman/620a7de6ce382e69b6234108

GPX route on Google Maps:

https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/edit?mid=14N4Dn5gKPrZsVbfyC7s01Mi2SJIUTKtn&usp=sharing

2022-02-15 4th Dolomiti ski day

Woke up early to get most of the snowfall day. I had to buy ne goggles on the way down, as my old goggles were really ancient, like 20 years old, and now decided it was a good time get proper new ones. It was snowing hard all day and visibility was poor. So decided to stay below tree line as much as possible. Now headed to the other side of the Val Gardena to St. Christina and then up to Seceda, and the 12 km long run down to Ortisei. There were hardly any people out on the slopes, so could enjoys skiing knee deep fresh powder all by myself. Managed to cover over 100 km of total distance, 55 km downhill and 11332 meters vertical decent on this day. It was really great to ski Alpine deep powder again. 4600 kCal burned, so I was pretty hungry after this.

Sports Tracker data:

https://www.sports-tracker.com/workout/ianleiman/620bd4a2f2680924bf8e922a

GPX route on Google Maps:

https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/edit?mid=1x1giD26N84bWtEwGWE-5TxtleMTiOKxe&usp=sharing

2022-02-16 5th Dolomiti ski day

I found out that my ex sister in law Tarja was also in the valley with her family. They have been living in Luxembourg for many years, so we haven’t seen for long time. We agreed to meet up at Seceda, ski and have lunch together. Had lunch at Daniel’s restaurant on a sunny terrace. Then some of their friends joined and soon we were a big group. Skiing with a group was nice change after having skied alone for 3 days. But skiing with a big group it was a lot slower too, so I only did 40 km of downhill on this day. It was a sunny day again, and fresh snow everywhere. You could still find deep powder at many places.

Sports Tracker data:

https://www.sports-tracker.com/workout/ianleiman/620d1e47dcf303601a473d66

 GPX route on Google Maps:

https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/edit?mid=1-agz6lorKmuVUZwRyLy-6R16OW7YD-8m&usp=sharing

2022-02-17 6th Dolomiti ski day

The penultimate day. I decided to try to do Sella Ronda Green with some touring at Arabba maybe. On the way I skied down to Canazei just to see what it was like. The village was pretty, but the run down there was not so nice and access to ski lifts and Sella Ronda not so good. I would not recommend staying in Canazei.

The prediction was for strong winds at mountain peaks and that turned out to be true. At Sass Bece I found out that Sella Ronda had been closed. There were fences announcing that return lifts from Arabba were not operating, if you continued there was no coming back. The lift status tables were showing that the final pass back to Wolkenstein over Dantercepies at the remote end were still running, but I could not take the risk of getting stuck on wrong side. So decided to abort the Ronda and head back. But a lot of other people were doing the same so, huge queue at Pradel-Rodella gondola, took almost and hour the get back to Sella Pass area. Had lunch on sunny terrace and then went to see Monte Pana black run in sunshine. Getting back from there was a problem as the only returning chairlift Tramans had closed due to wind. Fortunately found an off-piste trail to St.Christina. Then remains of the day at Piz Sella, Ciampinoi and Dantercepies. Ity turned out to be a nice day despite the wind.

Sports Tracker data:

https://www.sports-tracker.com/workout/ianleiman/620e7aaa6697f817ed7b2695

GPX route on Google Maps:

https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=13p5HZDIWgJGAxeB6z9sKNigs42aScLid&usp=sharing

 

2022-02-18 7th Dolomiti ski day

The very last day of the week. The weather was for no winds, temperatures above freezing and sunny. Decided that I want to see the view from top of Marmolada one more time, as that is a view to die for. And I would attempt the Sella Ronda Orange route this time, trying to get to Marmolada as fast as I could. Also decided to ski a bit slower for the last day. I managed to get at bottom station of the Marmolada cable cars in less that 2 hours. On the way the runs were still freshly groomed with tough power snow. Then there was 20 mi queue as many other people had the same idea as me. There is a sequence of 3 cable cars taking you from 1440 m up to 3230 m. And then you need to climb long stairs in thin air with mask on to the panorama terrace at very top. From there you get 360 degree view of the Dolomites and can see mountain peaks 100 km away. The run down from there is almost 7 km long and you descend 1500 vertical meters. This time I skied slow, stopped a few times to take photos and it took 19 minutes. Then a nice lunch at the sunny terrace of Rifugio Padon. Then back to my own valley. Stopped for beer at Rifugio Salei and bumper to Tarja’s group. From there we continued together all the way to down to St.Christina for drinks at Ruacia Apreski Snowbar. Then back towards my hotel for the last runs, first down from Ciampioi and one last time up to Dantercepies. It was a really good week of skiing in sunshine and some new powder snow.  

Total one week downhill distance skied 324 km, and 64 km of vertical decent, 166 downhill runs.

Sports Tracker data:

https://www.sports-tracker.com/workout/ianleiman/620fc43763002a4555094e02

GPX route on Google Maps:

https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/edit?mid=1M_Io7CZt-VdDEVMxD70TjLnEtm52j3dV&usp=sharing

Hotel Solaia

I stayed at Hotel Solaia in the village of Wolkenstein in Selva di Val Gardena valley. The hotel has a perfect location with ski in/out access. From the ski storage room you could walk to the blue run coming down from Dantercepies and going to village centre. From village you can walk either to the Ciampioni gondola lift station to go Sella Ronda counter-clockwise or towards St.Christina, or you can take the Costabella chair to access Dantercepies gondola to go Sella Ronda clockwise or the areas of Alta Badia.

Breakfast served at hotel was included as well as 3 course dinner server in Hotel Olympia next door. In the hotel there was an excellent span with proper Finnish Sauna, and a swimming pool with amazing view towards Sassolungo peak.

The hotel was impeccably maintained, charmingly decorated in local style and super clean.  The owner was very friendly, helpful and could speak many languages. In this village people speak their own Ladin language, and of course local Italian and German. Almost everyone can speak English too.

Probably there would have been nice after ski bars nearby, but I was so tiered after hard days of skiing, that I had to go sleeping straight from dinner. And wanted to avoid covid infection so stayed away from any crowds.

Italian food

Generally, when in the Alps you find the best food and wines from Italy – and prices are reasonable even in very high end places. The food was simply delicious. I had my lunches in the mountain restaurants on their sunny terraces with amazing views, except on the snowfall day had to eat inside. Included in my package was a 3 course dinner served in Hotel Olympia next door. Or should I say 4 courses, as there was an excellent salad buffet to start with. Then a 1st main course usually a pasta with sauce, then 2nd main course of fish or meat. And finally, a dessert. You could choose your main courses a day before from 2 choices, where the 2nd choice apparently was always vegetarian.

fly home

Brutally early return flight. Wake up at 4 AM, and the bus picked us 4:30 from the hotel. Then 2 hour bus ride to Innsbruck airport. From Innsbruck a Finnair flight back home. I was back home by noon. In Finland it was totally cloudy and grey. I had pre-ordered a 10 € “breakfast combo”, that contained in paper bag a bread, apple, and yogurt. Instant coffee would cost an extra 3 € so I just had cold water that was free. I remember the days when on these flights you got a proper warm meal with all and any drinks, there was proper brewed coffee and that was all included to the fare.


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