Lunch at Baita Sofie in Seceda, Val Gardena, Dolomiti Superski, Sudtirol
Last weekend I was skiing in the Dolomites, specifically in Kronplatz, Alte Badia, Val Gardena and Alpe di Siusi, all in the Sudtirol province.
We were a group of very good skiers (except myself, that I am worst each year that goes by), and the Dolomites have received the biggest storm this year – between 50 and 80 cm in one go. This made that all the passes in the Sella Ronda were closed. But last Saturday, we left our lovely 5 stars hotel in Corvara (the Sassongher) to get up to the top of Alta Badia- The snow was soft, really nice, and deep. For being on piste, it was a bit tracked up, which was difficult for me, but slowly – really slowly, I get to meet my group, who were fresh of waiting for me! I’ve thought this year I was really in shape, but I guess that, as I am getting into my 50’s, it means that I need to do much more to be really fit!
Anyways, from Corvara, after a pit-stop at the Rifugio Bioch for a grappa – (I’ve stayed with a doppio espresso cappuccino decafeinatto- that is what I was drinking these days), we braved the windy morning and kept our way towards the Passo Gardena and then down into Selva in Val Gardena. From there was up again and down to Santa Cristina – the neighbouring village in Val Gardena. From down Santa Cristina we took an underground funicular to then take another gondola and a chairlift up to the Seceda.
From up there we skied a bit down to Baita Sofie- stuck pretty much at the top of Seceda, at 2,410 meters over sea level, with magnificent views of the Sassolungo and the Gruppo della Sella.
The Family Prinoth have been taking care of this Baita for a couple of generations. Sofie is the owner, who with her husband raised up their kids living on top of this ‘baita’. The kids then, ski down to school in town. Now Markus, her son, and his wife Brigitte, do the same with their kids. How cool is that!?
You better reserve if you want to come to this restaurant. It gets packed. There is an older part at the entrance, the more modern one with floor to ceiling windows to admire the views, and a glassed gallery to the side. Outside there is a lovely deck that I can imagine gets packed on sunny days. Even though the visibility was not great, we had a couple of glimpses of the impressive mountains in front of us. The Dolomites are mighty, they are proper rugged mountains that make you feel like you are a spot in the immensity.
We had some speck, smoked ham, salami, mortadella and different cheeses to start, plus some deep-fried potatoes with some sauerkraut which was delicious. Food is big, so go out being really hungry, or maybe think of sharing some plates! The Schnitzel (what could be a fried breaded chicken – or ‘milanesa’ in Spanish) – is bigger than the plate!
I am glad that I had a type of ravioli – was not called like that but cannot recall the name, with spinach inside- completely delicious, but was good after having a massive starter! We should not have had any desert because we ate a lot, but we’ve got tempted with an apple strudel and a tiramisu to share. Markus, the owner, said that we could not leave before trying his own gin produced at altitude! We had already been trying some lovely South Tyirolian wines, and to be honest, I don’t drink too much, less when skiing.
But he insisted, and we went from our table to their cave that is all full of glass and lots of wonderful wines and he brought his 8025 Alpine Gin. Produced at altitude of 8025 feet (same as the 2410 meters), is the ‘baby’ of Markus. The botanicals in the gin are collected from June until the end of November. Juniper berries, pine cones of the Swiss pine and the Mountain pine, the root of angelica and the asperula, are some of the thirteen herbs in this gin. This is the highest gin in the world. It smells of wood and has a grapefruit aftertaste.
Markus prepare glasses for him and the five of us with three-berry, three-juniper, Fever Tree tonic water and ice from spring water. The Villa Laviosa in Terlano is the one that distyles it. This gin has cero sugar to enhance the properties of the individual botanicals.
There was no way I could ski down, the 11 km slope to Ortisei. So kindly, Markus offered me and a fellow girl in my group, a snowmobile ride up to the tram to get down to the valley.
To reserve the Baita Sofie Seceda, call + 39 335 527 1240 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
To get more info on the 8025 Gin go to www.villalaviosa.com or contact them at email@example.com – phone +39 0471 952043.
The-Ski-Guru TRAVEL can organise your trip to Val Gardena and the rest of the Dolomites, either staying at one spot, or doing a ski safari. The Dolomiti Superski pass, that include all these resorts in Sudtirol and many others in Trentino and Belluno, offer 1,200 km of pistes. Most of the resorts are interconnected and the others are at a short distance. To contact us, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 750 838 2781. You can also click our Travel with Us tab and fill up the form there.
The-Ski-Guru TRAVEL can organise your bespoke ski trip to the Americas, Alps or Japan, including for those going from Britain to Europe, booking your Eurotunnel trip, and for all trips: lodging, lift tickets, rentals, ski school, and all you need for an excellent vacation. Go to https://www.the-ski-guru.com/travel and upload your information – this page will be updated soon with more travel ideas. Check our February offer for Zermatt staying at the Chalet Zen or Penthouse Zen, our amazing Ski Safari in the Dolomites , stay at the San Lorenzo Lodge White Deer in the Val Pusteria of Sudtirol, in the Hotel Petrus in Riscone, for skiing Kronplatz, or check our Easter offer to Obergurgl-Hochgurgl and Sölden to ski with your family.
You can start thinking about your trip, by reading the articles on the Planning your Ski Trip tab. Or how to pack for your family ski trip. If taking your furry friend abroad to the continent, read about the new Pet Travel Scheme update from DEFRA. Check out our tips for driving to the mountains. If flying and renting a car in Europe, beware of the extra charges they will pass to you if you want winter tyres, snow chains or ski racks. If driving, check the winter tyres news for Europe and North America.
Or you can read our last news on equipment as seen at the London Ski Show. Also, the new range of skis of Black Crows, one of our favourite brands. Shred-Dog is a definitely favourite brand for parents of growing kids. And check the new Mohawk helmet with augmented reality. A new app, Ski Tracker Pro offers you a one month free download if using a promo code.
We have already covered many news due to this latest spat of snow storms in Europe, as the hotel that was hit by an avalanche of 300 meters of width in Eastern Switzerland. In the same place, a couple days later, a second avalanche affected the structure of the Säntis Suspension Railway. And two ski patrollers got killed setting avalanche control charges in the French resort of Morillon in the Grand Massif. Also two workers died in Jammu in the Gulmarg in India, when they’ve fallen from a cable car during a mock rescue drill.
Lots of snow makes you wonder how the resorts deal with the avalanche danger. Here you can read the interview to Coco Torres, former Head of Operations of Las Leñas, in Argentina, as how they dealt with avalanches at the resort.
Or perhaps you may choose to read the Ski Resort News, Ski Passes News, and the Must-Read Guides to Lech, Zermatt, Courmayeur, Val di Fiemme and Crans-Montana. Coming soon will be the guide to St Anton. Or watch an amazing heli flight over the Mont Blanc Massif. Also see tips on how not to be scammed when booking a ski chalet.
You can also read what’s new at Les Trois Vallées and the last article on what is new at the Tirol ski areas, in Les 2 Alpes, in Cervinia, in La Plagne, in 3 Zinnen Dolomites , in Adelboden, Lenk and Kandertal, in Gstaad, in Chamonix, in Georgia’s Gudauri Resort and in the Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn. And how the US Ski Team has chosen Alpe Cimbra to train for the following four ski seasons as their European home. Here is the link to our post on the My Voucher Codes ranking of best European Ski Resorts.
Crested Butte will have a new chairlift to replace Teocalli lift for the 2019/20 ski season. Jay Peak is officially for sale.
You can plan where to eat in Aspen Snowmass or which events to attend on-mountain while there. And Cortina D’Ampezzo is getting ready for this winter and the 2021 World Ski Championships.
Another classic resort, such as St Moritz has been in the news for its famous Cresta Run be opened again for women after a 89 years ban.
Also, you can read how Grandvalira will be staying together as one lift ticket company and how they are adding Ordino Arcalis to this offer. Grandvalira is opening now all of its six sectors. And also read how someone tried to sabotage some lifts in Vallnord’s Pal Arinsal. And as if it is starting to be a trend, there were two lifts sabotaged in Passo Rolle, in Val di Fiemme, Trentino. Fortunately they were repaired in record time to open to the public. It seems also that the deadly fire in a Courchevel employee housing building was arson. Uber has launched its service UberSki in some resorts in France, after having done so in the United States.
Also, Mt Hood Meadows was forced to evacuate one lift with 150 skiers and boarders due to a power failure. And the same was the case in a lift with 140 skiers/boarders in Whitefish, Montana. A last one to report was now in Stowe, VT, with more than 150 stuck skiers and boarders that have to wait up to two and a half hours to offload. Recently a British skier was killed after suffering a cardiac arrest on a chairlift falling 32 feet to the ground in Méribel resort in Les Trois Vallées. You can see our recent article on how avalanches claimed two lives in Switzerland the past week. And read more what is the real risk of avalanches. Three Germans have been killed by an avalanche near Lech and a fourth is missing. Two were caught in an inbounds avalanche near Kachina Peak in Taos and taken to hospital. 7 were killed as a helicopter and a light aircraft crashed over the Ruitor Glacier near la Thuile in the Italian Alps. Two were killed by an avalanche in St Christoph-en-Oisans in the French Alps.
Or read about the latest investments in Whistler Blackcomb. Or see how Taos is going against the industry trend, and instead of merging with the two biggest oligopolies in skiing at the moment, it goes and buys an airline to get more bums in resort. Or how Jackson Hole is appealing to families and beginners – it is not only a resort for expert skiers anymore. Another great area for families is Stubaital in the Tirol. And a new coming ski area that got funding for its first lift is Skeetawk in Alaska. Courmayeur is opening this season two new trails, one that is 70% steep – not for the faint-hearted! Or read how a group of experienced industry insiders got together to purchase Tamarack Resort. And how Peak Resorts finalised the acquisition of the resorts of Snow Time. You can also check how Vermont’s ski passes are the most expensive in New England. And talking about Vermont, you can read on how Killington is planning to change its North Ridge triple chair with a fixed-gripped quad.
Also read how one employee of Aspen Ski Co got caught in an avalanche but got out unscathed while scouting terrain for the Aspen Mountain Powder Tours. Or how the a gondola of the new American Eagle lift from Copper Mountain crashed into the snow in a trial run. The resort confirmed that the chondola will be fixed before it’s opening day. Plus this week, some gondolas got tangled in Hochzillertal. And there was a gas explosion at the Grand Hotel Zermatterhof that injured six, before its opening date.
You can keep up to date on how are the sales for the EPIC and IKON passes are doing here. Read how Emma, the first Digital Mountain Assistant, is launched in Keystone now and will be rolled to eight other resorts this season. Breckenridge and Keystone are one of the resorts with the longest ski season in the United States. And even read about the new incorporation to the IKON Pass: Valle Nevado. Here is also a post on the South American resorts.
Or you can see the inspiring story of the “Cholitas” – the indigenous Aymara ladies who are attempting to climb the highest peak of the Americas – the Aconcagua at 6,962 meters/22,840 feet.
Also, Rob Katz and his wife Elana Amsterdam donated 2 million USD in grants to support mental and behavioural health programs in ski towns of North America. And see how Aspen Skiing Company released its sustainability report 2018. And also check Aspen’s Give a Flakecampaign. The Audi Power of Four Mountaineering Race is coming back to Aspen. And the ’12 hours Head NonStop’ is going back to Sierra Nevada.
And here is a summary of a report by LISTEX on the State of the UK Snowsports Market. The US had it first National Learn to Ski and Snowboard Day with 6,200 lessons given.
And what Switzerland could look by 2060 due to climate change.
Or check out how now with the EPIC Pass you can ski in Europe, specifically in Les Trois Vallées and the resorts of Skirama Dolomiti in Trentino’s Italy. Or see our review of L’Héliopic Hotel Sweet & Spa if thinking in staying in Chamonix this winter. Or check out the new Snowpine Lodge in Alta, Utah opening late January 2019. And for those that thought that skiing in Whistler was only for the rich and famous, now the new Pangea Pod Hotel offers them a chance to stay in the cheap in the new cool hotel in the middle of Whistler Village. Those going this season to Avoriaz and wanting to be by the slopes, can stay in the pop-up Flying Nest hotel.
Featured Image: Baita Sofie on Monte Seceda in the Dolomites of Val Gardena on a sunny day. Lunch at Baita Sofie in Seceda, Val Gardena, Dolomiti Superski, Sudtirol.