News of Cortina d’Ampezzo for the 2021-22 ski season.

News of Cortina d’Ampezzo for the 2021-22 ski season. Photo credit: Pietro Albarelli. Cortina Marketing.

News of Cortina d’Ampezzo for the 2021-22 ski season.

Cortina d’Ampezzo is preparing for the 2021-22 ski season. Here you have the news of the Queen of the Dolomites.

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A classic in Cortina d'Ampezzo- Bombardino in a terrace absorbing great views! Photo credit: Cortina Marketing.
A classic in Cortina d’Ampezzo- Bombardino in a terrace absorbing great views! Photo credit: Cortina Marketing.

New chairlift: Ra Valles

There will be a new four-seater chairlift in the area of Ra Valles. This is the highest in Cortina. You reach it with the Freccia nel Cielo Gondola and cablecar from the town centre. This new chairlift will replace two lifts.
It will reduce transport time dramatically. You will be able to reach much faster the top of the Bus de Tofana slope. This is the highest slope in Cortina,starting at 2,743m.

The Must-Read Guide to the Rhône Alpes

Les Saisies. Photo: C. Martelet. Rhône Alpes Tourisme. The Must-Read Guide to the Rhône Alpes.

The Must-Read Guide to the Rhône Alpes

Here I have put together the must-read guide to the Rhône Alpes. It is pretty inclusive so I’ll do it as a bit of a bullet point. But it is a good start where to see all their ski resorts and which ones could tempt you for your perfect ski holiday.
The Rhône Alpes is an extensive area in the Central West of France. From west to east it offers the Auvergne Volcanoes to Lyon and the French Alps and Mont Blanc. This is the roof of Europe at 4,810 meters.
Pointe d'Ireuse. View on Mont Blanc. Chablais Massif. Photo: Christian Matelet. Auvergne Rhône Alpes Tourisme. The Must-Read Guide to the Rhône Alpes.
Pointe d’Ireuse. View on Mont Blanc. Chablais Massif. Photo: Christian Matelet. Auvergne Rhône Alpes Tourisme. The Must-Read Guide to the Rhône Alpes.
 

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How to get there: The Must-Read Guide to the Rhône Alpes. 

 

By Air:

 
  • Paris Airport- transfer to Lyon is 45 minutes.
  • Geneva Airport
  • Chambery Airport
  • Grenoble Airport
 

By Train:

 
  • Paris – TGV (fast train)
  • London with the Eurostar
  • Brussels with the Thalis
 

By Car:

 
  • Lyon airport: 1-3 hours
  • Geneva airport: 1-3 hours
  • Chambery airport: 1-1.5 hours
  • Grenoble airport: 1-1.5 hours.
Sunset on the Grandes Jorasses. Mont Blanc Massif. Photo: Carmen Villa/Auvergne-Rhône Alpes Tourisme. The Must-Read Guide to the Rhône Alpes.
Sunset on the Grandes Jorasses. Mont Blanc Massif. Photo: Carmen Villa/Auvergne-Rhône Alpes Tourisme. The Must-Read Guide to the Rhône Alpes.
 
 

The French Alps – The Must-Read Guide to the Rhône Alpes

 
The French Alps are the most renown ski mountains in the world. Here are some specs to explain why:
  • It has been three times host of Winter Olympic games:
    • Chamonix in 1925 (first edition)
    • Grenoble, 1968
    • Albertbille, 1992.
  • The 3 Valleys is the world’s largest ski area, with 600 km of ski slopes and more than 200 cable cars. Most of the terrain is above 1800 m altitude.
  • There are different connected ski areas, or if you prefer to call them ski carousels.
    • Les 3 Vallées
    • Paradiski
    • Val d’Isère- Tignes.
  • It has the longest snow season in Europe, from November (October for Tignes this year!) to May.
  • It offers summer skiing from June to August at
    • Val d’Isére-Tignes
    • Les 2 Alpes
 
This guide will pinpoint the unique particularities of the different main ski resorts.
 

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Our Winter Getaway to the Mountains – no skiing included

Walking with the dog in Pautex, Valdigne, Valle d'Aosta. Our Winter Gate-away to the Mountains - no skiing included.

Our Winter Getaway to the Mountains – no skiing included

How we managed to get our winter getaway to the mountains. I knew from the start, that due to the DCPM in Italy, there was no skiing included in this trip for sure.
 
As I also knew that the UK was going to become a third country to the EU, I really wanted to go back to Morgex. The EU allows its country-members to travel with no restrictions within the bloc. Thanks to Brexit, now we are out of the bloc, so we have the travel restrictions. The UK is now like the US. US could not go from March onwards into Europe, and they still cannot travel.

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The first day on the road towards Chaumont. Our Winter Gate-away to the Mountains - no skiing included.
The first day on the road towards Chaumont. Our Winter Gate-away to the Mountains – no skiing included.
I have been looking at all the rules in the UK, France and Italy. It started getting very technical. This showed that how determined I was. So when we were about to go, France was not asking any Covid test. Italy changed its recommendation to make the test BEFORE arriving into Italy. And this test needed be 48 hours before. That makes things tricky. I’ve found a great company (Randox), that mailed the tests to your home. It is an extra expenditure you are not counting in your normal travel. I’ve thought, as there was not going to be skiing, I used my lift tickets money on that. Also, it was good I’ve bought the tests in advance, as the mail started to be a bit slow before Christmas.

Taking the Covid tests. Our Winter Gate-away to the Mountains – no skiing included

I had my two boys at home as their schools closed with Covid cases, so it was easy to do at midday our tests on the Friday. We then drove to drop the tests to DX. DX is one of the two couriers that work with Randox and allow you to deliver these kind of tests. Not all couriers would deliver them.
Chaumont. Our Winter Gate-away to the Mountains - no skiing included
Our Winter Gate-away to the Mountains – no skiing included

The travel out of London. Our Winter Gate-away to the Mountains – no skiing included

We set up the alarm clock at 2.30 AM on the Saturday. It was me the one getting up, preparing the thermos, the sandwiches and our car fridge. This car fridge is the best thing we’ve bought on Amazon for our trip. It saves us from stopping at any shop to eat. Now in the pandemic, we want to travel safe. I also have my TravelJanes for using if needed. But the classic opening of two doors and weeing squatting works fine! Having been born and bred in Argentina, I am used to long trips with no petrol stations on the way. How many times we’ve heard a lorry honking at us, but they cannot see your face!
We went on the M20. The queue of lorries stuck in line was impressive. I’ve felt very bad for them, it seemed it was going to be very slow for them. For us it was fine, we had a delay of one hour, but we’ve stayed in the car. Finally we got across and we’ve started driving off Calais towards the south.

Swiss urged to ‘hit the slopes’ to save ski season. The situation for skiing in December in the rest of Europe.

ADELBODEN - Copyright by Adelboden Tourismus By-line: swiss-image.ch/Anja Zurbruegg. Swiss urged to 'hit the slopes' to save ski season. The situation for skiing in December in the rest of Europe.

Swiss urged to ‘hit the slopes’ to save ski season. The situation for skiing in December in the rest of Europe.

The Swiss should ‘hit the slopes’ to save this coming ski season. What is the situation of skiing in December in the rest of Europe?

It is near December and the major Alpine countries have their lifts closed. What is the situation for skiing in December in Europe? France, Italy and Austria had to close their lifts, after some resorts opened for a short while. This was due to a second wave of the Covid pandemic.
French and Italian ski resorts will now close until January. Same with Germany. Austria is saying they will open their resorts by 18th December, defying the rest of the EU. Spain has sent hints of opening by December 18th, while Andorra is seeing what they will do. The Swiss are urged to “hit the slopes” to save the ski season. 
Crans-Montana in winter. Photo: CMTC Luciano Miglionico. Swiss urged to 'hit the slopes' to save ski season. The situation for skiing in December in the rest of Europe.
Crans-Montana in winter. Photo: CMTC Luciano Miglionico. Swiss urged to ‘hit the slopes’ to save ski season. The situation for skiing in December in the rest of Europe.

The situation in Switzerland. Swiss urged to ‘hit the slopes’ to save ski season. The situation for skiing in December in the rest of Europe.

In the meantime, Switzerland is open. Pretty everyone can now go to Switzerland without needing to quarantine at arrival.
Although, check before travelling, as there are some exceptions to this rule!
So while other Alpine nations are seeing their resorts closed, the Swiss have been skiing for weeks!
Wearing face masks now is mandatory everywhere except while on the slopes. Cable car windows stay open during all the rides up the mountain. You need to use your face mask also on the open chairlifts. Police patrol check out the departure areas to be sure skiers and boarders comply.
Swiss are expecting their own people will flock to the mountains for the open air. They know that the Americans and Asians will not come this season. So with some local guests and perhaps later some regional visitors, they can save the season.

Alta Badia will host a Giant Slalom and a Slalom. This will be the 35th edition of the Ski World Cup in Alta Badia.

The Gran Risa piste gets ready for the Alta Badia Ski World Cup. Photo: Alta Badia- Freddy Planinsche- Alta Badia will host a Giant Slalom and a Slalom. This will be the 35th edition of the Ski World Cup in Alta Badia.

Alta Badia will host a Giant Slalom and a Slalom. This will be the 35th edition of the Ski World Cup in Alta Badia.

Alta Badia to host the giant slalom and slalom of the Ski World Cup. It is the 35th edition of the Ski World Cup in Alta Badia.
 
This Sunday 20th December on the Gran Risa slope, there will be the traditional men’s giant slalom. This is part of the Alpine Ski Club. Also, on Monday 21st December, the FIS has assigned a slalom to Alta Badia.
Alta Badia. Gruppo del Sella. Photo: IDM Südtirol- Alex Filz- Alta Badia. Alta Badia will host a Giant Slalom and a Slalom. This will be the 35th edition of the Ski World Cup in Alta Badia.
Alta Badia. Gruppo del Sella. Photo: IDM Südtirol- Alex Filz- Alta Badia. Alta Badia will host a Giant Slalom and a Slalom. This will be the 35th edition of the Ski World Cup in Alta Badia.
 
This year the fans can support their favourites racers on the TV, and not in person. This is to guarantee safety for the athletes, their teams and media representatives.
 

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The first run of the Giant Slalom will start at 10AM on Sunday 20th December. The second run will do so at 1.30 PM.
 
On Monday 21st December, the slalom racers will start at 10 AM and the second run will do so at 1PM. All the races will broadcast in world vision.
Alta Badia Ski World Cup. Photo: Alta Badia. Alex Moling. Alta Badia will host a Giant Slalom and a Slalom. This will be the 35th edition of the Ski World Cup in Alta Badia.
Alta Badia Ski World Cup. Photo: Alta Badia. Alex Moling. Alta Badia will host a Giant Slalom and a Slalom. This will be the 35th edition of the Ski World Cup in Alta Badia.
 

The 2020 Trophies: A Celebration of Sport and Life. Alta Badia will host a Giant Slalom and a Slalom. This will be the 35th edition of the Ski World Cup in Alta Badia.

 
The trophies given to the top three racers are done by Danielle Basso. She has done the gigantic sculpture at the start of the Gran Risa slope to celebrate 30 years of the event. The trophies “are metaphors – explained Basso – of a history of passion, sport and beauty that is renewed every year in this magical event in the heart of the Dolomites”.

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How Val Thorens is ready for the 2020-21 ski season.

Off-piste skiing. Photo Caron Lou T. Loubere. OT Val Thorens. How Val Thorens is ready for the 2020-21 ski season.

How Val Thorens is ready for the 2020-21 ski season.

Here is how Val Thorens is getting ready now for the 2020-21 ski season. Val Thorens is the highest ski resort in Europe, starting at 2300 m and with pistes up to 3200 m. The resort is part of Les 3 Vallées, the biggest ski carousel in the world. Within the whole 3 Vallées, the lower slopes are around 600 m (at Brides les Bains).

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90% of the resort is above tree-line. It is what here Britons call “snow-sure” resorts. I never understood that claim being Argentine born. Las Leñas has a base of 2230 and the top at 3400+ and I remember some seasons with no snow at all! But well, obviously there is more chance to have better snow the higher you go!
Lift in Val Thorens. Photo. C.Doucret. OT Val Thorens. How Val Thorens is ready for the 2020-21 ski season.
Lift in Val Thorens. Photo. C.Doucret. OT Val Thorens. How Val Thorens is ready for the 2020-21 ski season.
But coming back to Val Thorens, the resort has the longest ski season in Europe. It starts on December 1st and goes all the way to May 9th. A whole 170 days of ski season. It was going to open on November 21st, but with the new decree in France locking the country for one month, it changed. Let’s hope that resorts can open in December!
If you go to Val Thorens, all the lodging is slope-side- you don’t need to move to go to the lifts. The trails run between the buildings. The resort is not the prettiest, but they have been renovating façades using wood and now is looking much better. Now it looks more village-like.

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How Italian Ski Resorts are preparing for the ski season.

Skiers walking with the Monte Cervino in the backdrop. Photo Enrico Romanzi - Breuil Cervinia. How Italian Ski Resorts are preparing for the ski season.

How Italian Ski Resorts are preparing for the ski season.

The case of Pontedilegno-Tonale, the Piemontese resorts of Vialattea and Cervinia

 

Information taken from the post of Max Cassani of La Stampa on 02 October 2020.

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The case of Pontedilegno-Tonale. How Italian Ski Resorts are preparing for the ski season.

The resort offered a daily online card that if paid before 2nd October, was only 22 euros. This is 45% of its full price. This ticket is valid to use by Christmas, excluding the feast of the Virgin. (8th December, Immaculate Conception).

Ponte di Legno. Adamello Ski. How Italian Ski Resorts are preparing for the ski season.
Ponte di Legno. Adamello Ski. How Italian Ski Resorts are preparing for the ski season.

The cable car that goes up to the Presena glacier in Pontedilegno-Tonale

The case of Valle d’Aosta and Cervinia’s opening. How Italian Ski Resorts are preparing for the ski season.

The Valle d’Aosta region has approved a new health protocol valid for ski resorts. The first station to open will be Cervinia on the 24th October. Among the measures imposed the following will take place:

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Family trek to Lago d’ Arpy, Morgex, AO

We finally arrived at Lago d'Arpy. Photo: The-Ski-Guru. Family trek to Lago d' Arpy, Morgex, AO.

Family trek to Lago d’ Arpy, Morgex, AO

Sentiero to Lago d’Arpy, Morgex, AO (Aosta Valley) – Family trek to Lago d’ Arpy, Morgex, AO.

Summer in the Italian Alps.

We came to take a five-weeks long holiday at our home in Morgex, called Il Cuore della Valdigne. This is a great spot for hundreds or thousands of trekking paths. Italian called them sentieros.

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Going up towards Lago d'Arpy you have great views of the Catena di Monte Bianco. Photo: The-Ski-Guru. Family trek to Lago d' Arpy, Morgex, AO.
Going up towards Lago d’Arpy you have great views of the Catena di Monte Bianco. Photo: The-Ski-Guru. Family trek to Lago d’ Arpy, Morgex, AO.
The most renown place in the Morgex area I would say is Lago d’ Arpy. Arpy is a great spot in winter for its cross country trails and snow-shoeing paths. In summer it is the place to go out for treks, mountain biking and swimming in the freezing lake. The lake is further up the road from the Ostello di Arpy. The Ostello is a rustic lodge that has a cafeteria/restaurant and some rooms. It also offers rental for cross country skiing and snow shoes.
We went up the road until passing the hotel La Genzianella and we parked next to some public restrooms. There it was the start of the sentiero 15, at 1,954 m, that takes one hour and five minutes to reach the lake. The sentiero is pretty simple categorised as T: turista. It has a bit of a climb, but nothing major (140m) and an average gradient of 3%.

Sentieros‘ classifications in Italy.

Sentieros are classified, at least in Italy, in T as Turista, E, Escursionistico and EE Escursinisti esperti (expert). Then there you have the alpinist classifications, EEA is for expert with via ferrata o attrezzata, EEA-F (ferrata facile); EEA-PD (ferrata Poco dificile), EEA-D (ferrata difficile) and EAI (excursionism in snow).
While you walk through the sentiero, you have amazing views of the Macizo di Monte Bianco. Usually this path is very busy with families and dogs, but we managed to go pretty late, and it was pretty quiet.
The sentiero 15 takes you from Colle de San Carlo to Lago d'Arpy, and if you continue, to Lago di Pietra Rosa. Family trek to Lago d' Arpy, Morgex, AO.
The sentiero 15 takes you from Colle de San Carlo to Lago d’Arpy, and if you continue, to Lago di Pietra Rosa. Family trek to Lago d’ Arpy, Morgex, AO.
 

Another option for reaching Lago d’ Arpy

You can do a bit of a more challenging walk with more climb if you stop at the Ostello d’Arpy. That is a sentiero classified E: Excursionista. To be honest I was not sure where to start, so we kept on going up the road as there was a sign to Lago d’Arpy. And then we’ve stopped before what it looks to go to the Colle San Carlo and down towards La Thuile.
The path to Lago d'Arpy, sentiero 15. Family trek to Lago d' Arpy, Morgex, AO.
The path to Lago d’Arpy, sentiero 15. Family trek to Lago d’ Arpy, Morgex, AO.
When we arrived, our dog ran straight into the freezing lake. The views were magnificent. It was a tad cold as it was windy, and up at 2,066 m you had not much to guard you.

Cortina 2021 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships to go ahead.

Tofana, ISTA. Cortina d'Ampezzo. Photo: www.bandion.com- 3. Cortina 2021 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships to go ahead.

Cortina 2021 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships to go ahead.

Cortina 2021 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships are set to go ahead. Dates will be 7th to 21st February 2021 as planned.
 
The FIS have decided to go ahead after seeing CONI and FISI gave the ISF their assessment. This assessment showed the financial impact of Covid-19 to the local area. The area risks not being able to enjoy the event to the full but will host it in the best way possible.
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Ski Tofana. Credits: Ute Dandrea. Cortina d'Ampezzo. Cortina 2021 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships to go ahead.
Ski Tofana. Credits: Ute Dandrea. Cortina d’Ampezzo. Cortina 2021 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships to go ahead.

The Infrastructure for Cortina 2021 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships.

The majority of the infrastructures projects for Cortina 2021 are at the Tofana ski area. This is where the competitions will take place.
The area has completed slopes on the pistes Olympia, Vertigine and Druscié A.
Lino Lacedelli is a new slope built in the Cinque Torri area. This is the first Italian slope dedicated to training sessions and competitions. The slope has all safety features for doing so. The building of the new cable car has finished – Cortina – Col Drusciè “Freccia nel cielo”. This project counted with public and private investment.
Tofana. ISTA. www.bandion.it. Cortina Marketing. Cortina 2021 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships to go ahead.
Tofana. ISTA. www.bandion.it. Cortina Marketing. Cortina 2021 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships to go ahead.

Planning your summer in the mountains of Alta Badia

Alta Badia. Sas dla Crusc Lavarela. Photo: Ffreddy Planinschek. Alta Badia Tourism Office. Planning your summer in the mountains of Alta Badia.

Planning your summer in the mountains of Alta Badia

Alta Badia is in the province of Sudtirol . It is composed of five villages: Badia, La Villa, San Casiano, Corvara and Colfosco. Alta Badia is a great starting point if you want to go around the Sella Ronda. The Sella Ronda is a circuit that goes around the Sella massif. Now is the time to start planning your summer in the mountains of Alta Badia.

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The Sassongher. Photo by Paola Finali. Alta Badia Tourism Board. Planning your summer in the mountains of Alta Badia.
The Sassongher. Photo by Paola Finali. Alta Badia Tourism Board. Planning your summer in the mountains of Alta Badia.

How to get to Alta Badia- Planning your summer in the mountains of Alta Badia.

By Plane

Arrive in Innsbruck, Verona, Venice, Bergamo, or if not Milano Linate or Malpensa. Then drive to the route del Brennero north and get off. From Innsbruck drive south to the Brenner Pass. Soon after passing it, you’ll find directions to Alta Badia on the east of the route del Brennero.

By Car

From Austria: Drive south to the Brenner Pass. When you pass it, follow the route del Brennero, and you’ll find the exit to Alta Badia which will lie to your left.
From Verona, drive north to the Route del Brennero. Before arriving into the crossing with Austria, you’ll be able to turn right to Alta Badia.
4 Peaks by Alex Moling. Alta Badia Tourism Board. Alta Badia offers you lots of hiking trails amidst pastures at altitude. Planning your summer in the mountains of Alta Badia.
4 Peaks by Alex Moling. Alta Badia Tourism Board. Alta Badia offers you lots of hiking trails amidst pastures at altitude. Planning your summer in the mountains of Alta Badia.

Summer season in Alta Badia. Planning your summer in the mountains of Alta Badia.

Alta Badia will open lifts on the 27th June and close on 27th September. The Gardenaccia lift will close one week later, on 4th October.
Hiking in Alta Badia. Photo by Alex Moling. Alta Badia Tourism Board. Planning your summer in the mountains of Alta Badia.
Hiking in Alta Badia. Photo by Alex Moling. Alta Badia Tourism Board. Planning your summer in the mountains of Alta Badia.

The Alta Badia Summer Card. Planning your summer in the mountains of Alta Badia.

The Alta Badia Summer Card includes use of all the lifts in the region. The price starts at EUR 54 per adult and EUR 28 per child (8-18 years old). Under 8ts go free. A three out of four days start at EUR 68 per adult and EUR 48 per child for a five out of seven days.

E-Biking excursions at 2,000 metres. Planning your summer in the mountains of Alta Badia.

If using a push bike is not your thing, you can ride the lifts up and enjoy lots of adrenaline coming down. More on this later. But also, you can hire an e-bike on the Piz Sorega, Piz La Ila or Col Alto plateau, and enjoy an easier ride. Or rent any bike in town and take them up on the lifts! Those not wanting to do much exercise, might enjoy this option. They will be able to ride with amazing views of the Dolomites.
Road biking in Alta Badia. Photo from Melodia del Bosque Biker Hotel. Planning your summer in the mountains of Alta Badia.
Road biking in Alta Badia. Photo from Melodia del Bosque Biker Hotel. Planning your summer in the mountains of Alta Badia.

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