Planning your summer in the mountains of Alta Badia
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South Tyrol (or Sudtirol) is open for visitors this summer. On June 3rd, borders will start opening for regional tourism within the EU and Schengen countries (all depending on Covid-19 cases keep on being down), so, I’ve thought I could put together a Must-Read Guide to Summer in South Tyrol.
South Tyrol is the northernmost province in Italy, bordering the Tirol and Östirol regions in Austria. Actually, it used to be part of the Austrian-Hungarian empire as part of the Tirol region (it was actually called Mittletirol). It changed hands to Italy after the defeat of the central powers on WWI in 1918.
Fly to Innsbruck in Austria or Verona in Italy. If not, you have the options of Bozen/Bolzano airport, that is a smaller regional airport, or Bergamo, Venezia, Milano Linate, Milano Malpensa or Munich.
Coming from Austria, just pass Innsbruck and take the Brenner Pass, and you’ll be there. From Verona, go up the Brenner Motorway (A22 Autostrada del Brennero) and drive north. South Tyrol is part of the Trentino Alto Adige province, located in the northern side (the Alto Adige side).
70% German, 25% Italian and 5% Ladin. The Ladin is a mountain language, what is considered a Romansh language spoken in the Dolomite valleys of Val Gardena and Alta Badia.
Kronplatz is a mountain in the border of what is Dolomites and Alps. The mountain itself has a shape of a Panettone with a punch in the middle. It is a very interesting mountain, which is connected with four villages around and lifts to each one on each sides.
Kronplatz is not only interesting for skiing in winter or hiking and mountain biking in the summerr. There is a good reason to go to the top of the mountain all year round, even if you don’t ski, ride, hike or bike! It is the only mountain, that I know of, with two really grand museums on its peak! These museums are Lumen Museum and MMM Corones.
3 Zinnen (Tre Cime) ski resort is going ahead with the plan of replacing its old 40-year-old gondola which connected the village of Sesto/Sexten with the ski mountain of Monte Elmo/Helm, with the new premium 10-seater gondola called Helmjet Sexten.
The new gondola will be a premium upgrade for the 3 Zinnen ski resort in the Dolomites, especially because longer waiting lines in the peak season can now be avoided, due to its capacity to bring around 3.000 people at the top per hour.
Mark Winkler, CEO of 3 Zinnen Ski Resort Dolomites said:
“Every new lift we build is special to me. But the “HELMJET SEXTEN” is a passion project: we have all been waiting for it for many years. In a way, it is the jewel in the crown of the 3 Zinnen Dolomites sports and mountain destination—the last piece in the jigsaw puzzle of investments we made over the course of the past years. We are giving our main entrance in Sesto a massive upgrade: the state-of-the-art facilities will offer our guests much greater comfort while reducing the rush and waiting times of the old system. Personally, I cannot wait to sit in the new ‘Symphony’ premium gondola for the first time and take in the views of the Sesto Sundial.”
The Monte Elmo Sesto cable car was first built in February 1981. At the time, it was extremely modern. For nearly forty years, it carried skiers, hikers and families to the top of Monte Elmo daily, until this changed in 2020. This year the dated cable car is replaced by the new detachable premium 10-seater Helmjet Sexten cablecar lift.
Six years ago, the 3 Zinnen Dolomites ski resort (called at the time “Sesto Dolomites”) – consisted only of only 50 km of slopes on two mountains. Today, just over half a decade, the 3 Zinnen AG has turned the area into a little gem of five interconnected mountains and 115 km of slopes, with 31 modern cable cars and chairlifts serving them. On the mountain you find family-run restaurants, ski and bike rental services and the Punka Service Centre, the most advance service facilities in the Alps.
The plans for reopening the mountain huts (rifugios) during summer in the Italian Alps in times of COVID19.
There are plans to start relaxing the lockdown in Italy, starting gradually on different weeks starting on May 4th. Some people are starting to think on how they will vacation on the mountains and the beach. Beach private clubs are thinking on how installing the different tents with social distancing.
In the mountains, I’ve read that at first, they were thinking on not opening the rifugios, but today I’ve read on the Corriere della Sera that the Club Alpino Italiano is planning on how to open during COVID19 times.
The Club Alpino Italiano has 326 facilities in all the country. They are planning in putting Covid kits with oximeters and ozonators to purify the air.
The ozonators are very quick and easy to use and is a product that does not leave odours such as chlorine or alcohol. These are now in phase of production now.
The CAI is thinking of getting everyone to bring their own sleeping bags and light tents, and for big rifugios to allow people to eat in different times, and clean thoroughly between seatings, and clean sanitaries often. They are talking also of providing baskets with dinners to the different tents, so as to avoid people being in cramming conditions indoors. Shelters with two or four rooms for families could be used for a family group.
A Dolomites train project could be ready for the 2026 Olympics
The project that will link the provinces of Trentino, Alto Adige (Sudtirol) and Veneto has a high degree of feasibility according to former councillor Mauro Gilmozzi. The cost is of one billion two hundred million Euros to be absorbed by the State and the provinces.
The Dolomites train could become a reality by 2026, in time for the Winter Olympics. Connecting Trento to Bassano, then to Feltre, Belluno, Calalzo, Cortina, Dobbiaco, Bressanone, Bolzano and returning to Trento.
A challenge that has a very specific name: Ring Dolomiti. The feasibility is “high” according to Mauro Gilmozzi, former councillor for infrastructures and the environment of the junta Dellai. “We keep in mind that for the most part this ring is already there.”
Total cost: from one billion two hundred million upwards. What seems an onerous amount, “… would be a cost to be divided between various agencies, the Provinces, the State.”
South Tyrolean passes with 12 meters of snow
The clearing work is continuing ahead of the summer opening
The exceptional snowfall, even out of season, forced us to postpone the opening of the main passes in Alto Adige, after a particularly rainy winter. These days the clearing crew is working on the Rombo Pass, on the border with Austria, on the Stelvio Pass, Passo Stalle and Passo Pennes. The snow is able to form walls of 10-12 meters. On the Rombo pass, at an altitude of 2,500 meters, the snow mass accumulated by wind and landslides reached a height of 21 meters.
“Every year mountains of snow are removed. Our road service does its utmost to prepare our mountain roads for the summer season. It is a difficult job but also dangerous because of the risk of avalanches,” stresses councillor Daniel Alfreider . The experts are however confident of opening the passage to transit by the end of May, at the latest in the first days of June.
Spot on White Deer – San Lorenzo Mountain Lodge
This past long weekend I was lucky enough to visit Sudtirol and four of its resorts: Kronplatz, Alta Badia, Val Gardena and Alpe di Siusi. It was a bit like a marathon, or a ski-safari, with a chance to see a bit of all the things Sudtirol has to offer.
The first night we were there, we went out of town of Brunico, into the mountains, to visit the San Lorenzo Mountain Lodge.
This specific lodge of the San Lorenzo Mountain Lodges, called White Deer, is one of the three properties of Stefano and Georgia Barbini. It is located high up the mountain, in the Val Pusteria, over the towns of Brunico and S. Lorenzo di Sebato and near the big mountain that looks like a Panetone punched in the middle that is Kronplatz ski resort (or Plan de Corones, as is called in Italian).
The house is an old lodge that has been refurbished in an authentic way, with four bedrooms, three doubles and one bunk bed rooms for 4 – all lovingly decorated with lots of beautiful details. The front of the house is as it used to be when it was built in the 1600.
The-Ski-Guru Travel takes you to a long Ski Safari in the Dolomites. If you are one of those that likes variety, and want to know lots of places in one go, and perhaps, gets bored to ski in one area all week long, then you should come and do a ski safari with us. The place, the mighty Dolomites, with their sun drenched pink mountaintops – caused by the Enrosadira effect. This Ski-Safari takes you from hut-to-hut in the Dolomites, using the lift-serviced pistes and having your small luggage delivered for you every day so you can concentrate in your skiing.
Season Opening’s at the different ski resorts of Sudtirol and Christmas Markets
When you think of Sudtirol you think of the Dolomites in Northern Italy. The province of South Tyrol, or Sudtirol is bordering in the north with the Tirol in Austria and to the south with Trentino. The scenery is to die for, in reality, I have never seen more impressive and beautiful terrain in the world, the mountains are impressive and very rocky sculptured peaks, and at dawn or dusk, they turn into pink, thanks to the Enrosadira effect.
Enrosadira is the term given to the phenomenon whereas the peaks of the Dolomites turn into a pink/reddish colour, and then gradually turning into a violet. The reason of these changing colours is because the calcium carbonate and mangnesium carbonate of the dolomite, the mineral found in large quantities in the rocky walls of the Dolomites. Enrosadira is a Ladin term meaning ‘turning pink’. Ladin is an ancient language of the inhabitants of the Dolomites.
There are more than 30 ski areas located across all of South Tyrol. Most of these are part of the two larger ski associations.
The roof of the Rifugio Comici in Selva Val Gardena was restored in record time.
Only two weeks after the tragic meteorological event at the end of October, which has brought numerous damages in the Alps, also blowing away the roof of the Comici hut of Selva Val Gardena, works to rebuild the roof are almost completed before the imminent snowfalls.
The time schedule of the works seemed almost impossible, but it was being able to be restored in record time – in just 11 days, with an already final solution that will be completed in the coming days, just in time for the start opening season.
This success was due to the coordination of the Marzola group and to the workers of the companies Lignosystem and Zumprafux who have worked uninterruptedly and with great skill at 2153 m to make all this possible. The Comici hut will therefore open in perfect normality at the beginning of the next winter season on Thursday 6 December 2018.