In just one day of skiing in the Sesto Dolomites you can get to the top of a whopping three to four peaks. Croda Rossa, the Monte Croce mountain pass, Val Comelico and Monte Elmo. Despite my ambitions to pursue a career in snowboarding, I let myself be talked into skiing in the Dolomites: mainly due to the large number of drag lifts along flat stretches of forest paths, which would be little fun on a snowboard. Four peaks in one day, an ambitious endeavour with many ups and downs. I’m going to tell you my story here, but for those of you who want the short version: In just one day I sped through the entire Dolomites, took in the views from four different peaks, let myself be pulled through fairytale forests, didn’t have to do a single run twice, thought I’d die of hunger over lunch but was luckily brought back to my senses by the best Kaiserschmarrn I’ve ever had, which means I’m now in a position to tell you my tale, and even got to switch from skis to my beloved snowboard for a bit in the afternoon.
P.S.: You may wonder why the snow sometimes looks a bit brown. Well, last winter sand from the Sahara desert was blown over the Dolomites, leaving behind an ugly veil of dirt =(
Skiing in the Dolomites – The morning at the Spa Hotel Bad Moos:
We spend the night at the Sport & Spa Hotel Bad Moos in Sesto, a place where nobody really knows if you’re in Austria, Italy or in South Tyrol. To be honest, you’re simply in the middle of the mountains: the Sesto Dolomites. Take a look around you: the ski slopes start right behind the 4 star hotel! We woke up to a stunning view over the mountains, including South Tyrols steepest slope at 71% incline. Friend or fiend? Read on!
Skiing in the Dolomites – Can we avoid South Tyrol’s steepest slope, please?
From the Hotel Bad Moos in Sesto, at 1,300m, we set off in the morning with our local expert Wally. To be precise, we take 3 steps from our hotel and are at the chairlift! Up we go. Our first stop: Croda Rossa at two thousand meters. The slopes are wide, well maintained and smooth, making it easy for me to get used to skiing again. I never really felt in control of my skis, which is why I switched to snowboarding. I’d barely warmed up and got my first surprise of the day: the steepest slope in South Tyrol. Beginners and more timid skiers can go around it, but our group decides to tackle it head on since it’s an integral part of skiing in the Dolomites. A 71% percent slope unfolds itself before my eyes, trying to lure me in. I take a deep breath and decide to be sensible. I make my turns at the edge of the slope, slowly and carefully. Turn by turn I make it down. I can make out our Hotel Bad Moos down there! Everyone’s waiting for me. But I don’t care. Better to be safe than sorry!
Skiing in the Dolomites – Great for kids
I ski past real reindeer that kids are allowed to feed in the afternoon, and I have to say I feel jealous that I can’t participate. Keep moving, no time to feel sad, past igloos and giant families of snow men that you can take your picture with. This is where the 5km long sledging run starts, down a forest trail through the fairy tale forest. And we pass a remote cottage that’s straight out of a romantic photo shoot. The only thing that’s missing? The love story! So just photos today.
Skiing in the Dolomites – Pull me around the mountain!
To get from the Croda Rossa to the Monte Croce mountain pass, we basically have to ski around half a mountain. This was really relaxing, just like being pulled by Dad on a sledge or pushed by your big sister on a bicycle. For kilometers a bendy towpath takes you around the mountain. All you have to do is stand on your skis and let the tow lift pull you along like on an escalator. Enjoy the ride through the sparkling mysterious forest. Incredibly relaxing!
Skiing in the Dolomites – Give me a push!
If this trip inspires you to book your own, make sure you fulfill the requirements! After the Monte Croce mountain pass, on the way to our bus to Italy, the slopes test our physical endurance. Or maybe just our skis! Mark my words, this stretch really separates the good skiers from the best. Before we reach the bus stop we have to overcome a very long and very flat section of the slope, requiring 110% of all of us. Afterwards we needed a well-deserved break and some refreshing Almdudler!
Skiing in the Dolomites – What a view!
In addition to the wide empty slopes and the spectacular views from the Val Comelico in Italy, I remember this particular scene along one of the slopes: A wrinkly old lady sits outside a chalet tanning her exposed leathery cleavage, covering her face with a tissue to keep the sun out of her eyes! Amazing. I didn’t dare take a photo, but I did take these for you:
Skiing in the Dolomites –3 Kaiserschmarrn and 3 Lumumba just for me
At 2,712m altitude I decide I should have eaten lunch hours ago and struggle to the bus that takes us back to our base: the Hotel Bad Moos. Overlooking the steepest slope in South Tyrol and soaking up the sun we tuck into our lunches.
Skiing in the Dolomites – Don’t forget Monte Elmo
After our lunch break a few of us decide to give up and rest. I trade in my skis for my snowboard and embark on the 5-minute bus ride over to Monte Elmo. The mountain is 2,434m high, and boasts a stunning view over the 3 Zinnen peaks. There are far less towlifts here, but a compact ski resort with a massive plateau at the top. I stumble into the Croatian national ski formation team’s performance and mess up their training session for the Olympics. But they still offer me their phone numbers. I decline, smugly, since it’s time to head down the mountain. Got to make it back in time for my spa appointment at the Hotel Bad Moos!
Skiing in the Dolomites – An evening of wine and pampering, if you please.
After this exhausting and impressive day I drag myself from the ski storage room straight into the spa at the Spa Hotel Bad Moos. Some peace and quiet, warmth and maybe one of those amazing massages – just what I need. With a happy and dopey smile on my face, as if I’d just been off for a sneaky smoke, I join the others for dinner. Let’s end this great day with some fine wine and food!
Getting here: It takes just under four hours to drive to Sesto from Munich in the Dolomites, South Tyrol. The last stretch, up to 1,340m is particularly beautiful, offering stunning vistas. You definitely need to be confident driving up bendy roads though ;) The nearest airports to Sesto are Innsbruck (almost two hours away by car) or Bolzano in Italy (a 90-minute drive away). Of course you can come by train, too – just head towards „Innichen“.
Accomodation: The Spa Hotel Bad Moos is located right next to the ski lift up to the Croda Rossa. An ideal precondition for a fantastic time skiing in the Dolomites. The hotel is well known for its constitutional and relaxing sulphur springs, as well as its hay bath. Colleagues told me that the massages here are incredible. The hotel doesn’t want to just keep their guests healthy and happy, but offer something special. The head chef makes the rounds and welcomes the guests at breakfast, which is offered in the form of a rich buffet in an elegant yet quaint setting. Incredibly, sometimes in winter the hotel is covered with 3 meters of snow, making for some snowy views from the floor length windows in the breakfast room.
Many thanks to MAROundPARTNER for their support.