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POUND THE PISTES - James Cove, Val Gardena, Italy
Saturday January 19, 2019 - Email this article to a friend

Enough of powder skiing, we're staying on the groomers. PlanetSKI rips it up in Val Gardena in The Dolomites.

 

 



Welcome to the Sella Ronda in Italy.

Sella Ronda, Dolomites, ItalySella Ronda, Dolomites, Italy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now here at PlanetSKI it is fair to say we love skiing powder.

But we also love the pistes and the Sella Ronda is one of the great linked piste routes in the Alps.

26kms of intermediate runs which anyone with a modicum of fitness and ability can complete.

It is just a part of the 500km or so of piste skiing in the area.

It passes through four different valleys and three Italian provinces.

As you'd expect the route goes round the massif in the Sella mountains.

The Sella RondaThe Sella Ronda

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can go clockwise( orange) and anti-clockwise (green).

I chose the green route.

Sella Ronda, Dolomites, ItalySella Ronda, Dolomites, Italy 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sella Ronda, Dolomites, ItalySella Ronda, Dolomites, Italy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I completed it on Saturday and many of the slopes were deserted, though there were of course a few bottlenecks.

It reminded me why I love piste skiing so much.

There have been poor snow levels in this part of the Alps so far this winter.

A contrast to elsewhere, and in particular St Anton in the Tirol in Austria where I was earlier in the week.

But, with hand on heart, I had absolutlely no regrets about the zero off piste skiing and powder here.

I was pounding the pistes and absolutely loving it.

Sella Ronda, Dolomites, ItalySella Ronda, Dolomites, Italy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Much is on man-made snow, but the Dolomites has one of the best snow-making systems in the world.

In fact I'll stick my neck out and say 'the' best.

98% of the areas slopes are covered by the artificial snow-making system.

See an earlier story on its capabiities from our chief reporter, Jane Peel.

My guide for the day was Christina Demetz from the Val Gardena tourist office.

She knew how to put in a decent piste turn or two.

On piste in Val GardenaOn piste in Val Gardena

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And check her out in the video as I tried to keep up:

"I never tire of skiing the Sella Ronda," she told me.

"It is so beautiful and one of the many attractions to taking a holiday in Val Gardena."

The trick with long on piste days is to keep moving, but not so fast you tire and it all becomes a bit of a struggle.

Don't make aggressive turns or ski with the brakes on - rather let your skis run and just relax.

Park and ride.

At the highest point of the circuit the clouds came in.

Sella Ronda, Dolomites, ItalySella Ronda, Dolomites, Italy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But it didn't last long.

Sella Ronda, Dolomites, ItalySella Ronda, Dolomites, Italy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And another the key to skiing the Sella Ronda?

Don't forget to look at the views and soak them in.

The Dolomites is perhaps one of the most beautiful and stunning parts of the Alps.

For separate article on the history, beauty and charm of Val Gardena see here:

From the rock formations:

Sella Ronda, Dolomites, ItalySella Ronda, Dolomites, Italy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To the beautiful villages you pass through in this part of the Sud Tirol:

Sella Ronda, Dolomites, ItalySella Ronda, Dolomites, Italy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the continuing views, in the distance:

Sella Ronda, Dolomites, ItalySella Ronda, Dolomites, Italy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sella Ronda, Dolomites, ItalySella Ronda, Dolomites, Italy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And up close:

Sella Ronda, Dolomites, ItalySella Ronda, Dolomites, Italy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In all it took us about 5-hours and, this being Italy, we had a long lunch too.
Well over an hour.

And the final run?

A non-stop blast down the World Cup downhill run in Val Gardena, the Saslong: 3.4kms long.

Sella Ronda, Dolomites, ItalySella Ronda, Dolomites, Italy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What a day - it will stay long in the memory!

Or at least get me through the next couple of days as I am heading back to the UK on Sunday.

Before heading out to Les Carroz in the Grand Massif in France on Wednesday. Wink

And it confirmed my love of skiing on the marked runs.

Firstly if you have never skied The Dolomites and the Sella Ronda, then I urge you to get there soonest.

Whatever your ability.

Secondly if you spend all your time searching out powder then don't under-estimate the total joy you can have on a simple groomed run.

26kms of them in the Sella Ronda.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: Number One for ski news

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