Today we headed off an amazing ski circumnavigation of the mountain known as Sella. It’s 37km in length, with 26 km of skiing and 10 kms of chairlifts, drag lifts and gondolas. We took the orange route from Arabba which is the clockwise direction around the mountain with slightly more skiing. See the map.
Once again the sun was shining brightly, but it’s still very cold in the shade (-6 to -2C) and the snow guns are running flat out. As we started our journey today, we met up with Mario in the carpark. He is a ski instructor and had a last minute booking. Only time for a quick photo. I have been remiss in getting a photo of both him & Patsy when we shared a dinner with them on Friday night, so at least here’s a photo of Mario!
The route from Arabba took us to the highest point we’ve been so far – 2478m and then over the Passe Salle to the northern and eastern sides of the mountain. While 2478 is high, there is still lifted access to the Marmolada glacier at over 3000m.
With no natural snow, the chairlift & gondola rights can be quite sureal, but the views just keep making jaws drop. Here’s a quick clip from a gondola ride today on our way around the Sellaronde.
Somehow our day turned into a bit of a pub crawl, with a first stop for a cappucino, chocolate croissant and apple strudel, followed by a glass of wine at the half way point and a beer with a late lunch. Despite a full day of skiing, I can see that if we keep having days like today we are both going to end up as round as we are tall!
I had planned to have a picnic and had prepared some sandwiches this morning. But unfortunately, the lunch bag didn’t make it into Graeme’s backpack, so we had to make do with a beautiful home cooked pasta lunch and beer. There are so many mountain huts & refugio restaurants dotted around the slopes, no-one seems to bring their own lunch. Certainly, Graeme is the only person we’ve seen so far wearing a backpack.
Our lunch spot was a cute mountain hut, owned by a young couple. Hilariously though we did make the mistake of sitting outside …a little too close to the music speakers. The Dolomiti region used to be part of the Austro-Hungarian region and German is spoken equally with Italian. Bearing this in mind we were treated to German drinking songs for a lunch serenade. Andy decided to get into the spirit!!
With no lift queues to speak of, we made good time around the circuit and we were back in Arabba around 3.30. It gets dark around 5pm and with all the shops and bars closed on a Sunday it’s a quiet evening for blogging, reading and listening to music before we crash into bed around 9pm.