We’re quite tired tonight.
This morning we tried a new skinning route up to another chalet near Passo Pordoi. It took a bit longer than our usual morning coffee routine to Refugio Plan Boe – almost 2 hours of skinning, compared to our usual brisk 35 minutes. But for the majority of the route, there are fewer skiers coming down at us at break neck speed. Along the way we noticed the neat stacks of firewood tucked into the trees. For our “firewood freak” friends…like Rod & Anders [but not mentioning names]…these stacks were quite common and all beautifully stacked.
Related to the firewood stacks is a mystery we’ve yet to solve. There is no smoke from any of the buildings in Arabba, at yet everyone burns wood. I’ve “googled it” to no avail? Do they have some sort of special filter. I’m not sure my command of the Italian language will allow me to solve this mystery. I may have to wait until we next meet up with Patsy & Mario or when our linguist friends, Marie or Liz arrive to answer this question.
After re-fueling at Refugio Fodom – an espresso for Andy and 2 x espresso + chocolate brioche for Graeme, we donned all our layers (it’s cold) and headed back to our car at the bottom of the cable-car in Arabba to swap out our gear & begin our adventure to the highest point in the Dolomites (3,343m) – the Marmolada.
The Marmolada glacier sits below the peak at over 3250m. It’s a permanent snow field and there is skiing there well into early summer. However, it’s quite an effort to get there. We have to take 3 HUGE cable-cars, and 2 slow old double chairlifts to get to the top.
But the journey is worth it. The cable-cars to the top are seriously high off the ground.
Adding to the adrenaline, the weather was quite misty and moody, with clouds swirling in and out. We had the slope to ourselves as very few people had ventured so high. Here’s a little clip of the journey.
We will admit to being pretty exhausted by the time we skiied all the way back to Arabba. There’s some steep terrain to be negotiated towards the valley floor and our legs were letting us know.
The other night, I loaded the MyDolomiti App on my phone. Like a “Fitbit” for skiing, it records all your data each day, how far & high you’ve skiied, how many lifts….yada yada. I’ve been a bit of a sceptic about all these types of devices, but I will confess that I was interested to find out exactly how high and how far we’d skied today given our level of exhaustion. Even when we added an extra 1000m of vertical that we did skinning and skiing this morning, we hadn’t even got close to our biggest day on 6 December – “the accidentally long day“. “Well the skiing was much steeper…we were working harder today”….and that’s our excuse & we’re sticking to it.