/ Dolomites

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
alkira - on 17 Nov 2012
Can anyone recommend an off-piste and ski mountaineering guidebook for this area?? I'm going there in March and need some suggestions for epic days and steep descents.
mike kann - on 17 Nov 2012
In reply to alkira: there are some books, but they are mainly in Italian and not available here. What are you after? And which part? There is a lot of steep gully skiing if you're ok with 40 deg, 8-10m wide gullies.
alkira - on 17 Nov 2012
In reply to mike kann:
just found some good stuff on youtube
skiing off Sella down the gully /canyon that is Val Mezdi looks great
mike kann - on 17 Nov 2012
In reply to alkira: there are various excellent trips to do off the sella. It's semi lift served in that you can get to the top of piz porpoise on the dolomiti super ski pass. Val media is ace, so is val lasties, which is easier and Val setus which I've not done in the winter but is reputed to be awesome. Marmalada has some great glacier skiing too... I you have skins etc you can go to the top of punta Penia and the ski back down is fantastic. Then the is a trip up to the Toni Demetz hut below sassolungo and down to alpi di siusi... There's lots o go at... If you have the money hire Manfred stuffer at the Catores guides for a day and get some tips for what to do. He'll show you a good time whatever the conditions...
kean - on 18 Nov 2012
In reply to alkira: Not many books in English, but this could be a "one stop shop" for you:
http://www.versantesud.it/italiano/dettaglio.asp?id=250
As the author points out "Freeride" (i.e. off piste near the pistes)is not widely tolerated in the Dolomite ski area, which means you could get a fine. They can be especially hot on this when the avalanche risk is high...
I haven't used this book so can't comment on content. I have numerous guide and website suggestions in Italian if you're interested.

See also here...
http://www.planetmountain.com/english/snow/ski/itineraries/home.php

Val Mesdė on Sella is a not-to-be-missed classic ski descent. You take the Pordoi cable car, then 30 mins or so skinning to the start of the descent. Awesome...Other much steeper descents can also be accessed from the same cable car:
Canale Holzer
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XgwuQkZzao
Canale Joel
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hA4VfzZnTRY

Where are you going to be based? Will you have a car? I live on the southern edge of the Dollies and am out every weekend ski mountaineering if you want to meet up.

mike kann - on 18 Nov 2012
In reply to kean:
> As the author points out "Freeride" (i.e. off piste near the pistes)is not widely tolerated in the Dolomite ski area, which means you could get a fine. They can be especially hot on this when the avalanche risk is high...
Surprised you say this to be honest, when I was over there for my season I was nearly permanently squirrelling down the side of the runs, and never had any problems, and there were plenty of others doing the same, and it doesn't seem to have changed much when I've been since... There's always plenty of track in...
James Rushforth - on 18 Nov 2012
In reply to kean:
> (In reply to alkira) Not many books in English, but this could be a "one stop shop" for you:
> http://www.versantesud.it/italiano/dettaglio.asp?id=250
> As the author points out "Freeride" (i.e. off piste near the pistes)is not widely tolerated in the Dolomite ski area, which means you could get a fine. They can be especially hot on this when the avalanche risk is high...
> I haven't used this book so can't comment on content. I have numerous guide and website suggestions in Italian if you're interested.

As Kean says think Francesco's book is spot on. It will cover everything you need around the Sella and Cortina. There is no problem with doing any of the routes described there, maybe with the exception of skiing on the Trincee (they don't like off piste above pisted areas).

Aside from that it's all good, just make sure you have the right equipment. Piste patrol occasionally stop people to check you all have transceivers etc. And guides don't like you skiing above their group for obvious reasons.

The Val Mesdi is a classic, well worth a look. Val Setus is equally good. So many great routes off the Marmolada as well (touring to the summit and skiing off is well worth a look).

Have a good trip, lets hope there's some snow!

James
kean - on 18 Nov 2012
In reply to mike kann: It's a very grey area (like soooo many things in Italy). I think the ski areas tend to adopt the approach of covering their arses by generally criminalising people skiing off piste, then turn a blind eye to most of it if there is no risk. But if you do set off an avalanche, or your chosen off piste is blatantly dangerous, then you're in deep poo & especially so if you haven't got transceiver, probe and shovel. Thus, squirrelling down the side of the runs is OK, but skiing an open slope which could trigger a slide onto the piste and it's a different story.

By way of illustration, there seems to be two levels of "Prohibition" generally in Italy:
"Vietato" is "Prohibited", which almost qualifies as just a general bit of advice!!
"Severemente Vietato" :"Extremely prohibited" which means they'll fry you if they catch you...
Traffic lights? Well, they're just a suggestion :-)
kean - on 18 Nov 2012
In reply to mike kann: Just digging a bit deeper, it appears that Italian law goes something like this:
Off piste is allowed. However, a ski area may impose a temporary ban on off piste if conditions become dangerous. So if there are signs at the ski area that say "vietato sciare fuori pista" (off piste ban)they can (and do) fine people, even for skiing perfectly safe terrain.
If you set off an avalanche, regardless of whether there is a temporary off piste ban, even one that causes no damage, no injury and doesn't reach a piste, in theory you can be liable to prosecution and 3-5 years in prison!

They also get niggled if you ski a piste with a "piste closed" sign up.
alkira - on 18 Nov 2012
In reply to alkira:
thanks folks, that book looks good by Tremolada

after 20 yrs skiing in the Alps further west it looks like theres plenty to get excited about in the Dolomites :)
mike kann - on 18 Nov 2012
In reply to alkira: this is one of the books I have: http://www.cierrenet.it/edizioni/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&pro...

Well the laws seem clear, although I can't say I've ever run into any issues, been stopped by lift attendants or pisteurs, or any of the guides I've skied with have ever held back. The runs off the sella are never above a piste so you shouldn't run into problems there either. On marmolada there are some off piste areas around the slopes which could be dangerous, but they are easy to avoid.

Long and the short of it is you can avoid getting into trouble if you are diligent. Main thing is to pray to the snow gods. You get good years and bad years. Last year was a bad one by all accounts. Hopefully this year will be good... Watch for the weather coming from the Mediterranean...
ads.ukclimbing.com
mike kann - on 18 Nov 2012

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.