just found some good stuff on youtube
skiing off Sella down the gully /canyon that is Val Mezdi looks great
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...
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:
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.
> 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!
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 :-)
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.
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 :)
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...
Also this one...
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