Arabba 2017

Started by Faye_c in Italy - 6 Replies

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Faye_c posted Jan-2017

Hi All! Am new here although I have been reading forum posts for a couple of years now. Having just got back from Arabba (3rd visit in 3 years), here are a couple of updates to go with the v helpful reports from Lynn_d and Wanderer. Apologies if it's a bit jumbled..

Four inches of snow fell the night before we arrived, the first in a Long Time. Provided perfect slopes for the whole week, although more than 1000km were already open anyway.

Since Christmas 2015, the Arabba Fly lift has been allowing skis-on transit across the village, in both directions. It runs from slightly above the Burz lift to the base of the Portavescovo area.

It is no longer obligatory to do the steep top section of red 1 (Salere) if doing the Orange Sella Ronda route. There is now the Portados gondola at the right side of the base of the Portavescovo, which links to the Carpazza chair to get you up high enough to join the route.

The new cable car from the Belvedere area above Canazei, down into Alba, works well and links easily to Ciampac/Buffaure that used to be a bit isolated. The cable cars do seem to hang around waiting to be filled... unexpected delays of about 15 mins. Setting off from Arabba first thing would give plenty of time to enjoy the area. I really enjoyed the black back to Alba.

Both ski schools have changed the colour of their instructors' suits this year. Arabba Ski School is now sponsored by Mercedes(!) and their suits are mint green, white and black (prev red and white).
Dolomites Reba Ski School are now grass green (prev blue).

I have so far counted 3 ski rental shops -
1.associated with Arabba Ski School
2.Nico's, associated with Dolomites Reba
3.Sport Saumont (think is Skiset)

The first 2 are virtually next door to each other in the centre of the village by the Ski Pass shop and Bar Peter. Sport Saumont is next to the Hotel Portavescovo.

It took us 4 hours to do the Orange Sella Ronda, not hanging around, and eating in the gondolas.

We chose a bright but very cold day to do the Marmolada. -30 including wind chill was not funny. Nor were the condition of the runs. Rather than having a lesson 9-11 and then toddling off to the glacier like I did, I would recommend heading off early-doors to get to the top before it gets hideously chopped up, and slippery with the wind blowing the snow off.

The James Bond run (La Longia, 10.5km long, red run 2) at Col Raiser is well worth the trouble of getting there. Is a 70km (incl lifts) round trip. We got there via Green Sella Ronda into Selva (Val Gardena), then the Sasslong into St Cristina, then catch the underground funicular to the Seceda/Col Raiser area. There are signs for La Longia. It runs all the way to Ortisei. Get back up via the cable cars and scoot back. Having left Arabba before 9.30, and again eaten on the hoof, we got back about 3pm, pooped.

Hope this is helpful!

reply to 'Arabba 2017'
posted Jan-2017

Thanks for the excellent report Faye .

I am delighted to see that they have provided an option to bypass the top section above Portavescovo. Its always been a bit of a nightmare with lots of people on it who are deeply uncomfortable and lots of fallers . It can look like a game of skittles at times as fallers slide down the hill taking out others as they go .

The impact of the new lift from Alba linking to Ciampec/Buffaure will be interesting to see. The Buffaure area is small but has a few nice runs. Well worth doing but really only enough for a couple of hours. I agree completely with you that the black down to Alba is super . However, part of its charm is that you usually had it pretty much to yourself until now. Hopefully, the new lift will not mean that it becomes busy .

What was the snow like? I am off there (staying in Canazei) for the mid-term and it looks like it is pretty much all man-made snow at the moment. I presume this means hard-packed with occasional icy bits?

reply to 'Arabba 2017'
posted Jan-2017

Glad you liked it!

There were enough people using the Alba black for me to not worry that it was a No-Go Death Zone, but way fewer than were hacking down the Selva black 3 or Arabba black 5. It was not chopped up at all and the snow was pretty good - being January, and in the woods, it was cold and dark. There was a distinct absence of the rows of people standing at the top of each drop-off that you get on some runs.

I imagine there will be higher traffic next month - everywhere was pretty peaceful last week, with the exception of the standard Sella Ronda bottlenecks.

The snow up to and including day 4 of 6 was outstanding, though slightly deteriorating as the days passed. During my lesson on day 2, my instructor got rather excited at the lovely corduroy that enabled him to point out (the deficiencies in) my carving . Days 5 and 6 were starting to feel like a top-up was needed - in places the man-made stuff was easily being scraped away earlier and earlier in the day, revealing hard-pack with ice patches. There was none of the really nasty hard-grooved groomed ice with frozen peas on top that gets labelled 'groomed snow'.
Every day was absolutely freezing - mornings were -9 to -15 in the centre of Arabba. Afternoons approx -5. We were sweating one day at the dizzying warmth of -1. Not sure why, but my hands were colder there than in Lake Louise at -30 !?
Being so cold, it was easy for them to keep making snow, but I think getting a bit more sunshine on the slopes into Feb will allow the underneath bit to soften and hold the man-made new stuff better.
Hopefully it will start to snow more - the previous 2 years we were there in early/mid Feb and got properly lucky.

Flat country skier
reply to 'Arabba 2017'
posted Jan-2017

Lovely report, thank you. Was interesting to read about Canazei and the run to Alba.Have stayed in various villages around Sella Ronda/Dolomiti Superski area for quite a few times now, Arabba and Corvara being most convenient for the "day trips out". The long run to Ortisei is beautiful and the town itself very pretty and of course needless to say that the Dolomites mountains are stunning whatever the weather.There's so much to ski and we keep going back staying at different places and exploring different ski areas.Off again for Feb Half-term, hopefully there will be some more fresh snow. Once again, thank you for the report

reply to 'Arabba 2017'
posted Jan-2017

reply to 'Arabba 2017'
posted Jan-2017

flat country skier wrote:Off again for Feb Half-term, hopefully there will be some more fresh snow. Once again, thank you for the report
It would appear that the man made snow is providing good conditions despite little or no fresh snow since November but the good news is that the forecasts are now showing a heavy dump next weekend - 50-75cm . Hopefully, it will dump lots over the next week or two and then nice blue skies for the mid-term week . Heading to Canazei on 18th - cant wait .

Flat country skier
reply to 'Arabba 2017'
posted Jan-2017

Wanderer, Great news about the snow!! Thank you! Our half-term is earlier, hope it will start snowing soon
Have a great time skiing in the Dolomites

Topic last updated on 30-January-2017 at 17:43

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