Cortina d Ampezzo Snowboarding
The 9th most popular snowboarding destination in Italy.
Saturday 23 December 2017 05:58 GMT
North of Venice and northeast of Balzano, the Cortina d' Ampezzo ski area has 66 pistes totaling 115km that are served by 34 lifts with a maximum vertical drop of 1,715m (5,625 feet). The Cortina area is known for its impressive vistas of the sprire limestone towers making up the Dolomites. The ski runs immediately surrounding Cortina d'Ampezzo are divided into three area including Tofana, Faloria Cristallo Mietres and Lagazuoi/5 Torri.
The ski areas of Cortina d'Ampezzo are part of the Dolomiti Superski region which has over 1,200km of pistes spread over 12 valleys that served by 450 lifts. While a single skipass gives access to the Dolomiti Superski region, keep in mind that the 12 valley are not all interconnected and you may need bus transport between valleys. Also, the snowfall in this southernly ski region is known to vary greatly season to season. Keep in mind that there is limited off-piste snowboarding in the Dolomiti Superski region -- it is prohibited in most areas and guides are highly-recommended in the others.
If you are looking for some challenging big mountain snowboarding runs at Cortina d'Ampezzo, start from the Tofana summit. The best bet for powder runs are from up here, as are the steeps. The upper steeps lead down to gladed sections. Another section to explore is at the top of the Pomedes that leads down the face on an amazingly steep piste.
After a long morning of shredding, there are several good options for on-mountain lunch. Check out Rifugio Duca D'Aosta on Tofana or Rifugio Averau in Cinque Torri.
If you are looking for a really big day of shredding, try the 40km Sella Ronda ski safari from Cortina to Val Gardena and back. The route loops the scenic, colossal Sella Ronda massif while passing villages including Fassa, Gardena, Badia, Selva, and Canazei. It is best done clockwise and may take up to six hours depending upon the crowds.
TIP - This ski area is only 2 hours north of Venice, so it gets a big weekend crowd. You may wish to only come for weekdays. Also, most people start the day later than usual so get up early if you want to have the slopes to yourself. Cortina is not really known for its apres ski or nighttime club scene, so if you are looking for somewhere to party, this is not it. If you are going to push it, you could check out the nightlife scene after midnight at Enoteca, Villa Sandi or VIP Rooms (late).
Note: Since the Dolomites are craggy spires, you may want to hire a guide if you plan to head off-piste. The plentiful cliffs are not marked. Also, the lift system is known to be pretty antiquated and slow.
Overall, Cortina d Ampezzo is the 9th most popular snowboard & freeride destination of all 43 snowboarding resorts in Italy. Several of the better snowboarding resorts are nearby Cortina d Ampezzo including Val Gardena, Alta Badia, Civetta, Trevalli, Valle Isarco and Val di Fiemme.