Dolomites, Winter 07/08

Web-cams don't lie. We were skeptically optimistic that the snow situation would improve prior to our departure, but were ultimately disappointed. Typical Dolomites early winter weather - arctic (-18c) bluebird for a week-and-a-half straight with snow guns running 24x7. For those that live for fast and firm groomers, conditions were about as good as they get. I logged a meager 5 or 6 days on the slopes, and am grateful for having gotten my edges sharpened prior to leaving Seattle. Sadly, the off-piste conditions left something to be desired. Nevertheless, the scenery and vistas continue to inspire a passion for the high places in me. I've been coming here since my early teens and these mountains will always hold a special place in my heart. It started snowing just a couple days prior to us returning home, but such a fine, whimsical snowfall that would take about two weeks before any real accumulation takes place (it was just too cold). Just as well I guess, considering Agata's ankle still isn't 100% - this way she didn't feel like she missed out on anything 'epic'. But hey, she joined my dad, Frank and me on the infamous Sella Ronda on the last day of 2007 (counter clockwise is best), so her ankle can't be that bad, right?

Still took full advantage of all the pannini con salsiccia, Williams and birra media we could fit into our expanding bellies (after both being sick for 3 or 4 days with some gnarly intestinal virus/flu right after arriving in Italy). We burned a day sightseeing in overtly fashion-conscious Cortina (only after poor conditions sapped our motivation to ski the Falzarego Pass, Tofana and Cristallo areas) and wished we could partake in the ice-climbing action going down in the Sottoguda gorge. I did attempt an off-piste descent from Marmolada's Punta Rocca - the same one that Agata and I did near the end of our visit two years ago, and can report that it positively sucked this time around. It was a dreamy 3 - 4 inches of cold and grabby wind pack over an irregular and unpredictable base of ice...pretty much all the way down to Fedaia Lake. Survival riding at it's finest. Oh, and the gaping crevasses on either side of the groomed run really took me by surprise...we were riding right over the top of those things last time without so much as a clue!



Mouse-over thumbnails below for a description and click to enlarge.

                    

              

Winter 13/14 report & photos here.
Winter 11/12 report & photos here.
Winter 09/10 report & photos here.
Photo album here.

Videos:
Dolomites (Return To), Winter 03/04 (download - 17.8MB/9.32min)
Dolomites "Fuori Pista", Winter 05/06 (download - 42.6MB/11.46min)


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