Vigo di Fassa Favorites

  • It's huge
    It's huge
    by iandsmith
  • Going up Passo Pordoi
    Going up Passo Pordoi
    by iandsmith
  • All aboard
    All aboard
    by iandsmith

Most Recent Favorites in Vigo di Fassa

  • iandsmith's Profile Photo

    Just do it

    by iandsmith Updated Nov 9, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We conquered the mountain, that Sass of a bitch!

    Fondest memory: Jason is quitting half way down and he's about to walk with his skis off. The guide and his mates urge him to do otherwise to no avail. He's exhausted.
    I sidle over and chide him, "You're not going to go home and have to tell people an Aussie beat you down the slope. Don't be slack, get off your bum and put them on again."
    I'm as surprised as anyone when my motivational talk succeeds.
    As we continue we pass between two trees and I instinctively put my right hand out to one in the hope that it will bend. Surprisingly its half metre trunk fails to yield. I now have matching sprained thumbs (see my Malveno pages).
    At the roadway 40 minutes later he thanks me profusely and we have our photo taken together. It's a warm moment in an otherwise cold day.

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    • Skiing and Boarding

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    The road out

    by iandsmith Updated Jan 20, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Going up Passo Pordoi

    Fondest memory: I was heading towards Cortina on my last day. The word from my landlady was that Passo Pordoi was closed. The word from her husband at the garage was that Passo Falzarego, near Cortina, was closed.
    Others thought they were both closed but someone said Pordoi was open.
    So it was that I took the bit between my teeth and tried the pass. It was icy, it was snow-covered, though not too deep as you can clearly see in the picture.
    What I tried to do was get behind another vehicle, optimistically hoping it would break the ice to a degree and hopefully I would get some traction, however little.
    Suffice it to say I made it, not only over Pordoi but Falzarego as well. I think they were both closed but that didn't stop a smattering of traffic using them anyway.

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    • Road Trip
    • Skiing and Boarding

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    The cliff

    by iandsmith Updated Sep 5, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Hamish and his mountain

    Favorite thing: This photo is a record but unfortunately it doesn't begin to depict how awesome it was standing a couple of hundred metres away from an 864 metre sheer cliff where Hollywood movies had been made of the subject.
    You need to get far away and use a telephoto to get some impression of grandeur and, in my semi-exhausted state by the time I got here, I wasn't about to go any further off-piste for the sake of a snap.

    Fondest memory: This is the actual cliff where the climbing scenes of "Cliffhanger", a movie starring Sylvester Stallone, were filmed.

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    • National/State Park
    • Mountain Climbing
    • Skiing and Boarding

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    Catinaccio Rosengarten

    by iandsmith Updated Jul 28, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Overpowering presence

    Fondest memory: Even with the swirling, low-slung cloud that brought the snows every night partly obscuring the view you could feel the presence of these mountains.
    If you're there in summer the most popular viewpoints are Pecol and Col dei Rossi from where you can view the Sasso Lungo, the Sella group and Marmolada.

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    Campitello to Col Rodella

    by iandsmith Updated Jul 24, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Mobile sardine city

    Favorite thing: I had checked the maps out the night before and decided it was Sass Pordoi for me, but life doesn't always go according to plan. I quote here from my Emails:-
    THE QUEUE
    It's funny the directions life can take. For instance, this morning I drove a few kilometres to Campitello to get the Rondella cable car for my huge day on the mountains. By virtue of my keenness I was about eighth car in the carpark, unpacked everything and proceeded down one of those airport type queues where you zig-zag 500 metres to gain 30. Still, I was in. Ticket office, per favore? Oh, it's outside. Never mind, it's only 8.15, still early. As I repair outside the increase in approaching traffic is alarming as I am buffeted all the way back through the zig-zag by inbound skiers. Never mind, I'm fourth in the ticket queue, won't be long.
    The man in front has some money in his hand he's counting out in a deliberate and pronounced manner. Just a moment, he's finished with that lot and pulls more out. Another couple of minutes and he says, "That's 3,000, right?"
    F---, that's a lot of tickets buddy. He pulls more out and gets to 4,000 then, with smaller denominations he counts to 5,000.............slowly.
    The queue increases, people are looking anxiously at their watches. He gets to 5,300 and then there's a dispute over the amount, 5,322 euros (over $8,500). Just what the waiting didn't need! Finally he gets it resolved and he gets issued his 13, 1, 16, 18 and 1 long-term passes for different time frames.

    Fondest memory: Next man, who'd had an anxiety attack several times, is served quickly then the next lady has a problem. "My son has a pass till next Friday but he can't use it till next week, can I get a refund or extension please?"
    "Only with a doctor's certificate."
    "He is a doctor."
    "He'll have to get another doctor"
    It's all getting too Monty Pythonesque for me so I reach past, signal "uno" and get my ticket. It's now 20 minutes later and the buses are here as I fight my way back to the cable car. Damn, there are around 200 people and they've just closed the entry gate. The cable car comes. I estimate it can hold about 20. Everyone on the other side of the gate disappears inside. I'm stunned, it takes about 120! I'm up for the next one, still unbelieving but we pack in. The only thing someone forgot was a sign over the door "Welcome to Sardine City".
    P.S. The little dot in the sky is the cable car.

    Related to:
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    A Ladin affair

    by iandsmith Written May 27, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A different culture

    Favorite thing: The Ladin language is a still-used, still-taught language in the Dolomites of northern Italy and the local people are also preserving what is left of the culture. In addition to the museum at S. Martino (in my Italy pages) there is a new museum featuring the ethnographic collections.
    Around 600 square metres have been allocated to house this exhibition which also has fifteen multimedia stations.

    Fondest memory: It's open Tuesday to Saturday from 3 to 7 p.m. at Via della Chiesa 6, Vigo di Fassa.

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    • Arts and Culture
    • Museum Visits

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    Made it

    by iandsmith Written May 16, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    How could you not like this place?

    Favorite thing: When you head slightly west it takes you downhill from where you can catch either of two chairlifts. I'd recommend the enclosed one as it takes you up to a delightful trio of runs. From the same point there is an easy, an intermediate and an expert run. They only take a couple of minutes which is about the length I like.

    Fondest memory: With the picturesque peaks of Catinaccio Rosengarten behind you, you can ski uncrowded slopes all day.
    It's such a special place but in the Dolomites it's just one of many.
    I so enjoyed myself here. I was on the first chair up in the morning and the first three runs I had in one third of a metre of fresh powder, only my tracks were there. Loved it!

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    Hit the slopes

    by iandsmith Written May 16, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    From the restaurant at Ciampedie

    Favorite thing: Less than 200 metres from my accommodation was a cable car. This sort of thing is a rarity in Australia. You just can't get on-snow accommodation unless you know someone or are prepared to pay an arm and a leg.

    Fondest memory: It took me to a delightful bowl below the Catinaccio Rosengarten. Though not the largest ski area in the place it had more than enough to satisfy me. The cable car takes you to Ciampedie at 2,000 metres and you head slightly west after that and get another lift.

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    Canazei

    by iandsmith Written May 16, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Hard to ignore

    Favorite thing: One of the better known villages in Val di Fassa is Canazei.
    I hadn't actually planned on going there but after the trauma of the two hour descent from Sass Pordoi I got desperate on the way back to Vigo di Fassa and took a wrong turn. I had an inkling almost immediately when there was no one else on the trail and later when I reached the main road through the valley that all was not well.
    I ended up having to walk with my skis for about half a kilometre, which seems like a five mile hike in ski boots, and finally sat down and had lunch in a restaurant before trudging over to the lift at the other end of the village.

    Fondest memory: I just thought this building was too wonderful to ignore and took the time to get off a quick snap en route to lunch.

    Related to:
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    • Food and Dining
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Gruppo del Sella

    by iandsmith Written May 16, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    It's huge

    Favorite thing: Email continued:-
    The four English guys had hired a guide so I decide to go with them as one appears to be about my standard - on this heartbreaking slope - pathetically poor!
    The group has to constantly wait for him as he loses skis in the deep snow and has extreme difficulty locating them half the time, let alone putting them back on. Any recovery at around 9,000 feet is also very slow and requires much heavy breathing. Yep, he's about my standard.
    Progress is painfully gained for me and my newfound friend, Jason. While the guide and Hamish are top level and the other two not far behind, Jason and I wallow in our mediocrity and the metre deep soft snow

    Fondest memory: After we turned the corner the majesty of the Gruppo del Sella became apparent, as shown here, all 3,152 metres of it.

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    View from the top

    by iandsmith Written May 16, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    From Sass Pordoi

    Favorite thing: Email continued:-
    Never mind, I can handle the groomed slopes, no matter how steep.
    My only real concern is the lack of people. Everywhere else was busy but only about 15 are aboard here.
    As we ascend voices beside are conversing in English, that blessed language. It's so good to hear but I don't join in as we move into the clouds and I am gob smacked by the immensity of the cliffs beside me, only metres away.
    When we alight I say something to Hamish, whose name I've eavesdropped. He says in reply, "Fancy a bit of off piste eh?"
    I look at the only two escape routes and realise no grooming machine would ever make it up here; there'll be no piste for me. Oh sheeeit, it's steep. I've done enough skiing to know I could get down. I've also done enough to know it would be misery all the way. Amen to that.

    Fondest memory: If you blow this up you may get some idea of the scale of this place. There are miniscule dots at lower centre. They are actually people.

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    Nearly there

    by iandsmith Written May 16, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    All aboard

    Favorite thing: Again I delve into my Emails to try and capture some of the emotion of the day:-
    THE DAY
    As Hamish said, "Now you'll have bragging rights over anyone who's never been here." Amen to that. Ronnie and Jas particularly take note. Only Rosemarie can attest to how staggering the Dolomites really are.
    Armed with my Dolomite Superski pass I decided to attack Sass Pordoi, a monstrous outcrop of rock 2,950 metres in the sky. I start on the Campitello-Rodello cable car at 1440 metres (mentioned in "THE QUEUE) then head via a couple of runs, another cable, enclosed chair and open chair just to get to THE LIFT. At Passo Pordoi I join the final cable car.
    Before us looms the massif soaring ever upwards and disappearing into the cloud cover. It is rent by a single chute with a single skier and a snowboarder descending..............very slowly and very tentatively. At times they are bum-sliding down the slope it's so steep.

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  • iandsmith's Profile Photo

    The Pordoi

    by iandsmith Written May 16, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A standout wherever you are

    Favorite thing: At 2,950 metres it's a bit of a standout amongst many dramatic peaks in the Dolomites. While driving out on the last day I took this picture. It's the sort of spectacle that beckons you to unload your camera, even though you're on a snow and ice covered road without chains (I did request them when I hired my vehicle but they didn't have any).

    Related to:
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    • Skiing and Boarding

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    On my way

    by iandsmith Written May 16, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    At the top of Belvedere.

    Favorite thing: The route to some of the higher places can be confusing to say the least. After I alighted at Col Rodella I actually had to ski downhill, catch a lift up, then down again, then another cable car and then a covered chair and I'd only arrived at Belvedere, one of the most popular ski areas for beginners and intermediate level skiers in the Val di Fassa.
    I still had to find the Sass Pordoi cable car.

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    • Skiing and Boarding

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    Check this out!

    by iandsmith Written May 16, 2004

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    Coming down from Sass Pordoi

    Fondest memory: What you have to do here is blow this photo up. Look carefully and you will notice something above the cable car. Actually, it's not a something, it's a someone - and the cable car is moving! This has to be one of the world's ten worst jobs, maintenance on a moving gondola.

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