The Italian language isn’t too difficult. Spettacolare means, guess what, spectacular, right. And using gesture makes communication quite easy. The famous mamma mia is well understood when moving your fingertips together and waving your hand. So we thought we were well prepared for a trip to the Dolomites. Italy let’s go!
Spettacolare was the first view out of the van after a cold night at Passo Sella. Janni, Axl and me arrived there on Friday when it was already dark. Having breakfast and looking over to the massive Sasso Lungo, we were stoked to ski one of the couloirs facing south-east. As we came closer, we decided for the left one, also known as Forcella del Dente. And hiking up, I realized that coming to the Dolomites was the right spot at the right time. There were massive amounts of snow, the avalanche bulletin said historical snow depth and in the couloirs the wind hadn’t affected the snow too much. So we could relax, enjoy the sun and hope for some good runs in powder snow. On top we changed our plan in the last minute. It was possible to ski down from Forcella del Dente to the other side. A small steep couloir led to a big bowl and finally to Rifugio Vincenza. Bravo bravissimo for all of us as it was the first real steep skiing of the season. A great powder run and a cat track road brought us back to the ski area of the Sellaronda. First cappuccino well deserved!
Then the classic ski bum life began with driving over to Passo Pordoi, looking for the flattest spot possible and starting a bonfire to dry our skiboots. The clear sky and a million stars let us dream of another happy ski day tomorrow. I admit I also thought of a really warm beach, because it was so cold, that we found icicles in the morning hanging from the inside ceiling of the van. But a hot coffee and plans to ski Canale Holzer brought back the warmth and excitement. Taking the impressive gondola up, we had our mamma mia moment. Half way up, the clouds were all underneath us and everyone in the gondola was stunned, one Italian even doing the hilarious mamma mia move. So we took some photos on top and moved towards the entry of the long and steep couloir. Do you have all your gear for abseiling, is it all good with your bindings and are we sure to ski this safely? We reaffirmed ourselves and with some highfives we started skiing down the first part. Skiing is more or less right here. In some sections it was only possible for me to step down carefully. But conditions were perfect and doing some turns heated me up in the shady couloir. Next section was the rappel over a little icefall which was fun for all of us. But don’t think that it’s just flat and easy afterwards. There was still quite a way to ski down in the narrow couloir. Reaching the big valley meant leaving the sun and we celebrated our successful descent in the fog with some polenta, pasta and espresso. Grazie mille, Dolomiti spettacolare for a great weekend skiing couloirs.
Text: Johanna Bogner
Fotos: Johanna Bogner, Axl Blersch, Janine Tschanhenz