Old piste & Old Bellunese
The "Queen of the Dolomites", rising gracefully up from the Fedaia Pass, impressively dominates above all the other mountains in the eastern Alps.
Its sunny South Face is a climbers paradise and its shadowy North Face is a dream for those in search of off-piste thrills, far away from the madding crowds.
Long after the snow has melted away in other resorts, skiers continue to revel in the white gold which remains on this glacier all year round.
Malga Ciapella is reached from the south by driving past Alleghe and Caprile or from the Val di Fassa by driving over the Fedaia Pass. A skibus operates in winter - consult the APT for up-to-date information.
The Marmolada pistes are connected to the Dolomiti Superski network (but not included in the lift pass which can be bought at a discount).
3. Old piste
This is the best descent to start the day off and test the snow conditions. Leave the piste after a few meters by heading towards the Sasso delle Undici. Ski down a small gully immediately to the right of the imposing towers and rejoin the piste at either the first or the second sharp bend. At the beginning of the season look out for open crevasses in the final section.
4. Old Bellunese
This is a good descent because the snow tends to remain fresh powder. From the top of the ski lift descend to the right of the piste staying close to the shadowy Serauta face. After the initial section, clearly visible from the ski lift, the descent becomes increasingly isolated and wild, until an obvious spur is reached. From here ski leftwards down a beautiful slope to rejoin the piste.
Those in search of peace and quiet will appreciate the Passo Fedaia Hotel or the Rifugio Marmolada, both situated at the top of the Fedaia Pass. The Tyrolia Hotel in Malga Ciapela or the quiet Bed and Breakfast La Montanara in Sottoguda are recommended, too. Don't forget to visit the waterfalls at the Serrai di Sottoguda, just a couple of minutes away. The Val di Fassa is much more lively and the nightlife is quite good. The Speck Keller, next to the ski school, is extremely popular and stays open till the early hours. Late nights usually mean late starts - don't forget though that the best snow can usually be found early in the morning!
This is in the eastern-most ski resort in the Alps, open during the summer as well since the pistes are on the glacier.
Freestyle lovers will be interested to know that a half pipe has now been created.
For the weather forecast and information about the snow conditions free-phone Meteo Arabba: 1678 60345/6
For detailed information about the lifts phone Funivie Marmolada: 0437 522984. The cable car does not operate in strong winds.
For further information consult the book "Le Nevi delle Dolomiti" Vol. 1, Edizioni Cierre. The Marmolada is depicted in the map Tabacco 1:25000 no. 6.
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