IN ADDITION TO THE CLASSIC WINTER ACTIVITIES OF ALPINE AND NORDIC SKIING, THERE ARE MANY MORE WAYS TO ENJOY THE SNOW IN THE QUEEN OF THE DOLOMITES.
The white season has arrived and Cortina d’Ampezzo offers snow sport enthusiasts a wide range of fun activities, both on and off the slopes. Why not try something new this winter, like snow kiting, freeride, fat-biking or ski mountaineering? Or how about a snowshoe excursion to a mountain hut for dinner, followed by a thrilling sled ride back to town? Let yourself be seduced by the UNESCO World Natural Heritage Dolomites and explore new ways to experience these spectacular mountains in winter.
1. Return of the Snowkite
This winter snowkiting returns to Cortina d’Ampezzo. Taking advantage of air currents, skiers and snowboarders fly across the snow-covered meadows of Passo Giau, pulled along by a kite. Group or individual lessons are available for those who wish to try this fascinating discipline.
2. Snow running – First Edition of Cortina Snow Run
For die-hard runners, snow is no reason to leave the running shoes behind – on the contrary! Join the latest trend in running by challenging yourself to the first edition of the Cortina Snow Run, a semi-autonomous, nocturnal mountain run along some of the most famous ski slopes in Cortina. Organized by C.A.I. Cortina, the race takes place on 25 February, with start from the famous bell tower in the city centre and arrival at the Olympic Ice Stadium. With 20km and +1,380m and a max time limit of 5 hours, it is not for the faint-hearted!
3. Snow Bike for Kids
The Guargnè snow-play area at the foot of the magnificent Mount Cristallo, has a new snow activity for the little ones. The Strider Bike with snow ski, suitable for children aged 18 months and over, is a fun and completely safe way to get used to moving on the snow.
4. Off-piste thrills
Adventurous skiers have plenty of opportunities to experience the adrenaline rush freeriding in Cortina. Bus di Tofana, Creste Bianche, Sci 18 and Vallon dei Comate are only some of the classic off-piste haunts of powder hunters in the splendid Queen of the Dolomites. This winter season, Dolomiti Ski Rock Alpine Guides offer Freeride 3 Dreams Dolomiti – 3 days of intense freeriding in the magnificent Dolomite couloirs. The Alpine Guides of Cortina offer Freeride Day – powder skiing at its best in some of the most beautiful Dolomite off-piste areas. They offer a variety of itineraries lasting one or more days, with overnight in mountain huts. Alternatively, join their Climbing Day to climb the most beautiful frozen waterfalls in the Dolomites.
5. Ski Safari
A 5-day journey starting from Cortina d’Ampezzo, accompanied by guides from Dolomiti Ski Rock, to explore the Dolomites. See the most famous mountain passes, visit small mountain villages and historical sites from the Great War, to arrive at the peak of the Marmolada Glacier at 3,300m. Overnights in high altitude mountain huts offering the opportunity to taste the local food traditions.
Cortina’s two snowparks, the Faloria Freestyle Station in Faloria and the Cortina Snowpark near Son Dei Prade, offer freestyle enthusiasts the opportunity to hone their jumps and tricks.
Fat-bikes, with over-sized tyres for moving on snow, continue to be a huge success in Cortina. Dedicated tracks can be found in Col Gallina at Passo Giau and there are many itineraries that can be enjoyed along snow-covered mountain roads. The Alpine Guides of Cortina offer fat-bike tours and descents from the Malga Federa mountain hut (1,816m).
8. Ski Mountaineering – skiing the way it used to be….
This is the ideal activity for those who wish to escape the crowds and immerse themselves in a pure and uncontaminated mountain landscape. Ski mountaineering excursions involve ascending mountains with “skins” under the skis, followed by descents in virgin snow. This discipline represents the primary function of skiing, a means to travel along snow covered mountains. The Alpine Guides of Cortina propose the famous itinerary of the Alta Via n.1, offering 4 days of ski guided mountaineering across some of the most fascinating UNESCO Dolomites landscapes. The experience is available from January to March with possible variations in the itinerary based on weather conditions, and overnights in the best mountain huts in the area.
9. Dinner in a mountain hut and sled-ride back to town
Rifugio Mietres (1,700m), situated at the foot of Mount Pomagagnon, offers ascent by snowmobile for lunch or dinner with a spectacular view, followed by a sled ride back to town. The descent can also be done on foot, with skis, snowshoes or snowmobile. Every Wednesday night the mountain hut has themed parties with DJ. Many of Cortina’s mountain huts offer the possibility to descend by sled after dinner, under the starlit sky.
A snowshoe excursion is undoubtedly one of the best ways to immerse yourself in the winter wonderland of the Dolomites, allowing you to fully experience the peace of the forests and the silent beauty of the snow-covered landscapes. There are numerous itineraries available and brand new this winter, thanks to the Tofana cable car, Freccia nel Cielo, two panoramic hikes at high altitude. The Trail Pian Ra Valles is an easy itinerary at 2,400m with stunning views of the entire Ampezzo Valley, and the Trail Cacciatori (Hunter’s Trail), is an intermediate hike at 2,600m in the Ra Valles area with views of the legendary peaks of Beco di Mezzodì and Mount Pelmo. Each itinerary takes approximately one hour to complete.
Do not miss the snowshoe excursion of the Great War, an alternative way to learn about the fascinating history of the Dolomites while enjoying its spectacular landscapes. A guided hike, with a historical enactor in original Great War uniform, to the restored military positions on Col Gallina to learn about the daily lives of the soldiers stationed here 100 years ago.