Never been. But from what I can tell from images, maps etc. it could very well become my go-to freeride and back country base in France, avoiding the bigger resorts. It combines quite well with the smaller family resorts in the Maurienne Valley (La Norma, Valfreju, Val Cenis, Aussois, Bonneval etc.), which tend to remain untouched for days after a dump... I LIKEValloire is a secret gem
Agree - Maurienne is my goto place in France - so many places not yet destroyed by foreign tourism (like myself) yet - Les sybelles also a good option, but freeride better in Valloire. Guides are cheaper too, so you get the gems with local knowledge. Learned freeride in Valloire some 20 years ago, from a junior mogul World champion turned guide in ValloireNever been. But from what I can tell from images, maps etc. it could very well become my go-to freeride and back country base in France, avoiding the bigger resorts. It combines quite well with the smaller family resorts in the Maurienne Valley (La Norma, Valfreju, Val Cenis, Aussois, Bonneval etc.), which tend to remain untouched for days after a dump... I LIKE
And: there they have a Eskimo Pass, which allows access to all those places (except Valloire) for very reasonable prices.
I think @fatbob and I once had a conversation on here about whether a Folie Douce-style apres bar would be successful at an American resort. I'm not sure if it would work, but I know it would be hilarious to see.
My biggest advice would be -- the trains there are absolutely fantastic. I felt no desire to have a car in the two weeks I spent skiing there this spring. Unless you're going someplace you really need a car, it can be a hassle with parking, gas/tools, sketchy mountain passes. Meanwhile you don't have to think about any of that on a train, and every train I was on was well-equipped to handle skier traffic.Any other advisories, advice, suggestions, etc most welcome.
I know I love Olympic Downhill runs, so I'm guessing I would love the Saslungo. The Marmolada Glacier looks cool, too.You can't do it all. The place is just too big. If you stay in Cortina, for instance, the Sella Ronda is doable, but you will miss out on the best groomers of Val Gardena (such as the Saslungo Worldcup run). And the other way around.
I want the efficient skiing AND the Italian Experience (not interested in the cars and sunglasses, though).Efficient skiing (lots of opportunities with minimal daily travel), or the Italian Experience in the Dolomites (of which skiing is definately a part, but not as important as sunglasses, cars, food and wine)?
I stayed in Arabba earlier this year. It has more challenging skiing than the other areas (and has the Marmolada Glacier nearby). Most of the slopes locally are north facing. But it is quieter of an evening. That combination is perfect in my view.Question about the Italian Dolomites, as I'm hoping to take my wife there in the next couple of seasons.
Is there one spot which is better than others or are they all pretty similar (Val Gardena, Arabba, Alta Badia, Cortina, etc.)? Cortina has always intrigued me as I've heard that it feels "Italian" (as opposed to German) and is perhaps a little more posh overall (something I think my wife would enjoy).