Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, March 22, 2022

Tony Crocker

Staff member
We flew into Venice Monday because that’s where our Europe trip will end April 29 after an Adriatic tour. Italy is extremely sparse on snow this season, so the plan was to drive into Austria. But interestingly the most direct route goes through Cortina, so we thought that would be a good warm up plan during a day with 5 hours of driving. We landed in Venice 5:15PM Monday and drove to Belluno for the night, then an hour+ to Cortina Tuesday morning.

We arrived at Cortina about 10AM and as expected there was not a scrap of snow within 500 vertical feet of town and only manmade pistes for at least another 1,000 above that. We are moderately sure that only the Tofana sector on the map here was open.


Cortina has a few other disconnected terrain pods as shown here.


Supposedly the dotted line transport lift to Cinque Torii, which we skied on the World War I tour in 2017, has been built.

We rode the two stage gondola from town to Col Druscie where this observatory was framed by Dolomite peaks.


We also have this view of the runs between Pomedes (7,550 feet) and Rumerlo where we did most of our skiing.


We skied all the way down to Socretes ~4,500 feet once. Here is a battalion of snowmaking machines at the base of the Tofana express lift.


The top of Pomedes has impressive views. Cinque Torri:


The piste we skied in 2018 comes down from the saddle at center.

Zoomed view of Marmolada Glacier, which we also skied in 2018:


View down to snowless Cortina valley:


The curve of snow at center is piste #35.

Temperatures were in the 40’s and nearly everything here was east facing so decently softened by the time we skied it. To no surprise attendance was low, so few pistes developed much clumpy snow from skier traffic.

The top Pomedes chair ascends through this gap.


There is a higher terrain pod in Ra Valles, topping out at 9,000 feet with mostly firm chalky snow. The descent from there is via south facing piste #51, part of which is the strip of snow at center right among all of that rock.


You can barely see the trail exiting at lower left.

Liz at top of Ra Valles:



View down from same spot:


The patch of snow on top of the cliff in the background is the Faloria-Misurina sector of Cortina, where skiing ranges from 5,500 – 7,700 feet.

Liz drops in to Piste #51.


Rumerlo area pistes are in the middle of the picture.

About 1/3 of the way down #51 with town of Cortina in background:


Here #51 flattens.


At 2PM there was a lot of heavy/clumpy snow on #51. But it made sense for us to ski the multiple runs between Pomedes and Socredes first while surfaces were optimal. We downloaded the gondola at Colfiere after a 4,300 vertical run from the top and 19,900 vertical for the day. We were on the road by 3PM and arrived at the Bergland Hotel (another excellent recommendation from Fraser) in Sölden about 6:30PM.
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Brings back memories.

That was early January 2019. Austria was getting plastered with snow but not much made it over the ridge.
Italy seems to have gotten very little snow during the heart of the season after a decent start.

The Dolomites are on the near-term bucket list. However, I have become convinced they are not worth booking unless you know snow is on the ground. The WePowder guide says that the Dolomites are favored for early season snow, and if that does not happen - likely not a great season.

You were lucky to have skied the majority of the Dolomites during 2017.
That was January 2018. There was enough natural snow mixed in with the manmade that 90+% of surfaces were excellent. And the natural snow coverage enhanced the impressive scenery. I did not know about the off piste guided routes in 2018 or whether they were skiable when we were there.

There was some recent year where the Dolomites got a big dump in late April and some of that off piste was being skied in early May.