We’ll, almost perfect anyway. Temperatures hovered around 15 degrees F, making for short stops and chilly digits for backcountry skiing on the Tofana de Rozes. Advantage, snow at upper altitudes had a somewhat re-crystalized surface as well as no suncrust — though difficult crust conditions did make the lower part of the mountain a bit of a survival fest. Main thing, I was able to ski directly off the summit of one of the big Dolomite peaks (3,225 meters), and make some fairly nice pow turns on a big alpine face. Who would have thought, this being the central Europe where snow is somewhat thin in many places this year?
The day began with a 6:00 AM start from Bad Haering, Austria planning on a three hour drive to the trailhead on Passo Falzarego just above Cortina. Bummer was I depended too much on my Garmin Nuvi, which turns out to be about as useful for this type of European travel as a brick is for backcountry skiing. (Interestingly, a Tomtom GPS I checked out after the trip worked super well, so a word to the wise, get Tomtom, don’t use Garmin.)
Thus, the drive was 4 hours so tour partner Federico Sbrissa (don of Dynafit boots) and I didn’t leave the trailhead till after 10:00 AM. That’s a bit late for a 1,500 meter climb of a complex ski tour. But we had Dynafit gear, and especially since Fede was in his TLT 5 boots I knew it would go (those things do speed you up, honestly.)
(Oh, almost forgot, guidebook from these guys.)
Tentative plans were for me to stay in the Dolomites and do more skiing then head down to the boot mafia region of Italy to check out how they make ski boots. But with weather coming in I opted for a night drive back north to Bad Haering. Thus an incredibly tough day, but the high from Tofana got me home.
Might return south this weekend, and perhaps will visit the boot factories early next week, just before the Dynafit press event.
Meanwhile, thanks Fede for getting WildSnow down to the Dolomites during the perfect weather day, on a stupendous route!