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TR : Madesimo Sat/Sun 24-25 01

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Friday Jan 23rd
It's evening and after hitting the "send" button to the last work e-mail of the week at 19.30ish,
I'm finally free...
A somehow misleading word, still before sending that mail I had already filled up the car tank, mounted the ski rack
and got my bags ready...
So, load the car and head up to SO (in other post I've improperly used the term Mrs. Nobody) home, have dinner
and then head to friend house to pick him up too (initially there should have been 4 of us but one gave up at the last minute)

We reached our destination late in the evening (at about 23.30)...
Last few km were a bit "scary", the road was snowed (in fact it had snowed that afternoon on the mountains and rained at home) and not cleaned, so I had to pay extra attention to the other cars...
Anyway, we made it to Made (Madesimo...) and had a little stroll in the village before going to bed.
post #2 of 13
Thread Starter 
A little midnight stroll...

(pic was taken using my cell phone, so quality isn't all that great)
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

Saturday Jan 24th

No alarm was set, it's the week end and I wanted to have a biological clock reveille...it worked, somehow,
I woke up at 5 a.m. and spent the rest of the time reading...
Anyway, I waited for Roberto, our friend and host, to wake up and then got up as well.
Once ready and after a quick breakfast on a main street "bar", off we went for a day of skiing...
Weather looked nice, not too cold, not too many clouds cluttering the sky...
The main idea was to ski the Val di Lei four runs
(link to a 360 panorama :
interactive map link :
http://www.skiareavalchiavenna.it/mappainterattiva/ )
which, albeit (or maybe right because of that) being on the coldest part (the upper tier, I'd say) of the resort, are nice and uncrowded.
So, into the cable car, then on a six seater only to arrive to the tram gate and discover it...still closed (said gate is a 3x3 mt wooden sliding door) and the sign "Closed" still displayed...
So we had no other choice but to ski on the mid-lower mountain tier, the runs Vanoni and Scoiattolo, whiling away the time till, hopefully, the tram would open.

At this time I decided to play a bit, so we swapped skis (mine, 178 Nordica Hot Rods, Roberto's 180ish Rossignol oversize Gs skis -last year model, not this year) and compare.
Roberto was enthusiast of the Nordicas, as well he could have been, brand new, skied only twice so the tuning was still "perfect" and the materials response as well...
I think I shot a couple of short videos of him skiing, he'd never seen himself and was curious...
Finally, on the third run to while-away-the-time the tram opened, and luck of the lucks, no queue.
We boarded almost immediately and headed to the Valley runs above us...
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 

The Val di Lei, at last

Once reached the Val di Lei, a breathtaking view opened in front of us, we were nearly alone and nearly the first!!!
And the snow...the groomed runs were covered in
5-10 cm of new snow not yet groomed with the exception of a path the width of a snowcat, and the ungroomed open fields
in between nearly untracked...enough to make anyone drool...
After a couple of warming rounds on the "groomed" (see here my friend Bob skiing the "pow" on the groomers)


I didn't took us long to decide to venture on the unbeaten slopes, the pow wasn't tight deep as when I skied with Mr. Prickly but still, it was a decent shin depth...
Again, we swapped skis, so Bob could see what difference a shorter, fatter ski, could do in the freshies...
Alas, even if the ski swap was working on the groomed runs without noticeable "side" effects, once in the pow I "quickly"realized that something was amiss...after a couple of times the outside ski went in a different direction than the one I intended it to (w/ resulting binding release and consequent "explosion" of yours truly) clicked in and looked at the toe-piece...despite my boot being of a bigger size of the one
of my friend, his sole was longer, with the consequence that my boot was noticeably looser (to the point I could swing it left&right
inside the toe-piece wings )
Awww, we swapped back our skis and continued to enjoy the fresh pow...
The Weather was changing and time for lunch rendez wous with my S.O (who was enjoyng a very relaxing day and strolls
on the mountain's roads) was approaching, so we took the entry to the Canalone and headed to the restaurant...
The light was not nice (flattish sort of) and the many tracks already left were making the descent a bit of a PITA...
still we managed to do it.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

After lunch (Pizzoccheri, Polenta with Eggs, Spaghetti Bolognese, Struedel, coffe) whe skied the lower part of the resort, given the changing weather and the clouds cluttering the higher part. Still seeking some off-piste, entering a little "chute" this is the panorama offered to us

(no runs on the mountain in front of us)





post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

And here we're on the chairlift one can see in the last image above


The "chute" is on the pic rightm where the tracks come from. Notice the open and inviting field.

We skied some more open fields (very easy) here and there while heading back to the main

tier of the area, toward an après ski (while still on the slopes) and the well earned rest


post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 

Outside of the "Acquarela" mid mountain pub, there's the quiver the owner let people "try":







Who says that skiing is boring?
Look here: pow skis, mid fats, race skis, Telemark skis
There's room for everyone!

P.S. Unfortunately this is not my quiver...sigh!!!

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 

It's now Sunday morning, temp are slightly colder, but the sky is clear.

It hasn't snowed during the night, but a strong wind has blown the evening before and so

the previous day tracks have now disappeared...

We've had a repeat of the previous day, warm-up, wait for the tram to open, ski the Val di Lei runs and open off-piste slopes (we went in a different area thanthe previous day, so to find something that we can call powder again...

I must now backtrack a few minutes my story to the hour the tram opened.


You wouldn't believe what I witnessed...I dare call it


The 150 mooing bisons' stampede


At 10.30 the tram access gate (a 3x3 meters sliding wooden gate) had not been opened yet.

A crowd of some 150 noisy people had gathered by then (amongst those there were the two of us as well)

Suddenly, at 11.45 the gate slide slightly, just to open a small 50 cm gap...

Out came the head of a lifty whom, raising the hand with his indexfinger pointing upwards

murmured to those near the gate "don't push and shove"

At his appearence, the noise level produced by the crowd increased tenfold, and as soon as the gate was sufficiently opened, everyone in the front rows started to run (and I mean run, what with skis in hand and boots on) climbing the steps to the boarding area of the tram station.

Midway of the steps another lifty (a colleague of the one who said not to push) was stationing. As soon as he realized he would have been overrun by the charging crowd made an abrupt about face and started to run up the steps as well. He was running for his life! With the crowd behind him in hot pursue (and running faster than him)!

The comical expression he made before turning is still in my memory. BTW his colleague "saved" himself by moving beside the stampede direction...You wouldn't believe but people was jumping across the metal railing dividing the entrance path from the exit path

to get to the tram first!

I still regret not having foreseen what would have come and not taken my camcorder out and ready.

Tho those of you thinking "aww the usual Italian mess" I will say this : not everyone in the crowd was Italian, there were some Swiss, some German, possibly some English speaking ppl (but not Prickly, he's a gentleman). And the two of us, who, being caught in the middle of it all couldn't do anything else but run with all the others, those behind us were pushing so hard that, had we fallen...

My friend was shouldered very hard by a guy who was attempting to gain some "positions"...I had my vengeance (for my friend) once we arrived to the boarding platform.

I waited till things quieted down then approached him and shouldered him as hard as I could, and at the same time saying "So sorry, mate, I slipped"...

Anyway, the thought of the stampede made me laugh for the whole day, and even till mid week...That's what people lusting and drooling for powder can become if deprived long enough...


Edited by Nobody - Sun, 01 Feb 09 15:11:29 GMT
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

Ok Fast forwarding...

After a couple of runs in the sunbather off piste slopes...

Alas, weather was changing again, so trying to avoid a repeat of the Canalone descent of the day which had passed, in flat light and "heavy" mushed potatoes, we decided to ski down it sooner rather than later and regret it.

The snow inside was still un-groomed but the surface was "hard", we weren't submerged by the snow.

We were having such a ball skiing in these conditions that we decided to shoot a couple of videos of us skiing...

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 

...And this is the segment with me in... 


When I first watched it...I thought...oh my gosh, I suck (it's been a few years from last tape of me skiing...)



Edited by Nobody - Sun, 01 Feb 09 15:09:53 GMT
post #11 of 13

Madesimo, my 1st ever skiing experience was there, i got there it snowed constantly for the whole week, small but lovely little place, are you from the states? why Madesimo and not one of the bigger areas in Italy?

post #12 of 13

Hello there. Now just how did you happen to stumble onto having your first ski experience at Made of all places? That might scar you for life, dude. 

post #13 of 13
Scar me for life??It was some 17 years ago but surely it's not changed that much in all that time, if I recall small place not lots of runs, ideal for falling in love with skiing, do you ski there now? I'm off to sauze dolux next Saturday,
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