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Madesimo, Feb 20-21, a week end

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Valentine's week, my better half (S.O. Girlfriend, fiancé) says: "what about the two of us spending next week end (Feb 20-21) in Made to late celebrate Valentine's day?"
since my obvious reply was yes next came the "shopping list" ;-) :
"So, phone the hotel and reserve a room, and don't forget to reserve two hours private lesson for me with "Saint", no one else but him".
Oookay, so I set successfuly to the task and  on Sat morning, with the car loaded we drove to Madesimo.
Unfortunately Mr. Prickly, whom I pm'd early to announce my presence at his home mountain (but since we are the only two bears
active in Italy, we could call it "The home mountain of the Italian bears") couldn't be there forthe whole week end, but managed to drive up on Sunday.
Well, it's 08.30 a.m. and we're there, not a lot of people around, before setting forth to ski we head to our usual bar to have breakfast. Then skis at hand and boots on foot it's time to go...
Not bad, the snow is soft, the day before some 5-10 (but could have been 20) cm of snow had fallen, but for that reason the upper part of the mountain is not accesible (the tram is closed), too windy and with that amount of snow the avalnche danger was quite high (as the week end progressed, reports of avalanches here and there throughout the Alps were making the news).
Anyway that's not too much of a problem when skiing with a girl who is in her 7th continuative day of skiing and 9th in her whole life (ten considering one day of cross country skiing two years ago)...and needs to ski with both knees braced (her knees are worn out after 20+ years of roller skating training and competitions...) she still needs to gain confidence to attempt to exit the "comfort zone", and Iwon't push her (anymore). So we stay on runs she's already acquainted with...
At about 2 p.m. she's tired and naueous (it's her fìrst ever time going directly form home in the plains to a mountain to ski, up to this time we've been driving "up" the night before, and she's had the whole night to get used to the altitude) so decide to go to the hotel room and rest. I' left to my own...what to do?
The groomed runs are almost all covered in bumps and waves, and crowded. So I decided to roam the lower part of the mountains for easy off-piste and some tree skiing...Trying to keep my word to myself and obey the signs, I avoid the two easy, little chutes available in the lover part of the mountai which have been marked with the "avalanche danger" sign (even if all sort of people is skiing down those, toddlers included) and skit to tree skiing, off-piste bumps and such...
IMG_3217.JPG

IMG_3220.JPG

IMG_3221.JPG


IMG_3223.JPG

The pictures above show an easy and well known offpiste run" in Madesimo lower mountain (ski instructors with their classes of children regularly ski there)  
I decided to turn a children myself and set to ski it...

At 5 p.m. spent and happy I head to the hotel for a well earned shower, a dinner andd a good night rest...

Sunday...rise early, the girl has her lesson start ad 09.00 a.m. and can't wait, so after a good brrakfast we head to the gondola for a warm-up run...At 0900 we meet with the instructor and I proceed to go and ski solo for at least a couple of hours.
The tram is open today, so I immediately head up there. Thinking to, for once, be there before our Mr. Prickly...
While queuing, I text him , thinking to surprise him, and his reply "queue" seems an inquiry to me, to which I naively reply "I'm inside and yes, there's about 20 minutes wait"..when I arrive to the "final" maze, I hear a familiar voice chatting with someone...
Aaargh, Mr. Prickly is ahead of me! He meant, with his reply, that he was already queuing for the powder on the slopes!
Avalung donned, he's not for passing on such a day of fresh and untouched snow...He's tthree car loads in front of me, so we chat a bit, but when he boards I loose track of him. I'm not on a par with him so I decide that, rather than be a drag to him, I'll let him enjoy the Canalone and Camosci (the only two off piste runs "open") and since my energies will allow me only one (max two) run down the same slopes, given the day I decide to ski the easy offpiste slopes in the Val di Lei, taking advantage of the Sun and the crisp air and coldish temperature...
Here my own attemps at "farming", before the lines became too muddled and made me give up.
IMG_3227.JPG

IMG_3231.JPG
 
My "farming attempts" are the only parallele lines you can see in that confusion...the rest of the ,mountain was looking like this :
IMG_3229.JPG
A maze of confused lines everywhere...

While I'm heading up for my next run, Mr. Prickly rings me up and ask if I fee like skiing with him down the Canalone or Camosci, in search for a bit of good fresh snow...
Promptly I agree and set to meet him at the top...
We meet at the top of the Canalone main "wall", skiing down we reach a point where there is good powder...
While following him I have suddenly a flash, shall I choose to ski beside his tracks, attempting a sort of farming or try for a powder8?
Sooo..my first attempt at powder8...IMG_3235.JPG
Okay we wont' win a powder8 contest but...

On the next stretch I decide to go for "parallel tracks" but hit something and proceed to "explode" in the fresh snow...
Breathless I collect what is left of my self esteem (the only thing that double ejected, btw.) and lamely ski down where Mr. Prickly patiently awaits for me...
The rest of the run is crust, windblown and/or sun trasformed snow, not really fun, but I manage to reach the bottom...
Well, I am really spent and decide not to drag Mr. Prickly anymore in a second run...so I head for the mid mountain lodge (the Larici) where mrs waits after finishing her two hours lesson...
There I discover what happened when I took the tumble :
IMG_3236.JPG

Well, the picture is not big enough, but there's a big core shot in my ski base, I must have hit a submerged rock!
post #2 of 13
Hey, those are pretty cool! The run through the trees is called the Valleta della Strega, the Witch's Valley. My kid does that one all the time. It's REALLY tight for an adult. The only time I ever really enjoyed it was one day I was on my 160's.

And the powder photos make it look like it was fluffy, not the sort of soft/sort of crust that it really was. Good stuff!
post #3 of 13
Viva Italia
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post

Hey, those are pretty cool! The run through the trees is called the Valleta della Strega, the Witch's Valley. My kid does that one all the time. It's REALLY tight for an adult. The only time I ever really enjoyed it was one day I was on my 160's.

And the powder photos make it look like it was fluffy, not the sort of soft/sort of crust that it really was. Good stuff!


Yes, the Witch's Valley is really tight.
What's worse is that once one enters it, there's no bail out. One has to ski it down till the end, it's like being in a bob race course, but with about a tons of bumps and "waves". Still, I enjoyed it...kind of brought me back to childhood...
post #5 of 13
I *heart* Europe.

I wanna come ski with you guys.

Thanks for the report.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters View Post

I *heart* Europe.

I wanna come ski with you guys.

Thanks for the report.
Bob, you'll be welcome, anytime!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesj View Post

Viva Italia

Hey, thanks! "Viva l'Italia, metà giardino e metà prigione..." so began a song by song writer and singer De Gregori...
post #7 of 13
How cool would it be if Bob Peters came to ski with us?
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post

How cool would it be if Bob Peters came to ski with us?

I don't know how cool it would be for YOU guys, but it would be way cool for me.

Tentative plans are being made for some kind of excursion to the southern Alps (or the Dolomites, or both) in late March or early April of 2011.  We are thinking of trying to do a multi-day guided ski tour to your part of the world with a guide we know who is very familiar with tour options around there.

If we do it, then we'll most certainly add a few days either end of the trip so we can visit some resorts.  Your trip reports are definitely getting me really interested.

On a semi-related note, we just put down a deposit on a bike tour this September from Vienna to Prague.  I'm now looking at websites to see if I can spend a day in Hintertux while we're there so I could do my September skiing.
post #9 of 13
Yeah, since Bob lives in a lame place with boring skiing, he's really gotta move around a bit to have fun...


Bob, I still owe you some photos of our condo, for our (mostly theoretical) house-swapping plan. See if I can get around to that this weekend.
post #10 of 13

Mr. N, I think the tracks in red were mine...

xphobo.jpg?t=1267094732
 

 

 

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post

Mr. N, I think the tracks in red were mine...

xphobo.jpg?t=1267094732
 

 

 



Now you point those out, I see! That's your short radius turn type indeed!
You beat me to that slope as well on Sunday then!
I should have known!
;-) :-D
post #12 of 13
I don't usually do the Val di Lei, but as one of my partners pointed out, it can be a good bet after wind. There's a little more protection there than on the front side.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters View Post




I don't know how cool it would be for YOU guys, but it would be way cool for me.

Tentative plans are being made for some kind of excursion to the southern Alps (or the Dolomites, or both) in late March or early April of 2011.  We are thinking of trying to do a multi-day guided ski tour to your part of the world with a guide we know who is very familiar with tour options around there.

If we do it, then we'll most certainly add a few days either end of the trip so we can visit some resorts.  Your trip reports are definitely getting me really interested.

On a semi-related note, we just put down a deposit on a bike tour this September from Vienna to Prague.  I'm now looking at websites to see if I can spend a day in Hintertux while we're there so I could do my September skiing.
 


Can't help you much on the Hintertux thing.
But a couple of words about the excursions in the Southern Alps and Dolomites.
Thanks to the recent wave of feeding frenzy that has befallen our newspapers, the high amount of dead people under avalnches and the high focus on man triggered avalanches, it has been reported in other forums (of Italian language) that, particularly in the Dolomites, if the avy danger is 3 or above, there's bad weather, high wind or the fairy has so decreed, no one will be allowed to access off piste lift served area if not in company of a local guide (or if at least a local guide who happens to be there when you are to board the car, vouches for you).
So, probably your guide already know this, if not, let them know that in certain places they need to be known  by and/or connected to the local guides, who can guarantee for you and/or team up... I hope that by the time you'll be here, reason will have once again prevailed, I sure hope so (even if I've always seek the services of local guides when going, so to speak, out of bounds)
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