so, I'm back in my little perch in the crazy apres ski bar. It#s only 3p, so no ski-boot dancing to techno versions of Tom Jones "Sex Bomb" yet, but probably soon. There's some Carneval thing tonite, so a bunch of skiers were wearing costumes on the trails today. I saw: a giant bee, two burly monks complete with habit and crucifix, a guy in a HUGE sombrero with Mexican villager garb, an unidentifiable bright red superheros suit with a cape. Should be exciting apres ski tonight.
Now the GOOD stuff.
Took ski bus to base of Ciampinoi today, my mission was to find access to mellow slopes for girlfriend in different area than Alpe di Siusi. (For some reason, layouts here require newbies to negotiate the equivalent of Snowshoe's Widowmaker to get to wide open areas.
I discovered a SUPER-SLOW 2-seat lift circa 1965 that drops off below main crest of Ciampinoi. Requires REAL STEEP descent on crusty ice and then HARD right (going straight means a drop of 100-150 feet). After this hair-raiser (for a newbie) everything mellows out into a big sprawling area of heavenly trails for beginnter-intermediate.
It's like a huge sprawling playground in between the towering behemoths of the Sella group and Sassoluongo. I can't describe the mountains all that well, took a lot of pics, so hope to post some in a few weeks.
Anyhoo, this big area of blues and reds has all kinds of goodies. They love setting up Slalom courses here. I'd never done them in the U-S. Fun, but humbling. Also, there's a terrain park with this cool corkscrew where you ski up and over a tunnel burrowed through a mound of snow, then you zip back around and throught the tunnel. Some jumps too.
If you come here with a beginner or intermediate skier, this area could provide at least a full day of fun. But, I wanted to try some of the harder stuff.
So, I negotiated interconnected lifts to get to the top of Ciampinoi (pronounced chomp-ee-NOY). There's a restaurant at the top of the ridge 2254 meters. Had an awesome HUGE slice of heartburn special pizza (peperoni and peperoncini) and another Weisse beer mmmm. $7
Then, tackled the bowl below Ciampinoi. It's huge. I can only guess, but I think the drop is about 13-1500 FEET. Facing downslope, the far left had a short (infant) mogul field and then a VERY steep drop down and then over a couple rolling hills. The center was a more gradual drop, but also had a pitch that made you want to drop back left into the steeper area (ok, mebbe that's the speed demon in me). Far right was more rolling - alternating short steeps and flattened out areas. If you want, you can bail out of the bottom area of the bowl and take a chute straight down to the hi-speed 6 person chairlift. I did this bowl about 4 or 5 times, hitting different areas. Then I took a long meandering red down to the base, to transfer back to SECEDA (the place I skiied before).
There's a new funicular (seemed like a metro car to me) that zips under town from the base of one trail right to the gondola up toward Seceda. First time I've ever taken a metro to a ski slope!
I skies the Seceda side about an hour, Lots of long cruisers good for intermediates. One red runs all the way to base of gondola. I hit a small slow 2-chair for a couple runs down the lonely black. A steep straight shot down. Real icy, so not the prettiest descent. But almost no one on it, so could go fast.
Then back to peak of Seceda, where I had an
embarrassing run in.
I've noticed the Italians and Germans don't like hopping with strangers on the lift. Routinely, I hop on a four-or even six chiar, and everyone holds back. So, getting on a 6-chiar, I noticed what looked like two singles getting on. So, I rushed to join them. They shifted lane positions as the chair was approaching, so to avoid getting run over by chair I basically dove between them. The woman says, "What the HEll are you doing." Oops. It turned out to be a couple, and I was sitting between them. AAARRRGH. Thought it would be a long ride to the top. But, they turned out to be Americans (the only I've met here so far)
After groveling a while, all was better. They are from Oregon, but live in sicily.
Anyhoo, I finished the day with the long run from Seceda down to village. At the top, it's described as the "Lomgoa" and says it's a 10.5 kilometer run with an vertical of 1288 meters. I don't have a calculator, but my legs tell me it was extremeley long.
I'm getting worried about the Sella Ronda. High winds today and yesterday have closed the high passes in the circuit. I have my finger crossed that the winds die and I can do it this trip.