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Where to go snowboarding in Italy in Dec?


queequeg
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My father lives in Italy and given that I will be visiting him for a week or so this upcoming "holliday season", I was thinking I could take a 2 day trip to do a bit of riding in Italy or some other nearby country, but I'm not sure of where to go - so I'm wondering where I should go. Here is my basic criteria.

1. Good carving terrain, obviuosly.

2. Accessible by rail/air fairly easily from Rome. (I don't know that this would have to be in italy, I know tha there are plenty of cheap ryannair flights that will get you all around europe on a shoestring budget, but I would like it to be easy access, without a car.)

3. I'm a big fan of being above the treeline!

4. Not crawling with people (Good luck in december, I know.)

5. some kind of not riddiculously expensive accomodations nearby, I prefer to spend my money on hookers and booze, thank you.

I've never snowboarded outside of the continental us (despite having spent much of my life outside of it), so I'm pretty psyched to do this. Thanks in advance for any suggestions! I don't mind spending a bit of money, but I don't want to blow huge wads of cash either ...

thanks!

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December is still early season in Europe. And early season is very tricky here. Can be good, but most often the snow comes late.

Well, when staying in Italy...

Best match for your demands is Breuil-Cervinia.

It's almost all above treeline.

Most snowsure resort of Italy (and one of the best of Europe).

Cervinia is on 2050 metres height, one of the highest in Europe. And lifts go up to 3500 metres (Italian pass); resp. 3900 metres (combined pass with Zermatt). Yes - Cervinia shares it's area with Zermatt. This 3900 is the highest lift-served point in Europe. Everything above 3000 is glacier area.

It's perfect for carving. Miles and miles of extremely wide "autobahns". There are 2 especially long ones. The Ventina, a red one. Goes from 3500 to 2050 metres in 1 go. Length about 12 kilometres. The other one is from 3900 to Valtournenche. All lift served. 2300 (!!!) vertical metres and 22 kilometres in length. This is the longest prepared piste in the world. But chance is that lower part of this piste is still not open in December.

Accessability. There's a train (I believe part of the track is highspeed) until Chatillon, in the valley down about 20 km's from Cervinia. From there, there's a regular shuttlebus.

Prices of accomodation are very reasonable. Much much much less expensive than Zermatt. More attractive than most Swiss, French and Austrian resorts.

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Wow - Breuil-Cervinia is sounding pretty great! This is exactly the sort of thing that I had in mind. I have a friend who went to Zermatt a long time ago and he had nothing but amazing photos and a huge grin to tell of it when he returned, so if they share the same mountain, I know I'd be psyched to be there.

"Miles and miles of extremely wide autobahns" I'm grinning ear-to-ear just thinking about it!

So from you are saying about december being very early season - is Breuil-Cervinia less likely to be crowded then?

Thanks so much, this is great information - I'm riddiculously excited now.

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In terms of etiqqite, conventions, rules etc ... I noted that the colours for slope markings are different, with red being intermmediate, blue for easy and grey for expert. For some reason, I would have assumed red means expert ...

Cervinia looks AMAZING, I'm totally psyched!

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To make you grin even more, here's a report (in German, but lots of photos) about a trip to Valle D'Aosta. Aosta valley is the region in which Brieul-Cervinia is located.

It's not the only good skiing are in that region.

There's also Monterosa ski; 180 km of slopes spread over 3 valleys (all interlinked).

And there's La Thuile which has 140 km of slopes together with it's French neighbor La Rosiere.

Then there's Courmayeur (at the foot of Mt Blanc, Europe's highest mountain). And finally there's a number of smaller, local area's (30-50 km of slopes).

All of this in a valley region only 80 km's long.

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First of all, excuse me for my poor english! :o

The first thing to know to plan a 2 days trip on italian slopes in December, is to know in what part of the month of December do you want to go: this makes a lot of difference.

And I like to know before giving my suggestion.

About Cervinia, that place is wonderful and for sure it has snow even on December 1st, but... the problem is how to arrive there from Rome!!!

It's not really easy to be reached from the Center of Italy especially if you are going just for 2 days :smashfrea

Ciao, Gio

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And another, this time in Italian, but beautiful photos.

http://www.skiforum.it/skiforum/viewtopic.php?t=12561

Dude! That looks outrageously beautiful! I am so there!

First of all, excuse me for my poor english! :o

The first thing to know to plan a 2 days trip on italian slopes in December, is to know in what part of the month of December do you want to go: this makes a lot of difference.

And I like to know before giving my suggestion.

About Cervinia, that place is wonderful and for sure it has snow even on December 1st, but... the problem is how to arrive there from Rome!!!

It's not really easy to be reached from the Center of Italy especially if you are going just for 2 days :smashfrea

Ciao, Gio

Hey Gio, your english is waaaay better than my Italian! If I Need to take a third or fourth day for travel that's no big deal, I just want to get in two days of riding. I'll be going there in the end of december/early january, and I think, probably returning to New York immediately thereafter, so I don't know if I will go back by Bern or Rome. I have a lot to figure out. My father is helping me out with a bit of the Rome -> Cervinia arrangements. I'm going to try and have it all planned and bought by monday.

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Hey Gio, your english is waaaay better than my Italian!

I'm touched! :)

If I Need to take a third or fourth day for travel that's no big deal, I just want to get in two days of riding. I'll be going there in the end of december/early january, and I think, probably returning to New York immediately thereafter, so I don't know if I will go back by Bern or Rome. I have a lot to figure out. My father is helping me out with a bit of the Rome -> Cervinia arrangements. I'm going to try and have it all planned and bought by monday.

Hey, but if you are going so late in December, you don't have to go to Cervinia anymore!!!

You can go anywhere, because snow will be also everywhere!

And if you don't want to travel to much you can even go near Rome.

The only problem is that in that period will be really crowded everywhere! :(

Anyway I would suggest you this place:

(later)

You can go there by train leaving Rome at night and waking up almost directly on the slopes (let's say 5 miles far, ok? ;) )! Same thing to come back to Rome.

In this way you travel during the night and you don't loose any good time to travel.

Ciao, Gio

P.S. Ah, I was born and grown in Rome! :1luvu:

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I'm touched! :)

Hey, but if you are going so late in December, you don't have to go to Cervinia anymore!!!

You can go anywhere, because snow will be also everywhere!

And if you don't want to travel to much you can even go near Rome.

The only problem is that in that period will be really crowded everywhere! :(

Anyway I would suggest you this place:

(later)

You can go there by train leaving Rome at night and waking up almost directly on the slopes (let's say 5 miles far, ok? ;) )! Same thing to come back to Rome.

In this way you travel during the night and you don't loose any good time to travel.

Ciao, Gio

P.S. Ah, I was born and grown in Rome! :1luvu:

Hey thanks man! I have to admit - Cervinia is looking pretty good .. my heart may be set upon it - but if it proves to be logistically difficult I am definitely open to other options. If there are nearby options above the treeline though ... I am all about it. Jumping on a train and waking up ready ready to rock sounds pretty sweet!

My family lived in Rome for 5 years when I was growing up (I was only there during my school vacations) they lived on Via Pinciana at the time right neare Borghese park. After that my father moved back to the US but he moved back about a year ago, because he missed it so much. Now he lives on Via Giovanni Tamassia near the Cornelia station on the Metro, he really loves the new neighborhood. Rome is absolutely one of my favorite places, I can definitely see myself moving there in the future ... once I actually learn how to speak Italian of course.

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ciao ciao

Here is a small report about Cervinia (in french, sorry, but pictures) I made after one week there. http://www.extremecarving.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2977

Great spot.

La Thuile is also a great spot for carving with very steep slopes, but December is too early in the season for La Thuile. Some pictures of the good slopes here : http://carvingspot.free.fr/la-thuile/lathuile-pistes.htm

Arnaud

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Absolutely! Are you in NYC now, or are you headed here?

I work in Manhattan in an architecture firm.

My dad emailed me and he seems to think there is a train that will get you to Cervinia pretty easily from Rome.

I don't think so. I'm sorry. There is no train station in Cervinia. :(

The train I was talking about is the one going from Rome stright to Brunico (Bruneck)/Plan de Corones.

The fact is that I can send you to a place where you can ski on more then 300 miles of connected slopes!!! But you have only 2 days (or 3 or 4): you don't have enough time to ride at least once every slope! :rolleyes:

Anyway this place is connected to Plan de Corones with a free bus in less than 20 minutes so you can go from Brunico/Plan de Corones adding this 300 miles of slope to the 65 miles of B/PDC.

Look at this document:

http://www.nxtbook.fr/newpress/dolomitisuperski/ita/0708/index.php

(sorry, I didn't find the english version) the area I suggest is the #2.

the 300 miles monster is #3+4+5+6 :biggthump

Actually is still not available the schedule for the train for december here:

http://www.ferroviedellostato.it

This is the place where I suggest you; look at the skimap:

http://www.dolomitisuperski.com/2160.athx?ccode=it-IT&tab=skimap

Ciao, Gio

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I don't know but if I was going to Italy. I think I would want to look up RicHard who used to post a lot in the winter some of the best looking corduroy porn ever.

This is the pic from his profile.

I remember him in an italian forum.

And I think he was of Rome...

Let me check.

Ciao, Gio

(EDIT) Yes, he's writing in the forum of Extremecarving.com/italian version and he use to carve near Rome. His last post is just two weeks old.

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Plan de Corones / Kronplatz is also nice, but very different from Cervinia.

Kronplatz is in the Dolomites. They have a very extensive network of snow cannons; and they are the absolute masters of artificial snow.

However, that is not without reason. Dolomites are on the leeward side of the eastern alps. Snow normally comes from the NW.

The area is quite nice. But it's medium-height mountains; "sweet" rounded hills instead of the himalayan type of mountains in the Aosta valley. Not to say one is better than the other, just different and what you like.

Specialty of Cervinia is long wide slopes with lots of height difference. There's 1500 metres / 4500 vertical feet between Cervinia and Plateau Rosa.

Even 2300 metres / 7000 feet when you have the international skipass.

In the Dolomites you have a much larger number of slopes. The slope lenght and height difference is much smaller (half or less).

Kronplatz is in German speaking part of Italy. Atmosphere and food is a bit like Austria, but not so extremely focused on apres-ski.

Cervinia is in Aosta valley. This part of Italy used to be part of Savoia. As a result of this many people there still speak a local language that is a bit like a mix of french and italian. Food is alike (sort of french / italian mix) but with portion sizes for real mountain people ;)

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I work in Manhattan in an architecture firm.

Oh - then you will appreciate that I work in what has to be one of the ugliest buildings on the west-side! I work at an ad firm, in that strangely pencil-like/obelisk-style building on 49th and 8th.

I think I'm probably going to aim for Cervinia, It just looks too big not to hit. The dolomites look cool too, the idea of having so many interconnected places is really cool, and all the photos I see have a very charming feel - I'm wondering if its proximity to rome will make them even more crowded. They are still an option for me but for now I am definitely shooting for Cervinia.

I will try to hit up richard. That's a sick photo.

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