Over the course of this winter I have spent more time skiing in Italy than in any other country. We had three scheduled speed weeks in Italy this season—one in Cortina, one in Sestriere, and another in Tarvisio. After our week in Sestriere (which was unsuccessful, as far as racing goes!), we took a break in Venice, Italy, which I wrote about in a previous post. What I have neglected to write about, however, is the wonderful skiing in areas with insane geology and magnificent mountains. So I will begin with Cortina, Italy…
Cortina is a mountain in the Dolomites (Alps) located in the North-Eastern part of Italy, directly north of Venice. It is a bit of a challenge to get to, but the drive to Cortina consists of beautiful scenery with vast mountain ranges and wintery backdrops. Upon arrival in Cortina, I was completely in awe of the surrounding mountains and could not wait to go skiing the next day. The skiing was everything my teammates had elaborated on—there was incredible terrain, chutes with enormous cliffs jutting up either side, steep off-piste skiing and, best of all, an incomparable view. My week in Cortina was incredibly enjoyable: from the slopes to the scene in town. Oh, and I can’t forget the PIZZA! My favorite one was in a little restaurant called Alpino, which is just a short walk from the center of town. The pizza (which looked like and was named after a local mountain) had arugula, bresaola (a wonderful air-dried, aged beef commonly found in Italy) and a goat cheese smother that was to die for. I cannot wait to return to Cortina for the skiing and that pizza!
After our week in Cortina we headed straight to Sestriere for some more speed races. The drive was definitely lengthy, as Sestriere is located in the far western point of Italy, directly West of Torino. Sestriere Mountain hosted the 2006 Torino Winter Olympic alpine ski racing events. The surroundings in Sestriere were slightly different from those in Cortina, but I was getting the feel for what made an Italian ski town different from others in Europe and around the world. It was an immense mountain, with seemingly limitless amounts of skiing and a backdrop of endless mountain ranges. Although our races didn’t happen in Sestriere this year due to a huge amount of unexpected snowfall, I am excited to go back and explore the area again!
After a few more race series and a break at home, we headed to Tarvisio, Italy for another week of speed racing. I have skied in Tarvisio in the past, so I knew what I was in for and I was certainly excited to return and get to know the area a little better. Tarvisio is located in the Southern Limestone Alps of Italy, right on the border with both Austria and Slovenia. During the first few days of skiing in Tarvisio it was a bit cloudy and foggy, so it was hard to get an idea of our surroundings. But on the third morning the fog and clouds cleared out, and the view from the top of the gondola was marvelous! It was like something from a mysterious photograph. I tried to capture the marvel with my camera, and I feel that I did a reasonable job—but a view like that is simply inexplicable. See the photos above and below…
All in all, I have had a wonderful time in Italy this year. I get the feeling of ancient, calm mountains and living nature from the ski areas and mountain towns that I have explored. The mountaintops are so sharp and intense, the rocks so bare and desolate, it makes me want to gather up my climbing gear and carry my skis to the top of the peaks.
Since my blogging last time, I have also ventured to Špindlerův Mlýn, which is a mountain resort located in the Czech Republic, for some GS World Cup racing. Unfortunately, I failed to make the second run (too many mistakes and silly skiing!), but I did take some pictures of the girls racing from the finish!
I am in Lenzerheide, Switzerland at World Cup Finals right now. This area is yet another aesthetically and soulfully pleasing one I have the privilege to see and explore! I am getting the feeling of spring, and I am certainly getting excited to do some free skiing and adventuring this April and May. I head home in a few days for a little break before Nationals, spring series, and some fundraisers. Keep on exploring the outdoors and following me around the world! You can check out my World Cup racing video at: http://www.universalsports.com/ by searching for my name in the search bar. Until next time…
Enjoy the photos, and I’ll update when I return home next week. Peace and love 😀
Tarvisio-this one may be my favorite
Julia laying it over at the bottom of the course in Spindleruv