Come late January or early February I make my annual jump across the big pond with Marco Tonazzi and head towards Venice, Italy, where we wait for everyone that has taken the leap of faith to sign up for this amazing trip Marco and I have put together for the last few years. That being said, this is one of favorite adventures so I have no issues talking people into coming. It’s a guaranteed good times.
The trip is appropriately named, “The Wine and Dine Tour With a Skiing Problem.” It’s a journey through northwestern Italy. Skiing is the main goal but the other Italian highlights often distract or add to the adventure. We designed the trip in 2003 with the goal of taking small groups of people every year to ski and indulge in Marco’s home region of Italy.
Traveling with Marco through this part of the world is like traveling around Chicago with Michael Jordan. As a former Italian National Champion, Marco is a respected figure who is an amazing host who has ability to find amazing food accompanied with wonderful beverages. He knows the region like the back of his hand. I shadow the operation and when Mother Nature permits it I add a spice to the skiing where I can. For us, this is a discovery trip every year.
This year’s trip has been no different. We picked everyone up at the airport in Venice on January 29 and the trip began the moment we were speeding up the Autostrata towards Cortina D’Ampezzo.
Day two under blue skies we skied on piste in Cortina including the same run that Lindsey Vonn has won numerous times. If the conditions permit it the off piste can be unreal. Its seems more often than not we have been blessed with this. However, this year is going to be mainly about staying on piste skiing some amazing groomers.
We stopped at Rifugio Duca D’Aosta with some sun-loving Italians on the deck overlooking the Dolomites. After lunch we transferred to a different valley where we skied untill sunset than came to rest at 2400m in a Rifugio at Cinque Torre. Marco ordered up a camp favorite, the “Bombardino.” After this tasty delight we skied back into the valley just before dark where we had our mini-buses waiting to be driven down the narrow Italian road back into Cortina and the hotel. With a quick stop at the hotel the group took a breath before we put them on the move up to the ski area of Faloria. There we had snowmobiles waiting to blast us up couple thousand meters to the Rifugio Capana Tondi where we indulged in a feast made for kings. At midnight, with headlamps and full bellies, we skied back down into the lights of the Cortina valley on a run that had been freshly groomed so that every turn felt like heaven.
Stay tuned for part two of Chris's adventure.
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