We asked our most recent trip winner, Steve Deasy, to tell us how his trip to Moena, Italy went for the 2012 Scufoneda Festival. I think its up for interpretation, but we think he had a pretty good time.
Thanks to Polartec & Marmot for the prize of a trip to Scufoneda in the Dolomites of Italy. Our contacts from Polartec in Europe were fantastic – Alessandro Perseo, Eric Yung, and most especially Giorgia Vitali, who made everything seamless.
Wow, the Dolomites are bella! I’ve seen plenty of mountains, and these are top notch for scenery. Start plopping down handfuls of Tetons here and there, and you’ll get a mental picture. The gang we hooked up with often would mention that although they travel the world, the Dolomites are their favorite mountains.
The skiing looked good too, but it’s hard to evaluate in “the worst snow year in 35 years”. No matter, Sean & I had fun. Snowmaking covered many trails, and it had snowed in the week before we arrived. Not enough to run the big events for Scufoneda, though. There were a couple of events, and plenty of sun and wine, so why not have a good time, eh?
The first evening we joined the Polartec gang for a good time and an authentic meal at a Malga overlooking Moena, where we stayed. Everywhere we went the food was top notch – even the pizza slices we got on our last eve in town.
Day 1 we skied the Passo San Pellegrino / Falcade areas. Besides the groomers, our guide found us one run that still had near a foot of chopped soft snow. Woohoo! We skied that twice! We also skied from village to village, dropping 1300+ meters – at a smallish resort!
Day 2 Giorgia set us up with guide Alberto Marazzi and her car so we could go to Marmolada, the highest skiing in the area at 3250m at the top. (Bottom at 1446m – do the math for almost 6000 vertical feet of skiing!) Our guide explained that although skiing off-piste was technically illegal in Italy, “the police close an eye” to it. A week after the storm and we were getting freshies on the glacier. The view from the top was thrilling, with Sean puckered strong! He later loosened up and played his bagpipes at the top viewpoint: “The Green Hills of Tyrol” if I remember right. The Dolomites are in the Tyrol by the way, Sud Tyrol – South Tyrol. Although most folks speak Italian, another ancient tongue is spoken: Ladino, and some – particularly in certain villages – speak German. Most spoke English too, but I had to pull out my very rusty German for one shopkeeper. Sean & I skipped the evening party that night (and topless dancing) for massages at the Hotel Garden and a quiet evening walking the plazas before an earlier bedtime to recover from jet lag and days chock full of activities.
Day 3 we skied closer to Moena at Alpe Lusia. There was a Scufoneda telemark gates course set for the few competitors who stuck it out. There were a couple of nice pitches at the top (off piste) that Sean & I cut up a few times, with one of the assigned photo journalists shooting the American Freeriders. Most everyone stuck to trails in Italy, and people looked at our fat skis like we were introducing a new sport. Speaking of new sport, before lunch I got Sean on Tele skis for the first time, and my first time in 4 years. Scarpa and Black Diamond set us up with gear and we were off for an hour of fun. My quick and dirty lesson for Sean: “50-50. Big Toe – Little Toe. Double 90s. And remember, you can always ski ‘em parallel!” We switched back to downhill and cruised to a different village, finding a park to goof off in along the way. We were able to close the day by skiing back to the Hotel Garden in Moena, and with slight guilt and trepidation we returned our scratched skis (d@mn off-piste Americans!) and found pizza in Italy for our last dinner.
One event we missed was Alessandro running the “surprise” contest in Neoshell for his ski across the pond. That’s committed product endorsement!
So, Grazie Mille & Ciao Ciao!