Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy

Cortina d'Ampezzo trail map, ItalyMountain Layout—Skiing

Here is a larger, more detailed interactive trail map.

Cortina has what amounts to eight semiconnected ski areas. All eight areas are connected by ski bus. However, the Faloria and Cristallo as well as the Cinque Torre and Passo Giau areas are also interconnected by lifts. The main Cortina area Pocol-Tofana rises to the west of the town to Tofane at its highest point stretching to Pocol on the far left as you look up the mountains. This is the best area for intermediates and those graduating from beginner. Eighteen lifts that include three spectacular cable cars lace the area providing excellent capacity with few lines. The entire area between Duca d’Aosta and Pocol is excellent for any intermediate and most beginners. The higher area just under Tofane is more difficult and the connecting run down from Tofane to Duca d’Aosta is a tough expert run that can be made by most intermediates with plenty of traversing.

Faloria and Cristallo are linked at the Tre Croci pass. Skiers either take the bus to Tre Croci and then ski from there or they can ride from town to Faloria on the cable car. Many skiers come here and ski the Cristallo area in the morning. During the mid-winter it gets earlier sun. Then for lunch they head up to Faloria from Tre Croci. The best restaurant there for an elegant lunch is Capanna Tondi or skiers can drop down to the lower self-service at Faloria. After lunch, ski Faloria’s handful of intermediate trails through the trees. Take the long run back into Cortina or glide down on the cable car at the end of the day.

The Falzarego, Cinque Torri, and Passo Giau are about a 15 km. drive out of downtown Cortina. They will take care of plenty of skiing for a day. Cinque Torri has a new quad chair that opens up a good skiing bowl as well as two or three good trails to the base area. From the top of the quad chair at Cinque Torri a snowcat pulls skiers to the small rifugio which sits at the top of the Averau. (Rifugi—or rifugio, singular—are mountain huts found on the slopes, where skiers can find shelter and taste a few good typical dishes. Some of them are real mountain restaurants, but most of them still have the feeling of cozy mountain retreats. Rifugi are very popular places for après-ski, and some even provide lodging.) Skiers can drop down open slopes from the Averau (off the trail map) and take a double chairlift back to the top of Cinque Torri.

Just up the road from the Cinque Torri base area is the incredibly spectacular Falzarego-Lagazuoi cable car. This lift takes skiers to the top of a cliff where solid intermediate trails lead back to the parking lot, or where skiers can ski down toward the Val Badia. The run off the back of the Lagazuoi, dropping in the direction of Armentarola,

is basically a beginner/intermediate rolling trail but the views must be seen to be believed. Plus, the first highlight of this run is a stop for lunch (plan for it) at the Rifugio Scotoni halfway down the run. This rifugio is known for its excellent grilled meats. You can also order simple pastas, soups and raclette, then enjoy them on the deck if the weather permits. After lunch continue down toward Armentarola. You’ll pass the Capanna Alpina, but don’t stop there. Keep going for the second big adventure on this run—being pulled by horses along the runout to Armentarola. This is more fun than a ride at Disneyland. About two dozen skiers hold onto a long rope trailing behind a team of two or three horses, then the horses begin to pull the skiers along the trail. Many might be expecting the trip to be slow and uneventful; the team drivers have a different idea. They whip the horses into a run with this snake of skiers whooping and screaming behind them. This is an experience that is hard to find anywhere else in the skiing world. In the U.S.A. no area would do this for fear of being sued. From the base at Armentarola taxis wait to take skiers back to the Falzarego pass. There will be a charge for the taxi back up the pass of about €3.50 in a full taxi.

Whatever your choice, there is plenty of skiing.

Cortina skiing photo, Dolomiti, Corina d'Ampezzo, ItalyMountain rating
This area is an intermediate and advanced paradise. With the exception of a few slopes, it is probably a bit too challenging for most beginners.

The intermediate will find Tofana, Faloria and Cinque Torri enjoyable areas. Beginners should stick to the Pocol-Socrepes area and the lower lifts on Cristallo, as well as several at Faloria. Experts will enjoy shooting down the Lagazuoi. The cable car ride to the peak is a thrill in itself. Other good expert areas are the Tofana and the upper lift of the Cristallo section. The off-trail skiing is exhilarating, although it should be done with a good guide or instructor along to get the most out of your day.

Interactive trail map copyright Dolomiti.org

 

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