Piste skiing in Falcade San Pellegrino
Visiting this outlying and largely disconnected resort seems like it is an effort not worth making when there is so much on offer elsewhere. However this is undoubtedly a mistake and the area has over the last couple of years become one of my absolute favourites. It’s in a different part of the Dolomites, where the surrounding mountains are huge and rugged, whilst due to the underlying Igneous geology, the resort has open views and a completely different feel. It really has something for everybody, from easy blue runs up at the pass, to brilliant black runs and a huge offpiste sector.
Falcade, the main resort can be reached from the East and the West by car. San Pellegrino has a steep descent and is not advisable during a snow fall. If this is the case drive via Belluno and Agordo.
North of San Pellegrino
The skiing to the north of the pass is spread across a wide open and treeless bowl. It is home to many easy blue runs, some intermediate, flowing reds and a steep but short black. My favourite runs here are those descending from L’Om Piccol, #52 Nuova Cima Uomo into #49 Le Coste and #54 Ciadin. The first option is no doubt intimidating. Sat on the small 2 man chair to the summit of L’Om Piccol, you can watch skiers as they ski a seemingly vertical wall. Indeed rolling into the start, you are confronted by an “end of the earth” lip, but fortunately it’s all a trick of the eye and the maximum gradient is 58%, and only for a very short section. As ever though, once you commit, you will find that the slope is not as steep as you thought, and Now it rolls and turns down a ridgeline before turning into the equally enjoyable Le Coste, so wide and rolling that you can still carve the slope with ease. Ciadin is much easier, and after a short steeper section to start you can really open up the gas and carve all the way to the bottom.
Its also worth mentioning that this area is excellent for sidecountry skiing, owing to the treeless nature of the slopes and interesting gullied and rolling terrain. It’s an excellent sport to start out.
The western area consists of mainly easy blues and reds, none particularly taxing and it’s enjoyable to tick these off. There is nothing to surprise, although nothing of great note either, other than the views. If you are so inclined however there is a fun little side country canyon which you can run with the kids which starts just below the Costabella bubble and ends up by Baita Paradiso, a nice spot for lunch.
South of San Pellegrino
This area is far more extensive than that to the north. It’s absolutely jam packed with excellent runs and superb off piste skiing.
It’s centred around two main summits, Col Margherita and Laresei. Col Margheritas northern slopes are home to steep blacks and reds, and a vast offpiste freeride park. It is separated from Laresei by a large open bowl with some really fun carving red runs. Larasei forms a large dome, with runs descending all sides and with those on its eastern flanks dropping all the way down to Falcade. Again, the off piste in this area is superb and really worth exploring. Furthermore the views are simply some of the best in the Dolomites as you are surrounded by a 360 degree panorama which includes the Pale di San Martino, Pale di San Lucano, Monte Agner, Moiazza, Civetta, Marmolada, the Cantenaccio, the Latemar and the Lagorai. These are some of the biggest rock faces in Europe; utterly jaw dropping.