Piste skiing in the Civetta range
The Civetta ski range is just 10 minutes drive from Val Pettorina. It’s really good and owing to the fact that it is disconnected from the main ski carousel, it’s somewhat of an undiscovered gem. Had I never bought a property in the area, it would have remained unknown to me and that would have been a great shame.
It derives its name from the mountain it nestles beneath; Civetta NW face is an enormous rock wall beneath which sits a large proportion of the ski area. This ensures an ever changing vista which you simply can’t help staring at, perhaps wondering what it would be like to be stood half way up it surrounded by an ocean of rock.
Fortunately the severity of the wall does not transpose to the slopes, and this is a resort for just about everybody, bar maybe those looking for the steepest pitches. Spread across three valleys it is deceptively large and for the average skier there are a good few days of skiing to be had here before moving on. It’s main town is Alleghe with its beautiful lake making it a picturesque place to start from. There’s also Selva di Cadore in Val Fiorentina and Zoldo.
- Starting from a large car park a few metres from the bubble lifts from the lakeside, the resort climbs to the summit of Col dei Baldi, via the main chalet area at Piani Pezze. Here you will find a few restaurants and the main ski schools, plus a rental shop and a snow park, with jumps rails and tabletops. Jump in the lift to the top to be greeted by Monte Pelmo, Marmolada and Civetta in a fantastic panorama on the summit.
From here there are a number of options back to Piani Pezze from Blue to Red. Facing towards the lake, from left to right:
- #8 Pian de Sec (blue) which is great for beginners and as easy as skiing gets. This also leads towards Val di Zoldo.
- #14 Azzura (blue) cuts the corner, shortening #8 and is great as a warm up for the day.
- #1 Coldai (red) we’re beginning to cook with gas, a fine rolling and twisting red amongst the trees which gradually steepens. You can continue all the way to Alleghe via #2 Rientro or #3 Ru de Porta both of which are technical and quite tricky, certainly ones for more advanced skiers with confidence for steep slopes.
- #6 Nera (black) is a black which unfortunately saw a death and which remains mostly closed although which can make for a fun off-piste descent after a snowfall
- #7 Lavadoi and #13 Civetta (red) share the same start down piste #9 or #16 and are both fabulous runs, steep and twisting through the trees with views to the lake.
Now facing away from the lake there are a number of short runs, from right to left:
- #11 Belamont 2 (red) a twisting red that starts a few meters below the station on #8 which winds down through trees. When not pisted (which is often) its a great freeride run.
- #10 Belamont 1 (blue) this run is great for practicing your turns as it gets steeper the further right you go, but with room to escape should you need it. Both Belamont runs allow access to Val Fiorentina.
- #9 Baldi and #16 Pelmo are fun little runs in their own right, perfect for beginners, with #16 boasting a ski-cross run through the trees which is perfect for (grown)kids.
From the bottom of #9/16, the Col Fioret lift whisks you to #12 Fernazza (blue) and the beginning of Val Fiorentina.
The skiing in Val Fiorentina centres around two main descents to Pescul from Col Fioret and also a minor area accessed by by the Belamont runs from Col dei Baldi. Theres some great skiing tucked away in this quiet area of the resort. From Col Fioret, there are a number of red runs and blues, with two lifts up from Pescul. The area directly below Col Fioret is as follows:
- #21 Salere (red) which starts down #12 and branches off left after 100m, is one of my favourite runs in the resort. It’s got a bit of everything, rolling to start with, then steep and twisting, then carving piste and it descends to Pescul in one hit. Absolutely recommended!
- #24 Col Fioret 2 (blue) also starts like #21, and takes you down to the Fertazza, initially quite steeply. It’s only just blue as the first section drops off but not for long.
- #23 Col Fioret 1 (red) is a wide bowl with a steep sections at the top. It is wide though so if you want to use the space to get down this section you can and the run then becomes a great (if brief) carving run down to the Fertazza lift.
- #30 Cima Fertazza sx (black) is a short steep section from the top of the Fertazza lift. In my opinion it’s only just black and only just steeper than Col Fioret 1. Worthwhile if you are just starting out on Blacks as it’s easy to escape from, but fairly unremarkable.
- #22 Le Ciaune 1 (blue) lovely fast cruise, perfect for beginners and kids. It can be incorporated into a nice blue circuit from Col dei Baldi – #16, #24, #22, #12 which is perfect for getting some miles in your legs on the first day of a trip!
- #29 Bait (red) is found at the bottom of the Fertazza bowl and descends to Pescul. Ski it in one go and your legs will be burning as it twists and turns down through the trees. Really nice run and not heavily used.
The Belamont area hosts 3 blue runs, all quite easy. However when snow is lean, the Rio Canedo ski tow is sometimes closed. Make sure you are well used to ski tows as this one is steep! It’s a nice area for the family though and as it’s quickly accessed from Col dei Baldi its a useful place to know about. It’s usually very quiet.
Finally a word about freeride in this area. The entire face from Col dei Baldi across to Col Fioret is really great with plenty of tree skiing. When there’s powder here, you really can’t get much better as its steep enough to keep going, not so steep that it’s scary! As it mostly spills out onto #21 or #29, it allows you to enjoy the upper mountain whilst avoiding the dense forest lower down.
Val di Zoldo
- Val di Zoldo is another larger resort. It can be accessed either from Longarone, or on the lifts from Alleghe with one long run to connect the two. This connection provides a minor area, Palafavera in its own right. The Zoldo area is really worthwhile with many lovely runs.
Connecting from Alleghe, take the lift to Col dei Baldi and start off down #8 (right hand side as you exit the station). You will reach a corner where #8 goes right to return to Piani Pezze, continue straight on here to join #15 Roa Bianca (blue) which easily traverses the mountain. This joins the bottom of #31, a red called 2000. Follow this down and to the left to reach Palafavera where you will find a ski tow and a chairlift. Follow a red run to the right to reach Zoldo.
The chairlift at Palafavera returns you to the top of #15. From here you can choose:
- #31 2000 (red) this is an excellent and steep red run which twists down through the trees
- #33 Duell (red) quite a wide red – it’s fast and you can carve it if comfortable at speed
- #30 Foppe (black) is a quite reasonable black run which returns you directly to the lift. It’s not massively steep but is quite sustained.
- #39 Cristallin 1 & 2 (red) are flood lit for night skiing and provide a nice fast carving red.
- #44 Crep (red) is initially steep but then fast and links to the back area of Zoldo, Valgranda. Short but sweet.
- #47 Raccordo Cassot (red) links to the Col de la Grava area.
- #41 Cassot (blue) is perfect for beginners and also links to Col de la Grava. It also links to:
- #40 Lendina (blue) which returns you to Alleghe/Palafavera via a lift or back to the Pian del Crep lift. A fast wide blue run.
- #43 La Grava (blue) is a wide open blue – keep left of an island of trees and to the left side of the piste to avoid steeper terrain.
- #46 Grava 2 (red) starts down the right side of the same piste, again very wide and open – both these pistes are perfect carving pistes and can be ridden at speed.
- #36 Valgranda (red) is a lovely run with great views, never particularly steep and which twists down through trees.
- #37 Laghetto (black) is a proper black, steep and quite narrow – very enjoyable indeed.
- Both the latter runs end at a chair lift so you can easily do both, and this is also where #44 arrives.
- #34 Palma (red) descends from this point and is a long valley run serviced by a slow ski tow back up. It makes for a big descent when you start from the top of the Valgranda.