Here are some pictures from our New Year’s Day ski tour in the Dolomites. Three years of dragging the kids up the slopes, even when they cried and didn’t want to go, and now the payoff…. we are skiing together in this dreamy place!
I was so thankful for the sunshine, up here on the rooftop of the world. I was afraid I would go shooting off the mountain into the valley below if I looked the wrong way, but most of the time it was a sparkling wonderland of jagged peaks piercing an ice blue sky in all directions, making me wonder how close we really are to God. God wouldn’t let me ski off a cliff!
The Sella Ronda is a circle, starting on one side of a giant mountaintop and going up and down, all the way around, until you arrive back at the start. I’m not sure how great it is for 11 year olds, but they did it! Most of the skiing was intermediate (red and blue), with just a few black slopes. There were some steep icy patches which made the start and finish hard, but the rest of the time we skied, wrecked, skied, cried a few times, and I spent 20 minutes getting my gloves stuck in my boot binding among other things. But nobody got a head injury or blew out a knee, and I’m so glad because knees are precious and I didn’t want to lose one.
The route from start to finish is 42km, and you have to go the whole way in order to end up back at your car. Mike and Jake could have gone farther and faster, but the four of us stayed together and only lost each other once. We made it before the sun went down! These guys rock.
The mountain hut where we stopped for lunch had a sweeping view and a warm dining room, where we peeled off our layers and ate schnitzels and gnocchi with the Dolomites spreading grandly outside the windows.
We also skied one day at Plose, which is where the boys took snowboarding lessons three years ago. This year there were no rope tows or lessons, and we were all off and flying!
Not a whole lot has changed, Jake is still on the left and Eli is still on the right, except the boys are longer now and Eli’s legs are falling off the P.
The Sella Ronda “Massif” is the huge rock in the center that was our guide throughout the day, and eventually led us to the final gondola home. My hands were too cold to take many gondola pics, but most of them were closed and heated, like little round eggs transporting us over the treetops. It was nice to see that everyone gets discombobulated once in a while and causes the gondola to stop. Skis and poles and gloves are unwieldy, worse when all padded up like the Michelin man, who was probably actually out there with us since this part of Italy is known for its Michelin restaurants. We’ll come back for the restaurants another time, when we’re older and more appreciative of eating woodland creatures whipped into soufflés. But for today, skiing the massif and going home to a huge piece of yule log is enough.