The conditions for ski touring in the Dolomites are still difficult, even though we are already in the end of February. Passo Giau and Cadini Misurina are two areas that I could recommended if you don’t want to destroy your skis, as well as the north side of  Monte Pelmo where the classic tours to Forca Rossa or Forcella d’Arcia have been skied quite a lot. Anyhow…we need to enjoy what we have got so far.
One year ago, on February 20, 2016, I did my first ski touring day of the season in the Dolomites skinning up to Cima Ombrettola from Malga Ciapela, a pretty challenging day trip due to its 1400 meters vertical gain, and we found good conditions overall. On Saturday, February 18th, I opened my ski touring season on the same mountain, this time crossing the Forcella del Bachet from San Pellegrino pass to Sottoguda. We were happy enough to start with skis on right from the car park following some patches of snow under and above the Rifugio Fuciade, once we got at the base of the steep slope leading to Forcella del Bachet we preferred to boot pack up and afterwards we got back on skis and skin up the last 100 vertical meters to the notch.
The view of the Marmolada South face from the forcella del Bachet already paid off the fatigue of the climb under a very warm sun, the snow we found downhill was not then really bad, you hit some rocks before reaching the flat of Ombretta Valley but we did enjoy some great turns on first steep section down the couloir. The exposed trail that goes down to Malga Ciapela is doable with skis on carefully, once you reach the cross country ski track we kept going further down the Serrai di Sottoguda, a spectacular canyon with frozen waterfalls  up to80 meters tall, a true paradise for ice climbers.
Numbers in hand, 950 meters climb up and 1,600 meters downhill, the traverse of Forcella del Bachet is defitinely a skitouring trip not to be missed. Here the GPS track on my Movescount profile.