February and March are the perfect months for off piste skiing and ski touring. In the Dolomites we didn’t have other huge snowfalls after the one on the day after Christmas, but we had many little dumps which were perfect to build the layer up and cover the old tracks. The conditions for couloir skiing were already good in mid-January, the Valscura of the Sassongher had been skied a lot very early this season and it became very popular. We also went to ski it on a beautiful but warm day in March (the second time I sent that line, I’m not a big fan of that descent), the Valscura couloir is certainly among the most aesthetic in the Dolomites (they even talked about it on a Financial Time article couple years ago) but for us the skiing we found was not that good, if I have to be 100% honest that was the worst snow I skied in the whole season! To really enjoy a great skiing down there you have to be a bit lucky, sometimes pushing a little bit on the uphill (following the summer path or the longer tour around the mountain the does not change a lot from the safety side). Seizing the right moment surely helps.
I skied the Holzer couloir on Sass Pordoi many times this year, especially in those down days with bad weather and poor visibility, and I was able to follow its “life”. When it was drier, with the bottleneck at the top pretty much rocky and narrow and with a long abseil in the middle; then it improved but because of too many skiers and expecially the long side slippings of the ones I call “wannabies” the narrower and technical spots got drier and rocky again. Towards the end of the season, with a lot of new snow thanks to snow dumps happening one next to another, and some windy days, the conditions of the Holzer couloir improved to the point that the abseil in the middle was not necessairly anymore. It brought me back with my mind to the amazing winter season 2013-14…that was so much fun! Even the Val Lasties this year was in great shape throughout the whole season, so that you could enjoy the skiing back to the lift as well.
So, if you followed my Instagram feed you could easily say I had some big times on skis this last February and March, those special moments are on the pics you find down here in the gallery. The Valscura couloir, the Holzer with Sandrine and then with William and his family (and no rope!), some powder days and off-piste skiing around Arabba and the Sella Massif chasing the first tracks where nobody goes . Then a couple of days in Marmolada, one with bad weather but lucky enough to see our way down and have the whole glacier only for us; some adventures between Arabba and Corvara ski resorts with Filippo and friends… we had, I had a lot of fun.
I also uploaded some photos of ski touring around the Puez Natural Park, and others from a great day under the north face of Monte Pelmo, together with Graham and his family.
My next blogposts will be about the off-piste ski week I had in St Anton back in February and the Dolomites ski traverse (I did 4 trips this last season), one of the most amazing tour you can do around those beautiful jagged mountains. Stay tuned!