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Is renting a car necessary/desirable to ski Cortina? From NY

New York
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Is renting a car necessary/desirable to ski Cortina? From NY

This will be my first time skiing in Cortina d'Ampezzo. I'm an expert skier and have skied in most areas in Europe, North America and in Japan. I'm choosing this area because of good snow reports. Apparently it's one of the few places with a lot of snow this year (I'm looking for powder).

I'll be flying in from New York by myself and prefer a convenient solution. Is it necessary or desirable to rent a car or is the local tranportation system efficient? Is parking an inconvenience? I am considering staying at the Hotel Majoni.

Also which ski areas should I go to and how do I get there with or without a car? Which areas should I avoid?

What are snow conditions like in the second week of March?

Thank you!

nottingham
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1. Re: Is renting a car necessary/desirable to ski Cortina? From NY

A car will make it easier for you to get around and make full use of your lift pass. Check out www.dolomitisuperski.com for full details of the area the pass covers. I was in the Dolomites a few weeks ago in Arabba and intended to go to Cortina but due to snow all the roads were shut, so couldn't get there. If you're staying in Cortina, then I believe you will want to travel around a bit as the local skiing may not keep you busy for a week. The Sella Ronda valleys (Arabba/Marmaloda, Alta Badia, Val Gardena and Val di Fassa) are a must and having a car will make this easier and more convenient for you although you can get their by using the public bus service. Having a car will also make the transfer from the airport a lot quicker. You will need to ensure you either have snow tyres on the car or carry snow chains.

However, if you want powder then I believe off piste skiing is only allowed with an official guide and offenders can have their pass confiscated by the Carabinieri who patrol the slopes. I think this is enforced more when the avalanche risk is high.

Regarding the snow, there was almost too much when I went this year. One metre fell in Arabba on the day I arrived and apparently they had had the most snow since 1951. The locals were sick of seeing the stuff apparently. It's also been very cold but I believe the temperatures are increasing now.

Last year I went the first week in March and although there was less snow and it was warmer than this year, it snowed heavily during the week and we had a couple of powder days.

A couple of useful links are below:

dolomiti.org/dengl/cortina/ci/inver5b.html

www.snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php…

If you want more local help or advice from an English speaking person then contact Simply Dolomiti who are based in Arabba but cover the whole area you are looking at.

Have a good time, it's a fantastic place.

Selva di Val...
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2. Re: Is renting a car necessary/desirable to ski Cortina? From NY

Hello Woofcyn

I think Andy said it all! A car will make the trip far easier - both on the journey to Cortina and for getting to other ski areas while you're there.

As you'll know, having skied Europe, the powder here is different to the stuff you get in North America, and Italians really aren't into off-piste. The Dolomites are beautiful and thoroughly worth sking, but because the the geography don't really lend themselves to off-piste. You tend to be on a piste, or heading over a cliff... And as Andy said, the Carabinieri are quite strict about these things.

Don't let that put you off though, you'll have a great time.

DD

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3. Re: Is renting a car necessary/desirable to ski Cortina? From NY

Thank you, Andy and DD! Very good advice. Let's see how difficult it will be to get a car with snow tyres or a sport vehicle.

Also better not to ski off-piste alone since I don't know the terrain...safety first! I'm excited to return to Europe to ski...I heard the cuisine is excellent...

BTW skiing in N. America isn't perfect: it's a trade-off between snow, terrain, crowds, convenience, cost, elegance (or lack thereof), and timing.

FF
Milan, Italy
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4. Re: Is renting a car necessary/desirable to ski Cortina? From NY

I beg to differ with previous posters on both counts --

1. a car is going to be mostly a nuisance. First of all traffic can be horrendous, besides traffic and parking within Cortina are impossible. Public transport via tran and/or bus is a good option, and there are ski shuttles up there.

2. there are many great, truly great off-piste possibilities in Dolomites for advanced skiers' delight, some very close to Cortina, and while it is certainly not advisable to ski them alone for obvious reasons, local mountain guides will be happy to take there, and their fees are not prohibitive.

FF
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5. Re: Is renting a car necessary/desirable to ski Cortina? From NY

Ah, I forgot -- while there is plenty of snow around here, it is definitely not what you call 'powder'.

New York
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6. Re: Is renting a car necessary/desirable to ski Cortina? From NY

What type of snow is it if not powder? Hard pack? Hopefully not ice. Where can I find a guide?

FF
Milan, Italy
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7. Re: Is renting a car necessary/desirable to ski Cortina? From NY

In the best case scenario, the snow you can find off-piste is what we call 'farina' i.e. wheat flour. There could be patches of hard, crusty snow and perhaps even some ice here and there -- conditions may change even every few metres! It's not that powder is unheard of around here -- I did find it at times, but defintiely not very often.

The Cortina mountain guide association has a website -- http://www.guidecortina.com

You can also google, there are many independent licensed guides who propose that kind of 'free ride' ski adventures.

New York
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8. Re: Is renting a car necessary/desirable to ski Cortina? From NY

FF, thank you very much for the information!

9. Re: Is renting a car necessary/desirable to ski Cortina? From NY

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