The XXV1 International Snow Festival takes place in Dolomiti Superski this week.
Creation of imaginative sculptures begins tomorrow (13/01/16) in San Candido, in the Sextner Dolomiten region, and from the 18/01/16 in San Vigilio in Kronplatz. This year, over 30 artists are participating in teams coming from USA, Russia, Romania, Latvia, France, Netherlands, Mexico, and Italy, as well as Sud Tyrolean teams from the School of Stone Processing in Lasa, School for Sculptors in Innsbruck and from the Ortesei Art School.
The festival promises to be spectacular. The rules are simple:- Fresh snow is pressed into 3 x 3 x 3 metre blocks which are located in the main streetss and areas of the villages. A raffle is drawn to decide the blocks and each team then carves their design ideas into the snow using tools and nothing else but water which will of course quickly turn to ice in winter temperatures. The artists have just 3 days to complete their masterpieces after which time, tourists and local residents can vote for their favourite. The sculptures will be illuminated in the evenings creating amazing effects that differ from daylight views. The sculptures can be admired until mild weather melts them away and this will hopefully be some time in low winter temperatures.
San Candido, SEXTNER DOLOMITEN – snow sculpture building 13 Jan to 15 Jan 2016
San Vigilio, KRONPLATZ– snow sculpture building 18 Jan to 20 Jan 2016
These pictures are of previous year’s sculptures and we look forward to seeing 2016’s creations of this increasingly popular form of artwork. Our Chalet Hotel Diamant, Kronplatz, is within easy access of the San Vigilio festival and with fresh snow this week and more forecast, our guests will definitely be having fun!
Sculpture of skier
Sculptures in 2015 International Festival, Sud Tyrol
Visitors to the town of Brunico in the Italian Dolomites this December will be enchanted by the festive atmosphere of the annual Christmas market.
Over 35 market booths spread though the town centre present their beautiful displays of handmade crafts, gift items and other Christmas delights. Among the tasteful objects on sale are handmade Christmas tree decorations, wooden toys, leather and glass goods, ceramics, hand sculpted candles and much more. Also on sale are hot chestnuts, Sud Tyrolean delicacies and enticing confectionery.
Wonderful scents of pine, freshly baked pastries and cinnamon fill the air. Families can enjoy the children’s train ride or ice skating rink in front of the town hall. Musical performances take place in the streets under the town’s beautiful Christmas lights, including singers, Tyrolean brass bands or even Alpine horns.
Complete the feeling of Christmas spirit with a warm glass of mulled wine (or 2!), and perhaps, a few snowflakes!
Christmas lights in Brunico, Dolomites
Brunico Christmas market stall, Dolomites
Brunico Christmas Market stall – tree decorations
According to local folklore, a sweet lady called Frau Holle lives in a piece of paradise and when she shakes the bed sheets from the window, snow falls to the ground. Well Frau Holle can now take a break when she needs to, as these days almost 100% of Dolomiti Superski’s slopes have modern snowmaking systems. To reproduce realistic snowflakes, pure crystal-like water originating from mountain streams and free from any additives, is pumped into the air at very high pressure. As it falls in freezing conditions it is transformed into perfect snow.
Dolomiti Superski has 1200 km of slopes, 90% of which are to be found at an altitude between 1500 and 3269 metres. Every evening when guests are resting after a hectic day on the slopes, 300 snowcats begin their shift to prepare slopes with tender loving care and ensure that pistes are presented in the best possible condition. The task force team of machines smooth the slopes so they retain a good grip making it easy for you to show off your ski style, and careful preparation means that you are far less likely to lose control of your skis so the number of accidents between skiers is greatly reduced.
Regular systematic preparation of the slopes compacts the snow and protects the environment from the sharp edges of boards and skis which can otherwise do harm. The weight of the snowcats is distributed over a large area and it’s impact is actually less violent than that caused by hikers. Dolomiti Superski’s drivers are highly trained in their craft which is not as easy as it may seem. The result? Impeccable slopes each and every morning to welcome skiers.
What more could you wish for other than sweet Frau Holle will choose to shake her sheets all night and stop just in time for sunshine at first lift!
Visit Dolomitisuperski.com for full information on slopes, weather, webcams
Winter sales are now open for train tickets throughout Europe with special rates for Early Bird tickets. These are limited, book now for the best rates this winter.
Trains to the French Alps run from Paris to Bourg St. Maurice, just 30 minutes from our Chalet Hotel Les Melezes, Tignes, or Pére Marie, Villaroger, Paradiski, and prices start from just £38 return.
DOLOMITI SUPERSKI by train
Paris to Venice from just 35€ one way. Take the Thello sleeper train departing Paris daily and arrive the next morning in Venice. The service arriving on Sunday mornings fits with our transfer service to Albergo Frohsinn, Alta Badia or Chalet Hotel Diamant, Kronplatz.
Alternative rail routes to the Italian Dolomites include via the scenic Arlberg Pass from Switzerland, or by German rail to Innsbruck.
For really helpful information about rail travel throughout Europe, visit www.seat61.com
For booking trains from UK stations to anywhere in Europe, visit LOCO2. This site makes booking train connections unbelievably simple!
A Via Ferrata is a protected climbing route, the name means “iron road” in Italian. Modern Via Ferratas have a steel cable running along the route which is fixed to the rock every 3 to 10 metres. Climbers can secure themselves to the cable using via ferrata kit, limiting any fall, and use the cable as an aid to climbing. Other aids to climbing such as iron rungs, pegs, carved steps, ladders and bridges may be located on the course and allow potentially dangerous routes to be undertaken with less risk than unprotected scrambling or climbing and without the need for climbing ropes. Relatively inexperienced climbers can enjoy the dramatic positions and access difficult peaks that would otherwise be only accessible to serious mountaineers. Some equipment is required (climbing harness and via ferrata kit comprising of a energy absorbing lanyard with 2 carabiners, plus a helmet) and a good head for heights is essential.
This summer the area of Alta Badia in the Italian Dolomites are going all out to become one of Europe’s top areas for cycling holidays.
The tourist office have created graded routes both for road cyclists and for mountain bikers and increased the number of lifts that can carry cycles.
Road cyclists can take part this summer in a series of guided road bike tours arranged by the Touist Office of Alta Badia in collaboration with Dolomite Biking Guides for just 25€. One of these routes, Passo delle Erbe / Wurtzjoch Tour passes right by our own Chalet Hotel Diamant.
It is even possible to hire electric cycles locally if you need some help with the hilly terrain!
Chalet Hotel Diamant has indoor cycle storage (locked) and an area where you can work on your bike, as well as several bikes guests can hire.
This weekend Kronplatz hosts the Snow Volleyball World Tour for the third time. Courts have been marked out at the top of Concordia 2000, Plan de Corones, and over 200 participants will compete.
Snow Volley ball is volleyball on snow. It took off in Wagrain, Austria in 2008 and was acknowledged as an official sport by the Austrian Volleyball Association in 2011. The annual tour first took place in 2012 and has expanded each year. This winter, tour events have already taken place in Austria, Switzerland and the Czech Republic before visiting Kronplatz in Italy. The movement are working hard to achieve global recognition for this increasingly popular sport and are seeking venues to host an offical European Championship in 2016.
With the atmosphere of a beach party complete with deck-chairs, palm trees, hot tub and cheerleaders, Kronplatz looks set to have an entertaining weekend.
In the words of Skirama who are promoting the event sponsored by Amway – “Good mood guaranteed!”
Although fat bikes were first created over 5 years ago the sport recently seems to be catching on and has become the latest craze in the Dolomites. These bikes are similar to mountain bikes and have really wide tyres which provide great traction on surfaces such as snow and mud. The need for suspension is eliminated by extremely low tyre pressures.
Alta Badia are installing cycle carriage on virtually every lift that will be open this summer. This winter several single track routes were created near St Croce with cycle carriage on the chair lifts. The region will be hosting their first special fat bike day on 11th April 2015.
You can try this sport summer and winter and there are marked trails located just a short distance from Chalet Hotel Diamant.
We are waiting to see if it will catch on in Tignes.
See the fat bikes in action here >>>>>
Fat biking in snow
On Sunday 29th March four of Alta Badia’s popular mountain restaurants are hosting a special wine tasting. Sample Sud Tyrol’s excellent wines and ski to the next venue! Don’t forget to heed the tourist office’s advice – “Be careful when skiing”
Full details on Altabadia.org >>>>
Wine Ski Safari
Waking up to several inches of crisp white snow..what a rare treat for Sussex in the middle of March. But we’re not the only ones currently being blessed with copious amounts of beautiful Spring snow and if you’re thinking of heading out to the Dolomites for a last minute late season ski holiday you will NOT be disappointed! According to one source, over the coming week, they are expecting 39cm of fresh snow in Kronplatz and an impressive 53cm in Alta Badia, more than enough to guarantee maximum fun on the slopes.