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Ortler Ski Tour

Amy Rasic and Michael Silitch ski touring high in the Alps with the Dolomites behind them in the distance. They are approaching the summit of the Monte San Matteo while on a ski tour of the Ortler area of northern Italy

Approaching the summit of the Monte San Matteo, and looking out over the Dolomites while on a ski tour of the Ortler area of northern Italy.

THE ORTLER SKI TOUR

The Ortler range is in northern Italy nestled between the famous World Cup ski area Bormio on its west and the Dolomite mountain range to its east. Very close to the meeting point of the borders of Switzerland, Italy and Austria, the Ortler is a beautiful glaciated mountain range with many skiable summits. The pace of the trip isn’t as extreme as the Haute Route. There is some time to relax as well.  We’ll cover the range as a loop, staying in mountain huts. The huts are some of the nicest in the Alps, with showers, some private bed rooms, electricity, and excellent five course Italian dinners. As we circumnavigate the range, we’ll have the chance to ski up to the summit of quite a few peaks and take in the views, with the Swiss Bernina mountain range to our northwest and the Dolomites and Austrian Alps to our east.  We’ll stay at some of the huts for a few days allowing a more leisurely rhythm starting touring early, arriving at a summit, then skiing back down to the hut to lie out in the sun on deck chairs with a coffee or beer and discuss and compare our route with other guests who might have toured up other summits.  You’ll also have time for a shower, sauna, or nap before a five course Italian dinner.

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Looking up at the start of our ski tour from our hotel in Sulden. We’ll ride lifts to the top of the ridge and pop over the other side.

Day 0   Arrive in Sulden/Solda, ITALY. Meet in our hotel at 4 pm. Pick up rental gear if needed. Sulden can be reached by train and bus connections from Venice, Milan, Innsbruck or even Geneva or Zurich. For a longer trip, arrive in Geneva, ski in Chamonix a few days, then drive to Sulden

Day 1   We begin by riding the gondola, then chair lifts up to over 3100 meters. From the top of the ski area, at about 3250 meters, we ski down and have a quick climb over Madriccio Pass and enjoy a long descent down into the Marteller valley. We’ll plan for lunch or a coffee and apple strudel break at the Zufallhütte before we continue with about 300 meters of skinning up to the Marteller hut at 2610 meters. This hut and our starting point of Sulden, Italy are in the German speaking region of Northern Italy. It won’t be until the Branca hut where we’ll be in the Italian region!

The first descent from the ski area

The first descent off the back of the ski area!

Day 2   The goal today is to get to the Branca Hut. We’ll have a short descent from the Marteller hut and a longer climb, on skis, up the Cevedale glacier. We’ll have a chance to ski and climb to the summit on Monte Cevedale if weather and our strength cooperate! Then we’ll continue over one more pass between Cevedale and Pasquali before a long descent to the Branca hut.

Skinning up the Cevedale Glacier.

Skinning up the Cevedale Glacier.

Day 3   From the Branca hut, we’ll be surrounded by a cirque of beautiful summits. Our objective for the day will be either Pizzo Tresero at 3594 meters or Punta Matteo at 3678 meters. We’ll then have several options to ski all the way back to the Branca hut looking for the best snow of course.  We’ll have a nice relaxing afternoon as we spend another night at the Branca hut.

Michael Silitch holding his skis and poles up in celebration of being on the summit of the Monte San Matteo while on a ski tour of the Ortler area of northern Italy

The summit of the Monte San Matteo above the Branca Hut.

Day 4   Another day in this spectacular region will really allow us to enjoy our surrounding from the Glaicer surrounded Branca hut. We’ll skin up either Tresero or Matteo peaks, whichever we didn’t climb the day before.

Back to the Branca Hut after hiking and skiiing Tresero Peak.

Back to the Branca Hut after hiking and skiiing Tresero Peak.

Day 5   Today we’ll transition to the Pizzini Hut, which has the most famous coffee bar in the range, and a sauna! It’s an easier day, with options to skin up to a pass if we are feeling energetic or if there is good powder to ski!

Enjoying the afternoon at the Pizzini Hut.

Enjoying the afternoon at the Pizzini Hut.

Day 6   Normally we’ll climb to the back of the beautiful mountain basin we are nestled in up to the Colle Palle Rosa at 2279 meters. Then a nice downhill run back to the Pizzini hut.

Descending back down to the Pizzini Hut after a day tour to Colle Palle Rosa.

Descending back down to the Pizzini Hut after a day tour to Colle Palle Rosa.

Day 7   Today we’ll complete our loop with a long and rewarding skin up to the Casati Hut, where we’ll stop for a coffee and strudel. The up and over the Eisseepasse and down into the Sulden ski area.  Normally we’ll stay the night and leave the following morning, but it is possible to arrange a private shuttle and leave that night.

Last Day. Leaving the Pizzini Hut to head back to Sulden.

Last Day. Leaving the Pizzini Hut to head back to Sulden.

Some great turns on the way towards Sulden.

Some great turns on the way towards Sulden.

Price: 2500 US Dollars per skier with 6 skiers.

Inclusions:  two nights and demi-pension in Sulden, Italy, Hut lodging fees including set menu for dinner and breakfast, ski lift tickets leaving Sulden.

Exclusions: Rescue insurance, travel to and from Sulden, drinks and lunches.

Equipment List:

A  detailed description of equipment may be found on my “contact us” page:

http://high-alpine.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/EquipLists.pdf