I’ve always dreamed of going to the UNESCO World Heritage Dolomites in Italy. So, when my ski pass added the Dolomite Super Ski, I jumped at the chance to travel to Italy.
The Dolomite Super Ski sits in the northern Italian Alps. It’s the world’s largest ski destination, and it will will play host to the 2026 Winter Olympics. With 1200 kilometers of skiing, 450 ski lifts, 16 resorts, and 400 mountain huts and chalets serving beautiful food and drinks, what’s not to love?
Traveling abroad in the age of COVID-19 requires nerves of steel and every conceivable travel insurance available. The stress of staying healthy prior to and during the trip would stop most people in their tracks, but my ski buddies and I were excited to go on this trip of a lifetime.
Once on the ground in Italy, we drove to the beautiful village of Ortisei, in Val Gardena, known for a tradition of woodcarving dating back to the early 17th century. The brightly painted wood buildings and cobblestone streets, set below the large massif of the Sassolungo mountains, looked like a scene from a movie.
Skiing in Val Gardena is one of the most spectacular locations I’ve ever been. The miles and miles of perfectly groomed ski runs weave around the mountains, providing jaw-dropping views at every turn. Over the course of five days of skiing, we racked up 51,000 feet of vert (a common measuring stick for how much skiing you can do in a day), and 65 miles of downhill skiing (there were tons of three-mile-long runs).
Once our legs needed a rest, we were treated to any number of mountain huts and chalets each providing a different experience, ranging from rustic to elegant. We created a fun rating system based on the view, the food, and where the bathrooms were located. The Italian flair for using slate and tile is stunning in the hotels, but deadly when used on stairs leading down two flights while wearing ski boots.
The food in Italy is without saying, spectacular. Knowing that every meal was going to be special, it allowed us to try regional specialty dishes with confidence. One of my favorite meals was a squid ink crust pizza, with mozzarella cheese and sun-dried tomatoes.
Now back home, like with all trips, it does feel like a dream that I keep re-living. The Dolomite Super Ski far exceeded my expectations for skiing in the Italian Alps. I feel very fortunate that I was able to make this experience a reality. I highly recommend the Dolomites as a destination to any skier passionate about living life to the fullest!
Prepping for any trip involving a high level of activity requires specific training. Focus on the areas of your body where you there is going to be high levels of repetition, while also strengthening your supporting muscles. As an example: for skiing, concentrate on your legs and core; for kayaking, shoulders and core; and backpacking, legs, shoulders, and core. You’ll find specific exercises that will help you prep below. If you’re interested in optimizing your performance, why not work with a PJCC Personal Trainer who can help you get where you want to go!
The key elements to prepping for a ski trip are:
The key elements to prepping for a backpacking trip are:
Wishing you a happy, healthy vacation full of adventure and wellness!