Ken Roberts - - Cross Country Skiing

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skate northeast Italy

[ see below also: comparison of northeast Italy skating with Seefeld - Leutasch ]

posted to rec.skiing.nordic 06apr4:

Subject: skate Italy! Asiago - Lavaze - Antholz - Anterselva

I recently got to ski at three different cross-country centers in northeast Italy:

  • Antholz (Anterselva) in Pustertal (Pusteria) -- biathlon center is a jewel of fun and pretty trails.

  • Campomulo at Gallio in Asiago -- Interesting trails, bigger skating network than Seefeld Austria.

  • Passo Lavaze near Val di Fiemme -- Pretty views and variety, snow-security together with trees.

More details on each further below.

For athletic skating I'd prefer at least the first two over Seefeld or Ramsau in Austria, and rank them close to the best places in France.

For selecting these places to visit, I thank beorn and others on r.s.n -- and talking with Ricardo and Laurent during a day of skiing at Correncon-en-Vercors near Grenoble.

I'm not eager to repeat this experience of trying to drive to XC centers in different areas. Unlike other reports by Americans skiing in Europe with 3-star hotels organized for a big race week, I spent hours driving curvy narrow mountain roads, and some nights sleeping in my car.

Details below -- and I've added some of beorn's comments from another recent r.s.n thread.


Antholz (Anterselva) in Hoch Pustertal

Antholz is a valley in Sudtirol, an area just south of Austria where lots of German is spoken (Anterselva is the Italian name). It would not have occurred to me to try this place for cross-country skiing if Ricardo had not been so enthusiastic.

  • fun biathlon center trail system with lots of rolling ups + downs and curves, also choice of flat skiing on a lake. - - high "density" of fun skiing.

  • pretty setting: surrounded by dramatic mountains, forest, open sections with old rural buildings, a lake.

  • other spectacular XC trails networks accessible by car nearby in the Hoch Pustertal (Alta Pusteria) region.

  • multi-sport in Hoch Pustertal: spectacular lift-served downhill skiing and high backcountry tours, and nice cycle-paths for springtime skating and bicycling.

  • biathlon trail system is not large, but . . .

  • connects with down-valley trails, like to Mezzo Anterselva which might be a good place for lodging

  • also connects with a long climb up to pretty pass on the border with Austria -- a climb which Ricardo (and Laurent?) has done, but not me.

  • Driving: straightforward driving and navigation from the Autostrada superhighway, but not quick.

Asiago: Campomulo in Gallio on the Asiago plateau

  • big network for skating; very big if include interconnections with Enego network.

  • lots of people from different backgrounds reported having fun at Campomulo - - the tour out to Rifugio Moline gets mentioned.

  • many fun rolling-curvy sections in the trail network, but also some sustained long hills - - actually the whole Asiago "plateau" seemed more hilly than flat.

  • I skated some gentler trails around Marcesina in the Enego trail network.

  • mix of forest and open fields, some nice exposed rocks near some trails.

  • Ortigara has some big views after the climbing, I recall Ricardo suggesting.

  • at least two other large trail networks on the Asiago plateau.

  • further south than lots of centers in Austria or northwest Italy, but also higher altitude than many.

  • Driving: I did not find any easy (few-tight-curves) or quick way to drive from an Autostrada superhighway up onto the Asiago plateau, and not always obvious how to find the XC ski centers up there.

beorn wrote:

Campomulo is one of the best places to ski, but it suffers from the shape of the mountain where it lies...this means in some circumstances you find very long climbs. I hope you tried the Marcesina (with a long tricky downhill and a section in one of the coldest italian valley!) and also the Fossetta, which pays you back all your efforts with an astonishing view from 1,900 meters.


in Asiago you can find several ski centers. My favourite for training is just out of the town, at the golf is where the world cup race is made, and it offers about 30kms of trails, both easy and very technical, according to what you like the most. Then, there is Gallio and Enego. But also Campolongo, on the border between Veneto and Trentino is nice! It connects to three other centers in Trentino, thus offering about 100kms of trails, and it's higher (~1,550 meters, like Campomulo) than Asiago.

Passo Lavaze at Val di Fiemme

  • pretty, big views of mountains, wide open spaces, also trees.

  • high altitude for snow security, but much more interesting variety than just skiing laps on a glacier like some "snow secure" places.

  • reasonably interesting trails, but some long unremitting climbs on the touring red trails out to or back from the "Malgas".

  • Driving: I did not find any easy (few-tight-curves) or quick way to drive from an Autostrada superhighway up to Passo Lavaze, and I didn't see any obvious signs for it even when I was near Cavalese in the valley.

beorn wrote:

that's another of my favourites! also: LavazŤ is just a ski center: there's nothing there but two hotels and ski-trails, if you then want to enjoy some life you need to go either to Trento or Bolzano, but for skiing it's very good. Asiago has, on the overall, more interesting trails than LavazŤ and Seefeld, it does not offer the same view as Seefeld (although it's not bad at all, esp when you climb above 1,700) and the town is much bigger than Seefeld. On the overall, it's the place where I like to ski the most (but also 'cause it's the closest for me)

see below also: comparison of northeast Italy skating with Seefeld - Leutasch

Seefeld - Leutasch in Austria

posted to rec.skiing.nordic 06mar24:

Subject: Seefeld - Leutasch in Austria

I had fun skiing a day at Seefeld and a day at neighboring Leutasch -- northwest from Innsbruck near the border with Germany. But it didn't strike me as the best place in Europe. I liked Leutasch better: more spectacular mountains in close view from the ski trails, quieter and more remote, more opportunities for more fun skating, much gentler. I liked that Seefeld - Leutasch is in reasonable driving range of other fun kinds of skiing (like one morning I drove south to the Stubai mountains for downhill and backcountry skiing), and valley non-skiing things (like walking around the city of Innsbruck).

Some German automobile club voted Seefeld the best for cross-country skiing. The only interpretation I can put on this result is: Most of those voters never skied the best places in France (or North America), and most of them like Classic more than Skating.

Maybe my judgment is just a result of my skiing prejudices: My idea of fun cross-country skiing trail design is up - down - up - down - up - down. Do a little work, get a little reward. The design of many European XC ski trails (including many of the Seefeld skating trails) is up - up - up, then down - down - down. For me that's too long a deferral of insufficient gratification.

For me La Feclaz near Chambery in France gets it right, for its rhythm of rolling ups and downs. Les Saisies shows how to have as much hill-climbing as Seefeld, but mix in more fun downhills along the way, and somehow make it all more interesting than Seefeld. Maybe I would have found this on the Classic trails at Seefeld -- or maybe it's Leutasch that's working on delivering the fun for skaters: I found a new trail there called Waldloipe which felt like a good start toward a higher level of fun.

I could not find out on the snow or on the map a Skating-permissible trail which connects Seefeld with Leutasch -- and that was not the only Skating disconnect in the five-village network.

Seefeld is a good place to ski in Austria, but the world is bigger than that.

Look forward to hearing from other skiers with more and different experiences around Seefeld -- and different preferences.



Subject: Re: Seefeld - Leutasch in Austria

Date: March 31, 2006

beorn wrote:

I keep on "defending" northern Italy: Veneto (Asiago)

Yes I'm just now getting to enjoy the excellent skating centers in Italy.

I just got to spend a day skating in Italy on the Asiago plateau, from the Campomulo start, a little north from the town of Gallio. Definitely more skating trails than the Seefeld - Leutasch networks. And more connected. I made sure to actually skated the interconnect trails between the Enego and Gallio networks -- to verify that they didn't have any "disconnects" for skating like between the different Seefeld villages.

I also found the trail designs of Gallio more interesting: more rollers and curves and dips. Though I did find some long unremitting climbs or downhills (notably on the two trails inter-connecting Enego and Gallio -- which most skaters would not need to use).

I did find the Asiago area kinda hilly. Leutasch seemed to have a lot more km in the flat-to-gentle range (but which I didn't find that interesting). And I suspect Leutasch comes out ahead on views of spectacular mountains.

The Asiago plateau also has (at least) two other large interconnected trail networks, each with at least two distinct access points. So for all I know, there might be three Asiago trail networks which each has more km of skating than all of the Seefeld - Leutasch villages combined.

Also I was talking to a German skier and he said that Seefeld is not very high in altitude -- so while Asiago may be further south, many of its trails (at least for Gallio) are higher in altitude than the Seefeld trails.

Then I had a rather fun morning skiing in Antholz (Anterselva) in the Sudtirol region of Italy -- the biathlon center has a very well-designed trail network. If the Seefeld villages want to move to the front rank of fun skating, they should send a delegation to Antholz and figure out now to copy that design into part of their trail network.


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