incredible amounts of ski terrain

The wide open slopes of the Marmolada.
(Click photos for larger view.)

This is a trip we have wanted to run for many years. The Dolomites are well known for the incredible rock climbing, but  those in the know are also well aware of the amazing ski opportunities.

Boasting one of the largest lift systems in the entire world, the Dolomites are a skiers paradise. With 450 lifts connecting many little villages throughout the region, the possibilities for lift assisted ski touring is mind boggling. With the aid of the Dolomiti Superski pass, we will have access to all of these lifts. This means we can use the lifts to access some of the amazing off piste runs and couloirs that the Dolomites are famous for. This was the area that Doug Coombs was exploring shortly before his tragic death in La Grave. Always one step ahead of the curve, Doug helped make famous the ski towns of Valdez, Alaska and La Grave, France. We intend to pick up the torch for the Dolomites, and continue exploring this incredible part of the world.

This trip will be unique among our European ski offerings in that we will offer a mix of lift assisted ski touring, coulior descents, steep skiing and traditional backcountry touring. We will base out of the small and charming village of Fornesighe from which we will have access to many different ski options each day. We will have transportation arranged each day to reach our chosen objective based on the current conditions and the groups energy and desires.

While we intend to make the itinerary flexible, the following are a few of the not to be missed experiences along the way:

 Sassolungo group as viewed from the Sella Ronda.

Sassolungo group as viewed from the Sella Ronda.

Sella Ronda – for our first day, we will circumnavigate the Sella group. This is typically done with the aid of a series of lifts. We use this as a warmup/shakedown day and to allow folks to overcome any lingering jetlag. We have several options for off piste descents along the way. Click here to see a map of this area with the Sella Ronda shown with arrows at the top.

Hole in the Rock Couloir – One of the most famous couloirs in all of the Dolomites, this moderate, yet spectacular descent is accessed via a short tour from the top of a ski lift. The descent actually goes through a tunnel or cave of sorts in a limestone cliff and continues down for 1000 meters before opening into a wide open fan at the bottom.

Val Mesdi – Accessed from the top of the Passo Pordoi lift, we will tour and descend into this spectacular valley and ski down into the village of Colfosco. From here we can utilize a series of lifts to get back.

Night in the Sennes Rifugio- A spectacular backcountry lodge will give us access to some amazing ski mountaineering objectives and will offer a memorable night in a high mountain hut.


There are many other ski options available and this is just a small sample of some highlights we plan to hit. Other objectives will be chosen based on snow and weather conditions during our trip.

We will base our week of ski exploration in the small town of Fornesighe. Settling in to the charming Bed and Breakfast Dormi Disna, we will be centrally located to access almost any region of the Dolomites as an easy day trip. This historic, remodeled building offers unique rooms and a relaxing sauna to ease the sore muscles at the end of the day. While the town of Fornesighe is not one of the major tourist meccas, we chose it for its more quiet, local flavor and easy access to a variety of great restaraunts.


Skills RequiredEvening in out Bed and Breakfast

On a trip like this to maximize your enjoyment, the most important skills are skiing skills. We would encourage folks  considering this trip to consider themselves expert skiers. In addition to some potential steep skiing options, it is not uncommon to encounter a wide range of snow conditions. It is important for skiers to be able to comfortably ski black runs at a ski area in any conditions. Further you must be able to perform survival turns (hop turns, stem christie etc.) down steeper terrain and in very difficult snow conditions. Skiers should have some touring experience and be comfortable using skins, performing kick turns and skiing with a small pack. We will have time to help you perfect these skills along the way. If you have any doubts or concerns about your abilities or skiing skills, please don’t hesitate to call and address them. We will gladly offer training advice or we can arrange for some pretrip training to insure your skills are up to speed before embarking on this trip of a lifetime.

Wide open corn slopes

Ski touring in Mondeval, a beautiful basin boasting no ski lifts whatsoever.

Much if this trip will take place off piste. With that in mind, we will cover avalanche rescue skills at the beginning of our week. All participants will be required to wear transcievers, and carry shovels and probes throughout the week. All of this equipment is avaialble from North Cascades Mountain Guides for the week at no charge.

NCMG highly recommends skiers purchase trip insurance through a reputable company such as Travelex, or AIG travelguard prior to the trip. This can be purchased directly from NCMG for this trip. Please let us know when you register if you would like to add this peace of mind. This will insure you receive a refund if you get injured, have a schedule conflict or for whatever reason, cannot make the trip. Click here to get a free quote for this trip
Dolomite Ski Touring Guiding Fees

  • March 28 – April 3rd, 2011
  • $2950 Per person
The Amazing Val Mesdi.

The Amazing Val Mesdi. This backcountry run is accessed via a short tour from the top of the lift above the Passo Pordoi.

Other info:


Program Cost Inclusions

  • Pick up and drop off from Venice at start and end of trip
  • 6 Nights lodging in Fornesighe
  • All ground transport during trip
  • Breakfasts during the trip
  • All lifts during trip
  • Use of avalanche transciever
  • 7 days of guided skiing with IFMGA certified guides.


Program Cost ExclusionsUIAGM pin

  • Travel to and from Venice, Italy
  • Rescue insurance
  • Drinks
  • Lunches and Dinners during the trip