David and Camilla went to Toblach – Dobbiaco at the end of February.
Despite the earthquake the night before we flew, we had an easy journey and even got a train earlier than anticipated from Innsbruck.
It had been very warm so we thought that skiing would be replaced by walking but we were informed in the Information centre that all the tracks on the South side of the valley (I.e. Not facing the sun) were open and in pretty good condition.
As it was sunny and warm we set off early on the track up towards Cortina. We made good time to the cafe with a view of the ‘Three Chimneys’ so after a few photos continued up. The going was so easy that we made it all the way to Cimabanche where we had lunch. We then skied back down. The total distance was 35 km. This was a much better first day than we had anticipated. The views on the way up were magnificent.
Today, the weather was to be less sunny and cooler. Some rain was forecast but did not happen, at least where we were. We decided to catch a bus to Sesto and investigate the tracks there. We were a bit later staring skiing due to some time spent searching for the correct bus stop! We took a track up the valley from Sesto and ended up, after a gentle but steady climb, in a bowl surrounded by mountains. We then skied back down, mostly on the track we had come up on, as the alternative did not look in good condition. The track deteriorated as we came down the valley so we stopped a bit sooner than originally intended and caught the bus back. We had skied 16 km so had done pretty well!
Today was again sunny. We caught a bus to Ferrara from where we hoped to ski up to Lago Di Braies. We started on a recently posted track only for the piste to run out. The track had deteriorated sufficiently for us to decide to walk. We continued up the valley, mostly walking but occasionally skiing, sometimes on the road and sometimes on the unlisted but clear track. The views were superb and we particularly liked the little church at S. Vito. We managed to ski the last bit leading to the lake.
The lake is clearly a very popular beauty spot and there were lots of people walking on it and one skater. We decided to take the path going round the lake ( we left our skis at the restaurant). This gave us beautiful views and a bit of an adventure as part of the path (there were warnings) was quite tricky particularly just after the icefall in the above photo.
Today we took buses up to Prato Piazza. As this is at about 2000 metres the tracks were in good condition. We skied the 6.3km once, had an apple strudel and cappuccino, and then skied round again. As the photos show it was very beautiful!
We had decided to walk today. We first thought we would do a guided walk organised by the local hotels but it turned out that that was happening the next day. We decided instead to do a circular walk based on Dobbiaco. The walk was on the North side of the valley, so not where we had skied. We were told that it was well signposted. We enjoyed the walk which passed some pretty churches, mostly very small, and had good views of the mountains. Not many photos were taken as it was misty. The good signposts, however, were not good enough for us, particularly as the map was a little vague in parts. This resulted in us having a rather long and snowy extension as we took a route in the wrong direction after lunch. We realised fairly soon that this was the case but decided to carry on as we could see an alternative route this way. This went quite high and was a bit trickier than we had thought as the wide track became a narrow snowy path. With the help of our yak tracks we made it!
Today was our last day and we decided to ski up towards Cortina but taking, where sensible, different options from our first day and doing some side loops. Nor did we intend to go so far. Overnight there had been a little snow and the clouds were right down first thing. By the time we set out the mountains had cleared. The skiing in the morning was excellent and the views were lovely. We stopped at the Three Chimneys cafe for a cappuccino and a walk to a viewpoint. We then skied up to the Lago di Landro where we had lunch. After a loop we skied back down to Dobbiaco. The skiing down was fairly good but the snow was becoming slushy. Fortunately there were no bare patches as yet. 27km and a good last day.