Skiing in Val di Fassa

Val di Fassa ski areas offer about 120 km of piste skiing mostly between 1,320m and 2,485m, plus another 500km of skiing through the Sellaronda, and another 100km nearby in Tre Valli.

Val di Fassa Ski Area Overview

Val di Fassa is a relatively complex arrangement with five distinct ski areas above seven Fassa valley villages, partly connected by about 50 ski lifts and occasionally by bus, and further lift connections at one end to the neighbouring Tre Valli (Alpe Lusia and Passo San Pelligrino) ski area and to the Sella Ronda at the other.

The most convenient places to stay are Canazei (1460m), Campitello (1440m), Possa di Fassa (1320m), Vigo di Fassa (1390m) and Moena (1200m), Canazei and Campitello being the most popular. It’s easy to travel the length of the valley in under 30 minutes by car or taxi, but not by bus, and your access to the ski area and the way you enjoy it depends whereabouts in the valley you are staying.

Canazei and Campitello – Belvedere and Col Rodella

Although the local Belvedere ski area above Canazei is just 22km of mainly intermediate pistes between 1460m – 2423m, it is also connected by lift system to the Col Rodella ski area (17km) at Campitello and by a 1km shuttle bus to Alba giving access to another 32km Fassa Valley piste skiing.  But the main draw is the direct link to the Sella Ronda (see below).

From Canazei, a gondola takes skiers to Pecol and the wide open area beneath Belvedere (2423m) served by half a dozen more six ski lifts including the Pecol Col di Rossi cable car and a series of chairlifts leading to the Saas Pordoi cable car, the highest lift of the Val di Fassa region at 2950m.  At the top of Sass Pordoi there are splendid views and an off-piste ski route called the Val Mezdi from 2950m down to Passo Pordoi 2239m, and although there are no pisted descents, if you can’t ski off-piste it’s worth riding the cable car up and down to appreciate the unfolding views.

From Campitello – just 3km from Canazei – a cable car whisks skiers up the mountain to Col Rodella (2485m) and another 17km of intermediate skiing between Col Rodella and Passo Sella, served by 5 chair lifts and 2 surface lifts. Skiing here is directly under the gaze of the magnificent ‘Sasso Lungo’ in Alto Adige, acknowledged as one of the most beautiful peaks in the Dolomites. To get from Campitello to Sella Ronda and the greater area beyond, skiers should ski over to the Plan Frataces – Gherdecia gondola then connect onwards to Passo Pordoi.

Pozza di Fassa – Buffaure and Ciampac

Buffaure-Ciampac ski area is easily reached either by gondola from the village of Pozzo di Fassa (1320m) to Buffaure (2020m) or from the village of Alba (1500m), higher up the valley (near Canezai), where a cable car  leads to Ciampac (2100m). The Buffaure-Ciampac ski area (32km) between 1390m-2428m is served by a total of 11 ski lifts with a capacity of 16,000 riders per hour. The ski slopes here are mostly intermediate red runs (25km) but there’s also plenty of opportunity to ski off-piste on northwest facing slopes beneath Sella Brunech (2428m).

From the top of the Pozza-Buffaure gondola you can ski and ride a series of red runs and chairlifts between Buffaure and Ciampac, then ski the black run down to Alba and return to ski area by cable car. Ski the return journey from Ciampac back to Buffaure where you can ski the 6km long red run snaking down the Valle San Nicolo, with a typical outcrop of spiky red dolomite on the left side of the descent. On the final part of the descent, the steep Aloch run, illuminated for night skiing comes into view.

Vigo di Fassa – Ciampede and Carezza

From Vigo di Fassa (1390m), a cable car heads up the mountain to Ciampedie at 2,000m, the jumping off point for another 16km of mostly red (10 km) and blue (5km) pistes including a 4km long blue run down to Pera, a tiny village just outside Pozza di Fasso (1320m). Ciampede ski area includes 6 ski lifts with a capacity of 8,650 riders per hour, and because there is no link with bigger areas, queues are rarely an issue. Most of the pistes are in a compression in the lee of the Rosengarten chain of mountains, and as with most of the Val di Fassa, the surroundings are inspirational.

A regular bus service runs 9km from Vigo di Fassa to the Carezza ski area (35km) at the top of the Costalunga Pass, on the border between Trentino and the predominately German speaking province of Sud Tirol. Carezza ski area is mostly gentle blue and easy red runs between 1752 m – 2337m, but also includes a designated freeride zone for skiing off-piste to the left of the Monte Coronelle chairlift.  Carezza’s 11 ski lifts have a lift capacity of 14,000 riders per hour and because Carezza ski area is not connected to any other, it seldom suffers from lift queues. For night-time fun the ‘Christomanus’ run (1.2km) is illuminated.

Moena – Alpe Lusia Bellamonte and Passo San Pellegrino

Although strictly speaking not part of Val di Fassa, the neighbouring Tre Valli ski area (100km) and lifts system is clearly marked on the Val di Fassa ski map and offers 100km more piste skiing nearby.

The nearest ski area to Moena (1200m) is the small Alpe Lusia Bellamonte ski area (26km) with 5 ski lifts carrying up to 10,700 riders per hour.  Access to the ski area is by gondola from Ronchi (2-3km from Moena) to Le Cune (2380m). It’s mostly easy beginner skiing at the top of the lift system either side of Le Cune and between Lasté and Bellamonte, with intermediate red runs from Le Cune down to middle station at Valbona (1820m) and a single black run from Valbona down to the base station at Ronchi. It is possible, in good conditions, to ski on a track back from Ronchi to Moena.

There is a good ski bus service from Moena to the Ronchi and beyond to Passo San Pellegrino (15km south of Moena) where there’s 74km intermediate and beginner skiing on slopes at Passo San Pellegrino (1918m) and on Col Margherita (2513m) served by a dozen ski lifts carrying up to 24,840 riders per hours. Alpe Lusia ski lifts are not covered by the Fassa Valley ski lift pass so if you wish to ski both Val di Fassa and Passo San Pellegrino (Tre Valli), it is necessary to buy the Dolomiti Superski lift pass.

Val di Fassa and the Sellaronda 

The lifts and pistes connecting Col Rodella and Passo Pordoi in Val di Fassa form part of the Sellaronda circuit. This enables skiers staying in Val di Fassa to use the Sellaronda to ski over to Arabba-Marmolada, Val Gardena, and Alta Badia. This gives them access to one of the world’s largest lift-linked ski areas (about 500kms of ski slopes, divided into about 400 separate runs, accessed by over 200 ski lifts) , all covered by the Dolomiti Superski lift pass.

You can also spend a day simply going around the Sellaronda in either a clockwise (the ‘Orange route’, because of its orange signposts) or anti-clockwise (the ‘Green route’ with green signposts) direction.

Both circuits are about 40km long (of which approximately 25km is piste) and are well within the capability of most intermediate-level skiers. There are a few mandatory red runs however, so neither circuit is suitable for beginners or very nervous skiers. The Green Anti-Clockwise route is slightly easier than the Orange clockwise route but it does have more lifts.

Most skiers complete the Sella Ronda in under three and a half hours if they don’t stop. But with breaks, detours, refreshments and lift queues, it effectively takes up an entire day. Therefore you are strongly advised to start the circuit before 10am.

This is not a problem if you’re staying in Canazei and Campitello which are just beneath the Sellaronda circuits, but takes more planning if you are staying further away

Beginer Skiing in Val di Fassa

Val di Fassa ski area is suitable for beginners, but with only 24km of 122km designated blue for beginners and most of that at Carezza, beginners will need to progress quickly from blue to easy red runs to maximise their enjoyment of the ski area.

The inspirational beauty of the Dolomites coupled with the expertise of the Val di Fassa ski schools is a persuasive combination. There are 24 kms of blue runs available on the Val di Fassa lift pass, but most beginners’ progress quickly, and many of Val di Fassa’s well-groomed red pistes should be within their capability as the ski week unfolds.

There are several ski schools in Val di Fassa and careful consideration should be given to the choice of resort, ensuring that there is a ski school or ski school meeting place nearby. While each village has its merits, either the village of Vigo di Fassa or Pozza di Fassa would be a good choice. Both have excellent ski schools, and both areas tend to offer a quieter environment for learners, whereas Campitello and Canazei are much busier. Oddly, the area with most blue runs, Carezza (13 km), doesn’t have an adjacent village.

Beginner skiers are unlikely to need the more expensive Dolomiti Superski lift pass, as the Val di Fassa pass will provide more than enough skiing for beginners and early intermediates, with all of the resorts either linked by ski lifts or ski bus.

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Intermediate Skiing in Val di Fassa

Val di Fassa is especially well suited to intermediate skiers, with 84km of the 122km designated as red runs and more connected skiing nearby in Sellaronda and elsewhere in Dolomiti Superski region.

Canazei and Campitello lead the way with a combined tally of 35kms, and of course both of these resorts also link to the 42km Sellaronda tour, and the vast Dolomiti Superski region.

From Campitello, the Campitello-Col Rodela cable car deposits skiers and boarders at 2,485m, and directly from this high point there is a swathe of well groomed red runs served by seven chair and surface lifts, extending in one direction to the Sella Pass road, and to Pian Frataces in the other.

From Plan Frataces the lift system rises towards the pistes of Canazei. Take the Plan Frataces – Gherdecia chair to gain access to this area, which in turn connects to the Fodom lift out of the Val di Fassa over to Arabba. At this point it is important to know where you are and that you have the right lift pass, as the Val di Fassa lift pass isn’t valid in Arabba, or anywhere out of the Val di Fassa.

Remaining within the boundaries of the Val di Fassa lift pass, there are eight ski lifts on the Canazei side serving the open red runs with the backdrop of the towering Marmolada. Canzaei is the most popular resort in Val di Fassa and these runs can get very busy, especially at the end of the day as day skiers from the Sella Ronda and Dolomiti Superski return home.

The other connected area is Ciampac – Buffaure (25 km), and not being otherwise connected to the Sellaronda, it’s less busy than Canazei – Campitello. Given the openness of the pistes and uninterrupted views of stunning Dolomites scenery, this should be a ‘must do’ on any visit to Val di Fassa. The Alba base area at Ciampac is connected by shuttle bus to the Canazei base area, a journey of about 1 kilometre.

Starting from Pozza di Fassa, the gondola quickly lifts skiers and boarders to Buffaure, which incidentally is one of the most scenic ski school meeting places anywhere in the mountains. At Buffaure there are three chairlifts in the immediate area, with six marked runs. However, given the open nature of the well groomed piste, there are several route options available. The top lift is Col de Valvacin and from here you can ski to the Orsa Maggiopre lift which will carry you up to the Alba/Ciampac side. Should you be tempted to ski down to Alba, which is a charming village, be aware that the run into Alba is a 3km black. Otherwise stay at Ciampac and enjoy the sking and the almost unbelievable views.

The other three, smaller areas with intermediate pistes are Carezza (12 km), Vigo di Fassa/Ciampedie (10 km) and Marmolada (5km).  Marmolada has just two runs on the slope of the Marmolada glacier and enjoyable for a short morning or afternoon, and the lift is not far from the village of Alba, by skibus.

Carezza, at the top of Costalunga Pass, is overlooked by the beauty of the Rosengarten chain of mountains. Although it is a small area, there is a high ratio of mountain restaurants, and smart skiers will plan a morning here, working up an appetite for lunch before taking the ski bus in the afternoon to another area in the Val di Fassa, such as Vigo, the next village towards the valley. The red runs of Vigo are clustered around the Ciampedie area, located on the opposite side of the Rosengarten from Carezza.

Advanced & Expert Skiing in Val di Fassa

Of 122km of piste in Val di Fassa, just 11 km are designated black runs so there’s not much challenging on-piste skiing, but there are some opportunities to ski off-piste in Val di Fassa, including descents from the top of the Sass Pordoi cable car (2,950m), such as the Val Mezdí.

The black runs in neighbouring Arabba and Val Gardena, both easily reached through the Sellaronda, are well worth exploring.

The most famous off-piste itinerary in all the Dolomites also starts in Val di Fassa. Like many of the freeride runs, the Val Mezdí  starts off at the top of the Sass Pordoi cable car, then after a short climb, it cuts straight through the middle of the Gruppo del Sella, eventually emerging near Colfosco in Alta Badia. To ski it safely, you should engage an off-piste mountain guide.

Val di Fassa Boarding & Freestyle

Between Val di Fassa and Trevalli, there are four Snowparks for snowboard and freestyle fans, well equipped with jumps, rails, boarders and kickers.

Dolomiti Belvedere – Canazei 350m long 100m wide

The star of this park is the BigAirBag, a massie air-attress (17 x 11), perfect for cushioning jumps and ideal for practising and training in safety. In addition, there are parabolic curves, boxe and rails. The Dolomiti Belvedere Snowpark is easily accessible fro the cable car from Canazei.

Col Rodella – Capitello di Fassa 300m long 150m wide

Located between the Grohmann and Slei slopes, off the Col Rodella cablecar, this Snowpark is suitable for those taking their first steps in freestyle, with three kickers and fun boardercross course with parabolic curves

Lusia (TreValli) – 400m long 80m wide

Easily reached fro Moena, via the Ronchi-Le Cune gondola, the big feature here is a 400 long boardercross track (medium difficulty). It features four parabolic curves, followed by some woops, and another thee parabolic curves precede the final fun box.

San Pellegrino (TreValli) – 700m long 150m wide

Located on the San Pellegrino pass, at 2,000m., this is probably the best snowpark in either area. Access is by four person chairlift, and on arrival riders will find a slope style lane with jumps and rails, half pipes, kickers with routes for every levelof competence. Add to that music, refreshment areas and the sight of riders challenging each other to spectacular jumps.

Mountain Restaurants in Val di Fassa

Val di Fassa is in Italy, where some people argue that the choice of restaurant is as important as the choice of piste. Eating on the mountain in Val di Fassa is fun and includes generous helpings of pasta and local red wine at reasonable prices.

Across the Val di Fassa, there are an abundance of mountain refuges, usually built in a traditional, rustic style inside and out, adding to the pleasure of a lunchtime stop. Many of the refuges have guest bedrooms if lunch gets out of hand! Here are some suggestions to enjoy:

Mountain Restaurants in Canazei – Campitello 

Salei – self service and table service
No of beds: 20
Tel: + 39 335 7536315
Email: [email protected]

Valentini – table service
No of beds: 46
Tel: +39 0462 601183
Email: [email protected]

Friedrich August – table service
No of beds: 40
Tel: + 39 0462 764919
Email: [email protected]

Maria Sass Pordoi – self service
Tel: +39 0462 601178
Email: [email protected]

Baita Pradel – table service
Tel: + 39 3334250152

Mountain Restaurants in Alba – Ciampac 

Ciampac – table service and self-service
No of beds: 20
Tel: + 39 0462 600060
Email: [email protected]

Tobia del Giagher – table service
No of beds: 25
Tel: +39 0462 602385

Mountain Restaurants in Pozza di Fassa – Buffaure 

Baita Cruz – table service and self-service
No of beds: 21
Tel: + 39 0462 760354
Email: [email protected]

El Zedron – self-service
Tel: + 39 333 6676888

Malga Crocifisso – table service
Tel: + 39 0462 764260

Mountain Restaurants in Vigo di Fassa – Ciampedie 

Negritella – table service
No of beds: 15
Tel: + 39 335 6535126
Email: [email protected]

Bellavista – self service
Tel: + 39 0462 763200
Email: [email protected]

Baita Checco – table service
Tel: + 39 335 6563512
Email: [email protected]

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