Author Archives: holimites

Colnago road bikes just arrived at the Holimites headquarters!

road bike hire dolomites

It’s not a secret that road cycling is the favorite sport of Holimites staff. Year after year, thanks to our great cycling tours on Dolomite roads, the number of guests pedaling with us through the Dolomites has grown exponentially.

The last summer season, we touched a point where we really had a tough time offering good and effective bike rental service to our guests. Local rental shops ran out of road bikes pretty fast – especially during weeks when events like the Maratona dles Dolomites are held. We really had to do somersaults in order to fulfill the demand by our guests.

So, last Fall we started making contact with different bike manufacturers. We were amazed that the first company that answered showing interest in partnering with us was one of the symbols of the Made in Italy bike brand. Yes, we’re talking about none other than COLNAGO!

Starting this summer you can rent this special Colnago CLX 3.0 with Ultegra 11v through Holimites. Don’t procrastinate if you need to rent a bike during busy periods like the Sellaronda Bikedays or the Maratona dles Dolomites! Get on the move and get in touch with us by filling out the following Colnago rental form.

road bike hire dolomites

The Colnago CLX 3.0 on icy ground

We needn’t state the obvious, but as soon this jewel checked-in, we took it out for a test run and what follows is Igor’s review:

I’m different! Or, it seems to me like I’m different. I’ve never been a big fan of carbon and I can’t simply understand all the carbon frame hype over the last years. Of course I’ve ridden many carbon frames: road bike, mountain bike and cyclo-cross. But as soon I can, I always switch back to my 15-year-old Scapin steel road bike. 

I was thrilled when we closed a deal with Colnago to supply their CLX 3.0 bikes to Holimites. And, because I’m a sucker for testing any kind of bike, I was antsy to put my butt on the saddle and try out this frame. A 1-km ride from my house at Ustaria Posta is all I need to tell whether I like a road bike or not. That’s where a series of 4 switchbacks will tell me whether I’m ‘controlling’ the bike or whether the bike wants to control me ;-) .

road bike hire dolomites

Riding the Passo delle Erbe in springtime is like to ride a roller coaster.

I already know that carbon frames usually perform differently downhill compared to steel or aluminum. But what I felt with the COLNAGO CLX 3.0 just amazed me! It felt so comfortable that, honestly, I couldn’t believe it was a carbon frame, and the handling was simply superb!

A few days later I opted for a long road bike ride on my favorite Passo delle Erbe route (view it on Strava). The Passo delle Erbe was still closed (I knew that, of course) and that meant I was the only one on the road. The UCI would have opted for the “Extreme Weather Protocol“ but those were the best conditions to test the road bike.

The bottom line is that this COLNAGO CLX 3.0 is really a great and comfortable ‘toy’ to ride up and down the Dolomite roads. And, I’m sure that every guest who will have the chance to rent it will be amazed at how comfortable this frame is.

Igor

road bike hire Dolomites

PS: If you’re a steel frame lover like me, check out and enjoy this video:

PPS: Oh, and if you’re a carbon frame aficionado, also take a look at the video above. But be aware, you might start falling in love with steel, too!

Road cycling Dolomites

Christmas day in the Dolomites

Our moms were not so happy about our plans on Christmas day this year. The usual routine on this day would be:
  • breakfast
  • going to church
  • back home for Christmas lunch
  • again back to church
  • end
The only statement that worked (again) this time was Fridtjof Jansen quote:

It is better to go skiing and think of God, than go to church and think of sport!

Oh well but we didn’t want to go skiing. We skied the last 3 weeks on perfect groomed and empty slopes of the Dolomiti Superski and Alta Badia area. Our plan was to do something very rare, something we are maybe not able to do anymore for at least the next 20 or more years.
We are talking about the classic Fanes-Sennes-Prags Nature Park loop with our Mountain Bikes. In fact the latest in the year we have been able to ride was on 18th December 1994 (21 years ago). Usually at this time of year you should just meet ski rando skiers in this area. But as we didn’t have any precipitations since October, Christmas was the perfect day to celebrate a mountain bike ride on this loop.

Snow?
The only snow pack we needed to go through was the one of a ski slope on our way down the valley before turning right in the beautiful but damn cold Rudo valley towards the Pederü hut. In fact this isn’t really the perfect season to go on a road or mountainbike ride in the Dolomites. In the sun the temperatures are cold but OK, but as soon you are in some places that are not touched by the sun since months you get temperatures like this:

-9.1 °C equals to 15,62 °F and this at 1,444 meters above sea level (4,737 feet)
In the 20 km long freezing conditions we didn’t feel anymore our fingers and toes. But we knew the more we would climb the warmer it would get (!?!?!?!) Strange to hear this? Well it’s now more than a month that we have temperature inversion in the Dolomites valleys. That means that down the valleys it’s colder than up higher.

Finally into the sun!

At 1,400 meters we needed 2 pair of gloves and at 2,000 meters none anymore.
Once we reached the highest point of the ride, we had to think back what we said & promised to our moms. Of course we starred at the amazing mountains thinking at mother nature and whoever made all of this possible. On the table our minimal Christmas lunch, a tasty tiny panettone sponsored by Franz that is not only a good road cyclist and mountainbiker (the only one that is able to steal all my Strava Cycling KOM’s) but also the junior patissier at the family pastry shop I dolci di Ricky. Side note … if you don’t stop by there during your holiday in the Dolomites you don’t know what you are missing.

Christmas lunch with a view
Cold? Not anymore above 2,000 meters. After more than an hour riding at -9,0°C the +3,4°C felt warm and it was a pleasure to stop and eat without freezing.
As soon our gourmet style lunch was over it was time to cycle through the Gran Fanes plains with all the best views you can get on the Dolomites.

Wanted to hitchhike, but it looks like that dog had the same idea before me.

Haha, Franz … show me how you outrun … ehmm ride … that dog!!!
Fanes Natural Park loop ride details:

How did the latest Holimites Trail Running tour come about?

Trail Running Dolomites Traverse by Holimites

Dolomites Trail Running Traverse by Holimites – Foto: ©PatitucciPhoto

With no real intention, we realized Holimites had been offering something new in trail running activities every 3 years.

Our first hut-to-hut trail running tour across the Dolomites was in 2007; this covered the traditional paths of the Alta Via 1. Trail running on the Alta Via 2 followed in 2010. In 2013, we asked clients which were their favorite runs and stops along the AV1 and AV2. What resulted is a tour that has become our absolute bestselling sports package: “The Best of Alta Via 1 and 2” for trail runners. It combines the most stunning locations of the Dolomite’s classic AV1 and 2.

The summer of 2016 will introduce Holimites’ newest trail running bonanza.

To create this latest tour, we took a novel approach by setting ourselves these 3 objectives:

1) It can’t be a carbon copy of one of the classic Dolomite Alta Vias and it has to avoid the same trails we already offer in other programs.
This time around we wanted to spice things up by creating our own, unique signature tour. Thanks to the multitude of trails that connect Dolomite mountain huts, it’s pretty easy to put together a beautiful itinerary like pieces of a big puzzle. Although we weren’t able to totally avoid stretches along trails offered on our other programs, we were able to limit this to just 8 km of the total 106 km…and those 8 are distributed throughout the stages. Not bad!

As we charted the route on paper, in-house we affectionately baptized the new traverse: “The Holimites Alta Via”.

2) It has to give the “Wow” effect.

Trail Running Dolomites Traverse by Holimites

©PatitucciPhoto

Of course, the Dolomites are famous for flaunting a plethora of breathtaking scenery and trails set amongst spectacular peaks. But, when pressed to choose, which highpoints are really “postcard perfect” and will last significantly in a trail runner’s recollection? Close your eyes and imagine you’re running through the first trail stage at the foot of the 3 Cime di Lavaredo. Your guide stops you and he or she points out the mountains that you will cover on your first 3 stages. The same thing will happen every day: you’ll get a sneak-peak of the next 3 stages in your scenic odyssey. “Wow”!

3) It has to have the best trails suited to running.
The Alta Vias 1 and 2 tours mirror the classic outdoor hiking route that, in certain spots, can be demanding to run on unless you’re a hardened vet like Kilian Jornet or Jenn Shelton (who was our trail running guest a few years ago). That’s why we designed the “Best of Alta Via 1 and 2″ program.

We wanted to push ourselves a little further on our newest tour. Hut-to-hut and stage-to-stage, we chose the trails that are most appropriate to trail running without compromising stunning panoramas of the Dolomite Mountains.  

That’s how the Trail Running Dolomites Traverse was born! (Between you and me, we won’t mind if you call it the Holimites Alta Via.) An extraordinary running adventure through the Dolomites, following dawn to dusk from East to West!

Anxious to know more? Dates and details are available on our website at the following link.

By the way…did you count how many times we repeated the number “three”? That means, if you’ve already strutted your stuff with us on two of our Dolomite trail running programs…as the old saying goes: All good things come in THREES!

Trail Running Dolomites Traverse by Holimites

Trail Running Dolomites Traverse by Holimites

In one day, how many Sellaronda loops are possible?

Pee with view

One thing that we have plenty at Holimites are ideas. We write up every one of them and actually this list is pretty long. But soon or later we may be able to share them with all of you like this one about the Sellaronda.

A common question that we get from guests coming to ski the Dolomites is:

“Is it possible to accomplish the Sellaronda in one day?”

The answer of course is always positive but we have gone beyond that asking ourselves …

“In one day, how many times are we able to ski and complete the Sellaronda?”

Sellaronda Passo PordoiWe investigated among all ski instructors that are every day on the slopes. But no-one ever tried it or knew someone that tried to do this. Someone told that 2 to 3 loops are possible, others, with some strange formulas and cut options on the course answered that 5 loops may be possible. 

Finally on March 28th 2015 the Holimites team gave an answer to this question that followed us already for some years.

In order to have a smooth ski ride we planned it in every detail as follows:

  • Sellaronda clockwise loop, without any doubt the fastest one
  • Spring days in off season, with longer daylight and where lifts are open until 4:45 PM and some important connection lifts until 5:00 PM
  • a Saturday, the day where slopes are half empty because it’s the day where guests depart and until the new ones arrive slopes are all for locals
  • choosing the most direct slope to get to valley. This is important … there is one area where if you follow the signs on the slopes you will take more lifts (skipass needs to be used)  than needed. We took the ‘signed’ slopes on our last Sella Ronda loop as we saw we had some spare time.

What we couldn’t plan was the weather. Mister Winter gifted us with a nice snowfall the days before, and cold temperatures and deep blue sky on the planned day. Skiing conditions where like in January.

But let’s go back to the question:  

“In one day, how many Sella Ronda loops are possible on skis?”

Sellaronda Passo SellaThe final answer is FOUR, and this with a reserve of 15 minutes on the lifts closure. A nice round number as four are also the Dolomites passes around the Sella massif: Campolongo, Pordoi, Sella and Gardena that are famous also for cycling during the summer.

Here some details for the ones that like numbers:

 

  • Start from: Corvara (Boè gondola)
  • Skis: Völkl RC rented at SkiTop Badia
  • Total lifts used: 40
  • Total length of used lifts: 65 km
  • Total distance on skis: 100,8 km
  • Altitude gain: 16.020 meters
  • Total time: 8h 04′
  • Time in movement: 7h 15′The difference between the total time and the time in movement are for physiological stops and some waiting time at the lifts (Arabba Portavescovo ropeway)
  • Maximal speed: 101,5 km/h
  • Pee stops: 3
  • Sunscreen factor: 30

We did some live tweeting during the day taking pictures and videos that you can scroll through here: 

All tweets of the day are available on this link or searching your timeline the hashtag we created for the day: #sellaronda1day that you may also use when you ski the Sellaronda

 

We recorded our Sellaronda ski trip on GPS and published it on Strava. Click on the image below to view all the details.

Sellaronda skiing Strava

And if someone of our guests would like to fill our to-do list with some new ideas just write us!

Last but not least … we have a video:

Curiosities: The Sellaronda (also called Sella Ronda) is without any doubt the most recognized ski circuit of the Dolomites. It is possible to ski it clockwise or counter clockwise and it runs around the Sella massif. Even if this symbolic massif of the Dolomites has the same characteristics of all other Dolomite massifs and has the same Dolomite mineral it is not among the mountains labeled by the UNESCO as World Heritage Site. Same fate for the nearby Sassolungo symbol of the Val Gardena / Gröden valley and the Tofana and Cristallo mountain group symbol of Cortina d’Ampezzo. Check out this page on Holimites.com to see on a map which mountains are recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Site.