Tag Archives: dolomites

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.

Fat Bike Dolomites Tour – big is beautiful

150109_fatbike_15The chorus of an old Queen hit says, “Fat bottomed girls, you make the rocking world go round” and we could change it hands down into “Fat wheeled bikes, you make the rocking world go round”.

Pedaling, sliding and skidding on the snow is really not something new in Italy. Back in 2010, the Italian kids’ news forum, GTRagazzi had filmed a TV report on this odd winter sport with precisely one of the Holimites tour operator founders as its “leading star”:




Actually, some of our valley folk started two-wheel descents along snowy slopes to train and improve their riding skills for the summer mountainbike season even earlier – in 2000!

Back then only expert mountainbike riders could meet that kind of challenge but, thanks to the fairly recent arrival of “fatties” on the scene, many more of you can now join in on the fun: these “large frame ladies” simply float over deep snow and make pedaling a pure pleasure.

Our “Holimites boys” – true two-wheeled fanatics – recently took these “big bottomed babes” on a few rides and because they had so much fun – like kids at a playground (see the link at the end of the page to believe it) – they felt they just had to share the experience with others.

Starting this winter, you can sign up for a weekly Fat Bike Ride with Holimites, taking the lifts uphill and riding down beautiful snow-covered trails on a fatty. Outings are organized each Tuesday, but can be arranged on other days upon request.

Download the detailed program from this link.

Also take a look at the pictures and videos taken during our Fat Bike day at the playground … I mean, on the trails in Alta Badia!

Fat Bike Dolomites Fat Bike Dolomites Fat Bike Dolomites

Win an entry to the Maratona dles Dolomites-Enel with the Dolomites Cycling Weeks

All cycling guests taking part at our Dolomites Cycling Weeks have a chance to win an entry at the famous Maratona dles Dolomites-Enel.

Here are the details how it works:

  • Every week 1 man and 1 female can win a participation (choice between the 2014 and 2015 edition) at the Maratona dles Dolomites-Enel 
  • In order to be selected as a lucky winner participants at the Dolomites Cycling Weeks need to use a GPS device (also available for rental) and upload their rides on STRAVA. It is also possible to use the STRAVA app for mobile phones. The Holimites guides will be available to help you set your GPS devices and explain how the uploading of the tracks on STRAVA works.
  • At the end of the week , out of all cyclists that uploaded their rides during the Dolomites Cycling Weeks, a lucky male and female cyclist will be drawn and win the Maratona dles Dolomites-Enel entry. 

During each week special and funny classifications will be set up and winners rewarded with typical local products.

All participants will also receive a special gift for their participation on the basis of the total meters climbed during the week:
GOLD: those who have accumulated more than 9,001 vertical meters
SILVER: from 6,001 to 9,000 meters in altitude
BRONZE: up to 6,000

Last but not least!
All participants at the Dolomites Cycling Weeks that redeem their vouchers for the guided day trips (4 vouchers), for the energy bars (4 vouchers), for the GPS device rental (1 voucher), or for the purchase of the all-inclusive package (3 vouchers), will also participate in the big final draw where they may win again 2 entries (1 male and 1 female) for the 2015 edition of the Maratona dles Dolomites-Enel.

Holimites honored by OUTSIDE Travel Awards 2014

Outside Travel Awards LogoBADIA, Dolomites (March 4, 2014) – OUTSIDE, America’s leading active lifestyle brand, has selected HOLIMITES as an honoree of their annual Travel Awards, which celebrate the top destinations, companies, products, and travel providers—in the U.S. and around the world—that inspire people to participate in an active lifestyle. HOLIMITES was honored as BEST TRAIL RUNNING. The entire list of honorees appear in OUTSIDE’s April issue (on newsstands March 18), and online at www.outsideonline.com/travelawards.

This year, OUTSIDE tapped its global network of correspondents, who traveled across America, to Belize, Switzerland, Italy, and beyond, identifying the best new adventures, stunning lakes, gorgeous new lodges and hotels, family vacations, secret getaways, high-tech airports, and foodie hotspots. The result is more than 50 spectacular trips, plus the best travel apps, tour guides, gear, tips for traveling green, and advice for traveling solo.

“Since we founded HOLIMITES in year 2000 our goal is always to make the holiday in the Dolomites for all our guests unforgettable. The OUTSIDE Travel Award honoree is for the whole HOLIMITES team, starting from our guides to the office staff, one of the best rewards we ever received and we are looking forward to greet all new guests in the Dolomites”
said HOLIMITES CEO Igor Tavella

“Whether you’re looking to go big for an expedition, splurge on a luxurious paradise, or plan an epic family trip, OUTSIDE has unearthed fifty travel gems that will inspire you to renew that passport,”
said OUTSIDE Editor Chris Keyes.

Detailed information about HOLIMITES is available on the company website at www.holimites.com 

About OUTSIDE: OUTSIDE is America’s leading active lifestyle brand. Since 1977, OUTSIDE has covered travel, sports, adventure, health, and fitness, as well as the personalities, the environment, and the style and culture of the world Outside. The OUTSIDE family includes OUTSIDE magazine, the only magazine to win three consecutive National Magazine Awards for General Excellence, The Outside Buyer’s Guides, Outside Online, Outside Television, Outside Events, Outside+ tablet edition, Outside Books, and now Outside GO, a revolutionary, 21st-century adventure-travel company. 

Outside Travel Awards Issue Cover