Port Angeles, Washington
March 25, 2004
During the morning, we skied Lagazuoi. We started by taking a shuttle bus to Falzarego Pass at 2105 meters. Here we took an incredibly steep cable car up Lagazuoi Peak at 2778 meters. The weather was better than the day before, but still we only got teasing glimpses of the startling mountains around us.
We took a practice run down the back side of Lagazuoi, back to Falzarego Pass. Along the way, our guide stopped to show us a tunnel used during World War I. Lagazuoi also has an open air “museum” about wartime activity in the area.
After taking the cable car up again, we were ready to go down the longest continuous run in Alta Badia, approximately 9 km. This was a great run, with groomed runs for the intermediate skiers and plenty of off-piste for the experts. I had a great time watching some of them come down the steep powder. We met up about 2/3 of the way down at Scotoni Hut for a cappuccino and a schnapps. Fortified, we skied the rest of the way down to Alpina. At Alpina, skiers get the unique experience of being pulled the final ½ mile of flat terrain to the ending point at Armentarola. Of course, energetic types can always skate-ski the final stretch!
From Armentola, we took a series of lifts and ski runs to Moritzino Café in La Villa, famous for seafood at 6000 feet. Here I realized that it was our last lunch together before our group went separate way. As all travelers know, and I had temporarily forgotten, it is the people that you meet and not the place that stays in your memory the strongest.
I looked around the table at them. On one end of the table were our escorts – Sigrid and Antonia – who had taken such good care of us during the whole trip. Immediately around me were a pack of fun-loving outdoor women, who I loved to be around and who inspired me. On the far end were some more crazy characters – including the 180-degree-spastic-ski-pole-almost-skied-off-a-cliff-doesn’t-know-what-the-big-deal-is guy from California, and a lovable Texan who said things like “We’re off like a prom dress!” every time we went down a hill. Last, but certainly not least, scattered around were our new Italian friends: Simon and Stephan, the most beautiful and professional ski instructors around, and Christian, from the tourist board, with his oh-so-blue-look-into-your-soul-intensely eyes. I just have to say the Ladin men are truly special, and I won’t soon forget them.
Don’t you hate when a perfect vacation has to end? One more schnapps, a promise to myself to always remember these times, and off to the final run of the trip.
From journal Skiing and Pampering in Alta Badia