Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Pizolada 2013, the race

On 14th April 2013 a beautiful spring day, surrounded by the white snow covered Dolomite peaks of Val di Fassa, the 37th edition of the ski mountaineering race “Pizolada delle dolomiti” took place.

The 400 participants, grouped in 3 different categories, kicked off at 8:15 by the base station of Col Margherita cable car: among them was even a group of athletes from Catalunia Spain.

We challenged ourselves in the non-professional athletes category. Featuring a 1045m climb split in two uphill sections it is still not a challenge to be taken lightly. Setting our goals high for this year, we really just aimed to complete the race in one piece. At least this way we would not feel too bad if we finished last and it sets the challenge for next year!

Once the race started we quickly realised that we had no chance of finishing in the top… …20. They all took off the start line like a herd of dears chased by hungry wolves!

Giving up on that idea we set off at a decent pace, using others in our category as pace setters. The long and twisted first section, just over 4km long, took us from 1878m above sea level on a 650m uphill climb.

Our strategy quickly proved wrong:  following other more experienced racers sounds like a good idea in theory, using their experience to set our pace. We found out the hard way this only works if have very similar pace, otherwise it is a struggle all the way.

Strategy number two: do not look ahead, just concentrate on your own performance. At this point we were half way up the mountain tired and still had not found our own rhythm yet: time for a drink! It is amazing what those energy drinks can do for you, they really do work wonders!

At the summit we were welcomed by a wide choice of food and drinks all served by very friendly support staff. Shame we did not stop long enough to enjoy the view from up there, luckily the GoPro was recording ;-)

Time to take the skin off the skies, lock the boots, wind-proof jacket on, and off we went downhill like the wind. It is amazing how quickly you cover the ground that made you sweat so much uphill! The reward is always worth it.

In less than 5 minutes we arrived at the start of the second and final uphill section, another 395m climb. Second time lucky full of fresh energy, with the chocolate and warm tea in the blood stream, we set off on our final ascent. As we did that, we spotted the first professionals skiing down their third and final descent of the day, amazing!!

Back to the real world: 44 minutes of steady climbing took us to the second and last summit of the day. By this time the sun was high up in a beautiful blue spring sky. Very tempting to spend the rest of the day sunbathing up there…

From that point, the rest is history: descent down the black run to the finish line where we were greeted by friends and family and more importantly by a big cold drink!

Summary for the day: the winner of the first category completed the race (16.42km, 1725m climb) in just over 1hr30. In the non-professional group, the best time was 1hr15…

…we did it in over two, 2hrs30 to be precise! But we did it and have our time to beat for next year.

What more to say: it has been a great experience, fantastic atmosphere, excellent organization. We will certainly to it again next year!

One last thing: team Sky Bradley Wiggins, winner of last year’s Tour de France, showed up too! He is in the area training for the tour of Italy and decided to stop by for a break. Shame we did not manage to take any photos with him! Anyway, good luck to Bradley for this coming May.

Areal view of the race course

Altitude profile


Friday, 12 April 2013

Pizolada Delle Dolomiti 2013

Sunday the 14th April 2013.

The 37th edition of the Pizolada Delle Dolomiti, a classic Italian ski mountaineering event is taking place on the snowy peaks of the Val di Fassa and San Pellegrino pass.
The race will feature two categories: 

  • the first one at 16.42km long and with 1725m climbing, qualifies as an International test for the world cup “Certified Race ISMF” (Italian National Mountaineer Skiing team will also be participating)
  • the second one at 12.4km long and with 1045m climb is aimed at hobbyists and non-professional participants but is a good challenge for all.

The start is scheduled for 8:15am, and the weather forecast for Sunday is set for sunny with perfect snow conditions.

The main sponsors for this year's edition are Scarpa, a leading brand in mountaineering equipment and foot-wear.

In our debut year on this exhilarating sport, we decided to take part in the event too!!
We'll post a full race review and hopefully some footage for you all to enjoy as well as some footage from the last couple of months preparation. 

It should be good fun... 

Saturday, 20 October 2012

New home of

Here it is: refreshed website, new look, more links and a lot more interactive. Let us know what you think of it!

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

First snow of the season

Yesterday's rain during the night turned into snow, and this is the result: 10cm of beautiful fresh white coat! Let's hope it is a good start to the 2012/13 winter season!

Friday, 16 December 2011

Men European Cup, slalom, Pozza di Fassa.

Stefano Gross, local skiing hero, misses the podium position by only 0.07 of a second during yesterday's night slalom race on the Aloch.


Wednesday, 7 December 2011


First day on the slopes: a bit of a strange scenery but lovely snow! :-))

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Festival of St. Nicolo'

One of the major events in town is back: St Nicolo', Patron Saint of Pozza, personally visited us once more in the village with some nasty "devils" (called Krampus) following him. He brought gifts of fruit and chocolate to all the children of Pozza, who had gathered in town to celebrate him after having lunch and Mass together. 
The Krampus were really scary and…very smelly too. Also many adults are frightened of them, as they play nasty tricks on anyone they come across!!

web album