Canazei: Great skiing, taken as red

A first look at the Canazei piste map can be a little daunting. A network of red runs with not a blue run in sight – the paste map doesn’t offer much help as there are no route numbers to guide you.

The make-up of the runs by popular consent is 20% blue, 80% red. But never fear, the majority of the reds – apart from the very tops – ride like long blues, wide and cruisy from the top of the ‘Canazei Bowl’ to the bottom.

It’s only a small ski area but has an impressive lift system and is also the gateway to the huge Sud Tirol ski area and the Sellaronda ski route.

The Bowl is dominated by the huge, towering peaks of the Sella mountain.

Access is by one of two modern lifts from the main town – no ski in, ski out there. The first, the main Pecol lift is right in the town.

You can walk there from pretty much anywhere in the town in 10 minutes, even in ski boots, but there are also – crowded – shuttle buses and most hotels run a minibus service at peak times.

One of the reds at the top of Corvara
One of the reds at the top of Corvara

Here there are two options – another gondola, the Toé lift, which rises into the main ski area but not to the top of the ridge above, or the Col dei Rossi cable car, which heads up onto the steep and windy ridge.

If you want to beat the crowds then stay on the ski bus to the new Alba-Col dei Rossi cable car – which has been about 30 years in the planning – that takes you straight to the top of the resort.

Canazei itself is a traditional Italian village home to many locals and where you are more likely to be in a half-board hotel than a self-catering chalet.

The cable cars can be busy first thing, not unusual as Canazei is a great place to take on the 30km-plus of the Sellaronda, a wonderful, circular ski route around the Sella mountain.

We went green – anticlockwise – which runs from the Belvedere peak at the top of the Bowl and down some great blues to Arraba.

From there, just keep going, run after great run and even a surprise black thrown in.

Canazei
Looking over the peaks above Canazei

If you want to ski in the early morning sun, then head over to the other side of the valley to the Val di Fassa, which will be bathed in sunlight for much of the day.

There are also more bars and cafes on this side to break up a day’s skiing.

A great place to finish the day before getting the lift down is is on the balcony at Bar Pecol, next to the gondola and cane car station.

The best way to reach the balcony is simply to ski on off the piste.

Canazei itself is a traditional Italian village home to many locals and where you are more likely to be in a half-board hotel than a self-catering chalet.

Apres ski generally runs from 4pm to 8pm. Best to start at La Montanara to warm-up with it’s pub feel and free crisps and bar snacks.

After that move over the road to the Rosen Garten, famed for its live music and buckets of popcorn before going all out at Apres Ski Paradis – a small converted barn where dancing in your ski boots is the norm.

Most people head back for dinner but if you want to stay out, best head for Kaiserkeller just below the main street from 9pm onwards, a dark but lively bar and large for a ski resort.

And, if you still have the energy, take the road out of town to Hexen, the town’s small nightclub.

We are staying at the Hotel Astoria at the bottom of the town. Like the other hotels we’ve stayed at in the Sud Tirol region, it is modern with a great spa and swimming pool.

For more information on Paul’s trip, please go to crystalski.co.ukwww.suedtirol.info/en or www.altabadia.org/en.

Leave a Comment