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Skiing the Marmolada Glacier and the Dolomites

Dolomites | Italy
5.00
5 REVIEWS
Trip Highlights

Top three reasons to go skiing in the Dolomites

  • Trip Highlight

    Marvel at some of the most spectacular wintry vistas

  • Trip Highlight

    Spend the nights in comfy huts and ski right out of your door

  • Trip Highlight

    The Dolomites’ versatile terrain provides numerous skiing opportunities

Situated in the northern Italian Alps, the Dolomites are a veritable backcountry skiing jewel in Europe’s winter sports crown. This mighty range is home to a plethora of incredible lines and couloirs covered with various types of snow ranging from fresh powder and breakable crust to crud and spring snow. Some of the more prominent areas include Alta Badia, the Sella Massif with Arabba at its foot, Cortina d’Ampezzo, and the Marmolada Glacier. The wide range of objectives will undoubtedly challenge even the more serious out-of-bounds skiers and satisfy their appetites. On top of that, you’ll rest and recover in charming huts located just a stone’s throw away from the backcountry terrain. With an experienced guide leading you through the wonderful Dolomites, this backcountry skiing adventure will be etched in your memory forever! Find out why the Dolomites are one of the best places for backcountry skiing in Europe from 57hours.

Season

December through April

Nearest city

Innsbruck, Austria, is 2.5 hours away from Alta Badia

Duration

5-8 days

Skill level

Intermediate to advanced

Itineraries

Choose how you spend your days

Hut-to-Hut Backcountry Skiing in the Dolomites

5 days

Prepare for the ultimate backcountry skiing adventure in the Dolomites! Tackle some of the best off-piste descents in the Sella Massif/Puez National park area and on the Marmolada Glacier—“Queen of the Dolomites”—and enjoy steep lines and couloirs here that have become the stuff of legends. Let your guide navigate you through this stunning mountainous region and re-energize in traditional huts. Discover the incredibly interesting culture and excellent cuisine in the Ladin valleys and come back home fully recharged!

Extended Hut-to-Hut Backcountry Skiing in the Dolomites

7 days

If five days are not enough for you, spend the whole week in the spectacular Dolomites and ski the most famous runs in the Sella Massif, Marmolada Glacier, and the Cortina d’Ampezzo area. The descents differ in vertical drop and you’re bound to find something that suits your needs. Recharge your batteries in huts scattered along the way and explore the culture and cuisine in these mountainous regions!

Hut-to-Hut Backcountry Skiing in the Dolomites’ Couloirs

8 days

Shred quality snow in the Dolomites’ backcountry and conquer various steep couloirs along the way. Ski some of the best runs and descents in the Alta Badia area, Arabba, the Marmolada Glacier, and the Sella Massif, and explore the terrain around Lagazuoi and Cortina d’Ampezzo where many opportunities await. Stay in cozy rifugios high in the Dolomites and savor the incredible cuisine in this winter wonderland.

Trip Highlights

Itinerary for (Extended) Backcountry Skiing in the Dolomites

Day 1: Arrive in Alta Badia

This thrilling backcountry skiing adventure begins in Alta Badia, where you’ll meet your professional UIAGM/IFMGA ski guide. You’ll have a quick trip briefing and equipment check, rent any equipment you might need, and pick up your Dolomiti Superski lift pass. Located in the upper part of the Val Badia in the Dolomites, Alta Badia sits between 1,400 and 2,700 m (4,593 ft – 8,858 ft) above sea level, making the skiing conditions optimal throughout the winter. The ski area boasts fast and comfortable lift connections as well as wide and well-groomed slopes (130 km / 81 miles).
Accommodation: Hotel in Alta Badia
Meals: Dinner

Alta Badia in the Dolomites

Day 2: Sella Massif

Kick off the second day by skiing some incredible off-piste descents in the Sella Massif/Puez National Park. Try out the moderate yet classic Val di Mezdi, a wonderful 4,560 foot downhill descent surrounded by dramatic vertical peaks or the more challenging Val Setus, a steep but wide couloir at the foot of Rifugio Pisciadu. Other less accessible but possible routes include Val Litres and Val Scura del Sassongher (Sassongher’s dark valley)—undoubtedly one of the hardest ascents and descents in the area!
Accommodation: Mountain hut
Meals: Breakfast and dinner

A backcountry skier shredding the snow in the Dolomites

Day 3: Marmolada Glacier

On the third day, you’ll visit Marmolada which boasts the highest peak of all the Dolomites reaching a height of 3,342 m / 10,965 ft and features the largest remaining glacier in the Dolomite Mountains. Tackle Antermoia, Bellunese Vecchia, Punta Penia, In Fra i Sass, Lydia, or the Forcella Marmolada (Marmolada Pass) itself!
Accommodation: Mountain hut
Meals: Breakfast and dinner

A backcountry skier in fresh powder

Day 4: More skiing on Marmolada

Today you’ll get an opportunity to ski Marmolada’s popular off-piste descents.
If you opt for the 5-day trip, in the afternoon you’ll ski to Alta Badia and reach your hotel.
If you choose the week-long adventure, you’ll take a private transfer to Cortina and check into your hotel.
Accommodation: Hotel in Alta Badia
Meals: Breakfast and dinner

A skier and beautiful scenery in the Dolomites

Day 5: Departure / Extension: Cortina d'Ampezzo

If you opt for a 5-day backcountry skiing safari, today is your last day. You’ll have your breakfast and depart on your own (private transfer available on request).
Meals: Breakfast

A skier ripping up slopes with his skills

If you opt for the extended version of this safari, you’ll head to the Cortina d’Ampezzo area and your guide will select the most suitable off-piste descents. Some of them are the challenging Faloria, Cortina “Sci 18,” or the very complicated Cristallo, Costabella. Explore the various couloirs in Tofane with vertical drops from 457 m / 1,500 ft to fantastic 1830 m / 6,000 ft!
Accommodation: Hotel in Cortina d’Ampezzo
Meals: Breakfast

Day 6: More skiing in Cortina d'Ampezzo

Enjoy another great day on some of Cortina’s most popular off-piste descents.
Accommodation: Hotel in Cortina d’Ampezzo
Meals: Breakfast

Backcountry skier in the Dolomites

Day 7: Departure

Your extended backcountry ski safari in the Dolomites has come to an end! Have your breakfast in the morning and depart on your own (private transfer available on request). Reminisce about the best descents you’ve experienced and you’ll come back for more!
Meals: Breakfast

Trip Highlights

Itinerary for Backcountry Skiing in the Dolomites’ Couloirs

Day 1: Arrive in Alta Badia

You’ll arrive in Alta Badia on your own (private transfer available on request) and check into your hotel. Located in the upper part of the Val Badia in the Dolomites, Alta Badia sits between 1,400 and 2,700 m (4,593 ft – 8,858 ft) above sea level, making the skiing conditions optimal throughout the winter. The ski area boasts fast and comfortable lift connections as well as wide and well-groomed slopes (130 km / 81 miles) allowing you to enjoy your skiing days.
Accommodation: Hotel in Alta Badia
Meals: Dinner

Corvara, Alta Badia

Day 2: Alta Badia

After your breakfast, you’ll meet your UIAGM/IFMGA professional ski guide for a trip briefing and equipment check and discuss options for your first day of skiing. After you gather your gear and purchase your ski pass, your skiing adventure can officially begin! Today is a warm up day so you’ll have plenty of time to ski the best descents the Alta Badia area has to offer.
Accommodation: Hotel in Alta Badia
Meals: Breakfast and dinner

A skier making turns in the Dolomites

Day 3: Arabba

Prepare for skiing at the Arabba Resort in the Livinallongo Valley and revel in the various off-piste descents. Set at the foot of the mighty Sella Massif (3,152 m / 10,341 ft), it is the highest in elevation of all of the Dolomites’ ski resorts. In the afternoon, you’ll ski towards the Marmolada Glacier for the night.
Accommodation: Mountain hut
Meals: Breakfast and dinner

Three backcountry skiers in the Dolomites

Day 4: Marmolada Glacier

Today you’ll visit Marmolada which boasts the highest peak in the Dolomites reaching a height of 3,342 m / 10,965 ft. It features the largest remaining glacier in the Dolomite Mountains. Here you can find some of the finest off-piste skiing experiences in the world.
Accommodation: Mountain hut
Meals: Breakfast and dinner

A skier and a tall mountain peak in the Dolomites

Day 5: The Sella Massif

On the fifth day, you’ll spend your day skiing some of the most incredible descents in the Dolomites Sella Group. Skiing options include a large choice of easily accessed couloirs and famous descents, which is why this massif is the ultimate gateway to extreme skiing in the Dolomites.
Accommodation: Mountain hut
Meals: Breakfast and dinner

 A backcountry skier making turns in the Dolomites

Day 6: More skiing on the Sella Massif

Today you’ll enjoy more skiing opportunities on the Sella Massif and shred quality powder in this beautiful region.
Accommodation: Mountain hut
Meals: Breakfast and dinner

Skier on a steep descent in the Dolomites

Day 7: Cortina d’Ampezzo

Today you’ll get a chance to explore the terrain surrounding Lagazuoi and Cortina d’Ampezzo, famed for its fascinating beauty, surrounding mountains, and hosting the 1956 Winter Olympics. There are many descents you can enjoy on the Cinque Torri, Lagazuoi, Tofana and Cristallo Massif, depending on snow and weather conditions. After you’re done skiing for the day, you’ll head back to Cortina d’Ampezzo with your guide and go to your hotel.
Accommodation: Hotel in Cortina d’Ampezzo
Meals: Breakfast

Skier enjoying skiing in the Dolomites

Day 8: Departure

After you finish your breakfast, say goodbye to Dolomites and head to the airport (private transfer is available on request). Reflect on your thrilling adventure as you leave Cortina d’Ampezzo!
Meals: Breakfast

Reviews

Reviews (5)

Andreana Petrova about Dolomite Mountains Guides on Facebook

Dolomite Mountains provided us with an all around amazing trip experience! From the start, they were quick to respond to messages, detailed in the information they provided, professional and courteous. Everything about the trip was amazing: the mountains, the accommodations, the detailed maps and instructions that were provided to us, and the last minute weather conditions updates (we were self-guided). THANK YOU all who made this trip possible for us!

Robert E. Sleet Jr. about Dolomite Mountains Guides on Facebook

Expert professional guides who truly care about their clients.

Kevin Doyle about Dolomite Mountains Guides on Facebook

I would just like to say a big thank you to Marco and Massimo who guided our group last week. They were thoroughly professional both from a safety point of view but also in ensuring that we all had a great holiday. We stayed in some great places and dined in some excellent restaurants. They are both rightly very proud of the Dolomite skiing area and their passion for the skiing and the history of the area came across with enthusiasm. They are both great company and have a great sense of humor.
I would recommend them without hesitation.
Thank you
Kevin Doyle

Jacob Williams about Dolomite Mountains Guides on Google Reviews

Amazing experience. The Dolomites are a special place. Using Dolomite Mountains really takes all of the legwork and uncertainty out of the trip so you can focus on having fun. Probably exchanged two or three emails and before I knew it I was all set to have the trip of a lifetime.

Samantha Calegan about Dolomite Mountains Guides on Google Reviews

Great service, excellent organization and communication. We had such a great and seamless experience using Dolomite Mountains. I will certainly be using this service in the future!

Things to know

Things to know

Covid measures in the Dolomites, Italy

57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.

We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in the Dolomites, Italy, please refer to Italy’s Ministry of Health Website and Italian National Tourist Board Website.

Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

What’s included?

What you get on your trip:

    • An experienced, certified ski guide with extensive knowledge of the area
    • 5, 7, or 8 days of backcountry skiing depending on your chosen itinerary
    • Trip briefing
    • Logistics and map of the area
    • Accommodation for the duration of the trip in 4-star hotels and mountain huts
    • All breakfasts
    • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
    • Dolomiti Superski Ski Pass during the trip
    • Safety equipment
    • Transportation during the trip
    • Luggage transfer

What’s not included:

    • Transportation before and after the trip
    • Airport transfers
    • Technical backcountry ski touring equipment
    • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary

How fit do I need to be?

To enjoy these backcountry skiing adventures in the Dolomites, you need to be in excellent physical shape. You will be on your feet for multiple hours a day for 4 or 6 days depending on your chosen itinerary, covering multiple miles of steep terrain every day. You will need to manage controlled descents in variable conditions. The largest vertical drop on these adventures is 1,500 m / 4,920 ft, and up to 1,800 m / 5,905 ft on the Extended Backcountry Skiing Safari adventure. All participants should feel comfortable on challenging blue or black-level resort runs and be able to carry a loaded daypack while skinning up variable degrees of terrain.

What if I’ve never backcountry skied before?

To participate in this tour, you need to have previous backcountry skiing experience. You will be skiing, touring, and summiting on glaciated terrain for multiple hours on end every day.

While there are some easier routes, you will also ski some of the hardest ascents and descents in the Dolomites wit If you’ve never backcountry skied before, we suggest joining a guide for a day of Backcountry Skiing & Avalanche Rescue in the Dolomites.

What equipment do I need to bring?

For technical backcountry ski touring gear, you will need to bring:

    • Alpine touring skis, telemark skis with bindings and skins (can be rented)
    • Touring boots with boot liners and poles (can be rented)
    • Technical socks
    • Ski crampons
    • Boot crampons
    • Climbing harness
    • Avalanche safety equipment (can be rented):
      • Digital, 3-antenna avalanche transceiver or beacon (with two sets of fresh batteries)
      • Lightweight snow shovel
      • Avalanche probe

For personal items, we recommend bringing:

    • Helmet
    • Sunglasses or ski goggles
    • Gloves and a warm hat
    • Liner gloves
    • Wide-brim hat or sun-cap
    • Wind and waterproof shell jacket with hood (Gore-Tex recommended)
    • Ski pants (Gore-Tex recommended)
    • Down jacket or vest
    • Synthetic or wool base layers, underwear and socks
    • Middle or insulation layers
    • Neck gaiter and roll-neck
    • Face mask or balaclava — optional
    • One triple-action locking carabiner or two conventional locking carabiners
    • Repair kit and Leatherman for your equipment (can be shared between several people)
    • Water bottle and 1L of water or a hydration system
    • Thermos with a warm beverage — optional
    • Food you can eat on-the-go
    • First aid kit
    • Sunscreen
    • Headlamp
    • Daypack large enough to carry all items listed (around a 25-30L backpack)
    • Camera — optional

Can I rent equipment?

All mandatory gear can be rented if you don’t have your own. You can rent:

    • Avalanche safety pack, including beacon, shovel and probe will be provided by your guide.
    • Alpine touring or telemark skis, touring boots, and poles can be rented from Sport Badia or are available on request from your guiding service.

Ski rental locations are in Corvara, Alta Badia, and should be picked up the night prior to your outing. If you need to rent gear, let us know and we can help make arrangements.

Group sizes and age requirements

Group sizes and pricing:

    • For the (Extended) Backcountry Ski Safari in the Dolomites, the usual client-to-guide ratio is 4:1. All prices are per person.
    • For Backcountry Skiing in the Dolomites’ Couloirs, the usual client-to-guide ratio is 5:1. All prices are per person.
    • It takes a minimum of 2 people for these private adventures to operate and the maximum number of participants is 12.
    • Costs per person decrease as the group grows for these private adventures, so it’s the perfect opportunity to ski with friends and family.

Ski touring in the Dolomites can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

Min. age requirements:

    • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
    • Minors may be permitted to join private tours on a case-by-case basis.

If your group has skiers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

Deposits and cancellations

Booking will be confirmed upon receipt of a 30% deposit. Payment of the balance is due no later than 90 days (3 months) before departure for Italy. For “last minute” bookings (trips booked 45 or fewer days before departure), full cost is due at the time of booking.

In case you need to cancel your trip, the following fees will apply:
– 91+ more days prior to departure: 20% loss of trip cost & 10% transfer to a future trip (within one calendar year)
– 46 to 90 days prior to departure: 100% loss of deposit
– 31 to 45 days prior to departure: 50% loss of full amount
– 30 days or less prior to departure: 100% loss of full amount
These charges are a percentage of the total cost of the booking. The days indicated are from the trip departure date. All cancellations must be made in writing.

Getting there and meeting location

To get to Alta Badia in the Dolomites, most people fly into Innsbruck Airport, Austria, about 2.5 hours away from Alta Badia or Venice-Treviso Airport and Venice Marco Polo Airport, Italy, both just under 3 hours away. From there, you can rent a car or take a bus.
The major airport is Milan Malpensa Airport, about 5 hours away from Alta Badia. From there, you can rent a car or take a train and bus.

Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet, whether that’s at the guide shop or a predetermined location. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ability of the group.

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Outdoor adventuring makes us fall in love with our planet and people, it gets our brains rewired differently and forces us to rethink our life priorities.

For years, we’ve dreamt of building a company that can make an impact on things that we deeply care about. Here are some initiatives we are grateful to be contributing to.

1% of our sales goes to environmental non-profits
We provide work to thousands of local guides worldwide
We operate on carbon neutral and renewable energy
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