Worldwide Ski ResortsItalyArabba

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Overview

Arabba is a small, attractive relatively underdeveloped village which is almost lost in the surrounding mountainscape. Access lifts into the Sella Ronda are handy and it very much more the destination for hard core skiers and boarders with some more challenging terrain available.

Profile

Arabba is a small, attractive relatively underdeveloped village which is almost lost in the surrounding mountainscape. Access lifts into the Sella Ronda are handy and it very much more the destination for hard core skiers and boarders with some more challenging terrain available. Slopes are high, snowsure and north facing, and the resort is one of the more convenient stopping off points for the Marmolada glacier.

Mountain Information

Just one resort of a multitude that make up the Sella Ronda ski area. Arabba has six lifts depart in two groups of three from the village making queues almost unheard of. A two stage gondola and a single span cable car head up to Porta Vescovo and access both the Marmolada glacier and the 26km (17 mile) Sella Ronda circuit heading clockwise via the Passo Pordoi. The third lift, a chair, reaches Portados at the top of the treeline. The runs back down to Arabba from this sector include some steep reds and blacks which contribute to the description of Arabba as Italy’s secret Argentiere. Above the village two chairs and a drag serve gentler wide sunny slopes protected by snow making. The chair to Bec de Roces accesses a run down to Passo Campolongo from where you can carry on to Alta Badia’s Corvara and San Cassiano on the anti-clockwise route around the Sella Ronda. For beginners the nursery slopes are right by the village and, thanks to snow making, high elevation and an overall good snow record, this area is normally open throughout the winter.

Intermediates inevitably have the most to enjoy throughout the Sella Ronda, with few areas in the world able to offer the wonderful sense of lift-served touring right over to Selva in Val Gardena and back so long as you ensure you start out early and don’t leave your return too late. Both this epic journey on skis and the Sella Ronda circuit all the way round can be completed in a day by a reasonable intermediate skier on blues (mostly) and a few reds. Even so, be warned that the queuing mid-season can be bad and sometimes the queues take nearly as long as the circuit. An interesting new route, the ‘Great War Tour’ takes in places in the area of significance to the Italian Resistance of World War One, including the beautiful natural gorge of Serrai. Apart from the huge choice of skiing lift linked around the Sella Ronda, the Dolomiti Superski Pass covers yet more skiing a short bus ride away, including the 80km (50 miles) of mixed terrain above neighbouring Alleghe.

Experts have some of the best skiing in the Dolomites in Arabba. The north facing Porta Vescovo runs have legendary snow conditions after a good fall, with a particularly challenging long black beneath the cable car. The World Cup run on the other side of the area down to La Villa is another on most good skiers’ ‘must do’ list and the trip over to Selva also gives access to the Val Gardena World Cup downhill if not closed off for training. The Marmolada glacier is another option (supplement payable), and off piste routes such as the famous Hidden Valley run from the top of Sella down Valmesdi to Colfosco is not for the faint hearted. If all that’s not enough there’s always the heli-skiing offered through the ski school.

Apres Ski

Accommodation is a mix of apparments, chalets and hotels. The 4 star Sport hotel comes highly recommended as does the newer 5 star Grifone, but one of the best options is the 3 star Porta Vescovo which has a pool. There are one or two decent one and two star hotels. Bars and restaurants are in short supply.

Resort Information • Arabba

Resort Height Resort Height 1602m
Top Station Top Station 2950m
Bottom Station Bottom Station 1602m
Vertical Descent Vertical Descent 1348m
Drag Lifts Drag Lifts 21
Chair Lifts Chair Lifts 10
High Capacity High Capacity 4
Opening Dates Opening Dates Dec - April
Rating Expert Rating Expert 6
Rating Intermediate Rating Intermediate 8
Rating Beginner Rating Beginner 6
Apres Ski Rating Apres Ski Rating 7
Snow Reliability Snow Reliability 8