Ortler

 

Everyone has heard of the Haute Route, but the Ortler is more fun for my money.  Similar difficulty but better descents, Italian cuisine, private rooms, hot showers, less people, etc.  Located in the Sud Tyrol of Italia we start and finish in the village of Sulden.  This region was formerly part of Austria but after WWII it was ceded to Italy.  The nature of this tour is more up/down and less traversing.  Many of the peaks are around 3,800m so there are large glaciers and 1000m+ long runs.


Difficulty:  Difficult


Dates:    7 Days skiing


Geography:

Plenty of big mountain ambiance with large glaciers and peaks up to 3,800m. 


Huts:

The huts are some of the most comfortable and well run that you will ever see.  The food is fresh and healthy Italian (& Austrian) specialties and vegetarian exist options as well. Often there are private rooms for the group (as opposed to dorm style), hot showers, a full bar, etc.  The huts are situated at about 2600m, so there are few problems with altitude.  Pictured to the right is the Rifugio Branca.


The Skiing:

The tour starts with a big bump in vertical from the Sulden ski area.  After a morning of warm up runs at the ski area, we drop over the backside of the ski area and leave the fixed heel crowd behind.  From here on we earn our turns.  The biggest days are about 1,300m of climbing.  Last year, we had a nice mix of bagging summits in crampons and then back to our skis for great descents!


It’s important to know how to use ski crampons, make good kick turns, ski on glaciers, and travel light Euro-style.  There are multiple tour options so we are able to tailor the itinerary to the needs of the group.  If we get to the hut and people are still hungry for more vertical it's easy to tack on another tour while the rest of the group kicks back at the bar and watches the powder fly.


Itinerary:

Day 0    Arrive in Sulden and meet for dinner at hotel.  Meet & greet, any last minute questions.  Leave luggage at the hotel


Day 1    Ride the lifts at the Sulden ski area and ski off-piste until we drop off the backside.  After a long descent, we stop at the Zufallhutte

for lunch and a cappucino.  We put on the skins and climb a mellow track up to the very hospitable Marteller Hutte.


Day 2    We set off up the glacier towards Mt Cevedale and the Casati Rifugio where we make a (obligatory) stop for cappucino or soup.  Then we continue on to the Rifugio Branca via a couple of route options, which we’ll choose based on the best skiing options.


Day 3     The Branca gives us many peaks and large glaciers to choose from within close distance including Tresero & Matteo (~3,600m)


Day 4     Another day tour based out of the Branca (this hut’s so good it’s hard to leave) and finish it with beers out on the sundeck as we watch skiers come down the glacier.


Day 5     We head towards Cevedale via the Paquale/Cevedale col.  If conditions are good on Cevedale we can continue to the summit (3,800m) before the long run down on the wild glacier to the Rifugio Pizzini


Day 6     Above the hut lie many untracked sunny slopes of perfect corn with natural half-pipe features.  Or we can ski one of the North facing glaciers for some powder shots.  Either way we end up back at the Pizzini for a sauna


Day 7    All good things must come to an end, but not before we get another north facing 1,000m run back down to the village of Sulden to come full circle.


Day 8     Depart, or continue your travels through Italy


Gear:

A light day pack (30-40L) is all you need because the huts provide all your meals, and bedding.  The only thing extra is your toothbrush and a change of socks & underwear.  Click here for Gear List  


Group Size:

minimum 3 people, maximum 6 people  (if more than 6 we can add another guide)


Cost includes:

-7 days skiing

-2 nights lodging in Sulden with breakfast & dinner 

-Mechanical lifts

-Hut Lodging fees

-Hut Dinner & Breakfasts  

-All Guide fees and expenses


Program Cost Exclusions

-Rescue Insurance

-Travel to & from Galtur

-Drinks & Lunches in huts

-Personal Gear (we offer rentals of ice axe, harness, crampons, beacon, shovel, probe, packs)


Travel:

You can fly into Zurich, Milan, Venice or Innsbruck and reach Sulden via train and a short bus/taxi ride up to the village from the train station.


The swiss rail site is an excellent way to book train travel throughout Europe:

www.sbb.ch/en/