Return to the Faneshütte – Skiing the Dolemites

Lots of days like this!
Lots of days like this!

So – Sorry about the long pause in blogging. I know you both were dying for the next update – and to be honest, I got really busy with work in December and I’m just crawling out from under it. I have been out skiing quite a bit though, just not blogging.

Couple weeks back, I went back to the Faneshütte, a place I loved last year, with a buddy and a new friend of his. I was hoping to enjoy not only the great skiing the area has to offer, but the great food and luxury of the Faneshütte again as well.

Da Spot!
Da Spot!

I can always recommend this place. It’s well-run, super-clean and cozy, with amenities not usually found at “huts”. The food is some of the best you are likely to have in ANY restaurant, let alone at a high mountain hut. Honestly – its worth a trip just for the food and the sun deck. (which quite a few Italians do…Sundays)

This year, the snow was sparse. It was a hit to the thalamus to see the really low snow, and more importantly, all the BIG rocks sticking out all over some of the runs I took last year with my wife that were pure silk from top to bottom. Skiing is what you make it though, and my buddy Tobi, and our new pal Sepp made the best of it and enjoyed the bluebird weather on the first day out.

Toby - finding the snowy bits
Toby – finding the snowy bits

Bad news was – Toby was already getting hit by a nasty cold at the end of day one. He bailed mid-afternoon, and wouldn’t be seen again on skis. A real shame….but there’s no point in pushing if its no fun – and it was really cool of him to just wait out three whole days in a hotel while Sepp and I made some runs.

We had some mornings with thick fog – but for the most part, sunny skies. The snowpack was a downer though – thin, with many lines unskiable and most only slightly better than that. Top it off – things were very unstable, with three fairly hard-core rain crusts in the pack – each one with an accompanying layer of depth hoar building up near them. Sepp and I played it safe, and moved around like scared bunnies, only once going above 25 degrees, and not making a single summit in four days.

You can ski on fifteen degrees
You can ski on fifteen degrees

We went up the Zehnerspitze – kind of the big hit in the area, but all the way up we were skittish. I dug a pit on a representative slope, and what I saw didn’t give me warm fuzzies, but it didn’t set off alarms either. I agreed to tentatively move up the hill using proper safety protocols and keep our eyes peeled.

A big-gaint group of ten to twelve came down the front face we were going up. A real dick-move as they were right over us in the path. Everybody’s smiling though – and Sepp and I weren’t looking for trouble, so we waved and thanked our luck for so many volunteer stability testers and were just glad that it hadn’t gone.

On the way up we crossed their tracks, and we could see that at every single turn the members of their group had caused a fair amount of shear in the snowpack – and there were shooting cracks at every curve.

RED FLAG! Shooting cracks are a no-go and they make my mouth go dry when I see ’em….so I rounded up the posse and Seppi and I took careful, separate buttery turns that I totally didn’t enjoy back to a safe spot. Oh well.

Beer. Waaay better than sports drinks.
Beer. Waaay better than sports drinks.

There was food, red wine and espresso back at the hut – and there’s nothing wrong with that.

We had a lot of that – and despite the poor snow, and Tobi’s sickness – we’ll be back next year for sure to enjoy this great place!

Maybe we’ll see you there? Wanna break trail?

One thought on “Return to the Faneshütte – Skiing the Dolemites”

  1. Tx for the update. She and I were waiting on this. Congrats on your red/blue jacket it is for less teletubbyish.

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