I am by no means an expert or even an intermediate skier, but that didn’t stop Steve from suggesting we go skiing at a resort called Val Gardena in the Dolomites-a mountain range in Northern Italy that form part of the Southern Limestone Alps. They would be, by far, the tallest mountains I’ve ever gone skiing in and I was intimidated.
We couldn’t have asked for better weather, but unfortunately, even on a Monday the lines were unbelievably long! We had rented our equipment before hand via the Aviano Air Base, but to get our lift tickets alone took about 30 minutes! Then we finally got on a lift and did our first run only to find that the second lift ALSO had a 30 minute wait! Turns out that many Austrians and Italians had the day off due to Shrove Tuesday…our bad. We eventually escaped the crowds and found lifts (higher in the mountain, mind you) that were less crowded. However, Val Gardena is confusing and the map they provide is not the most clear or helpful. We eventually realized that it was getting late in the day (2:00pm) and we had to figure out a path to get back to our car. It is such a huge ski area that we became worried we weren’t going to be able to make it back to the ski town we had parked our car at by 5:30pm when the lifts close. We frantically looked at our map and asked anyone who spoke English for help.
We eventually found a path that would take us back to our car and we were able to relax, enjoy the view, enjoy the weather (40 degrees!), and enjoy skiing. Steve had a little more fun than me I think simply because he did not fall to the point where his skis flew off his feet, which happened to me more times than I can count.