Monday, March 23, 2009

Passo Tonale

We're just back from a weeks skiing in Italy.

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Last year our friends went to Passo Tonale. This year we accompanied them on a return trip along with another family, and so we were ten.

We flew in to Innsbruck which is a very picturesque airport the sun set as we set off on our 3 hour transfer so we had to wait until the next day to find out just how beautiful our location was.

Here's the scene from our hotel window.

From PassoTonale-09


From PassoTonale-09



After the usual arsing about with the Ski hire and lift passes we were ready to go.
Now just some 'credit where credit is due' here for Snowbrainer the online hire service, they were a pleasure to deal with and could not have been more helpful. The hire shop in Tonale was of a similar standard. There were no queues and we were asked if we were happy with the ski's that they had selected for us. I managed to snap my pole in a chairlift incident and they were replaced at no cost. One more bit of advice, DO NOT go to the Pharmacy in Passo Tonale, the guy is a ripoff merchant and I told him what I thought of his prices.

Pharmacy apart, Passo Tonale is a fantastic place. 100Km of runs, 6 black, 23 red, 12 blue.

We were split into groups as our family and the kids in the other family had signed up for Ski School.

From PassoTonale-09


From PassoTonale-09


From PassoTonale-09


Yes, the epitome of a dure faced jock is smiling in the photo !

After two hours of lessons we spent the rest of the day practising and exploring. We all quickly found our ski legs on the blue runs.

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We spent some time trying out the mountain restaurants. A beer can help you relax when tackling your first red run.
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Although I had none when I was taken away by my friends to PonteDiLegno. This was going to be a nice day out on blues and reds but we ended up at the top of a black. What the hell, let's do it.

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I was genuinely looking forward to doing it although some of it was taken sideways and I had a couple of falls on the bumpy sections I loved it.

At the bottom we met up with the rest of my family and went up another chairlift to another restaurant with some stunning views outside.

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From there it was only some bumpy icy reds to the bottom.

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Our lessons were going well and to finish off the week the memberes of each group were to race each other in slalom. I had seen it on Ski Sunday and was looking forward to having a go.

In the kids group my daughter got sixth place and my son was third. The two kids from the other families we travelled with got second and first, what a sweep.

From PassoTonale-09


From PassoTonale-09


My wife was in the beginner adults and got a fourth place. I surprised myself and managed first.

From PassoTonale-09


From PassoTonale-09


That was the last day of the holiday. We had the 6 or 7 course Italian meal that night and after 4 days of sun, one day cold overcast and one day cold but sunny we flew back to windy rainy Scotland the next day.

Right, where's the brochures for next year ?
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