Austin Skiers

cortina d'ampezzo, italy

  January 26 to February 3, 2018
(fly out of Austin on the 26th arrive in Venice on the 27th)


Austin Skiers are joining one of our sister ski club, San Antonio Los Amigos to attend this fabulous Texas Ski Council Winter Expedition ski trip! 


The Town

Nestled high in the Dolomite Mountain Range in Northern Italy (Veneto Region), Cortina d"Ampezza exists just to satisfy the ski crowd & offers some of the best mountain thrills in Europe. The Dolomites are located on the sunny southside of the Alpine Range just a couple of hours from Venice and Innsbruck. The ski area of Cortina d'Ampezzo comprises 3 mountain ranges connected by a "free-of-charge ski bus." The scenery is just jaw-droppingly wonderful! The town itself is ringed by dramatic limestone towers and cliffs, tinged pink at dawn and dusk. It is known as Italy's most fashionable ski resort. 

The first ski club was formed in Cortina in 1903 followed by the first ski race in 1905 in Alpe de Siusi. Cortina was host to the to the 1956 Olympic Winter Games. Cortina is a sizeable town of about 6,000 residents that grows to about 50,000 during the height of ski season. They've played hosts to numerous World Cup, Nordic Skiing Championships, and race competitions of every type. The FIS Alpine World Skiing Championship will be held here in 2021.

If you're a James Bond fan, you won't resist the chance to take selfies around the locations used for "For Your Eyes Only." (Roger Moore). There's the main square on Corso Italia, which is the heart of Cortina, where Bond takes care of a couple of motorcycle-riding assassins.


The Royal is a cozy 3-star with bed and breakfast, located on the pedestrian area of ​​Cortina in a central location 100 meters from the bell tower, and 300 meters from the nearest ski lifts, the most important sporting and base ideal base for an unforgettable holiday in the Dolomites. Conveniently served by public transport with stop at 50m. Includes baggage handling and 7 night dine around for dinner at local restaurants.

Ancient house in Venetian style of the 1700s, owned by the Menardi Demai family, in the forties has been transformed into a modern family hotel. The owner of the Marcello, ski instructor and expert mountaineer Squirrels Group will be happy to advise you in winter sports activities in Cortina.

The Skiing

The skiing is diverse. Cortina Italy is as world renowned for its perfectly groomed piste (trail,slope,groomed run) as for its superb tree skiing and multitudes of expert only couloirs (narrow gully/steep gradient).The mountains surrounding Cortina are among the highest and most dramatic in the Dolomites.The slopes are comprised of 66 slopes for a total of 85Km (52 miles). It's serviced by 34 lifts: 5 cable cars - 26 chairlifts - 3 ski-lifts.The Cortina area has a vertical drop of 1,700 m from 2,924m to 1,224m or 5,577 feet. While some European ski resorts have statistics on the average snowfall per season, the majority don’t report this statistic. The snowiest part of Europe is along the high alpine spine of the Alps from France through Switzerland, Italy and Austria.

The Cortina ski terrain is one of massive contrasts. Essentially broken up into three main ski areas and several minor ones, it wears many different masks. The 3 main areas are Tofana (access at the bottom of town - huge and brooding with some classic lines and tree skiing); Faloria (access via the center of town - gentler but still visually impressive, especially under Cristallo) and Falzarego/Cinque Torri (a bit of everything). All are linked via buses. The resorts throughout the Dolomites have invested heavily in snow-making equipment. Cortina (and the Dolomites in general) will get snow from storm directions when other areas will not. Ski Map of Cortina d'Ampezzo provides a PDF file, interactive and 3D views.

Color Code Rating System
Except for the US and Canada, the rest of the world relies on a "color code" system to designate ski run difficulty. Just as with ski areas in North America, European ski resorts may vary in how they assign the ratings to a "piste." They use Green to designate trails for First time skiers;  Blue for Easy (beginners), Red for Intermediate and Black for Experts. Cortina slopes break down as follows: 41% Blue, 42% Red and 17% Black. It is worth knowing that the grading system will never get harder as you head down the mountain. If you are at the top on a blue run, you will always be able to make it to the bottom on either a blue or a green run. This is a golden rule of European piste grading.

Cortina d'Ampezzo is part of Dolomiti Superski, one of the world’s largest ski circuits with 1,200 km ( 745 miles) of slopes across 12 ski regions, accessed with a single ski-pass.

Ski Area Tofana


30 slopes (6 black runs, 12 red runs, 13 blue runs and 6 green runs) with a total of 47 Km (29 miles). From the beginner slopes in the lower area you can quickly reach the technically demanding slopes higher up, such as the Canalone and the famous Schuss. The Freccia nel Cielo cable car takes you up to Col Drusciè (middle station) and Ra Valles with the highest slopes in Cortina at 2,500m (8,202 feet).

Take the ski-tour Olympia route along the unforgettable slopes of the 1956 Olympic races, which today host the Women’s Ski World Cup.

Only for expert skiers, the beautiful and scenic black run Vertigine Bianca is one of only two slopes in Cortina which are not prepped, giving skiers the possibility to enjoy fresh snow on an eco-friendly and zero impact run.

Cortina Cube (Ski Area Faloria Cristallo Mietres)

24 slopes (5 black runs, 11 red runs, 8 blue runs) with a total of 44 km (27 miles). The Faloria area has slopes at every level of difficulty and magnificent views of the Ampezzo Valley and the Dolomite peaks. From Rio Gere a new 4-seater chairlift takes you to Son Forca and the slopes of Cristallo, famous for having been the launch pad for champion Alberto Tomba. The Mietres area is specially adapted to children.

Ski Area Lagazuoi 5 Torri

11 slopes (5 red runs, 6 blue runs) with a total of 29 Km (18 miles). The 5 Torri area is connected to the Falzarego Pass by the Averau Troi lift. A short cable car takes you from the Falzarego Pass to the Lagazuoi Refuge (2,750m or 9,022 feet), from where you can admire some of the most impressive Dolomite peaks, such as the Marmolada, the Sella group, the Civetta, the Pelmo and the Tofane.

Super8 Ski Tour

The Super8 ski tour is a must-do experience when skiing in Cortina, with splendid views of the most famous Dolomite peaks. Armentarola: The 8-12/ Km (5 mile) run is without a doubt the most famous slope in the Dolomites and one of the most beautiful ski runs in the world. Arriving from Cortina d’Ampezzo or Badia, take the Lagazuoi cable car from the Falzarego pass, which in only three minutes arrives at an altitude of 2.800m (9,186 feet). Once you reach the top, stop to enjoy the breathtaking panorama from the terrace of the Lagazuoi refuge, famous throughout the world for its spectacular views of the Dolomite peaks.

The Armentarola slope unfolds along the foot of the imposing Fanes mountain, in an enchanting fairy-tale valley surrounded by majestic castles of rock and frozen waterfalls, making this magical descent an endless flow of thrills and surprises.

Post Trip Excursion

Post trip excursion in beautiful Venice for 3 days in 4-star accommodations at the beautiful Hotel Carlton Grand Canal.

Venice is a beautiful city located in northeast Italy that is famous for its intricate transport system of interconnected canals. A perfect setting for a magical Valentines break. It has been described as the most beautiful city built by man and one of Europe’s most romantic cities. Venice is also known for its art, architecture and culture. So you’ll never be short of something to do in the “City of Bridges”. First, do a bit of sightseeing by taking a romantic sunset gondola ride down the Grand Canal that will take you through the heart of the city and let you soak up the relaxing atmosphere.

The canal is lined with beautiful buildings and churches some of which date back as far as the 13th century.  You’ll also see the Rialto Bridge that was the only bridge to cross the canal until the 19th century and was mentioned in Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice”. You could also visit Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari which is one of the greatest churches in Venice. It has Gothic architecture and a beautiful red brick exterior and also houses many excellent examples of Renaissance art, including Titian’s Madonna di Ca’ Pesaro.

In the evening, immerse yourself in culture by going to Musica a Palazzo, a Venetian Palace from the 15th century which holds intimate opera performances of various operas such as La Traviata. As the opera progresses you also get a tour of the house as each act is preformed in a different room. This unique take on opera is a must see for both first timers and opera fanatics. The setting of the vintage palace makes it all the more romantic.

Treat yourself to dinner in the Trattoria alla Madonna, Michelin starred restaurant in the centre of the city serving traditional Venetian fair and specializing in seafood. All ingredients are fresh as they are sourced from the local markets each morning. The restaurant is also decorated with paintings by contemporary Italian artists and as it’s a family run restaurant it has a very welcoming yet romantic atmosphere. The family who own the Trattoria are committed to conserving Venice and have undertaken the restoration of a fountain in central Venice.

Hotel Carlton Grand Canal located in historic palazzo on Venice's Grand Canal promenade.  
Facing Venice's Grand Canal, this hotel occupies a restored 18th-century palazzo and is 400 meters from Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari basilica and 500 from the Museum of Natural History. Guests receive a complimentary buffet breakfast each morning and can later enjoy snacks, espresso, and cocktails in Hotel Carlton on the Grand Canal's bar; the hotel staff speaks fluent English. Rooms feature 18th-century-style Venetian decor, including damask wall coverings with matching drapes and bedspreads; amenities include safes, mini-bars, and satellite flat screen TV. WiFi is free.

Cost:   Full trip: $1819
           Ground only (no air) $975
           Optional Excursion in Venice additional $480 (approx.)

Lift Tickets: 7 Day lift ticket - $300 or purchase at the resorts

Lodging:  Hotel Royal in Cortina (7 nights) and Hotel Carlton Grand Canal in Venice (3 day excursion)  Breakfast included at both hotels and "Dine Around 7 Nights" at Hotel Royal.

Transportation: Cortina Express bus round trip transportation to property and back to Marco Polo airport in Venice.

Airlines: United Airlines:

Jan 26 UA   790 AUS/ORD   1:49P  4:30P
Jan 26 UA   972 ORD/BRU   5:45P  8:50A
Jan 27 UA 9901 BRU/VCE  10:00A 11:35A

Feb 06 UA 9701 VCE/MUC  9:55A 11:00A
Feb 06 UA  107  MUC/IAD 11:40A  3:30P
Feb o6 UA 5767 IAD/AUS    5:10P  7:30P


You must be a current Austin Skiers member to join  this trip with Los Amigos. 

Trip Chair: Rich Garza

Full Trip Price:  $1819
 (includes air, lodging and transfers) 
Ground Only Price:  $975 (no air) 

Optional Excursion in Venice additional $480 (approx)
Lift Ticket Options - 7 Day lift ticket - $300 or purchase at the resorts

Single Supplement: Due to the limited number of slots (10) we can not offer single supplements. 

Registration starts August 16, 2017 @ noon


This takes you to the Austin Skiers trip page for Cortina on Los Amigos web site.

Click on the Sign Up Now button below the first picture (there is a similar button at the very end of the page as well) and it'll get you to the sign up page

On the sign up page, click on the Sign Up Now button on the right side of the page and it'll lead you through the registration process, all the way to payment.  




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