Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Sestriere – Ski the Olympic Slopes

The area is called VIALATTEA. There are about 50 different locations but I thought I would write about my three favorite destinations. Each location has lodging and there are slopes from intermediate to expert. The slopes are well groomed and the snow is great during the entire season.

Of all the locations the “Sises” is my favorite. It has slopes on two mountains that finish in the valley. It takes a four-seat chair followed by the traditional ski lift to arrive at the 2600 meter top. The beginning of the slope is rather steep but very wide, as it winds down the slope takes on a gentler gradient. As it arrives at the level of the first lift the gradient increases significantly. This is the area where the grand slalom is located. Images of Alberto Tomba flying down the course pass through your mind as you hit this section.

The highest slopes of the VIALATTEA are found at “Banchetta”. Again it takes two ski lifts to arrive at the 2,800 meters. This location is the destination of the World Cup freestyle. The right side of the "Motta" has a long straight course. Near the first lift the slope decreases to then fall off diagonally; the slope decreases again and follows a wide curve toward the forest. At this point the slope increases as due the curves as the course winds its way toward the town.

On the left side of the "Motta" there is a large plateau, rather steep, but wide and the snow is usually fresh, the course falls into a bowl. It then swings to the left to then enter course number 32. This is a fantastic course, not very difficult, but the type of snow changes continuously. It finishes following a road that connects the “Chisonetto”, finally sliding into the base area and ski lift station.


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