Ski Touring and Snowshoeing in the Dolomites

50 winter routes

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24 Jan 2017
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.6cm

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A guidebook to winter in the Dolomites, featuring 50 ski touring and snowshoeing routes in the Italian mountain range. The graded routes, all of which take less than a day to complete, commence from the bases of Cortina, Arabba, Val di Zoldo, San Martino and San Vigilio, taking in stunning scenery, quaint villages and enchanting mountain vistas.

Seasons Seasons
Winter - during the lift season (from early December until mid April) as this is when the majority of the public services and hotels are open.
Centres Centres
San Martino, Badia, San Vigilio, Corvara, Colfosco, Selva di Val Gardena, Santa Cristina, Ortisei, La Villa, San Cassiano, Cortina, Misurina, Selva di Cadore, Canazei, Arabba, Campitello, Pozza, Vigo di Fassa.
Difficulty Difficulty
Good navigational and mountain skills are essential for all routes as the summer tracks are covered in snow. The ski tours require backcountry / mountaineering experience, particularly for assessing the avalanche risk. These will be graded using the 'Volo' or 'Toponeige' scale.
Must See Must See
One of the most beautiful and accessible mountains ranges in the world. The Sella Ronda circuit is a must for piste skiers, while towns such as Cortina d'Ampezzo offer a unique blend of Italian and Tyrolean culture, architecture, history and food. Explore backcountry with views of the Tre Cime (one of the 6 great Alpine North Faces), the Marmolada (the highest peak in the Dolomites), the spires of Sassolungo.
24 Jan 2017
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.6cm
  • Overview

    Guidebook to 50 ski touring and snowshoeing routes in the Dolomites. The routes, which carry an Alpine (and when appropriate, a Volo/Toponeige) grading, range from 5km to 18km, taking between 2 and 7 hours to complete. The routes are based in and around areas such as Canazei, Arabba, Corvara and San Martino, taking in stunning scenery, quaint villages and enchanting mountain vistas.

    Clear route descriptions are accompanied by 1:50K mapping and photo topos, together with information such as total ascent and descent (as well as aspect), expected duration of route and equipment required. Also provided is invaluable practical advice on things such as mountain safety and navigation, equipment, transport options to, from and around the Dolomites, ski passes, accommodation and more.

    Regarded as one of the most beautiful mountain ranges in the world, the Dolomites offer endless winter escapades. Those who venture off the beaten track and into the backcountry (whether by ski or by shoe) will discover a veritable winter wonderland.

  • Contents

    Language and culture
    Getting there
    Getting around
    When to go
    Food and drink
    Travel and health insurance
    Mountain safety
    Guiding services
    Using this guide
    1 Canazei – Val di Fassa
    1 Latemar Labyrinth
    2 Val San Nicolò
    3 Forcia Neigra
    4 Val Duron
    5 Forcella Sassolungo Nord
    2 Canazei and Arabba – Sella Group
    6 Val Mesdì
    7 Canale del Ghiacciaio
    8 Canale Col Anton into Val Lasties
    9 Val Setus
    3 Ortisei and Selva – Val Gardena
    10 Compaccio
    11 Alpe di Siusi traverse
    12 Chiesetta di San Giacomo and Monte Pic
    13 Forcella di Mesdì
    14 Forcella della Roa
    4 Corvara – South Badia
    15 Val de Chedul and Col Toronn
    16 Forcella de Ciampei
    17 Pisciadù and the Ciampac traverse
    18 Santa Croce and Ranch da Andrè
    19 Lech dla Lunch to Lech da Sompont
    5 San Martino in Badia – North Badia and Fanis
    20 Monte Muro
    21 Crep dales Dodesc
    22 Munt da Medalges
    23 Malga Vaciara
    24 Utia Lavarella circuit
    25 Col Becchei Dessora
    26 Monte Castello
    6 Arabba – Marmolada and Livinallongo
    27 Punta Penia
    28 Forcella Marmolada
    29 Monte Sief
    7 San Cassiano – Passo Falzarego
    30 Settsass
    31 Forcella Grande
    32 Cadin di Fanis
    33 Canale della Nonna
    34 Col dei Bos
    35 Cinque Torri and Nuvolau
    36 Tofana di Rozes
    8 Selva di Cadore – Passo Giau
    37 Monte Pore
    38 Monte Mondeval
    39 Lastoni di Formin
    40 Croda da Lago
    9 Pecol – Val di Zoldo
    41 Col de la Puina
    42 Città di Fiume
    43 Rifugio Venezia traverse
    44 Spiz de Zuel
    10 Cortina and Misurina – Passo Tre Croci and Tre Cime
    45 Malga Ra Stua
    46 Posporcora and Col Rosa circuit
    47 Forcella Faloria traverse
    48 Passo del Cristallo
    49 Giro delle Tre Cime
    50 Sasso di Sesto

    Appendix A Glossary of mountains, towns and passes
    Appendix B Glossary of mountain terms
    Appendix C Useful transport and tourist information contacts
    Appendix D Ski schools, mountain guide offices and sports shops
    Appendix E Further reading

  • Updates
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    Sept 2017

    Apologies but we are unable to supply GPX files  for this guide .

  • Reviews
    This excellent guidebook opens the door to the hidden backcountry of the Dolomites

    The Italian Dolomites: A UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the world's most popular ski destinations. This is a place of beauty, breath-taking scenery and the all-important snow. The Dolomites attracts winter sports enthusiasts, climbers and mountaineers from worldwide and in their thousands.

    So, it is with the greatest of welcomes that this, the first English language guidebook to Ski Touring and Snowshoeing is bestowed upon us, detailing 10 areas of the Italian Dolomites, there is plenty to go at.

    Have your cake and eat it!

    The premise of this excellent guidebook appears to be ‘have your cake and eat it!’ come to one of the most beautiful and busiest winter sport destinations in the world, but, escape the crowds and explore the peaks, ridges, couloirs, faces and valleys that the best of the Dolomites has to offer. This guidebook offers to show you those places and whet your appetite for adventure in the northern territories of Italy.

    There's nothing quite like the search for the fresh tracks and this, James Rushforth's Ski Touring and Snowshoeing in the Dolomites, opens the door to the hidden backcountry of the Dolomites, from easily accessible areas such as Cortina, Arabba, Corvara and Canazei to name but a few; detailing how to get there, the logistics whilst in country, safety, insurance and ski passes and background information on the region's rich history and cultural heritage and importantly, how to use the guidebook.

    Something for everyone

    The guidebook itself uses the popular grading system combination of alpine grading for ascent and the volo/toponeige for the descent and the routes vary according to difficulty and ranging from 5km to 18km. Thus providing a good range of routes for all abilities and interests of both snowshoeing enthusiast to ski touring aficionado.

    There are detailed route descriptions, which are accompanied by 1:50,000 mapping, complimented by topos showing the line of the route, all presented alongside the author's own inspirational photography, for which James has won over a dozen international photographic competitions alongside a nomination for the Banff Film Festival Book Award for a previously published book. 

    Award-winning author

    The routes allow you to discover quaint villages and enchanting mountain vistas whilst on a relaxing snowshoe trek along a tranquil winter valley or get your adrenaline fix whilst on the thrilling descent of a steep couloir in the mountains. The Dolomites of winter boast off-piste adventures at their best and memories that will last a lifetime.

    Appendices offer further information useful to planning that includes contact details for local ski schools, mountain guide offices and sports shops as well as glossaries of place-names, terminology and simple translations.

    This is an excellent resource that provides information to an area previously guarded by local language guidebooks, now made accessible to English speakers.

    Dave Brown, the Climbers' Club

    James Rushforth is a busy man. His Facebook feed is a never ending stream of beautiful pictures of climbers, skiers, walkers and mountain scenery to die for, most often the Dolomites where he spends a lot of his time. Although it makes me green with envy it does brighten the long gloomy hours spent working at my desk.

    There's something here for the broadest possible range of winter mountain visitors, from accomplished ski tourers to British hillwalkers taking their first steps by snow shoe.

    The Dolomites make for a perfect venue for snow shoeing and for those looking to complete their first forays out into a winter wonderland. The weather is often very stable, there is little glaciated terrain, there are bars and huts on many of the routes which serve good food and drink; all of this makes for a rather friendly experience far removed from the blizzards of the Cairngorms and their unpredictable weather.

    Furthermore many of the skiing routes are also modest and suitable for those looking for day tours but who still want a full mountain experience. It’s a good staging post before moving onto bigger adventures, somewhere you can hone and build skills without the commitment required in other more glaciated alpine areas.

    The pictures ARE stunning, but they need to be bigger to grab you by the hand, walk you to the travel agent and book you your ticket. That said, the maps are super, a step up from other touring guides I've seen, and everything is very clear.

    In summary, this guide is great for novice to intermediate winter explorers, looking for a beautiful area which is easy to access, well appointed with hotels and restaurants, and who want a holiday rather than an expedition. The book is fabulously well written, and while the pictures would really benefit from a bigger format the graphics are really good and its useful smaller format is at least handy for stuffing in pockets.

    UK Hillwalking. See the full review here.

    A cheaper, easier, slower - and rewarding - alternative to skiing? Snowshoeing – which is basically hiking in the snow using a pair of racket-like devices attached to the sole of your boots. This allows you to walk on snow-covered ground without sinking. Now among the fastest growing winter sports, snowshoeing has actually been around for thousands of years as a means of moving around, especially by hunters and farmers who could thus walk amid deep snow. The great thing about snowshoeing is that anybody can do it (and it’s a great workout too)!

    Whether you're new to snowshoeing or you have some experience, you'll find plenty of inspiration inside Ski Touring and Snowshoeing in the Dolomites.

    Italy Magazine

    "The routes have been chosen carefully to give you the best of what the area has to offer - a must for anyone looking to visit the Dolomites in Winter"

    Trek and Mountain magazine


    Banff Mountain Book Awards 2017 – Longlist for best guidebook. September 2017



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James Rushforth

James' interest in mountaineering began at a young age, spending family holidays in the Lake District and North Wales, yet it wasn't long before his passion for rock took him further afield to explore the mountains of northern Europe. He moved to the Italian Dolomites where he began notching up a series of ascents and began his writing career by penning a number of articles about his climbs for the noted website UK Climbing. This in turn led to his first publication, Rock Climbs and Via Ferrata - The Dolomites, published by Rockfax and nominated for the Banff Film Festival Book Award. Very much an all-round mountaineer, James is also a keen ski tourer and ice climber and has spent many cold winter months exploring the couloirs and ice falls that adorn the rocky peaks of the Dolomites. Another passion which developed alongside his love for mountains and writing is photography, with his landscape and sports photography work gaining international acclaim.

View Articles and Books by James Rushforth