Italy, All In 2015

All in good fun!


January 2015 saw our second visit to the Brenta Dolomites, to the fabulous resorts of Madonna di Campiglio and Folgarida for our “Italy, All In” coaching holiday. The more we ski this area the more we grow to love it!

Groste group

Just before we arrived the area had a heavy fall of snow, giving us just about perfect piste conditions all week. Our starting point was the Gran Baita hotel in Folgarida, new to us for this year, which turned out to be the perfect base for our trip. A friendly bar charging reasonable prices and serving awesome coffee (what else would you expect in Italy?!), plenty of space in the public areas for relaxing, large screen TV for our video feedback sessions, good wifi in the lounge to keep connected to the outside world, spacious bedrooms and an unbelievably cheap single supplement for our clients who wanted their own bedrooms. All in all, a great place for us to stay!

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Day 1
The hotel’s extremely efficient private minibus service ferried us the 2 minutes drive to the main gondola from Folgarida. We were blessed with great weather, and the fresh snow had that “still squeaky” feel to it. After a quick espresso at our usual meeting point, the three groups with Inside Out Skiing coaches Rob, Scott and Ian, headed off for the first session of the week. As was typical of the entire week, there were almost no queues at any of the ski lifts and most pistes were reasonably quiet. With a mix of new clients and some of our regulars, everyone started to gel with each other and re-discover ski legs with some gentle warm-ups runs.

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Ian and Scott’s groups stayed close to Folgarida, with Rob’s group heading towards the slopes of Madonna di Campiglio with everyone finding empty pistes cutting through snow-clad trees. That’s one of our favourite sights!

Day 2
Day 2 started like all our days, with a rendezvous in the bar at the top of the gondola for a pre-skiing coffee and a chat about plans for the day, before jumping on the first lift at about 9.15am. It’s a very civilised way to begin the day!

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All three groups explored further afield, discovering the great terrain on offer across the ski domain. There is mile upon mile of gentle pistes which are perfect for developing confidence, as well as providing an ideal training ground for more advanced skiers who want to work on a range of technical drills and exercises. But there is also plenty of fearsomely steep pistes, most notable of which is the Canalone Miramonti run in to Campiglio which hosts one of the classic World Cup slalom races each year. Many of the pistes are below the tree line, with abundant Larch and Fir trees giving a stunning backdrop to the skiing as well as sheltered skiing if the weather comes in.

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Day 3
The middle of our trip saw the return of the snow. It started just as we were finishing our early morning coffee, and continued through the day and into the night. Fortunately the cloud base was relatively high and there was very little wind, so visibility was generally good all day. It was a great day to slow things down, work on lots of technical skills, enjoy the gently falling snow and relax over a mid-morning coffee break (photo-bombing another group where possible…)

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During the day and then in to the evening approximately 20-30cm of fresh snow fell, setting up the following day to be just about perfect!

Day 4
Day 4 was one of those days that you keep you coming back to the mountains, time and time again. Perfect squeaky snow on piste and a little bit of fresh snow just off the sides just waiting for first tracks. The weather was generally kind, with variously a bit more snow, a bit of sunshine and a bit of high cloud. Each of the groups headed off to do their own thing, taking advantage of whatever the weather and conditions they found. To top it all Rob’s group met the cutest mountain dogs ever, including the friendliest Newfoundland puppy! What a wonderful day!

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In places the fresh snow was boot deep, and provided the perfect opportunity to play on the gentle slopes through the trees.

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Day 5
Day 5 saw all the groups travel further afield, meeting for lunch at one of the great mountain restaurants above Madonna do Campiglio. After the challenge and exhilaration of the previous day it was time for more technical skills development, using the wide, gentle pistes for some high speed carving drills, once again on perfect;y prepared snow.

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It’s no mean feat to coordinate three different groups to arrive at a distant restaurant at the same time, and to get a table large enough for all of us to sit together. It all worked out well though, and once again lunch was terrific and great value for money.

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After a long lunch it was an even longer ski to return to our base in Folgarida, making the last lift back in the nick of time. After another great day we felt it was only right to celebrate with some apres-ski drinks at the Eta Beta bar, fortunately not too far a stagger from our hotel, where drinks continued over and beyond dinner. A splendid way to finish a splendid day!

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Day 6
The final day and several people were just a little sore after the night before, so a couple of cups of espresso were needed to kickstart the day’s fun! Rob and Scott’s groups worked together, mixing up high speed carving on one of the lovely blues, with grippy, short radius turns on one of the steeper reds. Obviously interspersed by more coffee and the odd slice of strudel. It’s important to get the balance right when you’re working on your skiing!

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Everyone made it through until 1.30pm, stopping for a well deserved lunch at the Casino Zeledria, which has the most amazing views from the restaurant window! In common with all the places we tried for lunch, the food was most enjoyable and offered great value for money.

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At the end of the day, to finish off a terrific week it was only right to relax with a glass (or two) of Prosecco and start planning next year’s trip…

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