Alongside our two daily options for ski days in the area, our hosts strive to offer two alternatives for guests less likely to hit the slopes. One way to spend a day differently would be to head to the Toboggan run – easily accessed by the local bus; the 4km pisted track is quiet and offers fantastic panoramas of the area, not forgetting the hours of fun that can be had! On this particular day, four slightly apprehensive guests from Haus Valentin proved that you can never be too old to take on this classic past-time and they certainly showed the Collett’s organisers how to do it properly.
After a few weeks of an overcast and seriously snowy weather pattern, the Dolomites decided to be extra kind to us today by providing a beautiful blue sky. With the added bonus of a warm temperature, apprehension and uncertainty were pushed aside as our guests picked out their (classically built) toboggan for the day. The short walk to the Piz Sorega lift in San Cassiano gave Harriet, organiser from Chalet Verena, a perfect chance to offer tips on how to steer, how to avoid hitting the snow banks and also the best way to overtake your opponents!
It was great to learn early on that our guests had been enjoying each other’s company since arriving in the Dolomites and now they were about to take on a new activity together. After a short test run from the gondola to the start of the toboggan track (made obvious by the large wooden archway advertising a sign to defer skiers), our guests lined up ready to go. My suggestion to race to the bottom was definitely laughed off as a daft idea so we decided we’d use this one as a ‘trial run’. Having said that, guest John disappeared leaving a trail of snowflakes behind him and wasn’t seen again until we arrived safely at the bottom – I’m still convinced he just wanted to bask in the sunshine whilst he waited. Ali and Ros were more on the cautious side but that doesn’t mean they did not have fun; huge grins from ear to ear as they came past proved that. A little group discussion at the bottom also proved that cautious meant bums stayed planted on toboggans, even around the concealed sharp bends.
“I’m seriously just having the best time!” That said it all Ros, time for round two.
The group speed increased slightly as everybody felt more comfortable and in control of their toboggan and we all agreed it was an energetic sport; time for lunch. We headed across the piste to Las Vegas, a perfect Rifugio setting overlooking the Sella Massif, where we enjoyed pizza, goulash soup and gluhwine sat outside in the mid-afternoon sunshine.
The temperature began to drop on our third run down and our toboggans struggled to cut through the suddenly crusted snow. As newly recognised toboggan enthusiasts Jo and John headed up for one last go, the rest of us got to know each other over coffee. As if they hadn’t all had enough excitement for one day, the group decided to walk back to Badia along the river to make the most of the sunshine and in all honesty, who could blame them?