Every skier should have one

A descent of 'Hidden Valley'

Favourite runs: we all have them. My own include the Vallée Blanche above Chamonix for the sheer scale of the scenery and the sense of skiing along the top of the Alps; the beautifully conceived Wozzley's Way at Telluride in Colorado, for the variety of terrain it packs in; and the gentle, winding Jouvenceaux run at Sauze d'Oulx in Italy, for the way it dips in and out of the trees and visits tiny hamlets on what is a sort of skiers' ramble. But the "must do" descent is the 5km of the Armentarola valley in the Lagazuoi ski area of Cortina d'Ampezzo, also in Italy.

Favourite runs: we all have them. My own include the Vallée Blanche above Chamonix for the sheer scale of the scenery and the sense of skiing along the top of the Alps; the beautifully conceived Wozzley's Way at Telluride in Colorado, for the variety of terrain it packs in; and the gentle, winding Jouvenceaux run at Sauze d'Oulx in Italy, for the way it dips in and out of the trees and visits tiny hamlets on what is a sort of skiers' ramble. But the "must do" descent is the 5km of the Armentarola valley in the Lagazuoi ski area of Cortina d'Ampezzo, also in Italy.

Cortina is a beautiful resort, thanks to the deeply riven faces of its mountains: the snow that settles in the wrinkles catches the light, giving an extraordinary depth to the rocks. The so-called "Hidden Valley" drops down from the top of the Lagazuoi cable-car into a narrow cleft with characteristic, two-tone brown Dolomite faces crowding in on either side. The Fanes range, stacked up on the right, does a passable imitation of Monument Valley, familiar from movie westerns; to the left the mountains are not so high but are decorated with the blue-white filigree of frozen waterfalls. The piste twists and turns for much of its length; and throughout it is enclosed by the valley walls, creating a mysterious, secret ambience. Oddly - perhaps because returning to the main part of the ski area takes a little time - the hidden valley is not heavily skied, despite its beauty and renown: I have travelled right through it and seen only four skiers along the way.

Why does it take so long to get back? Partly because it is a long journey, partly because the drag-lift to the nearest chair is quite slow. It is a one-horsepower device: the horse trots up the gradual incline, dragging two lines of skiers and boarders hanging on to ropes.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Mid Weight

    £15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

    Recruitment Genius: Transportation Contracting Manager

    £33000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A global player and world leade...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel and Spa Duty Manager

    £18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are friendly, sociable, ...

    Recruitment Genius: Payroll and Benefits Co-ordinator

    £22300 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This museum group is looking for a Payro...

    Day In a Page

    The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

    Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

    Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
    Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

    'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

    Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
    Compton Cricket Club

    Compton Cricket Club

    Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
    London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

    Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

    'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

    It helps a winner keep on winning
    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'