Snow Has Arrived – Drop Everything, Start Preparing To Ski In These Perfect Places

Hear and rejoice: this year the snow has arrived earlier than usual and in full force to many traditional, storied skiing places in continental Europe

We look at three different places to ski – all well known, all ready, willing & able to handle every skier’s whim – and all perfectly snowed up this December. The hope is, after reading this, you’d feel inclined to start packing your skis and booking your stay. Because even one day in either of those places will give you energy and good vibe you need to go through the dark winter.

That’s what a perfect Alpine trail looks like. Nothing to add – except for skiers. You!

Seiser Alm /Alpe di Siusi

The last year there was not much skiing in December – but this year the Italian region of Seiser Alm ( a.k.a Alpe di Siusi ) has had over 30 km of perfectly groomed tracks ready & waiting already in the first week of December!

Seiser Alm is a place of choice for many ski national and pro-teams that are coming to South Tyrol for both pre- and in-season altitude training – especially popular with the Norwegians, but the place gets a fair share of visits by the Italian, Swedish and the US stars – and even Kenyan marathoners in the warmer months. 

Extra reason to visit:
The place has an interesting option, that pros rarely use as it goes contrary to their training goals – but less fit amateur skiers might find to be a decisive factor in their choice: stay, sleep and entertain yourself in the town of Seis ( Siusi in Italian) at a foot of the mountain but hop every morning on the ultra-modern, 4,300 meter long Seiser Alm cable car, which in 15 minutes would take you up straight to the ski tracks, fantastic scenery – and a rather serious altitude of some 1800 meters above sea level.
In other words, exercise in accordance with much talked about  “Live low, train high” (LLTH). That way you might just be able to beat those unpleasant effects of altitude acclimatization that manifest themselves in most skiers bodies after a few days above circa 1500 meters.

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Livigno

The place does not need much of presenting – in the recent years it became uber-popular with endurance athletes of every type and hue, skiers included. Livigno has several things going for it: experience in handling the sporting needs of skiers, free-to-use ski tracks ( a rarity in the Alpine region), a high chance of bumping into a one ski star or the other on the tracks. And this year, after several season of scarce snowfall, it finally has snow in abundance – even La Sgambeda was held on its “classic track” i.e. up the valley & back and not on laps at the ski stadium.

Extra reason to visit:
Famous ( or infamous, depending on your point of view) tax-free shopping, that includes latest not only in fashion, perfumes or fancy alcohol – but in xc skiing gear too. Ski shops in Livigno have such a guaranteed turnover that they do not hesitate to stock even the fanciest/latest/most expensive models of boots, poles and, of course, skis. You really do want to try those “carbon on carbon” boots on before you buy them, don’t you?

Davos

The place might be better known for its World Economic Forum when the planet’s movers and shakers gather in the Swiss Alpine resort to mull over how to build a better world. The right place chosen – Davos is already a better world in many ways albeit a rather expensive one. We are talking skiing here however, and this year has been fantastic so far with most of the “loipes” are open for ski-traffic and meticulously, Swiss-precise groomed.

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Extra reason to visit:
Say what you will, but skiing on the tracks that still remeber the world best athletes ( we refer to the recent Davos stage of the FIS World Cup, of course ) has a special feel to it. If you, however, get somewhat smitten by the uphills & downlills that professionals use, there are some very gentle tracks running trough the middle of the town and, therefore, easily accessable. Finally, there is a Nachtloipe i.e. Lit up tracks of some 2500m – more than enough to ensure you sleep sound that night.

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