How many of you as children have ever ridden on a toboggan, one of those wooden ones where just the thought of sitting on it made your bottom ache? I imagine that many of you have experienced this feeling and remember well those slides on fresh snow during the winter months.
Then, as time went on, bobsleds with side brakes came into vogue, which were much easier to steer but, above all, much lighter to bring back upstream. Oh yes, because we all remember the sweats we had in going up hills or various mountains.
Well, this eternal feeling of being a kid again is inherent in all of us, and when we think back to those moments we smile. Almost all of us remember the past as kids with a wistful streak, it would be nice to relive certain moments. What if I told you that you can do that, that you can sled for miles and miles without, however, having to carry your sled back upstream by yourself?
On the sledding slopes of Trentino Alto Adige
Melancholy premise aside, the point of this post is to introduce you (assuming you are not already familiar with it) to the world of sledding slopes.
Not being an accomplished skier, I have always preferred to go down the slopes with something stable, or at least something that seemed more stable than a board or a pair of skis.
Until a few years ago, my “sledding career” (if you can call it that) was relegated to a few up and down mountains in Brescia. Only a few hundred meters downhill at a time. Fun, yes, but tiring. Besides, I always felt “on borrowed time” at the first available hillock.
So I began to do research regarding sledding slopes in Lombardy, but there was no shadow of them. At that time, about 7/8 years ago, Internet sites were not very complete in terms of information about sledding slopes. The few that could be found were the result of research done on forums where users gave some advice on where to go.
This was all until I shifted my research to the sledding slopes of Trentino Alto Adige, and here a world opened up to me that I was not even aware of. I, who in Lombardy was looking for toboggan runs of a few hundred meters more than the single mound, was confronted with runs of a few kilometers in length, some even to be done at night and served by chairlift.
In short, I was faced with an embarrassment of riches and it was love at first sight since there are some as long as 10km. Well, so here are a few more tips to go and have fun on the toboggan runs in Trentino Alto Adige and specifically on the Resciesa (Ortisei) and Alpe di Siusi toboggan runs.
The Resciesa toboggan run in Ortisei
I tried this toboggan run several years ago and it was one of my first runs.
Ortisei is located on the north side with respect to the Alpe di Siusi (and by the way, you can also go up to the alp from Ortisei). On the north side of the village of Ortisei is Resciesa. The intriguing and interesting side of this slope is that it is about 6 km long; to get to the top there are no chairlifts or gondolas but a very comfortable funicular.
The beauty of many sledding trails in Trentino is just that, the fact that you don’t have to take your sled back upstream by pulling it up the slope but simply taking a lift. This allows one to equate the passion of a skier with that of someone who can’t even put skis on his feet.
I want to have a day on the snow and experience the thrill of speed and fun, well, even I who can’t ski can experience similar sensations. But let’s come to the description of this slope.
Distance of the toboggan run
6 km where you can sled in the middle of the forest.
Funicular that you take in the northern part of the village of Ortisei. The name is precisely: Resciesa.
There are two points where to start with the descent. The first is where the funicular ride ends. The second is higher up, and to get there you have to take a short walk on a path through the snow that “cuts” the mountain and reaches a hut. There are no trees here, you come out of the woods and the first part of the descent is scenic and you can see the Alpe di Siusi plateau.
Do some descending starting at the funicular’s end point, but, at least for once, I recommend moving up to the hut. A bit of walking effort that will be repaid with wonderful views. The section from the hut reconnects a little further down the valley with the main route, so the arrival point will always be near the funicular with which you can again climb and make more descents.
As with any self-respecting toboggan run, you must rent a toboggan, provided you do not already own one. Near the start of the funicular you can rent it directly while you buy your ski pass.
Costs for a toboggan rental
For 31 euros you can buy the daily ticket including toboggan rental. If you have your own toboggan, however, the day pass costs 25 euros. Of course, single rides are also possible for 13.5 euros and round trip for 19 euros. The most convenient option is the day pass, which allows you to make as many descents as possible.
Difficulty and danger
This toboggan run is nothing more than a mountain road that, during the winter, is groomed and becomes a slope. It runs inside the forest and is not very wide. This means that you have to pay a lot of attention because on the side you will not have guards or fresh snow but sloping trees.
Along the track you pick up speed quite easily and if you don’t really master the sled you risk underestimating certain turns or various bumps. When I went down this slope I found myself surrounded by children, it is not a particularly prohibitive slope but you have to put the right amount of caution on it.
The Resciesa toboggan run is about 6 km if the snow cover is good. If there is little snow you can only go on the first 3 km section. Another tip is to start sledding when the lifts open because the slope tends to flake easily and if you go in the afternoon you risk finding an inadequate and therefore even more dangerous slope.
On the beautiful sledding slopes of the Alpe di Siusi
The Alpe di Siusi needs no introduction, one of the most fascinating plateaus in Trentino Alto Adige, nature at its best. Home of skiers, the Seiser Alm is also taken up by those who want to experience the thrill of sledding.
The area is vast and there are many possible solutions for sledders. Most of the slopes are served by chairlifts or gondolas that are also used by skiers or snowboarders. In fact, once at the top of the slope, you will find slopes dedicated exclusively to sledding and those dedicated to skiers.
To move between slopes on the plateau you can do so on foot or via bus service. The main tip, however, concernsaccess to the Seiser Alm as:
- You can access by chairlift Seis Seiser Alm.
- You can access with your car but you must arrive at the access “barrier” before 9:00 am.
Let me explain. Leaving Siusi allo Scilar in the direction of Castelrotto, shortly after the village on your right will be via S. Valentino (you will also notice the signs for Alpe di Siusi). You will have to take this street, which is no less than the way that leads directly to the slopes of the plateau.
What’s the problem? A few kilometers after taking this route, you will find yourself at a point where there is some sort of access control. Passage is allowed by 9 a.m. in the morning. There is no barrier, or at least I did not see any. It is more likely that they have replaced the bar with a simple ZTL-type access detector. act is that the rule remains the same, you can pass by 9:00 a.m.
So let’s look at the description of and the toboggan runs on the Seiser Alm.
Distance of this toboggan run
The area has many slopes, on the Alpe there are 5 of them. Panorama (1.4km) – Molignon (4.4km) – Zallinger (4.7km) – Monte Piz (1.4km) – Bullaccia (2.0km)
The toboggan runs I listed in the previous point are served by the ski lifts. Some other slopes in the area are slopes where you will have to use the classic method of ascent, i.e. sledding on your back and away.
Near each lift and also on the main roads of the plateau you can find sled rental stores and other clothing/accessories for fun in the snow. For the toboggan rental I paid 8 euros for the whole day.
The main cost besides the sled rental is definitely the cost of the lifts. You have two options:
- Buy the day or afternoon ski pass
- Buy the points-based ski pass.
I recommend the second option. Hardly a skier would choose a points-based ski pass while for those who enjoy sledding it is an interesting solution to experience the mountains and the fun in a more quiet and relaxed way without having to feel obliged to make sense of a daily ski pass. The points card is very convenient and is transferable.
Basically, you can buy a 750-point card for 60 euros or a 1400-point card for 100 euros. Each ski lift has its own price that is deducted from your card. If there are several of you, you can safely use one card for everyone. Just swipe it several times near the turnstiles. The beauty of the card is that if you should not use all the points, it is also valid the following winter season. Most convenient.
Difficulty and danger
I have only tried two toboggan runs at Alpe di Siusi: the Bullaccia and the Panorama.
This was for two reasons. The first that one of the remaining slopes was closed and the others were distant. (I recommend that you ask for updates on the opening of the slopes directly at the box office.) The second is that we “fell in love” with Bullaccia and I don’t know how many times we did it.
Like any sledding slope you always have to be careful.
The Panorama is almost completely straight, particular pitfalls are not there as long as you can keep your sled well anchored to the ground. You pick up speed with ease and at one point you even cross the cross-country ski slope.
The Bullaccia is technically more challenging. When you come to the start of the slope you notice how it is of a higher level. An initial wall to pick up speed well and then a series of gentle zig-zags that allow you to appreciate the stunning views.
The second part of the track is where you have to pay more attention, you should never underestimate the turns and you should not let yourself go too much because risk is always around the corner. The good thing is that, apart from a couple of sections, the slope does not have narrow passages and in case you go off-piste this is done to the side in the untracked snow.
Getting up to Alpe di Siusi by car involves the fact that you will have to park it somewhere. Parking costs 17 euros for the whole day.
At this point it only remains for me to wish you fun and as many sledding runs as possible, and maybe why not, get so passionate about it that you might think about doing some of them at night.