A group of 35 Fund – Bank Ski Club members signed up for the Val Gardena/Sella Ronda, Italy, trip departing on February 8 and returning on February 16, 2019, or extending it to February 19, 2019, to go to Venice Carnival. Majority of the group joined the post-ski trip, which turned out to be fabulous! There are many ways to experience the Dolomites mountains and the traditions of the four Ladin valleys of Badia, Gherdëina, Fascia, and Fodom. But no doubt the best way is to ski them all using the Sella Ronda ski lift carousel. Not only the group skied Sella Ronda both ways (clockwise and counterclockwise), but also had a day trip to Marmolada Mountain, Hidden Valley, Lagaruoi Mountain (towed by a horse carriage) with Cinque Torri deviation, Alta Badia challenging ski area, as well as Corvara and Colfosco. Dramatic mountain views, enormous frozen waterfalls, breathtaking beauty of Dolomates, gourmet Italian cuisine and sunny warm days will stay in our memory forever!
Trip was a fantastic success. 21 Fund-Bank Staff Ski Club members spent six days in Park City, Utah during the Sundance Film Festival. We hit the slopes by day and the theater at night (after a cup of hot cocoa and a sauna, of course)!
Most of us skied Park City/Canyons four-five days and one day at Deer Valley. Snow conditions were excellent – fresh snow and sun the first five days and new powder the last. A few of us took advantage of the three-day Adult Ski Academy at Park City, which included three full days of small-group lessons with expert instructors for $450 (only offered twice a year). Locals told us that we picked the best time of the year to ski – slopes are largely empty during the Film Festival – so we had no lift lines and trails to ourselves.
The Park City Peaks was a great hotel. Rooms were clean and modern, and indoor/outdoor pool and hot tub were very nice. Included breakfast was modest. Free hot cocoa and cookies after skiing was a nice touch. Free shuttle bus to ski resorts was very convenient. The free city bus also stopped in front of the hotel, for folks traveling to downtown and around to different Sundance movie theaters. The in-house restaurant was reasonably priced, with excellent food, and we ate there regularly, including for our final group dinner!
Sundance Film Festival
The Sundance Film Festival absolutely lives up to the hype. Movies are incredibly well-done. Day-of tickets are easy to get and relatively inexpensive ($20/movie). Most of us saw at least three movies during the week, with some folks going once or even twice a day! The combination of skiing and movie-going made for a very enjoyable, relaxing, and diverse trip.
FIS World Championships
Our trip overlapped with the FIS Ski and Snowboard World Championships. Most of us attended the opening event at the Canyons Resort (with fireworks!), which featured the Freeski Big Air Final. This was a great opportunity to see the best skiers in the world. Some of our trip members even met their national teams!
All in all, fantastic trip with great snow, movies, the chance to see elite skiers, and above all, wonderful company!