Monday, February 28, 2011

The dark side of RV travel

Since the last post, most of the days had happen with their little (or quite big) misadventure with the RV. After the nice skiing we were able to get close to Pordoi pass between Arraba and Canazei, we figured we should camp out at the top of the pass to be close to the face we were planning to ski the following day.
What we didn't know at that time is that the diesel, if not bought as Antigelo (anti-freeze) gas freezes in the tank! So we woked up the following morning and tried to get the camper started.
After pushing to get the camper to the sun, using a booster pack and trying to start it by using the compression we cut our efforts and left to ski.
Our options were limited starting from where we were parked and we skied the nearby north facing aspect. The snow was allright but the 150-200m long laps weren't much exciting.
After lapping for about 3 hours all the good terrain we were next to, we came back to the van to see if anything happen during the day as we left our camper with the hood wide open to warm it up under the sun! It wasn't working at all and with the cold weather in the forecast, we had to call a towing to get towed down to Arraba.
The towing guy was like most of the towing guys I have met in my life: frustrated about having to towed you! The guy at the garage wasn't much helpful and after understanding that we weren't going to be able to sleep in the camper for that night, we gather the necessary and took off to find a place to sleep. Here we were at 20h00, homeless and searching for a place to stay in this small village!
We were finally able to get a room for 2 where we packed 5 guys!
Since we were stuck in town, we left to check out the nightlife of Arraba on a wednesday night. Some Weissbier and shooter helping we were all able to get a good night of sleep!
The camper was all fixed the following morning and 320 euros later, we were all set to go… We drove down towards Corvara and since there wasn't much stuff interesting in sight, we kept driving around. We finally ended up in Passo Sella where we took off to get some turns. A closed gondola has left a nice face track only by a few turns.
The climb was rather slow considering the physical health of the troups, but we finally made it up the Forcella Cinque Dita couloir that had some nice sheltered snow in some places but also had few wind-harden snow in other places.
We drove down the pass to get a night of sleep next to Canazei.

By looking at the maps and books we had, we figured that the Marmolada massif will provides us some nice turns. We were quite wrong on this one since most of the lines and faces we thought about hitting were already tracked. We kept driving and finally made it to San Pellegrino pass. After getting stuck one more time with the camper, we were able to try our home-modified chains to take us out of the snowbanks.
We scouted a nice open face and took off to check it out.
The snow was really wind-scoured and it is the least to say it was really challenging to ski it down! We all made it down this hard-soft snow challenge but we kinda left our motivation on the way down.
The wind has really affected the snow and after having to avoid the south and west faces, we now had to find some east and north protected from but wind but still high enough to have some nice snow.
This is getting really complicated for a first visit!

The boys took off to get some turns inbounds at Cortina d'Ampezzo as I tried to set up a good plans for the coming days. A storm is supposed to hit quite hard the Western Alps and leaving some snow north from where we were.
We are now driving north towards Austria where some snow has fallen lately and more is forecasted overnight. Hopefully, this will ends up our unlucky strike of 2 days without good snow!

Austria here we come!

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