You have done the Sella Ronda in both directions, more than once, skied in Alta Badia, Corvara, Colfosco, Val Gardena, Selva, Passa Pordoi, Plan de Gralba and Arabba ….. and feel ready for a new experience? This is exactly where we found ourselves this year, 2022, the fourth year we came to ski in Alta Badia, stationed in San Cassiano. During one of our sessions in the sauna, we started talking to another couple who stayed at the same hotel. They were raving about a ski run they had taken that day. Their enthusiasm was infectious, and we decided to look it up online. This is how we learned about the famous Armentarola Ski Tour in the Lagazoui ski area that is part of the Super Dolomiti ski area.
If you are staying in the Alta Badia ski area, or can easily reach it from one of the neighbouring areas like Arabba or Val Gardena, this ski tour is certainly a possibility. You first need to reach the Piz Sorega (Alta Badia) above San Cassiano. From the top of the lift, you take the blue run n° 11 down back to San Cassiano. Keep your eye out for connections with the slope n°9 via the slope n° 11A or a bit lower the connection with the slope n° 9A. When you come at an intersection at the top of the Armentarola ski lift, keep right and ski down with the lift on your right. Take enough speed at the end because the slope runs up a little bit just in front of the Armentarola Hotel, where you take a turn to the left. At the hotel, take of your skis and continue to the busstop next tot the car park. Here you can take the bus or one of the minivans that function as taxis. It does not make a difference of you take a bus or one of the taxis, the fare for both is 7 euro. Except if the minivan takes less than 5 passengers, then you need to pay a min. of 30 euro for a group of 1 to 4 people. They drive you up to the Lagazoui Gondola lift. The ride takes about 15 min. You pay the driver when you arrive, they only accept cash, so be prepared to have it on you. The busses and taxis operate from the Armentarola hotel from 8:30 AM till 5 PM and bring you to the Falzarego Pass where you can take the the Gondola lift that brings you to the top at 2778 m.
At the top you can use the toilets at the Gondola building, or walk up to the Lagazoui Rifugio a bit higher. From the top you can either ski down the red Lagazuoi slope (on the right) which is 3.5 km long and take the Gondola back up, or choose the left side and start the 7,5 km long slope down back to Armentarola. The slope is steep at the start, but then winds down in the Lagazuoi gorge between craggy mountain faces. Halfway you can make a stop at the Scotoni Hut. We ordered a warm drink and shared a Boule de Berlin in the sunshine.
The slope continues through a steep canyon until you reach the end of the slope where you can either take the skibus or continue further, on a rather flat slope until you reach the Horse lift. Several horse carts await the skiers. A horse carriage pulls a rope on which 20 something skiers hold on and are pulled back to the Armentarola hotel. Some skiers can take a seat in the carriage. A steeper part often surprises many of the skiers and can lead to some falling, usually without any harm. The service costs 3 euro per person, you can only pay cash and is a once in a lifetime experience.
From the hotel you take the Armentarola lift up which connects you with slope n° 9 towards the Piz Sorega lift in San Cassiano.