In the Dolomites, there is a relatively new ski experience known as the ski safari, and it's fast becoming the adventure of choice for Dolomite visitors from across the globe that come in search of diversity and uniqueness. Both backcountry ski tours and lift-serviced ski safaris share many of the same features, yet there are also several things that set the two apart. So what, exactly, are these differences? Let's take a look.
While it's certainly true that both backcountry ski tours and lift-serviced ski safaris share many of the same features, including the fact that they are both multi-day ski trips, usually crossing multiple regions and resorts, moving from location-to-location each day. Perhaps the largest distinction between the two types of ski trip, however, is that a ski safari is entirely lift-served, whereas a backcountry ski tour requires the skier to ascend the mountain under their own power, either by hiking, skinning, or boot packing uphill to reach each downhill descent.
One of the unique and beautiful things about ski safaris in the Dolomites is that you can explore a vast part of the region, skiing from resort to resort, moving to a different rifugio or hotel each night (rifugio-to-rifugio, hut-to-hut, hotel-to-hotel), using lifts to ascend the mountains so you can focus on skiing down. That means no wasting time trekking to your next descent, and also provides the ability to experience a broad range of different accommodations in one trip.
With a ski safari, you can choose whether to ski on- or off-piste. It may be on-piste, featuring perfectly groomed runs within a resort, or off-piste with ungroomed slopes just begging to be explored. Both options feature convenient lift service, usually within the confines of a resort so no matter how you choose to experience the mountains, you'll be able to get to where you need to be quickly and easily. It's all lift service -- no hiking (that's reserved for backcountry trips!). And with so many options, it's likely you'll never ski the same run twice; unless, of course, you'd like to!
Ski safaris also allow participants to choose their intensity level. With varying levels of difficulty available, this makes them perfect for beginners, intermediate and expert skiers alike. Families in particular love ski safaris because everyone within the group can enjoy the experience at their own pace, allowing an opportunity for each family member to participate and have fun, regardless of skill level. The area offers access for both beginning-to intermediate skiers, as well as experienced skiers looking to push themselves. Need a lesson or a slope that's easy? We've got that. Looking for an amazing adventure or a challenge you've never faced before? That's here too. Ski safaris can be designed for any ability level and preference.
While there are benefits and similarities between traditional backcountry ski trips and ski safaris, the latter is arguably one of the best ways to explore the Dolomites in winter. With a ski safari, you can ski hard all day using the benefits of lifts and gondolas to "climb" the steep slopes of the Dolomites, and traverse the area going resort to resort, town to town, either on-or off-piste. You choose how you ski, where you ski, and where you'll spend the night, whether it's a basic mountain hut or a luxurious hotel in the area. It truly is the best of all worlds, all rolled into one amazing trip!
To learn more about backcountry skiing in the Dolomites visit Dolomite Mountains.