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Italy: Schnalstal Skiing!

Hello GMVSxc family and friends,

Today we got lucky with the weather and had clear skies until we finished our glacial ski, this time on the Schnalstal Glacier at the top of Val Senales. The drive from Mals to the tram station for the Schnalstal Glacier is slightly longer than the drive to the Stelvio, but the glacier itself is at a lower elevation (about 200m lower) and it only takes one tram ride to get up there (versus two trams and two Pomalifts at the Stelvio). Several World Cup national teams come to Val Senales for much of October to train on snow, including the Norwegians.

This is the view from the bottom of the tram looking up. It only had one tower and was very steep. You can’t see the top until you pass the  tower!

The view from the top of the tram….quite the view before the clouds came in!

From the top of the tram we had to do a little “norpining” (nordic skiing down alpine trails) to get to the nordic loop, which was about 4K long. Most of the crew skied about 2.5 hours, with some taking a break mid-ski for another norpine run or two.

When we started skiing there were patches of blue sky and when the sun came through it was quite warm. Here are Emily and Ursula skiing together early on.

Carl, happy to be in a new place!

TK skating beside Pete Kling, a GMVS alum who’s joining us for a few days of our camp.

Olivia and Matt climbing the longest of the V1 hills on the loop.

Colin leading TK across a switchback.

Rena taking a downhill switchback.

A view looking S/SE into the sun where the groomers are getting ready to open some more alpine terrain. The Glacier just opened so we are likely some of the first xc skiers on the loop this fall!

Erik getting in some good ski time!

Two skiers with some of the mountains in the distance. Being up on the glacier really makes you feel quite small and removed from the rest of the world.

The end of our ski got a lot cloudier with the beginnings of precipitation and lots of low clouds that created very flat light. After skiing we took a chairlift back to the tram station and had lunch in the dining hall there.

Jere grabbed a newspaper to read while we waited for lunch and spotted this article! Our runners from Saturday’s Stadtlauf (city run) made the news! That’s Carl on the right in the photo!

Heading back down to the parking lot we discovered just how much the clouds had moved in. Here are Carl and Brian standing outside the tram before our ride down.

And the same view looking down from the tram station….the view was completely gone!

This afternoon we went for a recovery jog, ranging in time from 20 minutes to an hour, before dinner and study hall.

Tomorrow morning we’re taking a guided tour of a bunker that’s just up the hill from our hotel. After lunch we will drive up to the Reschen See to classic rollerski north up a valley. Near the top of the valley we’ll switch out our skis for hiking gear and head up to the Maseben Hutte. We will spend Tuesday night at the hut and then do a day hike on Wednesday before returning to Mals. Our fingers are crossed for good weather!

Check back Wednesday evening for a blog post on both Tuesday and Wednesday’s adventures!

Thanks for following our adventures!

-Kat

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