Kronplatz — resort report


Reporters: John & Trudy Lymer

Kronplatz/Plan de Corones in the Italian Dolomites is one of those ski areas many Brits haven’t heard of. In fact, that’s how this Telegraph article introduces it. I can just about remember skiing there for a day 30+ years ago when staying in Arabba. Maybe its lower visitor numbers are because it’s not linked with quite so many other resorts as other places in the main Sella Ronda area — Selva/Arabba/ Corvara/La Villa and so on. That said, Kronplatz has 119Km of piste, an impressively modern lift system and great snow making. Lifts are mostly gondolas, with some chair lifts too, many with heated seats. And no drag lifts at all! The resort is at 1200m and the skiing ranges from 950m to 2,275m. After 4 lifts and 2 runs from San Vigilio you arrive at the Kronplatz summit. Lifts radiate out in all directions from this point, which allows you to follow the sun all day long if you wish. Mountain restaurants all seemed good quality and value and lots of them. Exploring and navigating is easy. Getting home at the end of the day requires just one lift, so no time keeping worries. If travelling further afield is what you’re after, then why not head to Alta Badia or The 3 Peaks? Alta Badia offers another 130 kilometres of fully interlinked pistes and access to 100s of kilometres more in the Sella Ronda area. From Kronplatz you take 2 lifts and the steep Piculin black run (or descend in the bubble), then a 20 minute bus ride (buses every 20 minutes) drops you at a chair lift near La Villa. The 3 Peaks (Tre Cime/Drei Zinnen) is in the opposite direction and offers a further 110Km of pistes. From Kronplatz you descend to Percha where the gondola station backs onto a railway platform. A 40 minute train ride later - with the novelty of a clean, smooth, quiet and uncrowded train — you arrive at Versciaco/Vierschach. A 100 metre covered bridge/walkway links platform and ski lifts. This skiing is mostly red runs, well signposted and the piste map is easy to follow. It’s all very well laid out and the scenery is stunning in all the areas visited.

The skiing on this trip was mostly cruising on wide red and blue runs and some black runs of a good (steep) gradient. There’s nothing narrow though and sadly (for me) moguls can’t be found anywhere. Credit where it’s due though — two of the black runs are 7.6 and 7.8Km. www.skiresort.info says the 3.2Km Piculin “is one of the steepest slopes in Italy and has been selected several times for the title of “Best Black Run”. Many of the blues and reds are so wide and uncrowded they’re fabulous for wide carved turns if, like me, that’s your thing! There’s enough skiing below the tree line, but the biggest range of runs is from the Kronplatz summit and may be exposed if conditions are less kind than on our trip. If wind were to be an issue you could of course choose to ski on the leeward side of the mountain, or head lower down in the trees. The many gondolas provide good protection against the elements and the smaller number of chairs have covers and heated seats. Snow depths were just 26 to 42cm on our visit, but skis came home completely unmarked thanks to the snow making and excellent piste preparation. I’m not sure of the full off-piste potential — you can ski practically anywhere on the upper half of the main mountain, so there’d be good scope for skiing the soft stuff and in relative safety if they don’t flatten it all with piste-bashers first. Elsewhere, many of the wooded areas are fenced, or would need careful route planning or local knowledge.

In this area German is the main language, Italian is 2nd, but amongst themselves the locals speak Ladin, which apparently looks the same as Romansch in Switzerland, though it sounds different.

Crystal and Inghams both go to the Kronplatz area, though numbers of Brits still seemed low to us. We travelled with Crystal on 19th January 2019 and stayed at Hotel Majarei (excellent 6 course meals!) in San Vigilio — a 5 minute bus ride to the ski lifts. You can’t ski back to most hotels, so it’s the bus again at the end of the day. Brunico also has accommodation. That’s a touch further from the ski area and staying there would involve ending each day on a long black run in the shade, or descending in a gondola. San Vigilio seems the better option then. We took a Manchester to Verona flight then a 3 hour transfer to resort.

I would recommend this resort and area for intermediate skiers. Many advanced skiers would be happy with it too — we will probably go back. But if you really must have challenging skiing all day long then it’s probably best to look elsewhere.