Skiers boasts about skiing the Sellaronda in the Italian Dolomites – it’s the
ultimate ski circuit of 42 kilometers of skiing through a dozen interconnected
ski areas and villages - all in one day. You are skiing around the spectacular
Dolomite Sella mountain range, hence the same name Sella-Ronda. See
Photos of Skiing the Sella Ronda
The Sellaronda is very popular, like an Italian skier’s bucket list item. The
circle of Sellaronda requires 14-16 lift rides, and takes 5-6 hours of skiing
for most. You will see warnings that you must complete the route in time or
you're stuck. While it sounds daunting to ski 42 kilometers and over a dozen lifts,
we did it easily in a day starting from San Cassiano. You can start from other
Italian ski towns and valleys including Corvara, La Valle, Colfusco, Arabba,
Gardena’s Selva and St Christina. These ski areas are all part of the
Dolomite Super Ski region which includes 1200 kilometers of skiing, 12
regions all on one ski ticket. The Sella Ronda covers four passes - Gardena,
Sella, Pordoi, and Campolongo Pass, four Ladin Valleys - Alta Badia, Val
Gardena, Val di Fassa and Livinallongo, and three provinces - Bolzano, Trento
We are admittedly fast skiers, we went counter clockwise, the Green Route, most
go clockwise on The Orange Route. We took 32 lifts and skied 34,000’ vertical
from 9am- 3pm that day, with plenty of extra time for about 12 extra runs not part of the circuit. The
circuit itself is a lot of up and down and schussing around, extremely scenic,
but you are traveling typically with a pack of skies all on the same course from
one lift to the next. In fact as many as 35,000 skiers will ski the Sellaronda
in a day.
Some Sellaronda history: Italian Peter Böttl first skied around the Sella massif
in 1912 taking two days- obviously without any lifts, trails, grooming or
snowmaking. Today the record is 5 tours around the Sellaronda in a day, riding
high speed cable cars and skiing perfectly prepared slopes.
I called the Sellaronda the Italian rat race at one point as you see and ski
with the same people rushing from one point, one lift line to the same ski
trail, down and across and on to the next, following the many Sellaronda signs, Green
and Orange depending upon your direction, at the top of each lift.
The Green Sellaronda Routes goes counterclockwise
around the Sella from Colfosco – to Gardena
Pass – Selva di Val Gardena – Ciampinoi – Sella Pass – Lupo Bianco – Pordoi Pass
– Arabba – Campolongo Pass – Crep de Mont - Corvara – to Colfosco
(or wherever you started among these ski regions).
The Orange Sellaronda Route circles clockwise, from
the cable car Boè in Corvara to Campolongo Pass to Bec de Roces in Arabba. Porta
Vescovo to Pont di Vauz to Lezuo and Sas Becè, to Lupo Bianco to Sella Pass or
Col Rodella. A long descent to Selva di Val Gardena to Costabella to the
Dantercepies cablecar, to Gardena Pass and a long gradual descent to Colfosco,
and back to Corvara.
instead of joining the throngs of skiers rushing to complete the Circuit, that
you enjoy skiing the individual region’s ski lifts and the prepared pistes –groomed
ski trails, at each. You will accomplish the Sellaronda with more quality ski
turns and a much better skiing experience, not following the lemmings from lift
to lift hitting peak lines and skiing. It is said that the Sellaronda is shaped
like the suns’ rays, lighting the way for you to ski and explore each region
that emanates from the circle.
Photos of Skiing the Sella Ronda
Among the best ski resort villages to stay while skiing the Dolomites are
Gardena, Corvara, and Cortina. See our
reviews of the Dolomite Super Ski region, where to stay at the finest mountain
lodges and where to find the best skiing in the Dolomites.