Ski questions you’ve always wanted to ask

Be perfectly prepared for your ski holiday in Corvara

You’re no longer a newbie on the slopes, and it’s not often that someone tells you something about skiing that you haven’t heard before. Still, there are one or two things that you’ve always wanted to know but have never gotten round to reading up. We’ve done our research and hereby present you the best ski facts to learn and laugh. With these, you are sure to impress all ski nerds – and maybe one thing of the other will surprise you, too.
What does “ski” actually mean?
The word “ski” comes from Norwegian and means “piece of (split) wood”. The first skis were obviously made from wood, but even today, the core of a ski is still made of this material, even though many others are involved in the production process. In Norwegian, “ski” is also the word for “snowshoe” – a remainder from the times when there weren’t any chairlifts and in order to ski, you had to climb the mountain first. Thankfully, skiing in the Dolomites is very different today and there are plenty of chairlifts and perfectly prepared slopes so that you only have to think about the descent!

Who invented skiing?
Supposedly, even 4,500-year-old cave paintings show people on skis. But even though we don’t know exactly when someone first came up with the idea of putting on skis, we do know that the origins of skiing lie in northern Europe. The first skis were most likely brought to Europe by Russian immigrants in the 17th century. Since then, the ski business has been on a steady rise… even though it’s usually a descent. From a simple and practical way of moving forward in the snow, skiing has soon developed into a well-loved pastime. Already at the end of the 19th century, the first skiing clubs were founded in Europe. Soon, the first races took place, and by the middle of the 20th century, skiing became a mass sport.

And what does it all have to do with South Tyrol?
As the art of skiing spread through Europe, over mountain tops and through deep valleys, it also reached South Tyrol and the Dolomites. At the beginning, skiing was again only seen as a way of moving in the snow. Farmers, woodchoppers and merchants also used skis to transport all kinds of goods. During World War I, soldiers in the Alps also used skis. So, in the beginning, skiing was only for the locals, as tourism was limited to the summer season. Winter tourism only really kicked off in the 1930s, as the first chairlifts were built, the slopes were prepared and the alpine huts started to serve to tourists as well.
On the other hand, in South Tyrol we think that we could easily pass as the inventors of skiing. After all, skis and skiing techniques had to be adapted to the steeper slopes in the Alps – the skis, for example, became a lot shorter. So it’s no wonder that “alpine skiing” is still a commonly used term for “downhill skiing”.

Are rented skis as good as your own?
Many long-time ski fans bring their own gear. After all, your own ski boot always fits you best and with your own skis, you get the smoothest turns. But is that even correct? Are rental skis really lower quality? The answer is actually not that easy…
In some ski rentals, the available models are the same as the ones in stores. Some manufacturers also produce special rental versions though. They are characterized by a thicker and scratch-proof base as well as bigger edges. This way, the skis will last longer, even though they may need to be sharpened almost every day. Some rental skis also have a different binding that’s easier to use. These differences may be noticeable to a professional, but in the end, it all comes down to your personal preferences, habits and demands. In Corvara, you can obviously rent skis as well – or shine with your own.

Are cold feet on the slopes unavoidable?
No matter if it’s you that suffers from it, or if you want to give a friend the ultimate tip, from now on you won’t get cold feet regarding this topic! There’s a lot you can do to prevent ice-cold feet when skiing: Using the right socks for example, most suitable are technical ski socks or ones with wool. Especially luxurious are heatable ski boots or inlays. Speaking of shoes: Don’t close them too tightly, otherwise they will cut off the circulation in your feet. Apart from that, it’s important that they are warm and dry when you first put them on. You can use the waiting time at the chairlift to do some light warming up exercises – and at lunch it’s best to choose a hot drink and a warm and filling meal. And now, for a real insiders’ tip: Compression socks or stockings increase the arterial blood pressure in your feet and lower legs, thereby improving circulation. And should it still get fresh towards the end of a long day on the slopes, just warm up in our spa and relax area.

How does a ski sandwich taste?
If you can’t wait to taste the new ski sandwich after a successful day on the slopes, then hear us out before you embarrass yourself in front of your friends. A ski sandwich is not a new winterly culinary creation (even though we could further the idea to our kitchen team), but a ski construction technique. It involves placing all the materials making up the ski one above the other and gluing them together with resin under heat and pressure. This creates very durable skis, but they are also slightly heavier. So, no treat for your palate, but a very good starting point for your day of skiing in the Alps. But don’t worry, you will get the treats later, at the Sporthotel Panorama

Is there an alcohol limit on the slopes?
On the mountain top, a little bit of liquor is just part of the game, right? For many, one or two drinks are an integral part of a good day out in the snow. However, there are a few good reasons to wait for after sunset to have your drinks. In our tavern “Stua Ladina” you can enjoy your beverage of choice in a relaxed atmosphere – and should you have one more than usual, at least you don’t have to get down the slope, but only up to your cozy room. By the way: Since 01/01/2022, the alcohol limit for driving and skiing is the same in Italy! So, if you’re caught on the slopes with a blood alcohol level of over 0.5 per mill, you risk getting fined. Yet another reason to celebrate your day of skiing in Corvara only after it has ended. Our hotel lies right next to the slopes – so, it’s really not a long way…

So, where’s the best place to ski?
We can’t possibly not tell you about that. The best and most varied place to ski in the world is… Corvara obviously! True, we’ve chosen the absolute best location for our hotel to give you the most memorable ski holiday in the Dolomites you could think of. At our hotel, you are accommodated right at the door of Dolomiti Superski, the largest ski area in the world, comprising a total of 460 chairlifts and 1,200km of slopes at a height of 1,500 to 3,300 metres above sea level. Usually, we have plenty of snow, but don’t worry – should it snow less this year, we just turn on our snow machines. Apart from downhill skiing, you can also do cross-country skiing, ski touring or snowboarding on your ski holiday in the Dolomites. And on the Sellaronda ski roundtrip, you can visit four valleys of the Dolomites in one day! You can also look forward to traditional ski huts and stunning views.
Does that sound like a good deal? Send us an unbinding enquiry and come visit us for a skiing trip to Corvara!
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Explore the Dolomites on foot or by bike and really pamper your palate in the evening!