Italy 17:08 – 26 May 2024
Travellers Tales

Tom: an American Skier in the Dolomites

In all sincerity this was a life changing trip and I owe it all to you, Matteo and Lou.

Posted in the Dolomites Ski Safaris collection on 16th November 2023

I

rolled over in bed and picked up my phone to see the time. It was 5:53 am and despite the sleep in my eyes I noticed the Gmail notification, 'Tom Heflin Inspired Italy.' I clicked the email and read it.

Here it is, unedited... Tim

Tom writes:

 

Tim,

I tried to cut it short but as you know that is not one of my strong points.

❝In all sincerity, this was a life-changing trip and I owe it all to you, Matteo, and Lou. I hope to bring our kids there one of these days and ski with you again. I wish you all the success in the world because you guys deserve it.

 

Your guide in the States,
Tom

 

❝What started from a dinner party with far too much wine turned into the greatest vacation my wife and I have ever had.

 

❝Having never skied in Europe or with a ski guide we didn’t know what to expect.

 

❝With thanks to Tim and Matteo, we came back with a love for skiing in the Dolomites and would never do it without a guide again.

 

I could not imagine doing this without Inspired Italy and the trip they planned for us. In fact, friends of ours went with another couple without a guide the following week and they missed out on so much of what the Dolomites had to offer and they didn’t even know it.

 

 

❝Being a lifelong skier I was a little worried about the terrain being intermediate groomers.

 

Fitting all our gear in a backpack and wearing it skiing all day and lastly staying in a rufgio on top of the mountain {what is a rufugio? Americans don’t stay on top of the mountains). Also, how do we get there, how will the logistics of this work? So much unknown.

❝This is where Inspired Italy shines.

 

 

We just let them handle all the details and we sat back and enjoyed the ride. With the exception of British Airways losing our skis, there was not one problem. Even losing our skis turned into a plus.

❝Tim took us to a rental shop where they fit us with perfect skis for the conditions, I liked them so much I bought a pair when I returned home.

 

They know the mountain better than anyone and what is the best way to cover the terrain in the time allotted. At the end of each day, we looked at the mileage we had covered and were just blown away.

Before arriving we heard Europe was having one of the worst ski seasons ever.

 

 

Many times we emailed Tim and he assured us the Dolomites had snow and the conditions were great. The Dolomites have some of the most advanced snow-making equipment in the world and they had been hit with storms the rest of Europe had not. 

We actually had a snowstorm one afternoon and woke to fresh powder the following morning. Not one day or on any run did I not feel the conditions were not fantastic.

Our group being so big with multiple levels of skiers posed challenges.

We wanted to ski together but some in the group were much faster skiers and wanted to let it rip. Tim split us into two groups. During the day we would ski some together but we would always meet for coffee in the morning (stopping for morning coffee Americans don’t do that but it was great} and our incredible lunches on the mountain. Everyone skied at their own pace so as to enjoy the experience without having to feel they had to do more than they could.

 

❝My concern about the skiing being intermediate groomers was so wrong. 

 

 

We skied all the major runs including both the men’s and women’s Olympic downhills and we saw the famous run from the James Bond movie.

We had everything from steep groomers to enjoyable cruisers.

I was able to get off-piste for some amazing untracked runs as well.

Staying in rufugios on top of the mountain had another advantage we skied down before the lifts opened and in that way skied the first two runs of the day with nobody on the slopes.

 

The skiing was tremendous but the Dolomites have so much history and there is so much to see.

 

 

 

I really just followed Tim and Mateo and they took us on runs that were so breathtaking I could not believe it, We often stopped so they could give us some history of how the Italian armies fought in the Alps during WWI. It was incredible thinking how these men could scale these mountains and fight battles.

Leaving, many of us said we came for the food and skied some as well.

❝The rufugios were a new experience for us and stopping for coffee and long lunches is something we just don’t do in the States.

 

Each day was a different and incredible mountainside restaurant. Never once did I not have an amazing meal.

At the end of the day we went to the rufugios, my oh my what places they were with views you would not believe. Usually, we sat outside for beers after skiing then went in to freshen up before we were treated to out-of-this-world 5-star dinners. Each rufugio had a different feel and we met people from all over the world.

❝What an experience.

 

 

I could go on forever about this amazing trip.

But as our friends from Nike say, Just do it.

Let Inspired Italy plan your trip and trust Tim, Matteo, and Lou to take you on the ride of your life.

❝They are the best of the best. I could not imagine doing this trip without them.

 

As I tell all my friends back home, I LOVE THE DOLOMITES!

Tom.

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