St. Catarina , how to deal with police
As the name implies, freeriding is forbidden in Italy, that’s an officially presented standpoint. But we can say, that it is tolerated under certain circumstances. It can happen, that you meet a guide, who leads his group along the ridge far away from the resort. This is the essence of freeriding and it is expecially true in Italy. There area some areas, as the neighbourhood of Monte Rosa, where is the situation a little more benevolent, everything is little bit different according to the area. The above information implies, that when you want to freeride in Italy, you have to keep away from ski slopes and best is to ride on the other side of the mountain where can nobody see you. These indices are putting together a number of aspects such as greater experience, avalanche prevention, at least three riders, etc. Resist interesting terrain in the lift area is sometimes very difficult and also that’s why I mark in the map downhills, which are interesting, but watched by local patrols. If you pull down an avalanche here or even in some distant place, but the situation will be seen from the center, in the better case you won’t miss a penalty. The police wants at all costs to keep the slopes safe and in many cases, when the slope riders are moving in the freeride terrain it is really unavoidable. After first downhill in resort will be followed by a warning, after second will be the pass wanted. Italy is about skiing out of the resorts and who doesn’t have for it yet, may he choose another country.We came to the resort especially because of local freeride pioneer Mr. Bonseri, who literally performed us the whole resort.
Area number one is monitored much by local patrols and that in all snow conditions. Therefore I recommend you to do only one or two rides in this area. The downhill is steep enough with a lot of drops. The area is well-arranged and it doesn’t require sense for orientation.
Area number two is now fully on your abilities, there are mostly rocks. When you’re in the right place at the right moment it is a real pillow paradise. The area is quite large, you won’t meet much freeriders here, and especially in the morning hours when the place is lit by the sun I really recommend it.
In number three are hidden top BM lines in the area, really big long lines with big drops, I also recommend to ride in the morning. In the middle is a rocks which must be bypassed and in the recommendation I wouldn’t venture over it. This area, though it doesn’t appear in the photos, is shielded enough so nobody will disturb you.
South lines in number 4 are paradise for beginning freeriders and BC kickers, there’s no problem with the police in this area. This area isn’t so steep, but spacious. Local freerider Mr. Bonseri makes trails with a snow groomer so you can get without troubles back to the center. He also carries freerides to the top peek area. Sunsets are here breathtaking and when you move afternoon to this place you will definitely not regret it.
For researchers, there’s track number 5. On the map there’s marked only a staring point and downhill marked in the photo. It’s a track at the end of the day and it rides down to the Bormio resort. If you downhill this wall and go down through a valley you reach a way, where rides only mountain rescue with a snowmobile and it connects St. Catarina and Bormio. The trail gently slopes down to Bormio and in a powder day it’s a trail for at least an hour. You’re absolutely alone on this trail and you will be surprised by local nature.
I would really recommend this resort, you won’t find many freeriders here so you can powder a few days after arrival. The resort’s height ensures good snow conditions and in freeriding terms it offers more than better known Bormio, which I will write next time about.