Abetone Ski Resort

Sunday, February 22, 2009 

Abetone is literally within sight of our apartment in Tuscany. While it is not more than 15km away as the crow flies, it is a 52km drive that takes a bit more than an hour because it goes through a lot of small towns and up into the mountains (much longer in inclement weather).

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We did not try the Mutlipass (a la 5th element) but we did ski all the trails lifts in Val de Luce, which is a US equivalent resort with condos and rental shops and big parking lots and easy lift access about 10km and 20 min further away from us than the first lift that access the greater Abetone ski area.

It is about half the size in terms of lifts and capacity of Megeve, and not nearly as extensively developed. Where Megeve has lots of gondola and acceleration lifts, Abetone is dominated by treadmill acceleration lifts. It is gorgeous, wide-open terrain.

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We visited after a long season of heavy snows, but late enough that warm days had made a hard cover and thus skiing on piste was barely distinguishable from off-piste, in fact the piste had more scraped powder.

But the open, forgiving terrain invites exploration and there certainly is plenty of it. While we only spent a half day there (vs. three days in Megeve) we found our own favorite geography and never had to share it with anyone else. The user small compared to Megeve, and infitesimal compared to US resorts: we never had to wait in a lift line and once we cleared the debark we were free of any other skiers even when the schools were operating.

I’m not sure I’d make Abetone an international destination, but as a convenient, local resort, it is far superior to Tahoe on anything but the best days, and only an hour away. If I was in Borgo A.M., I’d make the trip after every fresh snowfall.

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Posted at 16:01:22 UTC

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