Well here we have it. The first fail of a powdertrip of the season 2013/14. As the front moved in we were looking for interesting places to explore. I was still at work and got a text from Žiga. Check out “Forni di Spora”.
Forni di Spora is a, what looked like nice friendly little resort in the north east of Italy in Furlania. It runs under the mantle of the Promotur company. They are also the once running the Italian side of the Sella-Nevea Kanin resort. There organisational graph seems to indicate private interest.
Another thing to note for PROMOTUR, as a regional agency, on the border to two other countries, it would be nice to have a webpage that is in at least one foreign language. Just because you might have tourists looking for information from abroad 😛
Regardless of that, and previous experience at Sella Nevea, where during a freeride competition off-day when we were exploring the Italian side of Kanin a friend of mine got attacked by one of the gondola staff because we were “evil freeriders” from the other side, they seem to have liked the attention Canin got back then for the contest. I did not think much of it back then. After all this resort looked nice and small. In hindsight I should have guessed that that is company policy here.
The resort itself has 3 chairlifts that go up and a few babylifts at the bottom. The area according to the topography I studied that day indicated a few nice tree runs in the lift area and a good possibility if weather premit to descent to a platou on the east side and then either go into the valley via trees or hike a few runs from there direction Clap Savon. With all the new snow and high tempreatures at around -2 and cloudcover the latter was more of a distant possibility. But the tree runs for fun for a day seemed nice.
So we set out. 3 Cars – 1 from Maribor (almost 4 hours drive) and us from Ljubljana and Žiga with buddies for Begunje. We arrived just in time for the lifts to open. At the bottom the snow was wet. But there was lots of it … It looked like one of those days where you find the highest treerun lift and keep there to stay safe and score a few faceshots. In regards to the conditions that seemed like a good thing.
What we didn`t plan on was the Italian (but not all of Italy) way of winter truism that we had experienced a few times before. I must sadly say that not all resorts are friendly to freeriders like, as a shining example the excellent passo de san pellegrino. No here it was a bit different.
We were 9 people. Next to us on the resort there were a few kids with there local trainer and a few skiers from the Village. We were probably the only income generated there that day. As a resort operator you probably wan`t your customers to be happy and come back again.
Well as said, since the weather was warm at around -2 and we needed to get as high to the end of the treeline as we could our bet was on the last chairlift. Have some fun there all day. But guess what.
We arrived at the top of the second chair. The third lift looked like it was starting to run. Great we thought. We took another run down to warm up… snow was not ideal but it was fresh and we had a few lines in waiting under the second lift.
We arrive up and waited for them to open the third lift. Lift is running.. the piste under the lift is paved and three employees stand there avoiding any gaze to us paying customers. Luckily Nejc is more of a stright up guy and goes to ask the guy whats up with the lift. It`s running, prepared but closed ? Well the answer we got was a nice fuck you in the face. Lets keep it official here and just say they said it was closed due to avalanche danger. Right . The report was saying level 3 for the day above 1800 on all expositions. Since we are in Italy the reports are usually a little on the go to high quickly side if compared to tirol. Also slope inclination on the highest lift never even comes cloes to the 45 % that were an alarming no go for that day…
Since there was no arguing here with unhappy staff trying to work and us being nothing more then a problem to deal with in there eyes *guys seriously you are in truism* we descended and asked if we could have some of our cash refunded or at least get a cupon for next time so that we do come again *and they don`t lose customers and money*. Again the answer was that is not our policy. I feel sorry for the lady at the counter that she had to call I don`t know how many people just to give us the @thnx for nothing suckers customer support@ answer.
I know that Italian lift operators have a problem with freeriding as there legal outlay of security in skiresorts is totally inadequate. But if you have all the securty equipment required to go riding off-piste and are seasond they should understand that you do it on your own accord. The service they provide for the money is the lift. Nothing more nothing less. In the only English thing in there brochure they exculpate themselves from all liability except to bring you up the mountain. So why again is the lift closed if the piste is prepare and the lift is running ….
I will actually forwarded this post to Promotur and am eager to see there answer. I will post it here if I get one for all of you to see. So there you have it. Powhunting doesn’t always work out but I sure haven`t finished a pow day at 10 a.m before…
Well it`s gonna continue to snow till Tesday and next Friday there is a dump also for tirol and we are heading to ISPO for the latest and greatest .. so stay tuned 🙂