The series of sports holiday guides by GardaConcierge continues with a segment on winter sports. In close vicinity to Lake Garda, Monte Baldo is the ideal setting for snowboarding, skiing, snowshoeing and snow running.
The cable car linking Malcesine and Monte Baldo takes visitors to the top of the mountain, offering a unique view of Lake Garda. In not more than ten minutes, the cable car goes up to a height of 1800 metres, an ideal starting point for skiing. The ski region of Malcesine is usually open from December to March. It comprises of ski slopes with a total length of 8 kilometres and a height of up to 500 metres. There are easy, intermediate and difficult ski slopes. The Prà Alpesina, venue of national and international skiing competitions, is a ski run for advanced skiers from where one has an incredible view of Lake Garda. Skiing instructors introduce beginners to this sport on the practice venue of Malcesine’s ski region.
The snowboard is the skis’ little brother and has steadily gained popularity since its invention, with snowboarding becoming an Olympic discipline in 1998. Apart from a breathtaking view of Lake Garda, Monte Baldo offers ski slopes leading to modern surface lifts along different paths – a snow paradise for snowboarders! Snowboarding – even more so than skiing – is fun off-piste and when doing acrobatic tricks. At the Malcesine ski region, snowboard fans find the exciting Snowpark environment, where they can train and practice their jumps and tricks. Whether you use the snowboards with soft flex for freestyle jumps at the Snowpark or off-piste freeriding, or harder boards for downhill rides on the ski slopes, the Malcesine ski region is the right thing for everyone!
Cold and snow offer more than ski-runs, sport tricks and a sense of excitement: snow shoes are the winter alternative to hiking. Over the years, the traditional snow rackets consisting of wood and ropes has become a modern and light snowshoe made from plastic or similar material that you can strap onto the shoes. Below, the snow shoes boast snow cleats for a better grip in the snow that is particulary important in steeper uphill and downhill sections. The northern shore of Lake Garda, with its hills and Monte Baldo, is ideal for snowhoeing and hiking along regularly fixed routes. The route from Prada to the alpine Fiori del Baldo hut certainly ranks among the most beautiful tours, leading along the “Strada per Noale” and a gravel road through the forest. The approximately two-hour hike, which covers a height of up to nearly 900 metres, provides a view of the Brenta Dolomites and the entire Po Valley. The circular route from San Valentino to Monte Altissimo di Nago is another hike path. It leads to the alpine Damiano Chiesa hut, which is located approximately ten metres below the summit. This hike is 13 km long and covers a height of up to 800 metres. The snowshoe trail from Pregasina to the Punta dei Larici viewpoint, with a length of 7 km and a height of up to 400 metres, is shorter but equally exciting. Snowshoeing has no time limit. In fact, various organisations offer night walks led by mountain guides, during which participants can experience the winter landscape in the moonlight. During these hikes, it is often possible to have dinner at an alpine hut before returning home.
More than an individual sport, snow running is a habit of steadfast runners that don’t give up, even if the summits and the ground are icy and snowy. For some, the fresh-fallen snow in winter is like sand on a beach that runners run along in summer. The “Scarpinada” is a tradition on Monte Baldo. The non-competitive snow walk or run takes place in the area surrounding Malcesine, in the locality of Tratto Spino, at a height of 1800 metres. The “Scarpinada” has been held in February or March for over 20 years. Participants experience the snow white Monte Baldo from a different perspective, without a snowboard, skis or snow shoes on their feet.