When it comes to skiing, I don't like to compromise. After all, I cannot take a vacation as often as I would wish, so I try to use every skiing opportunity in the best possible way. Refining my own technique a bit and of course going for a challenge. Otherwise I will quickly become dissatisfied. So I look for a ski area that meets my aspirations. Meanwhile, I am often attracted to Plan de Corones in South Tyrol.
Here I not only have a total of 119 kilometers of perfectly groomed slopes in all levels of difficulty. As well, the notorious Black Five are waiting there for me with a teasing smile: five black routes that have given me so many adrenaline rushes. And with which I am far from finished.
Apart from that, the weather in the Dolomites is exceptionally good. Much better than I am normally used to from vacationing in Austria. It couldn't be more pleasant!
Part of the Dolomiti Superski – that means: pure variety
If you need some good arguments to convince your friends or family of your next holiday plans, you will have an easy time in South Tyrol. Because Plan de Corones is part of Dolomiti Superski – a network of 12 ski areas with a total of 1,200 kilometers of slopes. All of them are beautifully prepared and passable with a single ski pass.
I've been in the region regularly for a few years now and I have never met anyone who would have missed anything here. From the pure hobby driver to families with a shared ski passion to the ambitious athlete looking for the next challenge. And it will probably be a while before I have tried all the routes myself. Or at least those that really appeal to me.
Such an ingeniously fluid profile that you have probably never experienced before.
What I appreciate, by the way, is that the snow here is almost consistently perfect. In general, the trails on the Kronplatz are very well developed and, with a few exceptions, pleasant to ride. The only drawback, perhaps: Freeride terrain is rather a rarity in the ski resort.
But for the off-piste adventure, I would recommend going to Northern Europe anyway.
The Black Five – the ski adventure in Kronplatz
Now we finally come to the most exciting part in Kronplatz: the infamous Black Five. I've already spent more time on these five slopes alone than in many other ski areas as a whole. And it is not only me: In addition to numerous athletes from outside the region, many local professionals regularly train here. Which is not only encouraging, but also led to a few very useful tips. Because if you want to develop yourself, of course, you always have an open ear and can exchange ideas – on the lift or elsewhere.
To give you a rough idea, here is my assessment of the Black Five:
Piculin (No. 45) – black slope with some flaws
In my opinion, the weakest of the five slopes. Which is mainly due to the very special mixture of steep sections with up to 72% incline and nearly flat platforms in between. Moreover, this slope becomes often icy in the afternoon. Nonetheless, of course, the exciting trail which, with its two kilometers in length and 507 meters vertical drop, is still worth testing.
Pre da Peres (No. 32R) – short & nice
With its length of 866 meters, a fairly short piste that is really fun to ride. Often slalom races take place here. Good thing in case you're looking for a bit of variety throughout the day!
Erta (No. 40) – black downhill at World Cup level
A demanding slope with a length of 1,610 meters and a vertical drop of 435 meters. It is not for nothing that the Audi FIS Ski World Cup regularly takes place on Erta.
In our Snow Story about famous World Cup downhills you can choose your next challenge.
Hernegg (No. 4) – your endurance test
One of my favorite slopes, as you really need endurance to complete the more than five kilometers(!) of downhill run. It drops almost 1,300 meters – with a gradient of up to 60 percent. After that, your whole body will know what you have done. Promise.
Sylvester (No. 1) – my favorite one in Kronplatz
The piste Number 1 is the top program here. This slope is simply one of the best in the whole region. Around five kilometers long with almost 1,300 vertical meters. And such an ingeniously fluid profile that you have probably never experienced before. Definitely my tip to start the day in the morning sun. Later on, there are just too many people skiing around and the many humps take up a lot of the real fun.
Wellness & Relaxation in the Dolomites
For me, a perfect winter vacation also includes wellness time. This works best in the Cron4 sauna world in Bruneck (Riscone). From here you can enjoy a direct view of the Plan de Corones and you can think about which slopes you are up to do next.
Otherwise, I can highly recommend the Messner museums. One is the MMM Corones directly in Kronplatz with the focus on “Traditional Alpinism”. And then there is the MMM Ripa on the subject of “The Heritage of the Mountains” at Bruneck Castle (“Ripa” is Tibetan: ri = mountain, pa = person). Bruneck is generally a nice destination for an afternoon excursion with a long walk. A nice little town that makes you stop thinking about skiing for a moment.
Several tips on parking and lunch venues in the Kronplatz ski resort
Always when we want to hit the slopes fast, we often park by the Olang-Bahn, since the valley run here is normally well groomed even in the afternoon. At the peak station, a large mountain restaurant with a nice sun terrace is the usual location where we spend our lunch breaks. The food is good – and there is a coffee with Bombardino to enjoy (definitely try it!). By the way, it's best to bring a small lock with you, then you can stow your skis in one of the lockable stands there.
Let me know how you like it at Plan de Corones – preferably by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. And please make sure you let us know if you do discover a cool freeride area!