Spring Skiing in Europe
Spring skiing in the Alps: The Ortler round trip.
This is the classic thing to do after skiing powder in Canada all winter: head to the cradle of ski mountaineering in the Alps. Immerse yourself in the languages, cultures (did I mention food and wine?) of those storied ranges, and ski some pretty high quality terrain in the process. On the Ortler traverse, you ski back and forth between Italian speaking (and eating and drinking) Lombardy and German speaking (and Tyrolean eating and drinking) South Tyrol. An area so full of history, art, architecture (did I mention food and wine?) that it's almost sacrilegious to go up into the mountains. Not that those don't have their share of history.
But the mountains are well worth it. They are big and serious, but they are also very accessible. There are numerous huts, there is easy access to the trailheads, and in Sulden, there is a great telepherique system that gets us high into the mountains.
We ski past the great and storied north faces of Ortler and Koenigspitze, into the upper Valtellina, the terra magnifica with its wine and Roman baths, we climb Cevedale, at 3,770 m one of the premier ski mountains of the Eastern Alps, we traverse the old boundary between Austria and Italy with its barbed wire and fortifications, and we enjoy the hospitality of German and Italian speaking huts. The terrain is big and glaciated. Ski crampons are a must, and in places boot crampons may be necessary.