Ski Trek 2014: Chicken Wings and other Things
It’s the one week out of the year when locals head for the Alps, Apennines, Dolomites or Mt. Etna on Sicily for seven days of fun in the snow, under bright blue skies or falling flakes, Mother Nature permitting.
I, too, join the legions of Gor-Tex®-wearing, white-stuff aficionados each and every year at this time and head for the Val Pusteria in the Trentino-Alto Adige (South Tyrol) region of northern Italy where German is spoken, but Italian understood (Ja, das ist gut!). But, I don’t go alone. I’ve got an army of buds watching my six and making sure my wine glass, beer stein and short-shot vessel are always filled. Hey, I need a little “courage” to go downhill.
Our annual hoedown in the snow is called Ski Trek. We’re an avalanche of Italians, Yanks and Canucks, and we act like one, too, as we literally take over the Hotel Adler in Villabassa (Niederdorf in German) and ski the Dolomites, ringing up large bar and food tabs along the way whenever we stop to, ahem, re-hydrate and fill up.
From Hugos to Spritz Aperol aperitivi; red, white and sparkling (think Prosecco) wines; grappa in all kinds of flavors and, my fave, Pear Williams; and, outstanding regional, slow food like canederli in broth (bread dumplings), spätzle (small egg noodles), gulasch (thick soup/stew), wurst (sausage) and speck (smoked prosciutto/ham).
CHICKEN WINGS? Italy? ARE…YOU…NUTS?
No. Well, yes, if you consider the only way there and back is via a treacherous pista nera (black run) midway down the slopes of Mt. Elmo that my ski bum brethren have dubbed the “Chicken Wings” run.
Be on the lookout for my dispatches from the snow as I document each and every embarrassing moment of this “Lost Weekend” journey.
As they say up in the South Tyrol when the lederhosen fit a bit too snug: Yodel-ay-ee-oooo!
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