This is the best known of the Cortina ski areas: the Women's World Cup races are held on this side of the valley and the black Olympia run with its narrow rock walls will be a familiar site to anyone who follows the skiing on TV.
The lift system is made up of:
while the ski run breakdown is as follows:
The Col Drusciè cable car takes skiers out of Cortina town centre and up onto the ridge. Those looking for a quick early 'burn' will take the second part of the cable car up to the Ra Valles area and the high runs and good snow in this mini-area under the Tofana peak.
There are three short chairlifts up in the Ra Valles with a selection of fairly straightforward but enjoyable blue and red runs way above the tree-line, as well as a mountain restaurant with great views across to the Faloria area and down to the town below.
Once skiers have warmed themselves up, they can tackle the black run down into the lower main area on this side of the valley.
Those looking for another challenge will find it in the form of the Duca d'Aosta chairlift and the Pomedes chair above it. These lifts offer access to the slopes where the World Cup races in the speed disciplines are held, with the famous Olympia run heading between the two cliff faces as it descends beside the chairlift.
Another challenging run in the same area is a black run which is deliberately left unpisted in, as the signs say in Italian, 'historic' condition (in other words, before run grooming machines). It can be seen off to the right of the Duca d'Aosta chairlift.
Those not looking for black runs will find quite a few interesting reds in the same busy area.
Anyone looking for relief for tired thighs after those pistes will find it over in the Pocol and Socrepes areas. This is a collection of five chairlifts on flattish and flattering runs through the trees and down to the road which heads up to the Falzarego Pass.
The Pocol area is a perfect one for any early intermediate skier who wants to build their confidence up. The slopes are wide without too many surprises and allow skiers to concentrate on their own technique rather than being worried about others around them.
The Pocol car parks also offer the opportunity to catch the ski bus up to the Falzarego ski area or back to the resort.
Alternatively it is possible to ski back to the Col Drusciè cable car. Skiers over in the Pocol area will need to take the Tofana Express chair up to the base of the Duca d'Aosta lift. From there a blue run/trail, quite narrow in places, leads back through to the base of the Colfiere chair and then further across several roads and eventually over a wooden bridge to the cable car parking area. In busy conditions and when the run is icy, this Stries piste would be appreciably tougher than its blue rating and nervous skiers may prefer to take the bus back to town from Pocol.
can download a large-scale
piste map of the ski area from the Dolomitisuperski site. The map covers the four different areas around Cortina d'Ampezzo.
(link opens new window - download PDF file 667kb)