History of the ski school Ortisei - Winter tourism in Val Gardena
Live the dream with the ski & snowboard school Ortisei

History of the ski school Ortisei - Winter tourism in Val Gardena

The history of our traditional ski school is closely associated with the ascent of Ortisei to a popular winter sports resort in the Dolomites

A brief introduction of to the history of ski school
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The history of Ortisei’s ski school is directly related to the development of the winter tourism in Val Gardena. The first skiing courses began after the construction of the cable railway car of Alpe di Siusi. In autumn 1935, Josef Anton Sanoner(owner of Hotel Adler)put pressure to the Organization of tourism of Ortisei to entrust Mario Scarpa, a ski pioneer from Merano, to found a ski school in the village. Due to this, Ortisei became recognized as a winter tourist place destination. Under the direction of Scarpa, around ten enthusiastic young “Gardenesi” had received training in teaching skiing.

Amongst these teachers, there was also the famous climber Baptist Vinatzer who succeeded Scarpa as the director of the ski school. As well as being ski teachers, the young team also had to know how to illustrate to the tourists the beauties of the Dolomites. Franz Schmalzl, the oldest surviving ex ski teacher from the valley, ninety years old, remembers today: "On that time, when there were not groomed pistes, the fundamental premise to succeed in coming down the slope was dominating the technique of the snowplough” The way of teaching today is very different in compared to the thirties. In that time the skis were simple wooden affairs, often home made, very long and without edge, year by year, they have been replaced evolved into the skis we know today made of materials in metal or in synthetic fibers.

During the war, many teachers left the valley and they began teaching in Austria and in northern Italy. The post war period, it was a difficult time; and several years passed before the ski school was up and running again. The way of taking holidays, in the meantime, was changing and also the techniques of teaching. The technological progress ran over every sector: modern cables railways cars and innovative vehicles for the preparation of the pistes were developed. Considering that to halves the sixties the pistes were groomed by ski teacher. Toward halves the seventies the electronic ski pass was introduced for the first time that enabling skiers to the access in more pistes with only one card. Snow making machines were developed, extending the ski season. Despite so many changes over the decades, one thing has never changed: the pleasure of skiing.

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