Monday, March 30, 2015

An Igloo Adventure

So...last week we slept in an igloo!! It was thrilling and adventurous and not as cold as we thought it would be. Here's what happened:

A few weeks ago, we were out for aperitivo when we met a couple who were on their "winter honeymoon." They were in Cortina for a few days and had just come from the igloo. They told us all about it and said we had to try it.....so we went home and booked it.

The igloo (there are actually three) is at the Bella Vista Mountain Rifugio on the Hochjochferner Glacier in Val Senales.

{Image via}
We drove to Val Senales on Thursday morning and arrived in the early afternoon to ski to the rifugio. The only problem was - the mountain was covered in a huge snow cloud and we couldn't see a thing! Here's a picture of the rifugio the next morning when it had cleared up (a bit):


We spent the afternoon relaxing in the living room of the rifugio and alternating between the sauna and the hot tub. Dinner was served in the dining room at 7 pm - Ryan and I were the only Americans but there were about 20 other people staying at the rifugio that night, from Italy, Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic. Everyone was very friendly and some people had been coming to this rifugio for years!

After dinner we drank Montenegro with snow in it (rifugios often don't have ice...) and played Backgammon.


And then....they took us out to the igloo where we would spend the night. The outside of the igloo was just a door, like this:


The igloos are basically hollowed out in the side of a snow drift. Inside, it was bigger than we expected and there was a big block of ice that we slept on! They gave us huge down sleeping bags though, and we were completely warm. Plus there were candles and a string of Christmas tree lights inside, so we could see.


In the morning, they woke us up at 7 am for breakfast in the rifugio. The igloo was so quiet inside that we could have slept for another few hours probably, even though the wind was WHIPPING outside.

After breakfast, you can ski down to the base of the mountain before the lifts open - so you're the only one on the slopes. The run is a little over 7 km and it's thrilling to ski down the glacier alone. (Although we had a little more of a thrill than we expected due to the weather conditions - but we made it!)

All in all, it was a really fun night and we would highly recommend it if you're in the area in the winter. You can read about it here, if you're interested.