This year’s “Kings of Dolomites” Pietro Celesia, Daniel Perathoer and Massimo Chicco were crowned recently in the center of San Martino di Castrozza. 200 participants found their way to the tiny alpine town in Italy to participate in the second annual photo contest. We decided to identify a few reasons why San Martino di Castrozza is the perfect place for a photo competition like the KOD.
#1. The Secret Spot
San Martino di Castrozza is still a hidden secret (well, until now) and definitely a backcountry paradise. The ski area offers a cornucopia of choices and the variable terrain inspires creativity, whether you are the athlete or the photographer. It also doesn’t hurt that San Martino gets a whole lot of snow.
#2. International Crowd
Lots of people from the European and international ski scene come to the King of Dolomites to compete. Whether riding in the Gondola or sitting in a restaurant or bar, you will hear German, French, English, Swiss, Norwegian and Swedish all talking shop about the powder, the couloirs and the best ways to photograph and capture the beauty of the area.
#3. Italian Style
San Martino is part of Trentino, a province of Italy, and everyone who visits San Martino will experience the best in Italian hospitality and lifestyle. Warm welcomes, smiling faces, laughs and helping hands throughout the town are part of the Italian way. Of course, always with the Italian way of live: don´t rush, take “un café” or “un cappuccino” and enjoy yourself. Always keep in mind “tranquillo per favore!”
#4. Night Life
Italy is renowned for its delicious cuisine. San Martino is no exception! It is all about pasta, pizza, polenta, local cheese and sausage, and every meat dish you can imagine. A proper Italian dinner has at least four courses and enough food that can easily make for a two or three hour event. There are also plenty of bars to visit, ensuring a proper night out on the town. True to form, the Arc’teryx party hosted in “Le Range” during the KOD is one of the best parties of the event.(We might be biased)!
#5 Local Love of The Mountains.
There are a lot of friendly, beautiful people in San Martino and to give you an idea of what we mean we decided to introduce you to two of them.
Narci Simion is a fine example of the great people of San Martino. He is a mountain guide and president of the local Mountain Guide Association “Aquile” di San Martino. Now 61, Narci grew up near San Martino and spent most of his twenties travelling and climbing until becoming a mountain guide at 31. He is a true local and brings a positive vibe to every occasion; from guiding to late night apres at the Arc´teryx party where you will usually find him still in his ski clothes.
Carlo Zortea is a 48 year old passionate telemarker, climber and mountain biker who grew up in the dolomites and now works as a ski/telemark instructor for the Italian Police. His passion for the Dolomites and San Martino is obvious. When Carlo gets a chance to talk about ‘his’ valley, you can feel his “amore’ for the area. Like a true local Carlo is always very proud and enthusiastic to showcase ‘his’ place. He might just be the real ‘King of Dolomites.’
San Martino is an amazing place all year round – skiing, alpine climbing, climbing, mountain biking, road cycling, hiking… everything the perfect mountain town should have.
Thanks from Arc’teryx to this special alpine town for the precious moments and great hospitality.
Photo credit: Brian Goldstone and Franz Walter