The Cross-Country Area
Nordic fun in the Gsies Valley
The unspoilt Gsies Valley is, alongside the Antholz Valley, one of the main cross-country skiing hotspots within the Puster Valley region. This broad and sun-kissed valley in the Kronplatz holiday region looks like something straight from a postcard: Traditional mountain huts, picturesque villages and lively traditions are all on full show alongside the trails here. This roughly 20 km side valley, which runs between the smaller peaks of the Rieserferner Group and the Defregger Alps, is home to some 40 km of trails. The wide, immaculately groomed trails here can be explored using both styles of skiing, as there’s plenty of space for skate skiing between the dual classic trails. As you pass through the frozen landscape, there are also numerous inviting lodges and inns serving hot drinks and local specialities.
Gliding through the snow-filled valley
Nordic skiers can explore the mountains of South Tyrol in the area around the towns of Pichl, St. Martin and St. Magdalena on the immaculately groomed cross-country trails which criss-cross the picturesque landscape. The valley floor gently rises from 1,100 m to 1,400 m, and is covered in snowy pastures, frozen forests and charming farmyards. To get to St. Magdalena at the head of the valley, cross-country skiers will have to draw on all their energy. Luckily, the hard work is rewarded with incredible views over the valley as well as some delicious food and drink on an inviting sundeck at the local inn. If you’re looking for something a little mellower, head for the Gsieser Tal trail, which is slightly downhill overall. If conditions are good, skiers can make it all the way to Taisten and Welsberg, where you can connect to the Pustertaler Ski Marathon trail.
The Gsies Valley is a member of the extensive Dolomiti NordicSki cross-country region which boasts some 1,300 km of trails.
The Gsieser Tal Lauf
One unique highlight of the Gsieser Nordic season is the annual Gsieser Tal Lauf. This cross-country race, which has been held every year since 1984, sees around 2,500 people from more than 30 nations descend on the region to compete. On routes of 30 or 42 km, cross-country skiers can test their abilities against others – using the classic technique on Saturday and skate skiing on Sunday. The popular Skimarathon event even counts towards the Euroloppet Series, the “Gran Fondo Mastertour” and “Italian Ranking”.
The Most Beautiful Tracks
Welsberg – Niederdorf – Toblach
This 12 kilometre trail starts to the west of the station and south of the “Mitte” car park in Welsberg im Pustertal. After tackling a relatively steep incline to begin with, skiers then take on a longer, more moderate rise which is punctuated by flat and downhill sections. The trail encompasses a total of 45 vertical metres.
Mooswald in St. Magdalena/Gsies Valley circular trail
In St. Magdalena in the Gsies Valley, skiers should check out the roughly 3.5 km circular course. This trail is floodlit from 5 PM until 10 PM every day during the high season for night time skiing under the lights.
Welsberg – Taisten – Gsieser Tal trail
The Gsieser Tal Loipe, which hosts the Gsieser Tal Lauf event every year, weaves along the unspoiled sunny valley floor. This roughly 20 km trail welcomes both skate skiiers and classic skiers to explore the natural surroundings between Welsberg, Taisten, Pichl, St. Martin and St. Magdalena. The starting point is the Brückenwirt inn, which is around 3 km beyond the turn into Gsies Valley. There are plenty of inviting benches along the route allowing you to take a welcome breather – after all, this trail does encompass some 169 vertical metres.
- Offering 31.69 miles cross-country trails, Gsies Valley is among the 15 largest Cross-Country Skiing Areas in Italy.
- The cross-Country skiing area takes you to an elevation of 4593 ft.
- During the season the average snow depth at Gsies Valley is 9 ". Snow coverage is usually best during February, offering an average base depth of 12 ".
Dining along the Tracks
From December to March, Nordic skiers can look forward to specially tailored food and drink served in the local eateries here. These various light dishes, which are available in the inns alongside the trails are designed to deliver on the needs of cross-country skiers and are easily digestible.
In the Gsieser Knödelmarathon every January, the focus is on one thing – dumplings from the region. Participants can try these hearty delights at restaurants along the way, including bacon dumplings, cheese dumplings, spinach dumplings, mushroom dumplings and potato dumplings. The unique combination of a sporting and culinary event has proved incredibly popular. This fun race is not about winning but discovering the unspoilt Gsies Valley and enjoying delicious dumplings in all their variations.
By car: The Gsies Valley in the Kronplatz holiday region is accessible from Innsbruck or Trento/Bolzano via the A22 motorway. Exit the motorway at the Pustertal junction and take the SS49 via Bruneck until you reach Welsberg. Turn right there and drive into the valley on the Gsieser Straße.
By train: Rail travellers can alight at the station in Welsberg.