It doesn’t get much better than a real igloo on a real glacier! You don’t have to go all the way to The North Pole for such an experience. It is right here in Val Senales.
We have known the Rifugio Bella Vista since we were students, where we made our first big mountain tours of the Ötztaler Alps/Alpi Venoste. We actually know it since about the time when Paul took over the helm. This was before Ötzi was discovered, so before 1991. There, we celebrated weddings and birthdays, and experienced countless precious and unforgettable moments.
This year, for the first time ever, we spent a night in an igloo, an anniversary present from our children. The igloo was surprisingly warmer than I had anticipated, just to get that out of the way. It was an amazing experience, combining a really rustic and luxurious feel at the same time. It was a childhood dream come true.
We skied to the igloo and arrived in the early hours of the afternoon. We spent the rest of the afternoon in the sauna and hot pot. To be immersed in hot water on the top of a glacier with a view to a literal sea of mountain peaks is really out of this world, something we lived off from the rest of the year - from both the surrounding beauty as well as the contrasts.
Our things were already waiting for us in the igloo when we arrived, along with a small welcome-package from the Grüners. We split a bottle of sparkling wine throughout the evening, which needless to say, made it all the more merrier. For dinner, we had a lavish meal made out of locally-sourced ingredients at Rifugio Bella Vista, where we also ran into some old acquaintances. Paul was also there and joined us shortly at our table.
Soon after midnight, we started yawning! It was time for bed. The way back to the igloo was (still) fun! We got in, the door of the igloo seamlessly closing behind us. In the icy igloo itself, we slept on an isolated matt, sheepskin, in special sleeping bag - all very soft and warm. The noise from the outside is muffled and you can only hear soft sounds from natural movement and gentle snowfall.
Around us, everything is white and oozes tranquility. The simplicity of the surrounding calms the eyes and instills inner peace, and the hustle and bustle of everyday life is luckily far far away. A night in the igloo clears the mind.
We had a deep, dreamless sleep and slept in. An elaborate breakfast was served at the refuge, where it was a couple degrees warmer. We were on the slopes by noon, where we skied a few rounds after which we drove back to the Golden Rose, greeted by the wonderful and radiant Steffi.