With an advertised 80km of ski slopes but (in spite of more than reasonable snow weather) only a fraction of them open and basically all of them in bad state, the Societa' Impianti Bormio (SIB) has more than ever shown to be either incapable or unwilling to meet even the mildest skier expectations, letting tourists down in the busiest weeks of the 20011-2012 season.
The weather had been good enough to allow preparing an outstanding slope for the world cup downhill all the way down to 1250 meters altitude. There was thus no excuse for deciding not to prepare and open a good deal of essential slopes between 2000 and 2500 meters altitude (bimbi al sole, stella alpina, betulle, sant'Amrogio, for instance).
This decision forced skiers who paid up to 37.5 euro per day for a day-pass, into a long bottleneck with no alternative runs, and a few hugely embarrassing situations. Just to name a few:
27/28/29 December 2011: during the world cup the “Stelvio” run is occupied, leaving skiers with basically 2 runs left. This would be embarrassing enough was it not for the fact that there was no way to reach the all the restaurants (on the lower run) from the higher run: taking the cabin downwards - as suggested when I've asked - was a ridiculous option: you can't expect thousands of skiers to line up at a cabin with a capacity of few hundreds per hour. This left skiers with the only option of having to find their way in unprepared paths, ruining their skis and what was left of the unprepared runs. This could have been easily fixed by opening the "bimbi" (with the "betulle" variant, this would have required just a minimal amount of work) and/or the "stella". After 3 days I had to have my skis redone.
31 December 2011 and 1 January 2012: things can get worse. Despite an additional couple of days of snowfall the SIB did not care of opening the stella and the bimbi runs, leaving skiers in what is likely to be the busiest weekend of the year to rush through a long bottleneck where there were no alternative runs. Any form of decent skiing left the place for slow, careful avoidance of other skiers (see picture).
3 January 2012. You can’t blame the SIB to be inconsistent: after a huge snowfall on January 2, SIB not only did not open the “bimbi”, the “stella” the “betulle” and a couple of other runs, but didn’t even care of doing any snow packing on most of the already open runs (which is crucial to keep the slopes in good state and provide an enjoyable and safe skiing experience to tourists). By the end of the morning hundreds of skiers had turned the un-groomed slopes into dangerous and unpleasant runs, an uneven mix of fresh and hard snow, a nightmare for all but top 10% of the skiers.
Bormio in itself is a fantastic place, but expect high prices and low services on the slopes.