5th JANUARY 2025


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Since 1973, the real Ciaspolada has been in Val di Non

The history of La Ciaspolada in Val di Non which all started in 1972: today we’ll tell you about it.
At the heart of this story is the brainstorm of the then director of APT in Val di Non, Alessandro Bertagnolli.
Watching several inhabitants of Tret, in Alta Val di Non, crossing the snow covered woods with snowshoes on their feet to take fodder to their hungry goats, Bertagnolli understood that they could also be used for fun. That’s how the idea of La Ciaspolada in Val di Non started.

In the following January of 1973, the first edition was held. Almost unnoticed with very few snowshoes available, Bertagnolli and some members of the Società Podistica Novella, started something that in the Nineties would become the queen of sporting events in Trentino for the number of participants. The first Ciaspolada in Val di Non route was different to the one today because the route changes every year depending on snowfall, but the spirit has remained the same.

At the first edition there were only 18 competitors at the start and even fewer snowshoes so much so that they had to choose the individual time formula to allow the participants to share the snowshoes!

The idea was great and the promotional commitment of Bertagnolli at the beginning and Giuseppe Dondi and Gianni Holzknecht after did the rest. La Ciaspolada in Val di Non grows year after year enlarging the geographical area the competitors come from which now includes people from twenty different countries with a record of almost seven thousand participants. All Italian regions are represented with the majority of people coming from the North-East and Emilia Romagna.

In the last few years La Ciaspolada has become the most important event on the snow in all Italy; confirming its success which has become a reference point all over the world are the number of countries (around 100) which have broadcast the event on television: from Australia to Saudi Arabia, nobody has been able to resist its charm.

In memory of Sandro Bertagnolli, the man who started La Ciaspolada:

Dear Sandro,
you will always be our number 1

We have thought long and hard about the words to use to remember Alessandro, many thoughts come to mind and they are difficult to put down especially when it comes to remembering the man that was a father, friend and brother. The only picture that remains is that of a long track in the snow, lots of footprints left by snowshoes that stretch off into the distance over a lifetime.
Love for is family that was at the centre of his life especially when times were hard and cruel to take Cristian and Michele away from him; despite this Sandro knew how to transform his pain and the effort it took him to transform this cruel destiny into commitment and hard work by setting up the Fondazione Michele Bertagnolli to help those who shared his suffering. Love for this region; to which he was dedicated right from the start with his big heart and profound qualities of solidarity, friendship and tenacity and the way he showed just how good a person he was in the way he lived and through actions more than words.
Today we want to stand in silence in front of him and in front of this long path, and if we are writing these thoughts, we are doing it because we don’t want the silence to mean solitude or loss but the sound of a voice that gave us all an example to follow which we will hold in our hearts forever.
A sound we would like to keep with us to keep his idea alive which was the result of his extraordinary ability to understand this valley and its beauty and transmit this to everyone. Just as we would also like to remember his smile that was so full of light that was always present even in his last few months when during the long evenings in hospital he never once forgot about his beloved Ciaspolada and all the activities he did right up until the end with passion and dedication.
The footprints on the fresh snow of his life today go off into the distance where he can meet his sons and the friends who loved him very much.
We will never stop looking at this track, we will keep this image in our mind because we know that if we follow it we will be able to keep this great treasure of humanity, love and dignity he left us alive in every moment and every day. Farewell Sandro keep smiling at us and watch over us. August 2016

Letter from the United States from far away yet very close friends..
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