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SKI TIP

Jasná - Nízke Tatry



Jasná Statistic:
Bottom station elevation: 1,025 metres
Top station elevation: 1,872 (north) and 1,989 (south)
Lifts: one six-chair, three three-chair, one double chair, one gondola, 11 lifts on the north, and 5 lifts on the south
Total uphill capacity: 20,500 persons per hour
Kilometres of skiing: 28
Number of trails:18
Adult ski ticket for one day: Sk750 (north), Sk500 (south)
Website: www.jasna.sk, www.millan.sk



Jasná Statistic:
Bottom station elevation: 1,025 metres
Top station elevation: 1,872 (north) and 1,989 (south)
Lifts: one six-chair, three three-chair, one double chair, one gondola, 11 lifts on the north, and 5 lifts on the south
Total uphill capacity: 20,500 persons per hour
Kilometres of skiing: 28
Number of trails:18
Adult ski ticket for one day: Sk750 (north), Sk500 (south)
Website: www.jasna.sk

IF SLOVAKIA ever realises its dream of hosting the Winter Olympics, Jasná in the Low Tatras would be the site of most skiing events. It is the most developed ski resort in Slovakia, offering the longest runs, best lifts, and finest hotels in the country's galaxy of ski resorts.

The base of the resort sits 1,000 metres above sea level and the majority of the resort's trails face north, making this one of the most snow-sure ski areas in all of eastern Europe. Moreover, skiers at Jasná can enjoy carving tracks both above and below the tree line, and snow guns cover most of the lower slopes.

Jasná's World Cup downhill course, the red number 11 trail, boasts an 877-metre vertical drop and is over three kilometres long. The lower half of the trail is serviced by the country's first high-speed, deta-chable, six-person bubble canopy chair. Strong intermediate skiers will also enjoy the red and black trails that begin at the Luková top station (1,670 metres). Luková is serviced by two chair lifts, and a new pull lift.

The best slopes for beginners are located on the Otupné base (1,150-1,640 metres). All slopes are tree-lined and connected by a four-seat gondola called vajce (the egg). Another good area for new skiers is the Biela Púť trail at the Jasná base. The 770-metre long blue trail has its own pull lift and is illuminated by lights for night skiing. Jasná also offers night skiing for more advanced riders on the lower half of the Pretekárska trail (red number 1).

Freeride snowboarders and ski alpinists will enjoy hiking from the Konský grúň (1,872 metres) top station to the summit of Mount Chopok (2,024 metres), and exploring the famous back bowls of Chopok Juh.

Jasná and Chopok Juh share the same lift pass but are currently not linked by lifts. Freeriders, in short, must endure a high alpine hike to get from one base to another. Once on the Chopok Juh side, however, four pull lifts and one chair provide access to all but the highest portions of Chopok's southern slopes. For the 2004-5 season, Jasná intends to build an eight-person, high-speed detachable chair on the Chopok Juh side of the resort from the Kosodrevina Hotel to the summit of Mount Chopok (2,024 metres). This new chair will provide a better connection between the two sides of the resort.

Jasná has the best hotels of any ski resort in Slovakia, including two four-star establishments: the Grand Hotel and the Tri Studničky. The latter is the country's newest mountain resort hotel and has received several awards for architectural excellence. Patrons can expect to pay Sk4,430 (€109.4) for a double room at Tri Studničky. Double rooms at other venues on the Jasná side of the resort range from Sk1,000 to Sk2,500 (€24.7 to €61.8), and even less expensive accommodations can be found at Chata Kosodrevina at Chopok Juh, where rooms run up to Sk800 (€20) a night.

Food enthusiasts can experience everything from fine continental cuisine at the two four-star hotels to authentic regional meals at Koliba Koliesko. The resort's numerous mountain huts also offer many excellent choices for lunch.

Non-skiers can enjoy thermal bathing at Aquapark Tatralandia, 20 kilometres from the resort and accessible by a free shuttle service. For the more adventurous, there is ample Nordic skiing, high altitude snowshoeing, and paragliding.

The 320-kilometre trip from Bratislava to Jasná takes approximately 3.5 hours by car. If you take a three-hour express train to Liptovský Mikuláš, from there you can find ground transfer to the resort: a cab for Sk300 (€7.4), or a public bus for Sk30 (€0.75).

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