Snow conditions and ticket prices valid as January 26
|The SPECTATOR's regular ski update|
|Jasná||50 - 70 cm||very good||Sk690||All lifts in service, in high winds peak lifts do not operate|
|Chopok - South||170 - 300 cm||very good||Sk500||5 out of 6 lifts in service, in high winds Kosodrevina does not operate|
|Donovaly||70 - 800 cm||very good||Sk640||All lifts in service|
|Veľká Rača||100 cm||very good||Sk650||All lifts in service|
|Štrbské Pleso||150 cm||very good||Sk640||All lifts in service|
|Plejsy||60 cm||very good||Sk590||6 out of 7 lifts in service|
|Skipark Ružomberok||80 cm||very good||Sk650||All lifts in service|
|Martinské hole||120 cm||very good||Sk550||All lifts in service the surcharge for the chair lift to resort is Sk150|
|Zverovka||100 cm||very good||Sk580||All lifts in service|
|Lomnnické sedlo||250 cm||very good||Sk550||Price includes a gondola from Tatranská Lomnica|
|Vrátna dolina||50 - 85 cm||very good||Sk570||11 out of 13 lifts in service, Chleb out of service from 01/2004|
SNOW now covers most of Slovakia, and some areas in the North have received almost one metre of fresh snow. Resorts above the treeline such as Chopok Juh (South) and Lomnické sedlo are reporting record amounts: 250 to 300 cms. New snow has also increased the avalanche danger in some mountains to level 4 and there's a level 5 alert in the Veľká Fatra, so be careful if you decide to ski off trail and always enlist the services of a certified Slovak mountain guide.
Vrátna will open a new terrain park on February 5, and night skiing is now offered at Vrátna, as well as Jasná, Veľká Rača, Donovaly, and Štrbské Pleso.
Weather forecasters predict more snow showers and cold weather with temperatures ranging from -15C in the morning to -2 in the afternoons. February is the start of the European school holiday period, so slopes can get more crowded, but many resorts have invested in new high capacity lifts so you should not wait more than 15 minutes even in peaks.
One way to beat the crowds is to sample one of Slovakia's many smaller resorts. Ski Turecká, a resort in the Veľká Fatra near Banská Bystrica, offers six lifts, seven runs, and a vertical drop of 740 meters. Currently, it reports a base of 100 cms and a one-day adult ticket is just Sk380 (€10) - see skiturecka.lanovky.sk.
Prepared by Roman Millan with John Sherwood, Special to the Spectator
31. Jan 2005 at 0:00
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The documentarist and writer, aged 44, was one of the two casualties of the fatal Monday crash between a bus and a truck.
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The lookout at the Bratislava airport is accessible from the Vrakuňa (borough of Bratislava) side.