SLOVAKIA’S ski season has started relatively late this year, even in higher-altitude ski resorts. While in past years skiers have hit the slopes in Štrbské Pleso as early as the last 10 days of November, this year’s season at that resort began only on December 15, but with a day of free skiing. In many other resorts, the ski lifts and cableways were put into operation on the weekend of December 19-20.
The resorts operating will be those which managed to use the few freezing days to cover their slopes with artificial snow.
As natural snow has not been very abundant yet, it is only possible right now to ski on the less-demanding runs that could be easily covered with artificial snow. But with a weather forecast of cold and colder for the foreseeable future, the number of ski slopes opening and getting ready to open is expected to increase rapidly.
Skiers will be pleased that prices of ski passes are lower than last year, by even 30 percent at some slopes. But during the Christmas to New Year period prices will be bumped up as the ski operators tend to do every year. Nevertheless, prices will still be lower than last season. Accommodations at the resorts for the holiday period are not as full as in previous years and the best-value packages are those consisting of ski passes and accommodation together, which can yield further savings of about 20 percent on the ski pass-only price.
The only potential problem could be very low temperatures – as it can be really hard to enjoy skiing when it is minus 20° Celsius. But the coming days will be much like this and Slovakia will finally begin to experience snowfall and a white Christmas even though the snow cover will not be too deep – up to 10 centimetres and perhaps slightly more in the highest mountains.
21. Dec 2009 at 0:00 | By Roman Millan, www.lanovky.sk