Global Warming Appetizer – Winter resorts revel in white gold after best snowfall in decade

”Ski resorts across Europe will open this weekend ahead of schedule after the biggest November snowfalls for at least a decade.”

This is nature’s way of cocking a snook at the experts,” said Christian Rochette, the director of Ski France International, the tourist body for French resorts.The industry was expecting a good season despite gloomy forecasts from bodies such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).”

We’ve got excellent conditions for this time of year and very cold temperatures, which means we can use the snow cannons to make artificial snow as well,” he said.”

”It’s many, many years since we’ve had this much snow at this time of the year,” she said.”

”The mood is equally upbeat in the Swiss Alps. The Ski Club of Great Britain said that snow in parts of Switzerland was 12 times deeper than average”

”Pyrenean resorts are also enjoying snowfalls unseen for years. ”Oh, what happiness!” said Hervé Mairal, director of the Pyrenean Tourist Federation. ”We’ve got 95cm at the foot of the slopes and 1.4m at the top. We’ve not had that for a decade.

Andorra, which has had some poor conditions in recent years, is enjoying its best start to a season for four decades”

”On the Spanish side Roberto Buil, the marketing manager of the Baqueira Beret resort, said that the slopes had opened on November 22 for the first time in 44 years. ”All our 69 ski runs are open,” he said. ”We are having an amazing start.”

”The cold snap comes after an OECD report said that a two-degree rise in temperature could eliminate a third of all Europe‘s ski slopes over the next 40 years.”

”Andorra has had two metres of snow, and both of its ski areas opened last weekend, the best start to a season for more than 40 years.

More than 200 resorts will also open early this weekend in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Norway and Switzerland. The story is repeated in Canada and New England, where a metre of snow also fell at the weekend. ”

Global Warming Anyone?

The article is here:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article5254459.ece

From The TimesNovember 29, 2008

Winter resorts revel in white gold after best snowfall in decade

Mark Frary, Ski Correspondent

Ski resorts across Europe will open this weekend ahead of schedule after the biggest November snowfalls for at least a decade.

The exceptional conditions, including 60cm (23in) of snow on Alpine slopes and even more in the Pyrenees, has given a much needed boost to the ski industry after claims that global warming could devastate its multibillion-pound business.

This is nature’s way of cocking a snook at the experts,” said Christian Rochette, the director of Ski France International, the tourist body for French resorts.The industry was expecting a good season despite gloomy forecasts from bodies such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

We’ve got excellent conditions for this time of year and very cold temperatures, which means we can use the snow cannons to make artificial snow as well,” he said.

Reservations in France had risen by 20 per cent compared with last year, and Mr Rochette said there was no sign that Britons were being deterred by the falling pound or the economic outlook. ”They don’t seem to be prepared to sacrifice their winter holidays,” he said. ”They want to get away from all this talk of a crisis.”

French resort officials backed his optimism, although some predicted a drop in revenue from British tourists. ”Even if they still come, we expect that they’ll spend a little less,” said one.

A spokeswoman for the tourist office in Meribel, an up-market Alpine resort and a favourite of British skiers, said that, with 30cm of snow at an altitude of 1,500 metres and up to 80cm at 2,000 metres, the ski lifts would start operating today, a week earlier than planned. ”It’s many, many years since we’ve had this much snow at this time of the year,” she said.

Michael Broom Smith, of Purple Ski, said: ”On the lower pistes, the snow is thigh deep and beautifully light and fluffy and more snow is forecast this weekend.”

Val d’Isère will also open today with snow two metres deep at 3,000 metres. ”We’ve often had to put off the opening,” a tourist office spokeswoman said. ”Last year we opened a few slopes at the start of the season but this year we’re opening them all.”

The mood is equally upbeat in the Swiss Alps. The Ski Club of Great Britain said that snow in parts of Switzerland was 12 times deeper than average.

Pyrenean resorts are also enjoying snowfalls unseen for years. ”Oh, what happiness!” said Hervé Mairal, director of the Pyrenean Tourist Federation. ”We’ve got 95cm at the foot of the slopes and 1.4m at the top. We’ve not had that for a decade.”

Andorra, which has had some poor conditions in recent years, is enjoying its best start to a season for four decades and both the main areas of Grandvalira and Vallnord will be open fully from this weekend.

On the Spanish side Roberto Buil, the marketing manager of the Baqueira Beret resort, said that the slopes had opened on November 22 for the first time in 44 years. ”All our 69 ski runs are open,” he said. ”We are having an amazing start.”

The tourist office in La Molina said that it would open 18 of its 52 slopes today with ”very, very good snow for this time of the year”.

The cold snap comes after an OECD report said that a two-degree rise in temperature could eliminate a third of all Europe‘s ski slopes over the next 40 years.

”We know that global warming is happening,” Mr Rochette said. ”Perhaps there will be an unforeseen impact which means we carry on getting as much snow as we do now.”

The chalet operator Skiworld has bought extra airline seats, offering such deals as a week in the French resort of Courchevel 1850 for £269 including flights and transfers.

And here:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/travel/winter_sports/article5238245.ece

From Times Online November 26, 2008

Ski resorts open early after heavy snow – as prices plunge

It’s the best start to the season in Andorra for 40 years – but prices to the resorts have fallen by a fifthSteve Keenan

Ski resorts across Europe are opening early after snowfalls of a metre and more in the past week.

Andorra has had two metres of snow, and both of its ski areas opened last weekend, the best start to a season for more than 40 years.

More than 200 resorts will also open early this weekend in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Norway and Switzerland. The story is repeated in Canada and New England, where a metre of snow also fell at the weekend.

But the even better news for wintersports enthusiasts are falling faster than the snow. A survey from The Co-operative Travel has found prices have fallen by as much as 22 per cent for trips to Andorra.

Skiers flying into Toulouse, the gateway to Andorran resorts, are paying on average £163 less per person for a seven-night ski holiday (£568, compared to £731 in 2007). Resorts in Bulgaria are also showing a fall in prices.

While overall prices for ski holidays have risen slightly, the price of a ski package to North America has also fallen sharply – by 11 per cent to Whistler (Canada) and 7 per cent to Lake Tahoe (California).

The Co-Op studied 15,000 bookings and said the biggest success story for ski holidays is Finland, where booking numbers have grown 55 per cent over the last four years.

In addition to the main ski resorts, about half of Spain‘s 30 ski areas will also be open this weekend, reports http://www.Skiinfo.com. In the Alps, the biggest fall at the weekend was at Val Thorens, where 75cm of snow fell.

Resorts in Finland, Norway and Sweden have also done well, said skiinfo, with heavy snowfall over the weekend – 35 ski areas are now open in Norway alone.

The report also says that Eastern European ski areas have begun to open. with seven centres reported open in the Slovak Republic and 18, including major centres like Špindleruv Mlyn, Harrachov and Pec pod Sněžkou in the Czech Republic.

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  1. Andorra » JAUME BARTUMEU - Junts Farem l’Alternativa » Blog Archive ... Says:

    […] Global Warming Appetizer – Winter resorts revel in white gold …Andorra, which has had some poor conditions in recent years, is enjoying its best start to a season for four decades and both the main areas of Grandvalira and Vallnord will be open fully from this weekend. … […]

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