Many Slovenian ski slopes closed due to warm weather

Ljubljana, 6 January - Unseasonably warm weather has forced many Slovenian ski slopes to close due to lack of snow. Not only is there no snowfall, but the temperatures are also too high to make artificial snow. The ski slopes that are open struggle to create the minimum skiing conditions for their visitors.

Snow cannons.
Photo: Gregor Mlakar/STA
File photo

"The warm winter, which makes it impossible to make artificial snow and whose high temperatures have eaten up the snow that the ski resorts managed to make before the holidays, is the reason why some ski resorts are already closed.

"Others are struggling with 20 centimetres of snow. The only exception is Kanin with a metre of snow, which is not much for this ski resort, but skiing is still possible," Manuela Božič Badalič, head of the Slovenian Ski Lift Association and Sončni Kanin, told the STA today.

According to the association, the country's highest-altitude ski resort is the only ski resort currently operating normally, while the Cerkno, Soriška Planina, Stari Vrh and Gače ski resorts are closed.

Other resorts such as Kranjska Gora, Krvavec and Vogel in the north struggle to keep the ski slopes white, including by moving snow from other areas to the slopes.

At Krvavec, the snow blanket is currently just 30 centimetres thick and continues to shrink because of high temperatures and humidity, so only five of the 13 ski lifts operate today and six of the 26 slopes are open.

"The fact is that even the best artificial snow system cannot make snow when it is 10 degrees Celsius and 80% humidity," Božič Badalič said.

Pohorje and Rogla in the north-east also operate at a much lower capacity than usual and at Pohorje, the bike park, which last year officially opened in mid-April, is also already open.

But the lack of snow has prompted many to cancel their hotel reservations, so the Draš Hotel will be empty as of 15 January with no bookings for February and March.

The situation is similar at the Pohorje village resort, which according to director Vasja Ilešič is also seeing cancellations.

Meanwhile, the accommodation facilities at Rogla and the Terme Zreče spa are fully booked and do not have any cancellations, said tourism company Unitur.

While Vogel, which is entirely dependent on natural snow, hopes to get at least 20 centimetres of snow this Sunday, the weather forecast for most other ski resorts inspires no optimism. Božič Badalič says ski resorts in neighbouring country have similar problems.

© STA, 2023