Due to global warming, many ski resorts are at risk of facing a lack of snow in the 2023-2024 season. Experts named the places where you can not go this winter, and where, on the contrary, there will be enough snow for comfortable skiing, writes the Mirror.
The consequences of climate change have been acutely felt by some ski resorts, where unseasonably high temperatures have led to less-than-ideal snow conditions. Britain’s Royal Meteorological Society warned that “rising temperatures and increasingly unpredictable weather conditions have led to less reliable snowfall and a greater risk of rain in the winter months”.
They added: “Resorts in the Alps below 1,500m are the most vulnerable in terms of survival. The ski industry, which has long been aware of these issues, is now faced with the reality that the effects of climate change are no longer a distant future issue, it is now an immediate threat to their business.”
Some well-known resorts have been hit particularly hard, such as Les Arcs in France, where the snow line is moving upwards and snowmaking machines are increasingly being used on the lower slopes. Austria’s Kitzbühel is experiencing a shorter ski season despite increased use of artificial ice, while Spain’s Sierra Nevada has seen declining snowfall and a shorter ski season, prompting the country to invest in more snowmaking equipment. Sölden in Austria has seen retreating glaciers and reduced snowpack in recent years, prompting the move of lifts to higher altitudes and the creation of new high-altitude ski runs.
Therefore, last year a record number of tourists went to the ski resorts of Scandinavia, where winters remain cold and good snowfalls. Ore in Sweden, Hemsedal in Norway, and Levi in Finland are especially popular. However, local tourism officials have expressed concern about the sustainability of mass tourism and the rapid growth in visitor numbers.
Ski expert Lizzie Nelson said: “Recent reports highlight that more than a quarter of Europe’s ski resorts could face snow again this year and in the future, but people should not put off their ski holidays this winter. While some resorts will certainly struggle, there will also be plenty of snow-sure places this season.”
Resorts comfortable for skiing include:
Sauss-Fes, Switzerland. This resort has over 100 km of ski and snowboard trails, as well as toboggan runs. “Saus Fe is one of the highest mountain resorts in Switzerland, and there is already snow here. The average annual snowfall is 466cm per year, so it will be a great holiday resort this season,” Lizzie said.
Le Val, France. The first lifts opened here as early as 50 years ago, the north-west orientation of most of the slopes means that the temperature remains low and the snow is generally good. “Le Val Thorens is another vivid example of one of the snowiest resorts in Europe. This is the highest mountain resort in Europe, where 99% of the ski area is located at an altitude of more than 2,000 meters,” the ski expert added.
Obergurgl, Austria. “One more snow resort can be found on the white slopes of Austria. The resort is located on the edge of the Ötztal Valley at an altitude of 1,930-3,080m and boasts fantastic snow and one of the longest ski seasons in Austria, usually from mid-November to the end of April,” added Lizzie.
Lech Zuers, Austria. There are 87 lifts, 200 kilometers of deep snow pistes, and 305 km of ski slopes. “Lech-Zurz is another snow resort in Austria. The resort has the highest average snowfall of any major ski resort in the entire Alps,” Lizzie said.
Val d’Isere, France. “Last but not least, Val d’Isere in Tines, France is one of the best snow resorts in Europe. More than half of its slopes lie above 2,500 m. At such a high altitude, it is not surprising that Val d’Isere is known for one of the most reliable snows in the Alps,” the expert added.