The recent heavy snowfalls in the mountains of Sierra Nevada, just south of the city of Granada, have led to increasing speculation that the southernmost ski resort in Europe could be allowed to open despite the on-going restrictions on activities and movement during the coronavirus pandemic, and on Thursday the regional government of Andaluca authorized the official opening of the slopes on Friday 18th December.
All of the facilities at the resort, including ski-lifts and chair lifts, have been checked and are fully functional, and the depth of the snow has reached over a metre on the higher slopes of the resort, which rises to an altitude of 3,300 metres above sea level. The management company had hoped to begin the 2020-21 season on 28th November and to take advantage of the long holiday weekend between 4th and 8th December, but the pandemic and doubts over the protocols to be implemented at the resort forced the delay which is now to be ended.
This year a special effort has been made to encourage skiers and other visitors to Sierra Nevada to pre-book equipment hire and other services online, reducing the need for queuing and close social contact at the resort. Ski passes have been delivered free of charge to the homes of those who have already booked, and those visiting the resort this winter will enjoy a greater guarantee of ski-able conditions due to the acquisition of 100 new snow cannons, adding to the 200 which have been in use in previous years.
Elsewhere, meanwhile, the ski resorts of the Spanish Pyrenees remain closed for the time being, with Baqueira Beret having decided to postpone the opening which had been planned for 11th December. Attempts are being made to ensure that the campaigns and coronavirus protocols of the different resorts in Catalunya are centrally coordinated, but the good news for skiers in Leon is that the small resort of Leitariegos is already up and running!
It was confirmed on Friday that Catalan ski resorts are due to open on Monday 14th December.
All we need now is for regional border restrictions to be relaxed so that those who dont live in Andaluca can get there!
Source: Sierra Nevada.