Only one day left until the official season opening here in Bansko, but we’ve already been skiing 2 weeks. Not bad, eh? Every week Bansko is beginning to look more and more like the winter paradise we’re waiting for and the fresh snow that fell last night sure helped.
No new lifts have opened since our last report. Currently the working lifts are the gondola, Kolarski, Shiligarnik and Mosta (the bridge). The ski barges that are open are Panica B, Kotva and Starata Kotva. The magic carpet between the Kolarski and Banderitza lifts is also working. There is no official information on which lifts will open next and when, but that doesn’t mean I can’t speculate. Judging by the conditions of the slopes and the effort the resort is making to shape them, the Banderitza lift is close to being open and probably the Todorka lift will open at the same time. There is still not enough snow at the top of the mountain for the Plato lifts to open. Maybe after the next big snowfall we’ll see them working. As always, we’ll keep you updated once we have solid info.
Weather conditions are starting to resemble winter more and more. The last two weeks were relatively sunny and very cold. The forecast is for a sunny day tomorrow for the grand opening and from there the clouds come in. The next big snowfall is forecasted to be around the 20th of December, but we always take the forecast with a bit of salt.
In terms of snow conditions, last night brought us around 5-10 cm of fresh snow. It’s not much and freeriding off-piste is still completely out of the question. But such snowfalls, however small, add some needed natural snow to the slopes, which primarily consist of artificial snow at the moment. The best part was, that the slopes were groomed before the snow fell, so there was powder on the pistes. Anyone who got up early enough was pleasantly surprised by this. A new slope has also opened since our last report, the red N.12 Straghite ski run, which adds another 2250m of working ski runs. Speculating, I believe that the Tomba ski run will possibly open for tomorrow, at least for part of the festivities around the grand opening. The N. 6 ski run also looks like it’s close to being open. Sadly, one of my favorites, the N.5 doesn’t look like it will be working before the next big snowfall. Same goes for the Plato ski runs as well. The Chalin Valog ski area also looks like it’s close to being opened and will probably work for the Christmas holidays.
In the later part of the day, once all of the piste powder had been skied, conditions changed. The hardpack we were used to had turned into ice on small parts of the slope. There were also many mini hills that formed from the snow cannons shooting snow pretty much on the ground in front of the cannon itself. I tend to find these quite fun and use them as small jumps, but for most skiers they can be a nuisance. One should always be cautious of the snow cannons, as going through the snow stream can cover your goggles in icy snow and effectively leave you blind.
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