While Santa’s elves are busy making presents for Christmas, the resort staff here in Bansko has been busy working on the pistes. New slopes and lifts have opened since our last Snow Report and the ratio between the number of skiers and open slopes is still good. Hopefully, some more slopes will open in time for the New Years travelers that we’re expecting to visit Bansko after Christmas.
While last week only the Kolarski lift was working, apart from the gondola, this week almost all lifts have started spinning. The only lift not working today was the Chalin Valog ski lift, as there still isn’t enough snow to groom that ski area. Lift lines are still very small compared to the peak of the season during the February mid-terms. The morning gondola line was only around 5-10 minutes, while queues up on the slopes are 1-2 minutes max. We’re expecting these times to go up during the New Years high season, but this is normal. Weather conditions are stable, with mostly low temperatures up in the mountain.
In terms of slopes, about 50% of the mountain is open. On the map below you can see the slopes still closed marked in RED. Amongst the closed slopes are the red Balkaniada runs and the fan favorite N.5 Shiligarnika ski run. In regards to the N.5, snowcats seem to have done some grooming there, but we may need another decent snowfall before it’ll be open. The beginners’ favorite N.10 Shiligarnika slope is open and being groomed daily, but as it’s the only way down at the moment it is quite crowded at times. The Plato is also open, but it seems that the slopes could have been better groomed. Things will probably improve there after the next snowfall, as there are no artificial snow cannons on the two Plato slopes.
If you’re looking to do some high-speed carving, then it’s best to be up as early as possible, as conditions then are more than perfect with few people on the pistes. After 10-11AM today, most of the slopes were too crowded and bumpy to let loose and hit high speeds without risk, except for the Tomba run. The other slope which was pleasantly untouched was the N.7 “Old Run”, which might be short, but is steep enough. If you’re looking for good off-piste conditions or snow park, then you’re still out of luck. We did see someone from the park crew pulling out nets around the snow park area, so there’ll be one at some point.
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