Today was another nice and fun day here in Bansko with soft weather and bluebird skies all day. Great slopes in the morning and the Todorka peak is finally safe enough for those looking for the best freeride Bansko has to offer. The forecast isn’t looking as sunny as this weekend, but there will be snow in the very near future, Monday night to be precise.
We’re currently in the peak of the season, so it’s to be expected that lift lines are bigger than usual. The gondola queue is about 1 hour, sometimes longer and there is a queue almost all day. Of course, it’s much quicker at 11 AM, than it is at 9 AM, but is still a decent wait. Other than at the gondola, there are no really long and annoying queues in the mountain. Possibly the biggest queue other than the gondola is at the surface lift at Bunderishka Poliana (top gondola station). Once you’re on the slopes, and the wind hasn’t closed half the mountain which happens from time to time, there is very little waiting in lines to get on the chairlifts. If you want to skip the gondola queue you can check our older blog posts regarding this, or directly book a shuttle from Bansko to the top gondola station.
The morning slope conditions were again very good today, however, with so many people on the slopes, they deteriorate faster than we would like. In the morning we were greeted with nicely groomed slopes, and the ever sought after “corduroy”. But by 1 PM, the corduroy had turned to bumps and icy patches on the most popular slopes, not so much on the harder, thus less popular slopes. The most affected ski slopes are the Plato and both N.5 and N.10 Shiligarnika runs due to a mix of reasons. Mostly because these are the sunniest and most popular slopes, where many newly intermediate skiers go. Slopes like the black Tomba and red Balkaniada are in the shade longer, are steeper and fewer people ski there, so they stay in good condition till later in the day.
Preparations for the FIS World Cup, which will be held on the 22nd, 23rd and 24th of this month, have begun and the Todorka ski run has already been closed. Part of the pre-race process is adding a layer of ice to the slopes, so each racer has a relatively even starting field. This means that staff will be literally watering the slopes with a hose so that it can harden and turn to ice overnight. Next slope to close will be the Tomba ski run, but we have no exact information when that will be. Given that the race is in 12 days, it’ll probably close very soon. The N.7 “Old Run” was also closed today, as it will be a practice area during the race. Why they’ve closed it almost 2 weeks before any racers arrive is a question for the resort staff.
Conditions off-piste this weekend were amazing, but only in the higher part of the mountain. The snow layers seem to have stabilized and we skied some very open terrain, such as the Todorka peak. You can expect softer snow in the lower part of your run, with hard, windblown snow at the top. The forecast is for a bit more snow Monday night, but nothing serious, only 10-15cm.
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