Little snow at the start of the ski season in Spain

by Lorraine Williamson
Baqueira-Beret ski station

MADRID – The ski season in Spain started on Saturday, December 3 with more than 350 ski kilometres. Ski station Baqueira Beret in the Catalan Pyrenees was the first to open. With a pack of snow of 55 centimetres, there is also the most snow here. 

“The 2022-2023 winter season will begin on December 3, snow conditions permitting,” read the inauguration sign for the Sierra Nevada ski station in Granada. The snow came here late this year. It was already November 18 when the snow first fell in the main mountain systems of Spain. 

Related post: The effects of ‘driest summer’ on the Sierra Nevada 

The winter sports season in Spain started this weekend with 13 Spanish ski resorts offering 350 kilometres of skiing, the majority of which are in the Pyrenees. According to the Tourist Association of Ski and Mountain Resorts (Atudem) snow report, the most snow is in Baqueira Beret, with almost 120 kilometres of skiing. 

Cogesa Expats

Investment doubled 

The ski resorts in Spain have invested an amount of €67.3 million for this new season, double that of last year, according to Atudem. That money has gone to the ski lifts or works to condition the slopes. Moreover, it is expected that the number of visitors to the stations will again be a success. 

Last year a record turnover of €160 million was made. Ski station Baqueira Beret also expects to have the entire station open in the coming week with two days off on December 6 and 8. Whereas, other ski resorts in Spain are not so lucky. They have to wait because of the weather conditions. 

Currently, aided by multinationals in the sector, the stations are investing in replacing the old snow cannons with new, more efficient and more durable state-of-the-art cannons. Everything is done to optimize and modernise resources. 

The general manager of CANTUR (Cantabrian Regional Association for Tourism Promotion) and responsible for managing the Alto Campoo ski and mountain resort explains how weather conditions in the Cantabrian Mountains have forced them to change their way of working. “Not so long ago, the storms over the Cantabrian Sea produced at least 4 to 5 episodes of heavy snowfall. There were even seasons when snow cannons were hardly used. However, in recent years, more and more snow has to be produced every time,” says Colsa. Consequently, they still can’t set an opening date for the Alto Campoo ski area. 

The following ski resorts in Spain are open this weekend: 

  • Astun-Candanchu (Huesca) 
  • Masella (Girona) 
  • Formigal-PanticosaBoí Taull (Lleida) 
  • Port Aine (Lleida)Espot (Lleida) 
  • Sierra Nevada (Granada) 
  • Nuria (Girona) 
  • Larra-Belagua (Navarra) 
  • Llanos del Hospital (Huesca) 
  • Candanchu (Huesca) 
  • La Molina (Girona) 

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