Spain opens first ski resort of the season and the snow is exceptional

Spain opens first ski resort of the season and the snow is exceptional
Archive image of skiing at Baqueira Beret. Photo: Inigo Zubia / Flickr Creative Commons
Recent storms have brought decent snowfall across most of Spain’s mountainous areas but Covid-19 restrictions are keeping ski resorts closed.

All except one. The pistes at Valle Laciana-Leitariegos in the sierra in Castilla y Leon have become the first in the whole of Spain to open this season, but only locals will be able to enjoy them.

Images of pristine slopes with fresh deep snow in resorts from the Pyrenees to the Sierra Nevada have brought frustration to winter sport enthusiasts.

In recent years it hasn’t always been possible to ski this early in the season because of a lack of snow but this year the white stuff is abundant thanks to recent storms of Dora and Ernest.

Wednesday December 9th saw the official opening of the ski season at Valle Laciana-Leitariegos, a small resort that has 8 pistes covering just 5km in the mountains north of Leon on the border with Asturias.

But restrictions on movement mean that only locals will be able to enjoy the resort as Castilla y Leon has closed the borders around its autonomous community.

Elsewhere across Spain resorts have delayed opening with Baqueira Beret the latest to announce a postponement to the inauguration of the season.

The upmarket resort in the Catalan Pyrenees was due to open on Friday December 11th but took the decision to delay along with other resorts in the region, until restrictions are loosened in Catalonia.

The Sierra Nevada which usually opens by the end of November and is thronged over the December puente has also delayed opening.

One commentator on social media described it as ” a cruel joke”.

“The weather obviously doesn't understand pandemics. We can't go to the mountain to ski and so of course we get the best snowfall in years.”

For the latest on resorts opening and snow levels check out Infonieve.

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