Ski resorts around the Czech Republic are witnessing one of the worst snow seasons on record, and according to long-term predictions by Czech climate experts, we can expect even less snow in the future. While the skiing season in the country’s mountains will be considerably shorter, white winters in the low-lying parts of the Czech Republic will soon become a distant memory.
The Czech skiing season has started in most parts of the country, despite
lack of natural snow. According to ski-operators, there are between 30 and
40 centimetres of artificial snow on the slopes.
Ski centres opened in the country’s highest mountains, the Krkonoše, in north Bohemia, as well as in the Jeseníky and Beskydy in the north-east of the country.
The Czech Republic’s cross-country ski trails remain closed due to poor ski conditions.
The current spell of cold and wet weather brought the season’s first snow
to the Krkonoše Mountains in the north of the country.
Fresh snow fell overnight in areas over 1,200 metres above sea level and meteorologists expect more snow to fall during the day. The temperature at the country’s highest mountain, Sněžka, is currently below zero.
Last year’s infestation of bark beetles was said to have been the biggest to hit Czech forests in 200 years. This year could prove even worse. Among those hard hit is Krkonoše National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve site. Park officials estimate 20 percent more trees will need to be felled in the battle against the relentless bug.
Up 40,000 cubic meters of wood infested by bark beetles in the Krkonoše
National Park may need to be felled this year, about 20 percent more than
in 2018, a park official says.
The bark beetle infestation affecting spruce forests throughout the Czech Republic in 2018 was said to have been the worst in the past 200 years.
Due to the infestation, the country’s largely coniferous forests face extensive felling of trees, which could negatively impact many animal species, including hawks and white-tailed eagles.
Krkonoše is home to the highest mountains in the Czech Republic, with majestic peaks protruding above the alpine tree line and a unique mosaic of ecosystems in valleys formed in the ancient glacial past. Dozens of mountain trails and alpine meadows paths in the Krkonoše or Giant Mountains are now accessible also for handicapped nature-lovers and families with prams.
A third degree avalanche alert has been declared in the Krkonoše Mountains
following several days of heavy snow and strong winds.
The mountain rescue service says the situation is extremely dangerous since a combination of factors have created a highly unstable layer of snow on many slopes.
Skiers have been warned not to take risks or stray from marked trails.
American Olympic gold-medalist Mikaela Shiffrin has won the World Cup
slalom in the Czech ski resort where she began her racing career in 2011.
Shiffrin set a new record for the most Alpine Skiing World Cup triumphs in a season, 15, after winning the slalom in Špindlerův Mlýn.
Switzerland's Wendy Holdener finished second. Petra Vlhová of Slovakia, the only skier other than Shiffrin to win a women's World Cup slalom since January 2017, placed third.
Czech teen Gabriela Capová placed fourth.