Skiing centres around the Czech Republic including north and central Bohemia have announced excellent conditions for skiers and snowboarders in the coming days: plenty of snow and sunshine bringing out enthusiasts in droves. Besides offering the usual services, some hills will also be open for New Year’s Eve.
The winter season in the Czech Republic has so far been unusually cold, with overnight temperatures in places hitting –26 degrees Celsius. But with the cold there has at least been plenty of snowfall, creating ideal conditions at many ski resorts, including north Bohemia’s Ješted Mountain. The approximately 1,000 metre peak, located just outside of Liberec, has benefitted and both beginning and experienced skiers alike have taken advantage. A little earlier I spoke to Ski Centre Ješted’s Jakub Čeřovský and asked him how he rated the season so far.
“The season started earlier: we opened the hill to skiers already on December 4 and currently there are really good conditions. Sunshine, freezing and a lot of snow, both artificial and natural. There is more than 150 centimetres. All the slopes are open, as are all the lifts.”
Can you tell me offhand the average number of visitors per day?
“Yes, the last few days we have had around 3,000 visitors every day.”
Other hills have also benefitted from the excellent conditions, including ski centres in central Bohemia such as Šibeniční vrch. The ski resort’s operator Jan Zenkl told me he had never experienced a season like this.
“This December was absolutely perfect. We have never seen a start of a season like this year – certainly we haven’t seen anything like this in central Bohemia. We currently have 60 centimetres of natural snow and another 25 centimetres of man-made, so even if it happens to get a little warmer it will still be possible to continue skiing. So far this year we have had a number of visitors we’d normally only see in January or February. We’re operating at full capacity and naturally we’re very happy.”
Šibeniční vrch, like a number of others hills, will also be operating on New Year’s Eve, offering evening skiing ahead of night-time festivities. According to Jan Zenkl, though, Šibeniční vrch has added a little twist:
“Following regular skiing during the day we will reopen for the evening from six to nine pm. To mark New Year’s there will be a small fireworks display every thirty minutes until closing. Skiers will each get one glass of champagne. We’ll close at nine, though, to make sure no one drink on the hill, which would be dangerous. Then people will be able to celebrate New Year’s in our lodge.”
Anyone interested in doing a little skiing could do worse than heading for the Czech mountains this weekend.