Lack of Snow in the Alps

 

Very mild weather in most parts of Europe has left large sections of the Alps with a lack of snow. Tourist officials in many alpine areas say that holiday makers will have to get used to such conditions.Most ski resorts in the Alps have opened up their season with slopes of artificial snow.

2015 was the warmest year on record and that has led to a lack of snow especially in the lower regions of the Alps. In one of the warmest Decembers in history snow could not even be made by machines because of high temperatures. Especially Austria, Switzerland and the northern part of Italy depend on snow for their tourist industry .

In addition,  artificial snow is much harder than natural snow. This has led to more accidents and injuries on the slopes. In Austria, one skier died after crashing  into a tree.

Ski resorts, however, are not helpless in combating the lack of snow this winter.They are offering other free-time activities  as a substitute for skiing. Chamonix , for example, in the French Alps, has opened up a small zoo for children. Some hotels are offering discounts so that people will stay and not cancel their vacation.

 

Skiers that do stay  say that skiing slopes are remarkably well-prepared despite the lack of snow. In some areas helicopters are bringing in snow from faraway places.

 

Lack of Snow in the Alps

Ski resort Courchevel in the French Alps - Image : La station de sports d'hiver de Courchevel 1850, Savoie Auteur Photographie par Alain Caraco - 15/02/2004

 

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Words

  • alpine = about the Alps
  • artificial = man-made
  • cancel = call off, not come
  • combat = fight against
  • depend on = need
  • despite = even though there is ...
  • discount = when you pay less than you really should
  • especially = above all
  • however = but
  • in addition = also
  • injury = when you are hurt
  • lack = not enough
  • offer = give
  • official = person in a high position
  • remarkably = something that is surprising
  • resort = place where people go to for their holidays
  • section = part
  • slope = area of a mountain that people ski on
  • substitute = instead of something else
  • well-prepared = here: in a good condition for skiing