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No snow for European ski areas

6 years ago11 views

reuters

Reuters

Skiing on stones where there would normally be snow.
It might be a thrill for these extreme sports fans in Austria.
But it's highlighting a problem across Europe - winter is very late this year.
SOUNDBITE: Christoph Ebenbichler, Extreme sport fan, saying (German):
"At the moment we are having problems because it's too warm to make artificial snow and natural snow hasn't fallen yet. We want to keep practicing so we've come to this gravel piste."
These were the slopes of Chamrousse in the French Alps a year ago.
Look at the difference now.
The warmest weather in half a century is leaving lifts at a standstill, and cafe chairs empty.
Gerald Giraud is a meteorologist.
(SOUNDBITE) (French) METEOROLOGIST GERALD GIRAUD SAYING :
"At this time, snow is lacking, especially in the North Alps at high altitudes, which is very exceptional, as we are breaking records of the last fifty years."
The prospect of the warmest winter for half a century is of real concern for a European winter sports industry worth billions of euros a year.
Fabrice Murth is director of Chamrousse ski area.
(SOUNDBITE) (French) DIRECTOR OF CHAMROUSSE FABRICE MURTH SAYING :
"There are people who are starting to ask themselves questions, which is normal, when they see very little precipitation."
Back in Austria, these downhill enthusiasts are making do with a dusty decent.
Meaning a new pair of skis will be needed if -and when- the snow finally shows up.
Andrew Potter, Reuters

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