Are Southern Alps ski resorts ready for winter?
Last week we covered the drought in the south of France and how this may affect ski resorts over the winter. While the Northern Alpes have had a snowy start to the ski season, some resorts opened earlier than normal, the situation further south is more worrying. There was fresh snowfall at the end of October but temperatures have since been high. The col d’Agnel (2630m) has 25cm of snow on the ground, 15cm fell over the last 24 hours but further south at the Col de Restefond there is barely 10cm and the zero isotherm is around 2700 meters. The situation regarding water stocks looks better but two clouds hang over the ski resorts of Céüze near Gap and the Val d’Allos.
Dévoluy has had a hard summer. Part of the defunct Transmontagne group it is now being run by Maulin. Many property owners have not been paid rents on their apartments. The area managed to open for 127 days, just one less than the year before but it saw -12.62% less skier/days and turnover dropped 13%. It has built a second reservoir of
100,000 m3 to add to an existing reservoir of 80,000m3. 30 % of its ski areas, that is 37 km of runs are covered by 149 snow canons. Water comes from wells shared with the water supply but the resort does not have priority over other users.