Now, you can call me old fashioned if you like, but I’ve always been under the impression that for information to call itself ‘news’, it has to be kind of …. err ….. new. Ish. Certainly fairly recent. Definitely not knocking on for two weeks old at any rate.
But perusal of the Telegraph’s website this morning suggests that I have been labouring under a misapprehension. ‘Worst ski holiday ever? Resort in dire need of snow’ it scaremongers, linking to a video of bugger all snow in Austria, filmed on January eighth.
Now it’s true that the SkiWelt area in Austria did indeed have bugger all snow on the eighth of January, in common with most of the rest of Europe’s ski areas. We had sod all here, if we’re honest, despite the altitude and the glacier and all that. I didn’t even get out there until the following week, which is the latest I`ve started a season since I embarked on a lifetime of squandering my winters in ski resorts.
Today, however, the webcams are telling quite a different story. Gosh, there seems to be lots of snow. People are skiing! There is no grass!! Amazing.
Or actually not all that awazing, since it has been snowing like a bastard for most of the past ten days, to the extent where we’ve had a series of nasty avalanches, one of them here in 2Alpes, competently and comprehensively reported by none other than the Telegraph.
Which makes it all the more bizarre that they should recycle a motheaten no-snow story from two weeks ago on the website today. Are they in the pay of the French tourist office?
This all seems trivial until you consider that while the wintersports industry does indeed cater for Russians with guns and annoying people who insist on talking loudly in bars about property prices, it’s also a source of income for a small army of generally not very well paid people, most of whom are already out of pocket following a poor start this season, and all of whom would quite like to keep paying their mortgages please. Posting wildly inaccurate stories telling potential customers that conditions are rubbish really isn’t very considerate.
This is particularly pertinent in the case of the SkiWelt area, which is run by a bunch of local people rather than some huge faceless conglomerate whose main business is theme parks, and doesn’t it just show when you visit their resorts. Yes, CdA, I am looking at you. The big resorts will no doubt be able to take the hit of a bad season, and probably even piss about with the figures to such an extent that they get some sort of tax rebate out of it, but a bunch of Austrian farmers are unlikely to wot of such machinations.
So, if you’ve still to book your ski holiday, have a look at the webcams and consider a trip to the SkiWelt area. I know absolutely nothing about it, never having had the pleasure of skiing in Austria, but I’m told it’s lovely. It certainly looks it. And it’s run by a load of farmers and local families instead of an army of suits who’ve probably never got closer to a mountain than just past the Péripherique. What’s not to like?