Nearly a year ago to the day last Wednesday, I was battling howling winds and heavy snow while skiing in Cerler in Huesca on the mainland.
Last week I returned to the glorious resort in the shadow of Spain’s third highest mountain, Aneto, and spent the week skiing in perfect snow conditions, thanks to the metre-and-a-half dumped by Storm Gloria, and blazing sunshine.
What a difference a year makes and I was lucky. Resorts at lower altitudes in the French Pyrenees have begun closing for the season due to a lack of snow, the high temperatures and no more snow forecast.
In all my years of experience skiing across Europe, I’ve never encountered conditions like those of last week and this week it is very much the same.
In the middle of last week at 2,000 metres, the maximum temperature was 15ºC, it was terrace weather - but also confusing for the wildlife.
As I approached the ski shop to guard my gear for the night, I spotted a large lizard nipping about in the sunshine - now that’s not normal, not for this time of year.
Obviously, there is no doubt the climate is changing, I wonder if there will be a ski industry in Europe in 50 years’ time and what worries me even more is has the damage been done? Despite all the efforts being made now, is it too late? I hope not but it is very difficult to see a solution to the climate crisis.
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