There are many good ski resorts close to the Grand Duchy. Given current conditions and carnival holiday, it’s an ideal time to try one of them out. Here’s our run-down of open pistes
With the carnival holidays beginning this weekend in Luxembourg, many residents seized the opportunity to go skiing in the Alps, but there are many other options closer to home.
The best known skiing route in the Grand Duchy is in the north of the country at Weiswampach. Despite its snowing throughout the week, however, it has not been quite enough for the 4km track to open to the public for skiing. The route can still be used for walking or sledging.
Crossing the border your the best bet. The Erbeskopf summit in Germany overlooking the Hunsrück mountain range, at a height of 815 metres, is just an hour’s drive from Luxembourg. The region boasts a minimum of 20cm of snow, and the low temperatures ensure it won’t melt soon. Given the weather forecast for the coming days, the resort should be open all through the holidays.
The Belgian Ardennes region is another possibility, an area known for cross-country skiing. Almost all the resorts are open, according to information on the official website www.winter-ostbelgien.be.
These include Signal de Botrange, Baraque Michel, Mont Rigi, Centre Nature de Botrange, Mont Spinette and Ternell in the high fens, Crêtes de Xhoffraix, Herzebösch/Elsenborn and Losheimergraben.
Nearest the Grand Duchy are the cross-country ski trails in Martelange just over the Luxembourg border in Belgium.
Although it is open, conditions are not yet optimal, with snow cover of 10-15cm. All hopes are pinned on the promised snowfall announced for the end of this weekend, which should increase the snow cap.
Ovifat ski resort also opened on Saturday, for the first time this winter. “Since the beginning of the week, we have been preparing alpine ski slopes with our teams,” says Gunther Elsen, president of the Alpine Ski Club at the resort near Malmedy, 40km from Weiswampach.
Also for the first time this year, the association has been granted a licence to use two snow cannons.
At the Baraque de Fraiture, about an hour from the city centre of Luxembourg, the conditions are even better, with 40cm of snow, allowing for the opening of the slopes for cross-country and downhill skiing.
The conditions are perfect in the Vosges, where snowfall was abundant. The Domaine de Gérardmer displays 50cm of snowpack, and its 19 tracks are open. The snow depth reaches 80cm at the resort of La Bresse Haute-Vosges, where the whole area is open.
Wherever you decide to go skiing, make sure you check the conditions just before you leave.