Latvia's ski slopes plan to open this week

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More than 20 downhill ski routes have been set up in Latvia. Over the weekend, most of them were still closed but this week most are planning to open, Latvian Radio reported December 6.

The ski slope "Golgāts" on Gaiziņkalns already opened over the weekend. It turns out that, although there as been plenty of snowfall, there is still too little snow for most slopes. 

"At least 30-35 cm of pressed snow is required to accommodate the machinery on the snow so that it can be smoothed. Therefore, artificial snow needs to be produced in order to be able to ski smoothly [..]. Because we produce artificial snow, it also allows us to run at temperatures above zero degrees for several weeks ahead," said a representative of the Latvian Ski Slopes association, Vadims Kameņevs.

Currently, the slopes are only allowed to operate in the “green” or epidemiologically safe mode with Covid-19 certificates. Like last year, a booking system and sales on the Internet will be in place. As reported earlier, visitors must be prepared for higher prices due to the rise in electricity costs.

“We'll all have to work in the Covid-19 safe, in the green mode. That means a certificate is needed to be able to receive services from ski resorts. [Children] under the age of 12 do not have to have a certificate but must be accompanied by an adult holding a certificate. A 72-hour Covid-19 negative test is also valid between the ages of 12 and 18. The season starts timely, there have been years when the start was only in mid-January,” Kameņevs said.

If weather conditions are appropriate, many slopes could open on Tuesday or Wednesday but it is advised to check the particular slope's website or social media before going skiing.

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