Slovakia in central Europe, a country not really famous for skiing, (was only previously mentioned on Snowbrains regarding natural disaster in 2014 at Vratna ski resort) opened the winter season at its biggest ski area, Jasna, last weekend.
Jasna is located in the north-central Slovakia approx. 300 km from Bratislava and 100 km south from Polish boarder. Jasna lies in mountain range Low Tatras and with its 49 km of trails and 30 lifts definately tops Slovakias ski places. Top elevation reachable from the Funitel cable car allows skiing from little bit above 2000 m and to the bottom makes it up 1000 m of elevation drop. Jasna is beside being a host for FIS Ski World Cup also a popular freeride destination where several freeride events are held. The biggest event, Jasna Adrenalin is listed as Freeride World Qualifier by the Freeride World Tour.
The whole opening weekend was accompanied by a temperature inversion. Cold and foggy in valleys and warm and sunny on the top of the mountains. The temperatures were reaching almost 7 degrees Celsius what made the skiing spring-like.
Jasna can be basically devided into its North and South side. The north side, due to low sun, was in the shade all day which made all the runs quite icy but ski-able. Snow was unfortunately only mixture of a little bit of natural but mostly man-made snow. On the other hand, South side was the best place to ski in the morning, when snow was corny and soft. In the afternoon snow turned into slush and made the last parts of the runs more rocky than snowy.
Due to lack of natural snow it is now not advisable to ski any freeride zones. Top of these zones are looking quite good but the bottom is still rocks and grass. However on the South side by Predne Derese you could find some off-piste places with nice “spring” snow. Looking at the snow conditions most of the people who came this weekend decided to rather put skins on and hike up to the summit.
Despite not having enough of snow, the first weekend at Jasna, skiers could enjoy beautiful views and spring weather. For the real off-piste and powder we have to yet wait.