First snow falls in Catalonia, with more on the way
Catalan Pyrenees awoke on Thursday to the first snowfall of the year, making ski resorts "very optimistic" about the imminent new season
Early snowfalls in the eastern Pyrenees on Thursday is the surest sign that winter is coming to Catalonia, and for the country's ski resorts it signals the start of a new season.
The county of Cerdanya, along with the Alt Pirineu and Aran areas, in the Catalan Pyrenees awoke on Thursday morning to a light blanket of snow that affected seven local highways.
It is not quite the first of the winter, as a week ago snow fell in Alt Pirineu and Aran, but only in the northernmost mountainous areas, and without causing any disruption to traffic.
The snow couldn't have come soon enough for nearby ski resorts, such as Masella, which opened its first slope on Wednesday, with La Molina to follow suit this weekend.
Yet, Catalonia's ski season will not really get going until the so-called Pont de la Puríssima, which sees two public holidays fall within days of each other, on December 6 and 8.
Resorts "very optimistic" for new season
For the head of marketing at La Molina, Marta Viver, the early snow makes them "very optimistic" for the coming season, which officially opens on November 30 until April.
As for Masella, the first Catalan resort to open, its commercial director, Maite Martí, said she hopes that now the snow has begun, the facility can remain open until the end of the season.
Port del Comte resort, in Solsonès, is still putting the finishing touches for the start of the season, with plans to open at the beginning of December for the long Puríssima weekend.
Baqueira Beret is also preparing for its opening, with a new slope that will expand its offer to some 167 skiable kilometers distributed over an area of 2,273 hectares.
No doubt Catalonia's ski resorts will welcome the weather forecast for the next few days, with Thursday's cold temperatures expected to continue falling over the weekend.