Brits hopes for a ski getaway squashed as Alpine snow melts

Simon Calder on why royals 'love' high-end ski resorts

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Alpine Ski resorts are closing after warmer than expected weather has turned snow to slush, threatening the prospect of winter holidays for hundreds of thousands of Brits. The worst affected areas are low-altitude resorts in France and western Switzerland following torrential rain and mild temperatures.

In Austria and Italy the situation is better, although more snow is still needed.

Ski resort bosses have been forced to hold crisis talks about whether resorts can stay open.

Others have admitted that the “heartbreaking” situation has forced them to close.

Over half of ski slopes in France have been forced to close.

The travel trade body ABTA has estimated that 1.7 million Brits will go skiing this winter, with the busiest period set to be during the February Half Term.

January and March are the most popular periods for those who can travel outside of the school holidays.

At the resorts themselves, doctors are receiving the same number of patients that they usually do at Easter due to the slushy conditions.

In the French Pyrenees at least ten resorts are closed including Ax 3 Domaines, while others in the Isère region have ceased operations such as Alpe du Grand Serre and Villard-de-Lans.

On Monday, the Swiss resort of Splugen-Tambo was the latest to close.

Switzerland had the had the warmest New Year’s Day on record in some resorts like Adelboden where it was 1.5 C.

Speaking to France 3 regional television, Arnaud Lemercier manager of the ski runs at Grenoble in the French Alps described the situation as “heartbreaking” but explained that the resort had no choice.

He said: “It’s heartbreaking but the slopes are no longer skiable.

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“We reached the end.

“This is the first time that we have opened the pistes only to close them again in the middle of the season.

“There is a lot of disappointment among the staff.”

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