What's the Outlook For Snowflakes in the Alps?


There's high pressure over the Alps at the moment - and that's just from the European governments insisting on lifts closing. This has also caused extreme pressure for the ski industry with fall out for the future...

The lifts are closing, the resorts are opening. So who's going to head to the Italian or French Alps after 15th December, knowing that there will be no lifts taking you up  but, hey, you can cross country ski or snow shoe and breathe in that fresh mountain air? Well, ski tourers will for sure if, that is, ski touring isn't banned, too, as it was back in March with the first Covid-19 lockdown.

Currently, no one knows if we can tour or not given the potential pile up of injured skiers at hospitals, still struggling with a pandemic. We'd love it if it's a thumbs up as ski touring is what we do even when the lifts are working so as to get away from the crowds and find fresh pow - read what Gav has to say about it here

Right now, of course, in the Southern Alps there's not enough snow to make a snowball except from the cannoned variety that can be seen dotting the pistes with white patches, although there is now a flurry or two forecast for next week. But as we're stuck in the UK, hoping to make it out to the French Alps and STYLE ALTITUDE HQ just as soon as there's a travel corridor, the lack of snow is currently easing our FOMO.


But for UK ski operators this is all a complete disaster. If they could have kicked off the season in December, with or without snowflakes, they would have had their UK staff out in the mountains and able to work until the end without all the working visa palaver. But if there are no restaurants, bars or lifts allowed to open - and, therefore, no guests - then they're stuck until mid-January. Post Brexit.

This will create a giant mogul field of issues, which is why SBIT, Seasonal Businesses in Travel, representing over 200 travel and service companies is lobbying both UK and European governments to come to an agreement for a Youth Mobility Scheme to let UK seasonaire workers continue.

This is not only for the younger generations who gain invaluable work and life skills at the University of the Mountains, but also for European ski resorts benefitting from 25,000 seasonal workers - specifically from their contribution to the running of the resort, their time honoured patronage of the bars and, not least, their future impact as skiers and snowboarders as they, themselves, return for holidays. It's also bad news for all of us as it'll definitely push up prices for skiing or snowboarding in resorts.

And, you've got to feel sorry for the generation that is locked down on uni campus with COVID-19 outbreaks, can't get jobs, even temporary service industry ones because of closures and now won't be able to do a ski season thanks to Brexit. These young adults born in the 2010s are, ironically, the snowflakes.

What can you do? Read the latest news, tomorrow, on STYLE ALTITUDE, from Diane Palumbo of SBIT, and sign the petition.