One more month. That’s all the time we have left until the ski season ends on the 15th of April. Good news is that there is still plenty of snow and it was even snowing today in the higher parts of the mountain. Wet snow, but still snow. And the best news is that the forecast is showing a serious cold front coming our way with the freezing level dropping and heavy snowfall on Wednesday evening. Let’s hope that the forecast doesn’t change and we get the 30+cm of snow that the meteorologist have predicted.
The best part about the off-season is that there are no more lift lines! Today was another day where we didn’t have to wait in line, at all. Things do change in this regard over the weekend when many Bulgarians take advantage of their day off to do some skiing, but they mostly stick to the Yastrebets Express lift and park at one of the parking lots next to it. For tomorrow (Saturday, 17th of March) there is a very big chance that the winds will close down a big part of the mountain as the forecast is for wind speeds of up to 55km/h at 2000m.asl. and over 90km/h at 2500m.asl. With such winds, the Markudjik Ski Center is almost guaranteed to be closed, but this is our guess based on the forecast, which tends to be pretty accurate one day in advance.
Today the conditions weren’t so great due to the wet and warm weather lower in the mountain, but up top, it was only snow and no rain. Temperatures in the Markudjik Ski Center were just below freezing and the new snow is only a few centimeters, still better than nothing. Lower in the Yastrebets and Sitnyakovo ski centers it was raining from time to time, but it was closer to a drizzle than a downpour. Slope conditions all around the mountain are slushy by the afternoon, but still very skiable. If you haven’t waxed your skis recently, now would be a good time to do so as the slush really slows you down. In the Yastrebets Ski Center, the top half of the slope is very pleasant for skiing, but the bottom part, especially the last 1/4th, is extremely choppy by noon. It took quite a bit of effort to carve and plow through the uneven parts of the slope. In such conditions, a pair of all-mountain or freestyle/freeride skis can really improve your experience compared to dedicated race skis. In the Sitnyakovo Ski Center, the slopes are slushier, but the steep ones aren’t as choppy as the lower parts of the Yastrebets Ski Center. This is due to fewer people skiing them, but the snow is slower than higher up.
Freeride conditions are decent in the Markudjik Ski Center around the N.3 ski run as long as there is visibility, but below that there isn’t enough snow outside of the groomed slopes. Hopefully well get some final powder days at the end of next week. The snowpark is in bad shape as well, as it seems the park crew has given up on shaping it since the weekend. The jump is open though, but all of the rails have been removed. Our bet is they won’t leave it like this and it’ll be shaped and redone as soon as the weather is better. If you’re planning on hitting the jump, you’ll need to get plenty of speed if you want to reach the landing.
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