Record levels of snow was dumped in Austria and other parts of Europe over the weekend causing ski runs to close and access in and out of resorts blocked. Tourists were advised to stay indoors in what has been described as a once in a decade snow storm and local shops and restaurants have been forced to close early amid safety fears.
More than 10 ft of snow fell in 48 hours in Tyrol, Austria trapping skiers in a number of resorts in the area. The heavy snowfall has been made worse by extremely high winds causing conditions to become treacherous, with 150 skiers stranded on a mountain after a lift failed in the sub zero conditions.
Avalanches have caused huge disruptions to railways and many roads have closed, with fallen rocks and trees. The risk of further avalanches remains high and people are advised to proceed with extreme caution and only venture out if necessary.
Worst hit was Austria were the snowfall has been described as paralysing, virtually bringing the country’s tourism to a halt since January 7th.
Today is the first day that trapped skiers and snow boarders have been allowed to head home, with reports that 1000 trapped British holiday’s makers have finally been given the all clear. The popular resort of Ischgl has reopened today after all roads in and out were closed causing a lock in for visitors.
This spell of extreme water comes as a stark contrast to last month when there were fears over the lack of snow forcing some resorts to delay the start of their season.