No one is disputing that December was one of the worst on record for Europe’s ski resorts.

It was the warmest December in France since 1900.  Figures from Bloomberg suggest it was the second warmest on record in Europe:


Then the dailies got involved…

Naturally this drew some unhelpful headlines from some of the nationals, who realised they could generate some cheap schadenfreude in the middle-classes.

This article appeared in the Daily Mail on 31 December:


daily mail


But then it snowed…

Fortunately for everyone, the snow started to fall pretty much as soon as these items went to print.  This great photo from Katya Pisarch shows how Saalbach had changed by 03 January:

saalbach snow

The Alps are now in good shape

Although it hasn’t snowed uniformly across the Alps, most resorts are set for the season and even those with less snow are still in pretty good shape.

This was how the SkiWelt looked on 14 January in an image taken from their Facebook page:


‘Worst ski holiday ever?’

All of which made it quite a surprise to see the Daily Telegraph home page today feature the headline ‘Worst ski holiday ever?’ with a picture of bare slopes in Austria:

ski welt image


‘The Austrian resort in dire need of snow’

This ‘Austria desperately needs snow’ article was published on 15 January, but uses a video published on YouTube on 08 January and which would have been filmed several days before.

This is a typical image from the Ski Welt Facebook page from 06 January. Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the video could not have been shot elsewhere at that time, but conditions do appear substantially better.

Telegraph Ski coverage is normally so much better

What’s so surprising is that the Telegraph Ski and Snowboard usually reports very fairly about the snow and that this particular journalist, Helen Coffey, consistently produces excellent articles.

Could it have been that they were pressured into using this sensationalist video?

Potentially libelous

Regardless, the headline is misleading and potentially libelous to the Ski Welt area, who could argue that it impacts unfairly on their ability to sell to the British market.

It certainly doesn’t help correct negative impressions of the snow situation in the less well-informed sector of the UK, following the headlines at the end of December.