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Skiing in Corsica - James Cove, Corsica
Thursday August 13, 2009 - Email this article to a friend

It’s not a pastime you normally associate with the Mediterranean island; but there are several ski resorts, some plans to expand and PlanetSKI hopes to visit next winter.

Corsica has several small ski stations and one, near Corte in the centre of the island, has ambitious plans.

The regional ski committee has a 12m euro plan to develop the bowl at La Lattiniccia.

Vergio in the winterVergio in the winter The proposal is for 30km of pistes between 1550 and 2400 meters altitude with the possibility of doubling the area in the future.

It would however need funding from the EU for the project to go ahead but, so far, that is not forthcoming.

The snow is usually very good above 1800 meters and can be found down to 1400 meters depending on the conditions.

“Skiing is possible from December through to April but you can only rely on snow after mid-January,” says a spokeswoman from the island’s tourist office.

Vergio in the summerVergio in the summer“There are currently three downhill ski areas on the island and always talk of projects of creating a real ski resort in the style of the Southern Alps.”

Vergio is the oldest of the Corsican ski resorts and began life at the beginning of the 1960's. It was created by Jeannot Luciani.

Realistically though the skiing in Corsica is only if you want to visit somewhere different to make a few turns.

Some of the pisted runs reportedly have trees growing in the middle as they fall into disrepair.

So why has PlanetSKI developed an interest in skiing in Corsica of all places?

Well, we've just been there and are writing some blogs about the island and its mountains in the summer.  Many people have told us that the skiing, and in particular ski touring, can be very good.

The crowds are non-existent.

It is though to be treated with great respect as the weather changes quickly on the island.

In 1934 the worst avalanche of this century occurred on the slopes of Castagniccia at only 700 meters altitude, sweeping through the village of Ortiporio and killing 37 people.

Showing the wayShowing the wayCorsica is basically a 2,500m rock surrounded by huge expanses of ocean. As such it catches every weather system as it tracks across Europe.

Off piste skiers and freeriders need to carry an altimeter, maps and compass and know how to use them.

In the winter constant wind drives the snow into potential slab avalanches. Powder is rare due to the wide daily temperature variations that leads to its rapid transformation. This stabilized snow-pack is however good for off piste skiing as it makes the snowpack safer.

If conditions allow next winter PlanetSKI will visit Corsica to find out about a totally different skiing experience.

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