22/12/2011 | by jcattlin
- Piste/run/trail top:
- Piste/run/trail bottom:
- Pistes: 32
- Beginner Pistes: 10
- Advanced Pistes: 7
- Gondolas: 1
- Regular Chairlifts:
- Terrain Parks: 1
- Halfpipes: 1
- 1 day: €31
- 6 day: €166
- Season: €390
Food and Drink Prices
- Pint of lager: €2
- Cheeseburger & fries: €5
- Pizza: €8
- Airport: Poprad -Tatry – 65km Bratislava – 290km
- Train: Liptovsky – 15.8km
- Bus: Jasna
Well I Never!
Don’t be fooed by the name – although Jasna is situated in the Low Tatras mountain range, it’s Slovakia’s largest ski resort with a high point of over 2000m
Some French resorts may be charging £6+ for an après-ski beer these days, but fear not – there’s still somewhere in Europe where a pint comes in at under a euro! Welcome to Jasna, Central Europe’s emerging snow star. Offering excellent value, great terrain and an experience a little off the beaten piste, Jasna has a season lasting five months, and should keep even advanced riders entertained – as long as they are happy to do a little hiking.
Though often designated as Eastern European, Slovakia prefers to think of itself as being in Central Europe, having removed the rust from the Iron Curtain long ago. New investment has poured in, providing modern facilities and well-maintained slopes, and Jasna is attracting adventurous snowboarders looking for quality riding at prices that undercut most resorts in Western Europe.
Propaganda Snowboards, a group of pioneering Brits, set up shop in Jasna during the early ‘00s and have established themselves as local experts, offering accommodation, transport, lessons and guiding. Jasna may not have quite as much terrain as its more westerly counterparts but it retains a relaxed, local atmosphere untainted by ‘Brits abroad’ package tourism. If you’re looking for low prices, great off-piste, and somewhere a little different, get to Jasna before this post-Soviet secret gets out.
THE PARKS (3 out of 5)
Sponsored by O2, Jasna’s park employs a full-time team of shapers to keep the healthy selection of jumps and jibs in top condition. The area is served by a new eight-seat gondola and has a good range of obstacles, from beginner to monster-sized kickers. Plus there’s an air bag jump that helps riders try new tricks without breaking bones.
At weekends, you’ll find the local shredders floating over jumps and riding Slovakian steel, but come midweek the park is generally uncrowded. The best times for park rats are January when the hits are in tip-top condition, and also during the freestyle competitions, when the shapers go all out to impress. Overall, the park is still developing and finding its feet but it’s getting better each season.
THE POWDER (4 out of 5)
The fact that the Red Bull freeride competition puts on one of its qualifying rounds here says a lot about the quality of Jasna’s terrain. There are five official freeride zones, all accessible without any walking, and nearly all the tree run routes end up back at a piste, so if you do duck off the side, you won’t get lost. These zones tend to be left alone by the Polish and Russian tourists, meaning it’s easy to get the good stuff all to yourself.
THE PISTES (3 out of 5)
The slopes are divided into two separate ski areas; North and South Chopok, which together offer 40km of piste and over 1000m of vertical served by 24 lifts, ranging from a modern gondola, to zippy chairs, to poma drags.
About 30 per cent of the slopes are aimed at beginners with gentle greens and blues ideal for learners; about 50 per cent is suited to intermediates, with a variety of reds and cruisers, and the remaining 20 per cent are steeper blacks for the more advanced. The lower two-thirds of the mountain are forested, offering very attractive scenery and the chance to dive off into the trunks on a powder day. The upper third is treeless, and is where the open bowls are to be found.
The snowboard school offers well-trained instructors who speak good English, so beginners will be in good hands. And for those who just don’t want to stop snowboarding, there are two slopes that offer night-riding.
THE PARTIES (3 out of 5)
As the ski area is situated away from the main town, it’s not particularly well endowed with bars, though there are still a handful of places to grab a Zlaty Bazant beer and a portion of ‘perogi’ (a dumpling-like local dish) at the bottom of the slopes. There is also a brand new club in resort where the money makers of central Europe and their blinged-up babes go. However, for a real night out, the town of Liptovsky Mikulas (15 minute’s drive from the slopes) is the place to get to know the real Slovakia.
Pivnica is a favourite local bar, Penzion Drak and the Soda Club are great places for a cheap bite, and if you packed your dancing shoes, head to the Ski Club to strut your stuff until the early hours. There is also a bowling alley and pool hall – plus a go-karting track nearby too.
Propaganda Snowboards can easily arrange transport to and from their chalets to town, as well as guide you around the best places to sample Slovakian food, drink and partying at its best. And if Slovakia really takes your fancy, they also run Wakeboarding holidays on the local lake come summer!
“The fact that the Red Bull freeride competition puts on one of its qualifying rounds here says a lot about the quality of Jasna’s terrain”