Ski season starts early on the Zugspitze
Some 1,500 skiers and snowboarders defied the climate change doomsayers to usher in the new season on Germany's highest mountain on Saturday, where over a metre of snow has already fallen.
After what media reports describe as "abundant snowfall in the last few days," the Zugspitze near Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Bavaria became the first winter-sports area in Germany to open its season on Saturday.
Around 1.2 metres of snow have been measured on the mountain, plus a 10-centimetre covering of fresh powder snow.
It is the first time that the season has started in October in eight years, despite evidence of significant global warming in that time. Four ski-lifts started running at the weekend, opening up 12 of 22 kilometres of piste.
The only glacier ski region in Germany will open nine pistes once the snow covering has increased sufficiently, with a capacity of 12,000 skiers an hour. The season is due to end on May 2, 2010.