• Tourism The Community of Madrid wants to keep the Navacerrada ski resort open

  • Sport The 'rebels' against the dismantling of Navacerrada

Last weekend has been intense at the Dos Castillas restaurant, in Puerto de Navacerrada.

The usual bustle typical of the holidays have joined the nerves and the illusion for the imminent opening of the slopes of the ski resort.

It is not for less.

Yet another season and despite the difficulties,

the reference station for white sports in Madrid continues on


"If nothing happens, we open tomorrow," José Conesa, director of the Puerto de Navacerrada ski resort, told EL MUNDO yesterday.

They have been some intense days in which, as always, the weather has had the last word.

First it was the absolute absence of precipitation, then, although it snowed, the strong winds imposed the law on him.

Finally these subsided,

allowing the last days to start up the cannons to make snow


«We have produced

a layer 30 centimeters thick, enough to ski without a problem


But only in the lower part of the station, the tracks above are closed, "explains Conesa.

The three slopes that make up this sector of the station, El Telégrafo, El Escaparate and El Bosque, are the only ones that are open in recent winters.

Located in the Segovian part of the resort,

they are the eye of the hurricane

that confronts the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (MITECO) with the ski resort and the Junta de Castilla y León.

The conflict began on March 3, 2021, when the Autonomous Organization of National Parks (OAPN), dependent on

MITECO, announced the non-renewal of the concession for the occupation of the aforementioned slopes

, located in the Montes de Valsaín, space with the maximum environmental cataloging, where the law does not allow uses such as those of the ski resort.

The reason was that said concession expired a month later, on April 3, 2021. The ministerial order meant

the obligation to remove all facilities from the slopes

and leave the land prepared for its regeneration, as indicated in the contract.

The station filed allegations to the dismantling, at the same time that it was in absentia, without dismantling the facilities and keeping the tracks open last winter, with

the connivance of the Junta de Castilla y León


The resolution of the Superior Court of Justice of Castilla y León determined that the tracks could continue to function until the ruling on which of the parties is right was produced.

Since then, they have been waiting for the court ruling.

The next step was taken by the Duero Hydrographic Confederation.

Since the occupation contract had expired, on July 6, 2022, it

declared the extinction of the right to use the waters of the Telégrafo stream

, essential to feed the canyons and produce the precious snow.

After the Confederation was denounced by

the ski resort

, the Contentious-Administrative Chamber of the Superior Court of Justice of Castilla y León, based in Valladolid, issued a resolution last December authorizing the use of the stream for water collection, up to the final sentence on the closure of the slopes of Segovia.

«Yes, we are happy, of course.

We have won two out of three court decisions


Let's see what happens with the third.

We are the same as last year,

waiting to see which body is competent

to determine if we can continue with our activity or not, "explains Conesa.

Meanwhile, on the slopes of Puerto de Navacerrada,

the cannons have continued to make snow


This artificial snow is essential for the operation of a ski resort that, according to scientists, is doomed by climate change.

Crop snow only occurs if the temperatures accompany and there are no storms


At the Dos Castillas restaurant, heir to the mythical Venta Arias, Álvaro Fernández, its director, also showed satisfaction last weekend: «Yes, we are happy.

We were clear about it;

If there was snow, we knew that we were going to work this winter, which

is the most important thing for us


Now it is only necessary that, really, they open the slopes on Tuesday ».

It's hard not to.

With the slopes covered and the forecasts from the State Meteorological Agency, Aemet,

indicating that temperatures will remain below zero in the Sierra de Guadarrama

, the Puerto de Navacerrada is preparing to receive skiers imminently.

At a time when dozens of skiable domains offer one hundred and many more kilometers of slopes, it may seem a contradiction that a conflict has broken out over

the 1.4 kilometers that the affected slopes measure


There are only three tracks in Navacerrada, a minimal extension, but one that has taken on a symbolic character.

The rise in temperatures has made snowfall in the Sierra de Guadarrama almost anecdotal, due to its low altitude, so the tracks are not covered with snow.

Only these three do, thanks to receiving artificial snow.

Fifty years ago, winters in the Puerto de Navacerrada were marked by

layers of snow more than one meter thick


In 2023 you have to settle for centimeters of artificial snow.

The transformation of Spanish society joins climate change among the causes that have condemned the station.

Until the 1970s,

the Puerto de Navacerrada was the benchmark for Madrid skiers


The increase in the economic level allows today to travel to the best and largest resorts in the Pyrenees, Sierra Nevada and even the Alps in a weekend, something then unthinkable.

At Dos Castillas, Álvaro Fernández and his workers are happy, but they do not forget the main problem they have.

«What makes our stomachs contract is that other things are not fixed.

We have no solution for the continuation of our business.

The Port of Navacerrada has been abandoned for fifty years

», He says, while pointing to the municipal governments, that of the Community of Madrid and the central government for their inaction.

Fernández acknowledges that they are just a mountain restaurant.

"Our customers are just customers for a while."

This on weekends, because on weekdays the clientele is anecdotal.

Something that only

allows you to have "4 or 5 permanent jobs

and, on specific dates, enhance them with 10 or 12 part-time contracts."

Despite everything, Fernández is clear about it: «We are going to defend the permanence of the station, even though we are dying.

They only gave us an oxygen bottle, but the truth is that we don't know how long we can resist, "he concludes worried.

The delay in the judicial pronouncement, which has been delayed for two years, may or may not breathe air into that increasingly empty bottle.

It is an extension to what many saw as a death foretold.

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