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GrahamSOfflineSCUK Member
6 Post subject: [Review] Jasná in Slovakia  PostPosted: Mar 23, 2012 - 03:25 PM



First post: Jan 15, 2009
Total posts: 260
Location: Northumberland
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This time last week I was cruising the sunny slopes of Jasná. Cool
Now I'm stuck in a dull office looking at a pile of paperwork Crying or Very sad

I found that good information on Jasná was a little scarce (Slovakia isn't even in the "Where to Ski & Snowboard Guide") so to kill some time on a dull Friday I thought I'd write up a bit of a review. Here goes...


Getting There

This is probably the single biggest issue that puts people off, especially those more used to package holidays where everything is done for them. But honestly it's really not that bad, it just sounds much more hassle than it really is.

From the UK you'll be looking to get a RyanAir (spit!) flight to Bratislava. The flight is around two and half hours and available from Edinburgh, Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool and London. Prices are around Ł40 each way, but watch out for RyanAir's extra charges for ski/board carriage (currently another Ł50 each way!).

http://www.skyscanner.net/flights/uk/bts/cheapest-flights-from-united-kingdom-to-bratislava.html

From Bratislava airport you take a short taxi ride (15-20mins) to Bratislava train station and catch the train to Liptovský Mikuláš. The train ride is 3-4 hours depending which train you get.

For some reason we were expecting the trains to be rusty Eastern Bloc relics, chuntering along a 10mph. Perhaps with sawdust on the floor and livestock loose in the carriage. In reality they are high-speed modern trains that are nicer than most trains I've been on in the UK. They have a bar and restaurant car, with table service and a good size menu. A decent hot meal costs less than you'd probably pay for a soggy cheese sandwich on Virgin or GNER.

Tickets are cheap too: we paid just €26 to travel first class (might as well) without booking ahead.

Check train times are here: http://www.zssk.sk/en

The Edinburgh flight gets in pretty late, so to avoid the late night sleeper/vodka train and stumbling into the chalet at 3am, we opted to fly from Liverpool instead (1pm flight, arriving just in time for the 5:40pm train).

There are other travel options: some folk fly to Krakow instead, but you need a private transfer from there (some chalets may offer this) and it's still a long transfer. Personally I'd rather spend 3hrs on a nice train with a well-stocked bar than stuck in the back of a sweaty minibus.

Also there is a much closer airport at Poprad, but sadly no UK carriers currently fly there.


Accommodation

We stayed with the lovely Dan & Clare at Chalet Slovakia who also happen to be regular posters on SCUK (coooeee! *waves*).

Their chalet is comfortable and very relaxed: picture a warm fire blazing away in the wood burner, while you kick back on the big ass sofas, mellow tunes warbling away in the background as you shoot the sh1t, with a brew in one hand and a slice of Clare's freshly baked cake in the other. Bliss! Cool



The rooms all have their own private bathrooms. There is also a drying room, honesty bar, nice garden and a proper man-garage with a selection of servicing tools and a small fleet of rental boards and gear.

The chalet is situated in the main town of Liptovský Mikuláš, so there are plenty of good pubs, bars, restaurants and shops within a 10 minute walk.
If you're feeling properly hungry then I can personally recommend the 1.2kg pork knuckle at Hotel Steve:



Access to and from the hill was via the chalet's own minibus. Dan took care of the driving and the secretive negotiating in Slovak to get a good parking space. Smile He was also more than happy to come riding with us, showing us some of his best spots and finding us some hidden powder long after we thought it had gone. Plus he hooked us up with some buddies who were out there doing a mini-season (*waves to Nick and Dani*), providing us with excellent riding and drinking partners for the week. Smile



Note: Another SCUK regular, Propaganda Snowboards, also have a chalet in the nearby village of Demanova. I can't comment what that's like (maybe someone else will?) - but they looked happy enough when we saw them out and about. They were probably the only other Brits we saw all week.


The Resort

Jasná is a fairly small resort by Alpine standards with 24 lifts and 29 pistes providing 36km of marked runs with a good mix of blue (30%), red (48%) and black (20%).

It's not the Alps. If you go expecting St Anton or Chamonix then you'll be disappointed.
But if you go expecting Bulgaria then you'll be pleasantly surprised. Smile


http://www.jasna.sk/en/winter/

What the piste map doesn't show is that there is a crapload of off-piste terrain available, with some cracking tree runs available straight off the lifts and good size bowls within short hikes. Plus the locals pretty much stick to the pistes, so you'll still be finding untracked runs for several days after a dump. And if you can keep up then Dan will cheerfully lead you right to them. Assuming he hasn't stacked into a tree again of course Wink

If you fancy something a bit more extreme, then there a five marked Freeride Zones that are used in the Freeride World Tour and other events. But be warned, they are serious bits of terrain:


For parkrats there's also a moderate size park under the gondola with a couple of good size intermediate kickers, various rails, boxes and the usual furniture.

For the 2012/13 season they plan to open a new gondola going right to the top of the mountain, which will conveniently link both sides (currently you need to take a tough poma) and open up a lot more skiing area. I think this is the top station


(obviously without my huge thumb hovering over it - pesky gloves! Embarassed )

Prices in the resort are still as ludicrously cheap as the rest of Slovakia: buying four beers at a slopeside bar and getting change back from five euros is quite a shock if you're used to French or Swiss prices! Food on the hill is cheap too so you don't need to faff about with a packed lunch to save the pennies.

Queues were fairly non-existent and the slopes were pretty quiet by European standards. We were fairly off-peak though, it may be busier during Slovak or Polish holidays.

Weather-wise we had a real late-season mix: some fresh snowfall but also hail, windy and really low viz for our first four days. Then suddenly warming up to blazing sun and bluebird skies for the last four.


Other Stuff To Do

There is a huge aquapark nearby which you can get into free with your lift ticket if you are taking a day off (or discounted entry in the evening). It's definitely worth going to. The hot pools are great for tired legs. The flumes are a laugh. And the local Slovak ladies wear tiny bikinis. Very Happy

We also went along to the go-karting. Nothing like the UK: no hour long health and safety lecture. Just pay 5 euros, pick up a helmet and go! Good fun.

If all else fails then spend a lazy afternoon alternately letching after some of the gorgeous women and gawping at some of the unusual skiwear fashions on display (if you've got a tight faded 80's Nevica onesy hiding at the bottom of your kitbag then bring it along, you'll blend right in):




Executive Summary

    Much cheapness.
    Cracking chalet.
    Not a huge number of slopes..
    ..but a ton of accessible off-piste.
    Scary freeride zones for the brave and talented.
    Something a little bit different from the Alps.

    No French.


Last edited by GrahamS on Mar 26, 2012 - 09:54 AM; edited 1 time in total
 
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rob_vet69OfflineSCUK Member
Post subject: Re: [Review] Jasná in Slovakia  PostPosted: Mar 23, 2012 - 03:52 PM



First post: Jan 06, 2011
Total posts: 771
Location: Teesside
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GrahamS wrote:


No French.
[/list]


Major selling point as far as I am concerned. Laughing

Were there many Russians? (I am assuming they mostly go to Sochi now...)
 
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GrahamSOfflineSCUK Member
Post subject: Re: [Review] Jasná in Slovakia  PostPosted: Mar 23, 2012 - 04:11 PM



First post: Jan 15, 2009
Total posts: 260
Location: Northumberland
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rob_vet69 wrote:
Were there many Russians? (I am assuming they mostly go to Sochi now...)


Hard to tell really.

I heard a fair bit of Polish, but I'm not enough of a cunning linguist to separate that from Russian.
 
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SkrabbleOfflineNon-member
Post subject: RE: Re: [Review] Jasná in Slovakia  PostPosted: Mar 23, 2012 - 04:52 PM



First post: Oct 08, 2011
Total posts: 44

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Been to Jasna 4 times, 3 of which I stayed at Propaganda. Paul's a good lad and very helpful.
First time we rode over the other side of the hill we had to walk over as the poma had not been installed then, was worth it as the powder was awesome on the other side. This was back when Slovakia was not in the Euro so it was insanely, 20-40pence a pint!!!!!. Still cheap out there even with the Euro.
Seems they have had a couple of new lifts put in since i was last there which is a good thing. Always saw some priceless one piece 80's skiers in the q's which were good for a laugh.
Can be a pain to get to if you are in the North East like me, we flew to Poprad which is about 40 mins down the road from the resort but since Sky europe went bust I don't think this is an option from the UK now.
All in all a place that you can afford to eat and drink what you want, awesome terrain and powder when the snow is good and loads of fit Eastern European birds who are friendly.
 
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dashieOfflineNon-member
Post subject: RE: Re: [Review] Jasná in Slovakia  PostPosted: Mar 23, 2012 - 05:26 PM



First post: Sep 24, 2007
Total posts: 5040
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We were with propaganda in feb this year. Review is pretty spot on. Great small mountain, endless amounts of fun to be had in trees and off the side hits on the piste. We didn't see anyone else in the trees all week we were there.

Propaganda is a cool place. We had the upstairs to ourselves. Big tv, stereo, DVDs. Room to cook if you go a run to tesco and want to chill.

There's no competition with chalet Slovakia and propaganda which is really cool, we got introduced to Dan and his group straight away.

We flew to krakow from Edinburgh. Flight is in at lunch and the transfer is about 50 rtn if u fill the bus.

More than likely back next year.

_________________
Boobs, booze, snowboarding, in that order!
 
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bong69ukOfflineNon-member
Post subject: RE: Re: [Review] Jasná in Slovakia  PostPosted: Mar 23, 2012 - 05:50 PM



First post: Nov 27, 2007
Total posts: 626
Location: edinburgh,scotland.
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Im agreeing with the review too, superb place!! and great hosts!!
Im going to whistler feb/march next season but im hoping to do a late season trip back here if the conditons allow. Still my fav boarding holiday yet!
 
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PropagandaSnowboardsOfflineNon-member
Post subject: Re: [Review] Jasná in Slovakia  PostPosted: Mar 24, 2012 - 10:23 AM



First post: Jun 27, 2005
Total posts: 287

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GrahamS wrote:
Note: Another SCUK regular, Propaganda Snowboards, also have a chalet in the nearby village of Demanova....... they looked happy enough when we saw them out and about


just happy enough?! We love it over here!! Smile

As regard to the travel aspect, its true that it is much more fun taking the train, but ourselves and chalet slovakia have teamed up to offer return transfers every Sunday during the season next year to make it easy for those who want to just get in a van and get to resort for just Ł40 return. Flights from all over the UK & Ireland make it in time for the transfers and takes just over 2 hours.....

Very nice review all in Graham and well written, especially the part about the pork knuckle, it is legendary!!

p.s for russian spotting, New year and the week after is the time to be here. The rest of the season is 70% polish, 20% czech and slovak, 9.99% Ukrainian, lithuanian and latvian and 0.01% brits.....

_________________
Check out the chalet and pics from Jasna, Slovakia

Not only that, we have the cheapest wakeboarding set up too
 
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rob_vet69OfflineSCUK Member
Post subject: Re: [Review] Jasná in Slovakia  PostPosted: Mar 24, 2012 - 12:13 PM



First post: Jan 06, 2011
Total posts: 771
Location: Teesside
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[quote="PropagandaSnowboards"]
GrahamS wrote:
Note: Another SCUK regular, Propaganda Snowboards
p.s for russian spotting, New year and the week after is the time to be here. The rest of the season is 70% polish, 20% czech and slovak, 9.99% Ukrainian, lithuanian and latvian and 0.01% brits.....


Lack of Russians definitely a good thing. Couldn't stand the Russians I have met on previous holidays.

Not that I am xenophobic or anything.... Twisted Evil
 
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bong69ukOfflineNon-member
Post subject: RE: Re: [Review] Jasná in Slovakia  PostPosted: Mar 25, 2012 - 03:02 AM



First post: Nov 27, 2007
Total posts: 626
Location: edinburgh,scotland.
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if you dont like the russians dont go to the brothels then Wink
 
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rob_vet69OfflineSCUK Member
Post subject: RE: Re: [Review] Jasná in Slovakia  PostPosted: Mar 25, 2012 - 04:58 PM



First post: Jan 06, 2011
Total posts: 771
Location: Teesside
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Laughing Laughing Laughing
 
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badgeyOfflineSCUK Member
Post subject:   PostPosted: Mar 26, 2012 - 01:17 PM



First post: Sep 23, 2011
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Good review, really like the sound of the place, will definetly consider this place for a break next year if they are haivng good conditions.
4 beers for less than 5 euro, how long will it stay like that!!?
 
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GrahamSOfflineSCUK Member
1 Post subject:   PostPosted: Mar 26, 2012 - 05:37 PM



First post: Jan 15, 2009
Total posts: 260
Location: Northumberland
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badgey wrote:
4 beers for less than 5 euro, how long will it stay like that!!?


Well (as Skrabble says) apparently prices already went up a fair bit when Slovakia joined the Euro back in 2009! But I'm not sure they can push them much higher without pricing out the Czech, Polish and local skiers who are their main customer base.

Mind you they are investing a fair bit in the resort with new lifts etc, so it's probably only a matter of time till Crystal/Inghams etc "discover" Jasná as a new budget resort...

And then ruin it.
 
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PropagandaSnowboardsOfflineNon-member
Post subject:   PostPosted: Mar 27, 2012 - 09:39 AM



First post: Jun 27, 2005
Total posts: 287

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GrahamS wrote:
But I'm not sure they can push them much higher without pricing out the Czech, Polish and local skiers who are their main customer base.


Thats entirely correct Graham. Jasna is already seen as expensive within Slovakia itself so most locals head to smaller resorts and the Polish market is by far and away the biggest - They have to be careful with the prices as the year we joined the € was the worst year for them as Polish visitor numbers were massively down due to the exchange rate..... Although, they are developing the resort so much something has to give - 4 brand new lifts in 3 seasons has to be paid for somehow!

In our local here in the valley, its actually 5 pints for €4 still - the infamous club tropicana.... where drinks are (almost) free.

_________________
Check out the chalet and pics from Jasna, Slovakia

Not only that, we have the cheapest wakeboarding set up too
 
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chaletslovakiaOfflineNon-member
Post subject:   PostPosted: Mar 30, 2012 - 03:45 PM



First post: Feb 22, 2008
Total posts: 317
Location: Jasna, Slovakia
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Hey Graham now that was a review - how much time do you have on your hands???

It were a great week; I did miss a couple of days after my altercation with a certain tree. My smegging back still ain't right - but there's no sign of bruising so they all reckon I made it up.

After you left the sun came out proper for a week and Nick and I spent the whole time comedy buttering into dizziness (what a phrase that is)...

Now the snow is back and some more POW for the week. I'm going back into the woods for round 2 with that scum tree...


We had another snow-forecast.com 10cms of snow over the last couple of days; of course that meant a foot in real terms. Gotta love snow-forecasts' under-guessing the accumulation like they have all season...

And more coming later in the week hooray

_________________
It's cheap, a great all-round hill and LOTS of easy access off-piste...

Plenty of great riding, guiding, grub and beers without the hefty Alp pricetag.

visit www.chaletslovakia.com
 
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