Pros: Cheap, not crowded, very friendly, long green run,
Cons: No black runs, Fairly small, has not been run very well in recient years
It’s a shame that in the last few years the Balkans have not had great snowfall. And coupled with this the resort of Chepelare has been dreadfully mismanaged. Chepelare is a fantastic ski area which many people have never heard of. Its only 10 Km by road from the resort of Pamporovo and its peak is actually higher. It is not covered by the larger tour operators as traditionally Pamporovo is better geared up for typical ski tourists.
However about 6 years ago Chepelare resort received a bank development loan and a new lift and snow cannons were installed on the main slope (3km) of mainly red runs. So far so good, however there was never adequate water supply and the pumps were slightly under spec to make the maximum amount of snow. Coupled with bad management and poor conditions, last season there were no operating snow cannons which when coupled with another poor snowfall left a very sad state of affairs which led to the slopes shutting very early after starting late.
However there is good news this year, a private investor has mercifully pledged a significant amount of capital to develop the whole area over the next few years. The significant improvements this year will address the existing snow cannons in so far as they will have an adequate water supply and the correct pumps will be installed to make sure they are able to supply sufficient snow for the season. And some much needed new runs will be made. There will also be a new draglift so that beginners will be better catered for. This has not always been the case.
This is a blessing for this wonderful ski area. The charm of Chepelare slopes are twofold. The price is significantly less than the larger resort of Pamporovo (lift pass. Drinks .food etc.) and there is very little queuing. Some days it seems that you have the mountain to yourself. This is going to change. This makes me a little sad that my private ski area will cost more and I may have to wait for the lift for longer than 2 minutes but gladdens my heart that this resort will finally get treated with the respect it deserves.
There is a 3km red run down the front of the mountain with various detours branching off both blue and green. And a lovely 7km green run around the back of the mountain. Some lovely off piste through the trees and various blue runs. It’s a lovely resort with stunning views from Mechi Chal (the top) of the mountain, however it’s going to get busier and more expensive over the next few years so I would suggest that you try it this coming season.
I will let you have more information as I get it. This is one area you should consider if you are stretched for cash as beers are about a pound and a midday hot meal is about three pounds, not sure on the lift price costs this year but will ask about a deal for members of the site and let you know. But it's less than one hundred pounds for a weeks ski pass. And hotels range from about ten pounds a night per person upwards....