Figures eclipsing like for like data from the summer of 2014 by 40% have seen for the first time in fifteen years the number of summer visitors using the Ukanc-based Vogel cableway outstrip footfall during the winter season, presumably fueling the majority takeover of operating company Zicnice Vogel by Terra Australis and fronted by a managing director of Slovenian heritage, Australian Anthony Tomazin.

Proving that Vogel doesn’t need to rely upon a successful ski season to remain a viable concern, Tomazin will be especially keen to exploit the area’s summer potential without the concerns of a ‘green’ winter that always remains a possibility in the Julian Alps, whose capricious meteorological behaviour coupled with the relatively low altitude at which many of its resorts sit and the influence from a mild Adriatic Sea can often result in sparse or nonexistent snow cover. Despite a desire to grow both seasons in tandem rather than in isolation there are more financial certainties during the warmer months, less financial unpredictability than the winter.

Vogel does though retain a certain cachet as a ski resort, popular to this day with many from the disparate republics of the former Yugoslavia, not in the least thanks to its brutalist Ski Hotel Vogel, an edifice that doesn’t form part of the assets acquired by Terra Australis. For the purposes of continuity and the ability to offer a more comprehensive experience this could be a situation that is revisited in the future. Part of this summer’s success has though been predicated on a diversified programme including an increased emphasis on mountain biking, not a pastime popular with all those who visit the Alps, and a series of  crepuscular sky watching events that took advantage of Vogel’s position away from light pollution emanating from artificial sources.

The piste network serviced by Vogel’s cableway and chairlift are heavily strewn in the summer with stones which make many hikes to the eponymous summit and subsequent ridge traverse uphill struggles in more ways than one. Addressing this situation will enable skiing to be possible this winter even during minimal snow cover. Reciprocal arrangements with ski centres in Golte and Kranjska Gora ensure a more varied array of winter sports opportunities that soon become exhausted by Vogel’s limited range of terrain, whilst skiers can seek snow of greater depth and quality during lean periods at their chosen resort.

Further reading on this matter can be found at:

Gorenjski Glas: Vogel summer season overtakes winter visitor numbers