Snow gives kiss of life to struggling ski season but brings chaos to roads

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snow is shovelled from the roof of a home in Hockfilzen in the Tyrol in Austria as conditions eased following days of heavy snowstorms.

The authorities are warning of a high danger of avalanches in the area due to the snowfall which has caused major transport problems throughout the region.

Ischgl, where an estimated 1,000 British holidaymakers were staying, was among the centres which was cut off.

Heavy snow fell non-stop for four days, with as much as 5ft of lying snow, bringing the depth according to some reports of as much as 8ft.

The conditions have proved a big bonus for skiers and other winter sports enthusiasts able to take to the slopes with “absolutely fantastic” conditions reported, with the majority of ski lifts continuing to work.

But they have created huge headaches for holidaymakers trying to get to and from the area in the Paznaun Valley in the west of the country.

Package holidaymakers unable to arrive on Sunday stayed in alternative accommodation at a nearby town and were taken by bus to other slopes.

Yesterday routes in the area were re-opened after being closed for three days and bright skies are forecast at least until the weekend.

Skiers are being advised to avoid heading off-piste due to the significant risk of avalanches.

The situation is in stark contrast to the beginning of the ski season when there was a significant shortage of snow in the region.