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Snowed-in

Israelis flock to ski at Hermon Photo: Avihu Shapira
Israelis flock to ski at Hermon Photo: Avihu Shapira
 
 

Israelis flock to ski with school still out in some communities

Jerusalem, Ariel, Safed among communities canceling classes Monday as mountainous regions suffer from major storm’s aftereffects, hundreds flock to Hermon for Israeli ski experience. Icy conditions continue to close roads near capital, while 8,000 homes still without electricity

Ahiya Raved
Published: 12.16.13, 11:32 / Israel News

Even though it’s stopped snowing, it’s not all business as usual. On Monday, schools in Jerusalem, Safed, the Upper Galilee and the West Bank canceled classes and kept their doors closed for another day.

 

Meanwhile, hundreds of skiers made their way to the Mount Hermon Monday morning, after the snow site opened to visitors.

 

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The lines to get in to the Hermon were relatively short because of the mid-week opening, and there were no long traffic jams that usually accompanied the snow in recent years.

 

Israelis flock to Hermon (Photo: Avihu Shapira)
Israelis flock to Hermon (Photo: Avihu Shapira)

School's out (Photo: Avihu Shapira)
School's out (Photo: Avihu Shapira)

The snow near the lower cable car area reached 60-70 cm, with a temperature of -1, while the snow in the upper area of the mountain reached 120 cm with the mercury dropping to -3.

 

The storm provided enough snow for comfortable skiing conditions for about two weeks, the manager of the site, Shaul Ohana, said. He also said that all the tracks and ski lifts were open.

 

Hunderds arrive at Hermon (Photo: Avihu Shapira)
Hunderds arrive at Hermon (Photo: Avihu Shapira)

Skiing in Hermon (Photo: Avihu Shapira)
Skiing in Hermon (Photo: Avihu Shapira)

 

Debbie Doron and her daughter, Dana, made it to the site on Monday. Dana, 14, who has been skiing since she was seven years old, comes to Mount Hermon every year. “We’re not snobs, I’m from Canada,” she laughed. “And I can say that even in Canada, a site like Mount Hermon is considered a good ski site. The snow is great, the view is great.

 

“We also saw Mount Meron covered in snow on top of Rosh Pina near Safed, and it’s simply an experience. The only problem that needs to be solved is the long lines,” she said. “But it’s simply a beautiful site and great for skiing. When you get inside there aren’t any lines and it’s simply a pleasure.”

 

Long lines (Photo: Avihu Shapira)
Long lines (Photo: Avihu Shapira)

 

Elad Levi, an engineering student at Ben-Gurion University, left Beersheba at 3 am to go skiing, and by 9 am he was already enjoying himself on the mountain.

 

“I don’t come here every year. It’s a bit expensive for a student. But when you saved a bit of money on the side you have to come here.”

 

Snowed-in, school's out

Due to the weather conditions, the light rail in Jerusalem won’t operate in the morning, in addition to the rest of public transportation in the capital, but it is expected to run as usual Tuesday.

 

MDA paramedics were alerted to assist more than 100 people who slipped on ice and snow in Jerusalem Monday morning. The Jerusalem District Police requested earlier Monday that the capital's residents refrain from driving their car in the city, citing concealed ice on roads that could lead to loss of control over vehicles.

 

The Israel Electric Corporation also announced that there are still 8,000 buildings and homes without electricity.

 

A list of cities whose schools have been closed:

 

  • Jerusalem
  • Ariel
  • Safed
  • Beit Jann
  • Druze villages in the northern part of the Golan Heights
  • Kiryat Arba
  • Gush Etzion settlements
  • Efrat
  • Beitar Illit
  • Givat Ze’ev
  • Mevaseret Zion
  • Har Adar
  • Beit El
  • Abu Ghosh
  • Kiryat Ye’arim
  • Yitzhar
  • Bracha
  • Itamar
  • Tapuah
  • Reheilim
  • Nofei Nehemiah
  • Elon Moreh

 

The Mateh Yehuda and Mateh Binyamin regional councils also closed part of their schools.

 

Jerusalem is still a far way off from getting back to normal. The weather has caused icy conditions on the roads and sidewalks. The municipality has recommended that residents don’t drive in the city unless absolutely necessary, especially during the morning. It also said to take extra care when walking.

 

The city also warned about staying away from electricity poles and cables outdoors. There are no buses in the city, or to and from Jerusalem, and only later in the day will bus company Egged assess the situation again, announcing its decision about buses on its website. Local and intercity buses, however, if running, are expected to stop again in the early hours of the evening.

 

The Jerusalem municipality also announced that it is working on returning some stations of the light rail to operation. Road 1 is open in both directions and Road 443 is closed due to slippery conditions.

 

Noam (Dabul) Dvir and Shahar Chai contributed to this report

 

 

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