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Village gets best skiing for years

As the British team prepares for the opening of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, a group of skiers in Northumberland are enjoying the best snow for decades. The hills around Allenheads, one of England's highest villages, have been covered in snow for most of the winter. The former lead mining village, which is an area of outstanding natural beauty, is 1,450ft above sea level. The ski slope, which has three tractor-powered lifts, sits above the village at 1,770ft and is run by the British Norwegian Ski Club. Guy Javens, who helps run the club, said: "This season has been absolutely fantastic and this is our 57th consecutive day of snow." Mr Javens said during the season's peak more than 200 skiers would be at the centre at weekends. "We've been open now for eight weeks and it has been absolutely incredible," he said. "It really has been the best snow for decades - so much for global warming." As the 21st Winter Olympics opens in Vancouver, the 52-strong Team GB is aiming for its greatest medal success since the 1936 Games. But despite the snow in Northumberland, Mr Javens thinks it is unlikely Allenheads would ever get to host the Games. "It would be incredible to host the Winter Olympics but I don't think our slopes are quite steep enough," he joked.

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