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Snow has yet to fall on the Alps and the unseasonably warm weather is delaying the start of the skiing season across Europe.

However, one Austrian hotel manager has hired a special team to offer prayers after the driest November since records began. Considered a good-luck charm, the 15 chimney sweeps held a special ceremony at the foot of the Katschberg mountain in Austria’s Carinthia province.

One of party was a chimney sweep called Bernhard Gritsch: “There’s usually lots of snow on the mountains by now. But because this isn’t the case this year, we’re wishing for good things from up above and that it’ll be a good season for the tourism industry.”

World Cup alpine races at the French resort of Val d’Isere due to start on 10 December have been cancelled, due to the driest and warmest autumn in the Alps for almost 150 years.

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