A study by two Colorado researchers says Aspen Mountain in Colorado and Park City in Utah will see dramatic changes even with a reduction in carbon emissions, which fuel climate change. University of Colorado-Boulder geography professor Mark Williams said that the resorts should be in fairly good shape the next 25 years, but after that there will be less snowpack–or no snow at all–at the base areas, and the season will be shorter because snow will accumulate later and melt earlier. (more…)
Archive for the ‘How to Ski Green’ Category
“Alpine skiing” and “living green” do not seem compatible. Flat land skiers jet across the country, rent SUVs, and drive a few more hours to mountain homes or condominiums. While they sleep, snow guns blast a fresh layer of snow and legions of snow cats prepare thousands of acres of groom slopes. That’s a lot of greenhouse gas just to escape New Jersey for a week.
So how can an individual skier reduce the carbon emissions of this sport? (more…)
If you have background and interest in environmental and resource policy issues, the Rocky Mountain Institute offers three-month to one-year internships at their offices in Boulder, Colorado and Snowmass, Colorado.
The Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory finds that soot warms up the snow and the air above it by up to 1.2 degrees Fahrenheit, causing snow to melt. Soot from pollution causes winter snowpacks to warm, shrink and warm some more. The full report reveals regional changes to the snowpack caused by soot and finds doubling the dimming of the snow led to an approximate 50 percent increase in the snow surface temperature. The drop in snow accumulation, however, more than doubled in some areas.
Unfortunately for National Ski Areas Association members and service providers, the study did not address the measurement or impact of soot due to local vehicle traffic in mountain valley locations. Comparing cost impacts of local pollution levels on ski season length could help cost justify industry-wide transportation improvements.
Be sure to check out the “other” skigreen website sponsored by CLIF® BAR and the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF). Along with your ideas on how to ski green, they are looking for your personal stories and photos. The skigreen.org site sponsors the Skigreen Carborn Offset Program. While this program does not help “green” the local ski area, it provides individual skiers an easy way to offset the pollution they create driving up to the ski area. Mini-Carbon Offsets are two dollars and can be purchased at the ticket window with daily lift passes or with season pass sales. Anyone else smell like greenwash here? I do. (more…)
What does the economic downturn mean for skiing? Love your locals. While you might see miles of empty condos in Vail or Big Sky this year, some smaller resorts located nearer to a population base are enjoying record numbers. High-priced trips to destination resorts are out. Daily or weekend trips to resorts closer to home are in. And, as always, deep snow can trump location and the economy. (more…)
What does climate change mean for the Northwestern portion of the United States? An in-depth report from the Climate Impacts Group at the University of Washington provides some grim answers to that question. Among the “highest confidence” predictions for this region include: warmer temperature throughout the year, decreased summer water supply, and increased probability of drought. Skier translation: more rain and less snow in the winter. But perhaps the most surprising finding is the speed of change. The authors point out significant impacts in just the next ten years: (more…)
Never traveled by train in the United States? It’s a great break from overstuffed planes and airport waiting lines. RMA Travel and Tours offers Amtrak train packages to ski resorts in Colorado and Montana. Serving Colorado resorts including Winter Park, Copper Mountain, Breckenridge, as well as Whitefish Resort in Montana.
Results of a poll of 12,000 citizens in 11 countries were released last week that suggest that there is both growing public reluctance to make personal sacrifices and a distinct lack of enthusiasm for the major international efforts now underway to battle climate change. (more…)
Keystone Resort announced last Wednesday a new carpool incentive program that encourages skiers and riders to drive together to the popular Colorado ski resort. Skiers and riders who arrive at Keystone Resort with four or more people in a car will be able to park in a premier parking section in Keystone’s Montezuma Parking Lot which is a short walk to the new River Run Gondola.
“As one of the closest major resorts to the Front Range, Keystone chose to develop a program that encourages carpooling among our guests to our Resort. This program will help alleviate congestion on I-70 and also help protect the environment,” said Pat Campbell, Chief Operating Office of Keystone Resort.
Demonstrating that sustainable alternatives can be more convenient than current solutions, the premier parking is available on a first-come, first served basis and will be open for guests everyday throughout the ski season. Keystone parking attendants will direct any car that meets these requirements to the close-in section. The carpool parking will be open during peak hours of the morning until 11 a.m. or the lot is full each day.