3 degree temperature rise against preindustrial average
snow level rising at 100m/decade
Desynchronisation amoungst the adaptable species is causing mass mortality and extinction an imminent threat to many species
enneigement period reduced by one month since 1970 (25% at 2500m)
Given that skiing is a major part of the alpine economy It isn't surprising that resorts have turned to snow making but at what cost? Pumping water at pressure up mountains must take immense energy and whilst grid energy isn't sustainable how can anyone responsilbly ski? After-all its not just the excitement of sliding, its the joy of the alpine environment that makes skiing great. Snow making (and of course the transport of skiers) is driving the species of the alps out of existence. Do any of us want an alpine wasteland as a playground?
Ski touring and ski mountaineering are skiing. What's the problem?
The other part of this revolves around how you define "responsibly". If anything can only be "responsible" if it has no environmental impact, then you're right, you can't ski. Then again you can't drive, buy phones or computers or fart. Don't ever light a fire or ask your friends to come and see you unless they walk or cycle. You almost definitely need to opt out of modern life. Your life becomes rather limited, if pure.
Conversely, if you get the train to the alps, go to resorts who rely less or not at all on making snow, in countries with more environmentally friendly power generation, and in life try to reduce your carbon footprint and be as environmentally friendly as possible, then you can, as this fits a more normal understanding of "responsibly".
so its not forever. Swiss ski resorts are claiming carbon neutrallity which I guess if taken at face values means that they use hydro power to generate snow. But this is far from reality in most ski resorts. Clearly the decision makers and budget holders aren't choosing sustainability in their industry, and as snow making is a new vice I view that as beyond the pale. there is no equality between the activities we are compelled to engage in every day life, and those that we make in the optional aspects of life. Skiing is a choice, and now the industry has largely chosen to burn more carbon to stay in business in the face of climate heating. I'm out at least until the industry is carbon neutral.
Product News Entire Lake District Climbs guide free on Rockfax Digital until 8th October
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