By Allen Best
AVON, Colo. – World Cup downhill races at Beaver Creek
last week were postponed because of snow heavy enough to cause avalanche
danger. But despite that abundance of snow, the Vail Daily found deep concern
among ski racers and World Cup officials about the changing climate.
“At this point, I don’t think there’s many people who can deny
there are effects to global warming,” said Ted Ligety, the reigning Olympic
combined gold medalist. He told the Daily that he is worried that greenhouse
gas emissions will eventually eliminate skiing altogether.
Guenther Hujara, director of the men’s World Cup, had similar
concerns: “When we look at the glaciers back in the ’70s and now, we cannot say
this is just a short-term phenomenon or a question of fickle weather,” he said.
Utah native Steven Nyman, an Olympic downhiller, said many
racers on the U.S. Ski Team are worried about global warming’s effect on
skiing. But he said ski racers are “probably the worst” offenders in their
contribution of greenhouse gases.
“We’re staying in hotel rooms, changing the linen, we’re flying
here and there and we’re driving everywhere. We are using amazing amounts of
fuel and resources,” Nyman said. “So, it’s tough for us to talk as skiers
traveling the world.”
Ligety said he believes the sport is especially endangered in
Europe, where resorts are mostly at lower elevations.
Major work at Revelstoke?
REVELSTOKE, B.C. – Up to $100 million in new work may be
done next year at Mount MacKenzie, the major new ski mountain being planned at
Revelstoke. Only a small ski area exists there now, but as contemplated, the
resort will have the most substantial vertical drop of any resort in North
America, some 6,000 feet. The Revelstoke Times Review reports most of the work
now is being done behind closed doors, in negotiations between the development
company and town officials.
Opposition should extend to Jumbo
RADIUM HOT SPRINGS, B.C. – Town officials in Radium Hot
Springs have joined Whistler in opposing a request by provincial officials for
plans to develop resorts and lodges in provincial parks. But a letter-writer in
the Invermere Valley Echo says that for Radium Hot Springs to be consistent, it
should reverse its support for the proposed Jumbo Glacier Resort.
Jumbo, says the letter-writer, Cameron Clarkson, “Is a massive
sprawl into the wilderness and is the epitome of exactly what Whistler is
declaring should not happen. You can split hairs and say that the Jumbo Resort
is not proposed for a provincial park. Nonetheless, the principle of the matter
is indeed the same whether it is in the boundaries of a park or beyond in a
wilderness that is distinct, valued and cherished by more and more people every