British Columbia skiing and climate change

Passengers on Whistler Blackcomb's Peak 2 Peak gondola examine Fitzsimmons Creek 800 feet below. The gondola connects the two ski areas in winter and is also a strong draw to summer visitors. Photo/Whistler Blackcomb

Passengers on Whistler Blackcomb’s Peak 2 Peak gondola examine Fitzsimmons Creek 800 feet below. The gondola links the two ski areas in winter but is also a strong draw to summer visitors. Photo/Whistler Blackcomb

British Columbia plots climate change for ski areas

WHISTLER, B.C. – The provincial government in British Columbia recently convened a meeting of ski resort operators to help create a Climate Change Action Plan.

As Whistler Blackcomb’s Arthur De Jong tells Pique Newsmagazine, his ski area has been thinking about climate change for a long time. The Peak 2 Peak gondola, a summer attraction as much as it is ski area infrastructure, is part of the strategy, as is new snowmaking equipment.

But if future ski areas are built, they may benefit from the insights in the plan, says David Lynn, chief executive of the Canada West Ski Areas Association.

He said the intent of the workshop was to emphasize the need to factor in the changing climate when making infrastructure decisions. “To the extent we do open new resorts, they (need to be) resorts designed to be viable from a climate change perspective 50 years from now as opposed to 50 years ago,” he said.

With many ski areas in British Columbia closing early this year because of lack of snow, the prospect of warmer winters is very much being considered, Lynn said.

“We’re trying to strike a balance of saying ‘yes, global warming is a real phenomenon, it’s strongly supported by science, we need to adapt to it,’ but at the same time, we don’t want to attribute a single data point—i.e. this season—to global warming, per se, because we know there’s an enormous role played by cyclical weather systems such as the El Niño system.”

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About Allen Best

Allen Best is a Colorado-based journalist. He publishes a subscription-based e-zine called Mountain Town News, portions of which are published on the website of the same name, and also writes for a variety of newspapers and magazines.
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One Response to British Columbia skiing and climate change

  1. mememine69 says:

    34 years of needless CO2 panic is a war crime in the history books. Are you willing to judged?
    The scientific consensus is 34 years of 97% certainty so what’s to “believe” or “deny” besides 34 more years of global denial and climate action failure being 100% certain.
    Exaggerating vague science was not progressive or civilized.

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