I certainly was not the first to address the increase in environmentally responsible practices at ski resorts, but my February 28, “The Gradual Greening of Ski Country” post beat Associated Press reporter’s Tom Gardner’s “Ski Industry Goes Green to Fight Warming” article, which was released yesterday. How perfectly appropriate for a piece on green resort practices to come out on St. Patrick’s Day, the greenest of holidays. Gardner discussed resorts that I didn’t and vice versa, and I’m really happy that he did. His words will reach for more readers than mine.
On Friday, I skied with a friend at Loveland. Nights are still cold 10,600 feet and higher, so morning conditions were crunchy, but by late morning, the sun had softened the snow and morphed it into wonderful spring corn. Three new inches a couple of days earlier added a fresh lawyer to the season’s snowfall. Loveland’s high elevations (topping out at over 13,000 feet), I was glad to ski in a warm park, hat and winter gloves. But Durango Mountain Resort, where my son teaches skiing, has sprung into spring with a vengeance. He told me that he hasn’t seen anything but blue sky in two weeks and that the snow is melting off the slopes in rivers.
Some weather variations reflect seasonal snow patterns, but the recent focus on global warming sets me to wondering what is within a normal range of months with heavier or lighters snowfall, above- or below-normal temperatures, and the dates when winter sets in and when spring begins. Gardner’s report is yet another reminder that we need to do what we can to make lessen our collective responsibility for shortening the ski season, the snowpack and the greater global climate.