State of denial
Vail, Colorado CO
We can build high-speed chairlifts and new hotels.
We can serve our guests with a smile ” no matter how they treat us. And we can have the biggest ski mountain in the country.
But there is very little we can do about the weather.
Or is there?
Mother Nature has dropped a few inches on us this week, but the snowpack for the Upper Colorado Basin, that’s us, is still sitting dismally below average – 67 percent of average last we checked. A drive down I-70 reveals brown spots. Tourists have noticed warm temperatures and thin snow on Vail Mountain. And it’s just the beginning of February.
Our ski resort folks are doing what they can to make sure those buying $85 lift tickets get their money’s worth. Between the snowblowing, the Snocat grooming and the happy, friendly faces that run the lifts, the skiing has actually been pretty good. Maybe the real good news is the skiing in Europe and the Northeast is even worse.
Still, we could use some more snow. Beaver Creek stays open for skiing until April 15; Vail’s ski season has been extended to April 22.
Good skiing and boarding is only part of it. Without a healthy snowpack, our summer season could be threatened with low rivers, watering restrictions and wildfire-ripe mountainsides.
We also could use more frank discussion about what we can do to combat global warming. A discussion that goes beyond feel-good measures like hybrid cars and fluorescent lightbulbs and straight to things that could make a difference, like reducing our country’s reliance on pollution-creating oil.
Call it climate change, call it whatever you want. Sea levels are rising and global temperatures are up. Even our president recognizes the Earth is changing and we are causing it.
Isn’t it time global warming deniers did, too?
” T. M.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this editorial inaccurately stated that lift tickets at Vail were $87. They are actually $85.
The editorial also referred to snowpack levels at 61 percent of average. That number refers to the snowpack level in the Upper Colorado Basin, and it should have said it was 67 percent of average. That number does not reflect the snowfall on Vail Mountain, which is 85 percent of average.