Vail Daily’s view: Heavy snow today, but best prepare for a higher snowline tomorrow
Vail, CO, Colorado
The concept of global warming sounds silly when a pile of snow has fallen on Vail Mountain over the past couple of weeks. But a report that looks beyond the seven-day forecast to the end of the century predicts much less snow for ski resorts.
The report, co-authored by Mark Williams, a geography professor at the University of Colorado, forecasts that resorts in the coming decades will have to create trails higher up their mountains and will need more water to make snow.
The study zeroed in on Aspen, saying the average temperature there could be 4 degrees warmer when today’s littlest kids leave college. It also said the snow base of Aspen Mountain could move 2,000 feet up the hill.
Does this mean our great-grandchildren will have to go skiing north of the Arctic Circle?
Does this mean all snowboarding will be done with the 2075 version of the Nintendo Wii?
Will there be golfing in the Back Bowls on Jan 1, 2100?
With record snows during this winter and last, planning for the sprouting of cactuses around the base of the gondola seems a bit ridiculous.
But perhaps Vail, the town and the resort, should start thinking about purchasing water rights and building more water storage high up the mountain.
Resorts in the Alps store water at high altitudes and pump it between basins. The report suggests ski area in the Rockies could generate hydropower with such systems ” a fabled “win-win” situation in the face of a potential warming crisis.
Sure, Vail may get heavy snow even while the planet is warming and threatening the resort’s future, but we as a community shouldn’t wait until ski season has be delayed until President’s Day to try and save our resort town.