“Four Seasons” Topogen flow, total skiing stop in favor of mountaineering, solar-powered trails … In France, as in the United States, ski resorts are reconsidering their practices in response to climate change. Concessions to protect the economy are the future.
It is the beginning of the year and winter. And for some of us, this period rhymes with slides, pull-ups and twists in the dust. But the future of winter sports is threatened by climate change. Whereas Snow is becoming increasingly scarce In many parts of the world, ski resorts will vanish in a matter of decades. According to the OECD, the French Alps are at risk of closing 80 mid-range sites by 2050. More than a hundred tracks in France have already been closed since the 1950s.
In Documentary “Avenir” Released in December 2020 by French director Laura Lordieux, the Alpine Resort La Closas (Hot-Savoy) based citizen collective DNA, running on white gold, is waging a pioneering struggle to save the economy of this village, but that too must necessarily face the effects of climate change. The struggle that led its members to campaign in the last municipal election in 2020.
“So far no one was able to send in the perfect solution, which is not strange,” he said. ETX Daily Up Alexandre Hemelin, head of the “DNA” list, explained.
Towards the “Four Seasons” offer
These “new models”, some ski resorts are trying to find them. The Schnepfenried Resort, located in Vosg, for example, was forced to close its slopes in late December due to “hot” episodes and a lack of snow.
To protect its economic health (skiing accounts for 5% to 10% of the French tourism economy, according to the Chamber of Commerce’s domains skypels de France) the resort is already considering restructuring its accommodation offers and activities. , Such as tree climbing or scooter rental.
“The idea is to open up to other activities that will generate resources but do not require high operating costs,” explains AFP Cyril Brech, director of the Schnepfenried-dependent Mixed Union of Munster Valley.
Lack of snow and health restrictions associated with the Covit-19 crisis (the sky lift was closed last year) prompted other French ski resorts to expand their operations. Like the Métabief station in Jura, it will launch the 710m long “Four Seasons” Toboggan Run next summer.
More seriously, other resorts such as Puigmal (Pyrénées-Orientales) or Drouzin-le-Mont (Haute-Savoie) have completely abandoned alpine skiing in favor of winter walks in the mountains.
Runway lights running in sunlight
France is not the only country exploring new avenues. According to a 2017 study funded by the Environmental Protection Agency and published in the journal Global Climate Change, every ski area in the United States is expected to experience at least 50% less seasoning by next year. 2050.
Some resorts, such as Park City and Deer Valley (Utah), have adopted eco-responsible approaches that have decided to illuminate all of their paths with solar energy. Or the Davos Sky Valley (New Mexico) has established a “zero plastic” policy, as well as a food composting system to control food waste.