Snowmaking for skiing can impact climate change

Making snow for skiing can contribute to the same climate change issues that could one day have catastrophic effects on the ski industry.| MORE: Predicting our futureWhile there is still a lot of data to collect, recent trends show that mid-Atlantic ski resorts are seeing less and less natural snow and are increasingly relying on artificial snow for continue to operate. Recreational skiing remains popular among people in the greater Baltimore area with several resorts just hours away. The slopes can be piled up as soon as the powder has fallen. “We’re kind of ready to go no matter what because we have 100% opportunity to make snow here on all of our mountains here in Pennsylvania. So we’re kind of ready to go no matter what. it happens,” said Andy DeBrunner, of Vail Resorts.| RELATED: Forecasting our future: Here’s how weather fluctuations affect ski areasVail Resorts owns Roundtop Mountain Resort in York County, Pa.; Liberty Mountain Resort in York County, Pa. ‘Adams, Pa.; Whitetail Mountain Resort in Franklin County, Pa.; and Jack Frost-Big Boulder in Carbon County, Pa. but this year, for example, we didn’t come close to that,” said DeBrunner. inches. But over the last three years, the average has only been 9.3 inches. “Almost all of our base will be artificial, and then whatever we get from Mother Nature on top of that, we’re happy to have it, my is we are definitely not counting on it,” DeBrunner said. DeBrunner explained that mid-Atlantic ski resorts depend almost entirely on artificial snow, and without it the resorts could not operate. is not only expensive, but can have harmful effects on the environment.Roundtop has already taken steps to reduce its carbon footprint by investing in more efficient snowmaking equipment and using ponds located at the foot of the mountain as a source of water. snow melts, water returns to ponds for reuse. Roundtop is also upgrading the lifts and adding LED lighting throughout the resort. important thing that we own and lead in this region as well,” DeBrunner said. could spell trouble for the ski industry.

Making snow for skiing can contribute to the same climate change issues that could one day have catastrophic effects on the ski industry.

| AFTER: Forecasting our future

While there is still much more data to collect, recent trends show mid-Atlantic ski resorts seeing less and less natural snow and relying more and more on man-made snow to continue operating. .

Recreational skiing remains popular among residents of the greater Baltimore area, with several resorts just hours away. Slopes can be compacted as soon as the powder has fallen.

“We’re kind of ready to go no matter what because we have 100% opportunity to make snow here on all of our mountains here in Pennsylvania. So we’re kind of ready to go whatever let it happen,” said Andy DeBrunner, with Vail Resorts.

| RELATED: Predicting our future: how weather fluctuations affect ski areas

Vail Resorts owns Roundtop Mountain Resort in York County, Pennsylvania; Liberty Mountain Resort in Adams County, Pennsylvania; Whitetail Mountain Resort in Franklin County, Pennsylvania; and Jack Frost-Big Boulder in Carbon County, Pennsylvania.

DeBrunner told 11 News that while resorts have been entering the majority of the ski season lately, natural snowfall totals have dropped.

“I think our average tends to be around 30 inches, but this year, for example, we haven’t come close to that,” DeBrunner said.

According to OnTheSnow.com, a website that tracks snowfall totals at ski resorts, the average annual snowfall over the past 10 years at Roundtop was 29 inches. But over the past three years, the average has only been 9.3 inches.

“Almost all of our base will be artificial, and anything we get from Mother Nature on top of that, we’re happy to have, but we’re definitely not counting on it,” DeBrunner said.

DeBrunner explained that mid-Atlantic ski resorts depend almost entirely on artificial snow, and without it the resorts could not operate.

The snowmaking process is not only expensive, but can have detrimental effects on the environment.

snow making at roundtop hill station

Roundtop has already taken steps to reduce its carbon footprint by investing in more efficient snowmaking equipment and using ponds at the foot of the mountain as a source of water, so that when the snow melts, the water returns in ponds for reuse.

Roundtop is also upgrading the elevators and adding LED lighting throughout the station.

“As a company inextricably linked to weather and climate, we consider it very important that we take ownership and lead in this area as well,” DeBrunner said.

Mid-Atlantic ski resorts will continue to tune into the weather, hoping for colder winters, because if temperatures continue to rise over the next few years or even decades, it could cause problems to the ski industry.

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