Wed Sep 18, 2019 1:43 pm
Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:28 pm
Thu Sep 19, 2019 11:57 am
Thu Sep 19, 2019 1:28 pm
Sbooker wrote:Interesting topic. I've had a brief look at the links but will read them in more detail later.
Aside from the extent of snowmaking another factor to ponder is the quality of snowmaking. I have skied on the granular stuff in Australia and NZ a few times and it is very different to the almost powder like man made pistes in north eastern Italy. Whether this is a result of different snowmaking techniques/machines or location (drier air) I don't know.
I would be interested to hear peoples opinion of the quality of the extensive man made snow at Sun Valley compared to that of the Euro Alps. Elevation at Sun Valley* is roughly comparable to the a lot of the Euro Alps while at the Aussie and NZ (and NE of US) hills it is significantly less. Perhaps this is a factor?
* I've only skied a couple of days at Sun Valley in January 2017. I didn't get to experience the man made snow at that time. :)
This is not to say that the expertise is any better than Hunter/Big Bear etc. Sun Valley has considerable natural advantages in terms of low humidity, absence of rain and very favorable altitude/exposure on about half the mountain. Skier density is also low, probably making the overnight grooming job easier.
sierra_cement wrote:Many areas won't be able to make that justification and either they will have to reduce pass prices to factor in that uncertainty or shut down. There will only be a limited set of resorts available to ski Christmas, Spring Break or Easter and they are probably all going to be in the Rockies. This is probably going to lead to even more crowding in the Rockies and skiing becoming an even more expensive sport for families with school-going children. It would be hard to justify a season pass if you can only ski the one week school is off in February.
I'll enjoy skiing before it becomes out of reach for people with less than 7 figure income.
Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:54 pm
Thu Sep 19, 2019 6:48 pm
Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:36 pm
Tony Crocker wrote:
Spring break is more popular in the Alps than here, and many destination resorts run to late April. But it's also widely known in Europe to concentrate on the high altitude places there in March/April.
As for the temperature increases themselves, the actual observed increase since the 1970's has been at about the rate of 0.2C per decade, though not evenly with minimal increase 2001-2012. There are many reasons to take this seriously as it will take a long time to slow down and arrest the increase. However the higher resorts in both the Alps and North America are a long way from being affected at the current rate. Snowmaking advances will help a lot of intermediate altitude places to remain viable. Some low altitude regions will be in trouble in the intermediate term, and Australia is one of those places IMHO.
Fri Sep 20, 2019 4:04 pm
Tony Crocker wrote:The other issue is projected drought incidence at lower latitudes of 33-35 degrees. Snowfall this decade is trending down down in SoCal and Taos.
It's been awhile since a big season in either of these. 2009-10 was the last season over 300 inches at Taos and 2004-05 was the last season over 200 inches in SoCal. In earlier years you would see a big season every 3-4 years on average.
In Chile recent drought has been more severe with the last above average season being 2009 and the past decade averaging only 2/3 the snowfall of prior years.
Rain incidence at marginal altitude/latitude should have a more clear relationship to warming temperatures. By the numbers Australia looks like a particularly vulnerable location. However the trend line at Spencer's Creek is fairly gradual.
That graph looks a lot like the ones for Taos and SoCal. The last season with base over 250cm was 2000, and about 1/4 of seasons before then attained that benchmark.
Tue Sep 24, 2019 12:31 pm
sierra_cement wrote:Interesting. I think the important thing that we don't know is if this temperature rise will accelerate. We could have a runaway effect and could be in trouble in a lot of different ways we cannot imagine yet. And we are only speculating about how the quantity of precipitation will change.