Monday, December 18, 2006

Concern over Europe 'snow crisis'

While many mortal kiwis wander whats up at the beach spare a thought for our distant snow cousins across the globe ...... James Cove from the BBC writes about Europes snow crisis;

Image taken 8 December shows the French Alps with little snow
The French Alps are uncharacteristically lacking in snow
" Ski resorts across the European Alps are becoming increasingly worried as current bad snow conditions threaten the all important Christmas holiday period.

This autumn has been one of the worst on record with high temperatures and little snowfall.

Many resorts have had to postpone their openings and the main ski races have been cancelled because of a lack of snow.

With millions of skiers heading to the resorts over the next week there are concerns that the open runs will be very busy and people could be put off from booking again at Christmas and the New Year, costing the multi-million pound industry heavily in lost revenue, and threatening jobs.

Climate change

Many believe global warming is to blame for the lack of snow.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development warned that many low-level resorts could soon be unviable and predicted warmer temperatures in the future.

Already banks are refusing to offer loans to resorts under 1,500 metres as they fear for their future snow cover. Germany is threatened the most, followed by some Austrian and Italian resorts.

However, the picture is not as bleak as some say, with the high resorts having good conditions on some runs.

I am in the Swiss resort of Verbier and the open runs have good snow and more is set to open this weekend helped by artificial snow.

"We have many new snow-making cannons across our slopes and this has helped greatly," Pierre-Yves Deleze told the BBC.

"Some snow is forecast to fall next week and then everything should be OK. If not though, it will make us more nervous for Christmas."

'Higher ground'

The best skiing is to be found on the high resorts with glaciers: Tignes and Les Deux Alpes in France; Zermatt, Saas Fee and Verbier in Switzerland, and Obergurgl in Austria......

For the full report see;

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Canada or not

The conversation, a quick casual catch up outside the post office, went;

"Come over to Canada we have a house at Red Mountain for a month"

Those simple 14 words sent my mind spinning with ramifications exploding normality. What an option. I don't even know where Red Mountain is having never been to Canada .... one of those things in life that as a snow bum you just got to address .... sometime