Colorado’s ski industry says global warming won’t stop the shredding

Colorado’s lucrative ski industry claims it’s got no worries about global warming, saying the state’s high altitudes and remarkably cold winters will keep things white and wonderful. Others think the sector’s got its collective head stuck up its snowpack. “Heavens, I think that’s shortsighted,” said Idaho ski-industry consultant Don Reading. Pacific Northwest states have recently suffered sharply curtailed ski seasons; thanks to rain and inadequate snow, Washington’s Summit at Snoqualmie was closed over half the 2004-05 season, losing about 60 percent of its business. A study from the University of Washington estimates that half of the region’s snowpack will be gone by 2040. In Switzerland, the Andermatt ski resort covered an ice face with insulating white fleece this past summer, attempting to preserve a local glacier. But many Colorado ski-industry professionals so far affect unconcern. “Weather is cyclical,” says industry spokesflack Molly Cuffe — and besides, she adds, Colorado resorts have an awful lot of snowmaking machines.