SEPT 18, 2023

How Our Warming Climate is Leading Us Towards Winters With No Skiing

by Ethan Plettl

A significant issue that comes with the great threat of a warming climate is a higher average yearly temperature. This increase in temperature would lead to warmer and therefore shorter winters. This change in temperature also ultimately comes with the result of little to no snow, and we all know no snow means no skiing or snowboarding. We’ve all experienced days on the mountain when it hasn’t snowed in a while, or the conditions are bad, but the impending issue of climate change would lead to something drastically worse. Instead of having a few days with bad conditions every couple weeks, we’d have full winters with reduced snowfall and snowpack leading to shorter and warmer ski seasons. It’s important for us to not only think about how our actions are impacting the earth today, but also how different the planet will look in the future because of our choices.

Recent Examples of Winters with No Snow

Though the issue of having no snow at the resort hasn’t hit home yet in Canada, it was a prominent issue in many European countries earlier this year. In early January this year, around half of the resorts in the French alps had to close their chalets and shut down their lifts for an extended period of time. This was all because they were missing a vital piece to run their hills, Snow. This sudden melt was caused by a sudden increase in temperature around France. Though we haven’t seen anything like this in Canada, our average annual temperature is continually rising which is leading to more severe weather extremes and unstable environments. We can see this in the unstable snowpack the past few years that caused many avalanches during the season.

Local Groups That Are Working Towards Promoting Climate Change Awareness

Throughout the city there are many local groups that have the goal of promoting climate awareness and educating people on how they can change things in their own lives to make a difference. Climate Justice Edmonton is a local group with the goal of social, environmental and climate justice. They are also pushing to educate people on climate change and to take action in your own communities. Another group that promotes advocacy climate awareness and winter sports is Protect Our Winters Canada. The POW Canada Edmonton Chapter is pushing to turn people who are passionate about the outdoors into effective climate advocates. POW strives to educate people on the significance of climate change and how we need to make changes to protect our environment.


How You Can Make a Change

When planning a weekend trip with a group, a great way to reduce your impact on the environment is to consider taking a bus rather than each driving your own vehicles. MagicBus Tours offers day trips to Marmot Basin where you can get a full day of skiing in without having to drive home from the mountains after a long day on the hill. They also offer overnight trips that include night accommodations and take you to and from the hill. These tours lead to a great reduction of emissions due to the diminished number of cars driving to the mountains. Another important change that can be made at home is using more sustainable modes of transport such as public transit, biking, walking, or if driving is required, considering carpooling or ridesharing. 


How Sundance is Doing Their Part

At Sundance we are making many steps towards becoming more environmentally friendly. For the past 5 years our main building has had solar panels that not only help power our store, but also feed energy back into the grid. With the construction of our new building next door, we have also installed solar panels to increase the energy we send back to the grid. Many of the brands we carry are becoming more and more green as ski and snowboard technology progresses. A great example of this would be the headquarters of HEAD in Kennelbach that is run by a hydro plant on a nearby river. They are also currently working to reduce and ultimately eliminate their plastic packaging and are being followed by many other ski and snowboard brands. At Sundance it is important to us to not only carry products that will perform at the highest level, but products that will last many years, reducing overconsumption.

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