This past weekend I headed up into the High Sierras for some ski happiness and for the three day weekend I was blessed with some amazing weather, better company and a whole lot of fun. In looking over the trail map, it was interesting to see how green Vail Resorts was by buying wind power credits to offset it's electricity consumption as detailed here. It'd be really easy to take potshots since skiing is such an ecologically challenging endeavor when one thinks about getting there, but I do think the symbolism hits home since winter sports rely much on natural beauty as part of the experience. And the views of Lake Tahoe were amazing.
Some interesting things that still struck me about skiing since I last went almost a decade ago.
- increasing use of petroleum products. In the old days there use to be metal hangers for your lift tickets, now it's plastic fasteners. When getting food, instead of paper plates, you often get styrofoam plates.
- the cars going to the mountains are much larger, SUVs are everywhere. In the past, the Subaru Outbacks were popular, now it's gigantic Tahoes and other megavehicles.
- skiing is much more popular, in the past the lift lines were as white as the slopes, now it's a multicultural mix. this is a good thing.
With luck we'll innovate better winter sports to be more green, though with the increase in temperatures, it's going to be harder to create ski areas.