By Allen Best
Imagining a world with little snow
Porter Fox, an editor and staff writer at Powder Magazine, has been making the rounds of ski towns this winter to talk about his book, “Deep: the Story of Skiing and the Future of Snow.”
He has a bleak prognosis for the future of snow, and the sports that depend on it, as the result of steadily accumulating greenhouse gases in the atmosphere as well as deforestation and other landscape changes.
On Sunday, he had the lead spot in the New York Times opinion section in an essay entitled, “The End of Snow?” There, he told of the large changes lying ahead, unless the world can curb its carbon appetite.
Among those hard changes is the prospect of more than half of the 103 ski resorts in the Northeast no longer being viable in 30 years because of warmer winters and receding snowpacks. And, by century’s end, Park City will have no snow and Aspen Mountain just the top quarter of the mountain.
Of course, reading about Fox’s jaunts around the world on assignments for Powder—here to Africa, there to Asia, and on to Mexico and Bulgaria—you might think that skiing adventurers have been responsible for as much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as some African nations.
Skiing, as business enterprise, has a huge carbon footprint, if for no other reason than because of the jet planes that all ski towns depend upon for customers.
Snow is “a vital component of earth’s climate system and water cycle,” Fox wrote in his essay for the Times. “When it disappears, what follows is a dangerous chain reaction of catastrophes like forest fires, drought, mountain pine beetles infestation, degraded river habitat….”
Tasty goat and other high-cuisine
VAIL, Colo. – A food columnist for the Vail Daily says that cauliflower is among the trends in local fine-dining places. “Often ignored as broccoli’s less colorful cousin, cauliflower is coming into its own as this year’s cruciferous star,” notes the newspaper.
“The veggie is incredibly versatile and can be mashed, grilled, broiled, cut lengthwise and barbecued like a steak, eaten alone or in salads, pickled or even turned into a gluten-free crust for pizzas.”
Also coming on are exotic species such as asafoetida, a pungent powder used widely in Indian and the Middle East, tea leaves for both cooking and cocktails, and ice cream sandwiches.
“Expect to see gourmet, hand-crafted ice cream sandwiches on menus once the weather warms up here in Colorado,” the paper notes.
As for meat, Iowa rabbit is on the menu at one of the local French-themed restaurants, while another has braised goat, and crispy pig ears can be had at still another.
Aspen Gay Ski Week
ASPEN, Colo. – “It’s expensive to throw a party in Aspen.”
That’s the report from The Roaring Fork Gay and Lesbian Fund, which puts on the annual Gay Ski Week in Aspen. The event, started in the late 1970s, remains the only non-profit gay ski week in the world, says the Aspen Daily News.
This year, the eight-day event produced $550,000 in revenues, up from $400,000 last year. Expenses were large, organizers tell the Daily News. For instance, it cost $15,000 to rent a restaurant where one event is held.
Still, after expenses, the organization last year was able to devote 9 percent of revenues to grants. Of that $36,000, $2,000 went to each of the Gay Straight Alliances at the four local public high schools.
The single largest grant last year was $7,000 for a diversity training group founded by staffers at the Roaring Fork School district.
The event drew an estimated 5,000 people this year, up 20 percent from last year.
Telluride pays to play for TV
TELLURIDE, Colo. – Despite some discontent in the community, town governments for both Telluride and Mountain Village are chipping in $20,000 each to producers of something called “Music Voyager,” which promises to make an episode about Telluride’s music scene.
The half-hour program can then be marketed to such electronic shows as BBC Travel, Travel Channel South America and others.
Also donating $10,000 each were Telluride Ski & Golf, the ski area operator, and the Telluride Tourism Board.
Stu Fraser, mayor of Telluride, defended the contribution. “It allows us to get a substantial bang for the buck. To have exposure in France, to have exposure in Japan…” he told the Telluride Daily Planet.