French Ski Resort Draws Criticism for Using Helicopters to Deliver Snow

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A French resort has attracted media attention for using a helicopter to drop snow on its ski slopes that are lacking it. Photo: Euro News

The Luchon-Superbagneres resort in the French Pyrennees mountains has recently received criticism for using helicopters to drop much needed snow on the some of the resort’s slopes after suffering from a mild winter season that has lacked sufficient snowfall. A regional branch of a French political party are arguing that the actions taken by the resort to provide snowfall and combat the effects of global warming, were not very “ecological,” and are actually directly contributing to it.

Euro News reports that the Luchon-Superbagneres resort used helicopters on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 14-15, to move about 50 tons of snow from higher mountains to their ski area. The snow was then dumped onto a few beginner slopes of the resort’s 28 trails according to director of the local department council Hervé Pounau.

As a result, six of the ski area’s slopes were open to skiers over the weekend. But not everyone was happy about this and the regional branch of the Europe-Ecologie Les Verts political party railed against the actions taken by the resort with Bastien Ho, the local party secretary, who described it as “a short-term aberration which fights against global warming by contributing to it,” Euro News reports.

Despite the resort’s good intentions towards ensuring that they could remain open for the remainder of the ski season and keep up to 80 ski area jobs in place, they may have been contributing to the larger problem at hand. A report released by France’s Court of Audit last year looked at the impact climate change has been having on ski resorts in the Alps and noted that resorts at low or mid-elevations were the most at risk, suggesting that they may need to start “diversifying themselves by offering services less reliant on snow.”


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