Colin Michael Baker/Alamy Stock Photo
La Sambuy chairlift, pictured here during the warmer months.
winter is coming. For another ski resort in France, this means facing the reality that there is not enough snow to continue operating.
The town of La Sambuy, which runs a family ski destination near Mont Blanc in the French Alps, has decided to dismantle its ski lifts because global warming has reduced the ski season to just a few weeks, meaning it is no longer profitable to keep them open.
“Previously, it snowed practically from December 1 to March 30,” Jacques Dalix, the mayor of La Sambuie, told CNN.
He added that last winter, there were only “four weeks of snow, and even then, there wasn’t much snow.” This means “very quickly, stones and rocks appeared on the piste.”
Dalix said the resort is able to open for less than five weeks during January and February, and expects an annual operating loss of about 500,000 euros ($530,000). The cost of maintaining the elevators alone is 80 thousand euros per year.
La Sambuy is not a huge resort, with only three lifts and a few pistes up to 1,850 meters (about 6,070 feet).
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But with a range of slopes ranging from ‘black’ to ‘green’ slopes for beginners and relatively cheap pistes, they have been popular with families looking for a more low-alpine experience than larger, higher-altitude destinations offer.
UK snow report website On The Snow calls it “Perfect place to visitWith exceptional panoramic views and everything you need in a friendly resort.”
This summer, with a difficult time to plan for the winter season, the La Sambuie City Council made the decision to close the resort it has run since 2016. While the ski infrastructure is scheduled to be dismantled as soon as possible, it is hoped that the ski infrastructure will be dismantled as soon as possible. The city still manages to attract visitors.
The resort, which also markets itself as a summer hiking and outdoor destination, will instead become a place to “discover and protect nature, walk, and exercise, if possible,” Dalix said.
La Sambuy website now It carries a message stating that the ski resort is “permanently closed.” On September 10, following a city council decision. “Thank you all for last summer’s 2023 season, and for all the wonderful years I spent by your side,” the message read.
Olivier Chasignol/AFP/Getty Images
The village of Saint-Fermin in the French Alps has dismantled its ski lift in 2022 due to dwindling winter snow.
La Sambuy is not the only French ski resort facing collapse. Last year, San Fermin, another small Alpine ski destination, chose to go rHe moved his ski lift after seeing the winter season dwindle From months to weeks, a situation that is also blamed on climate change.
Mountain Wilderness, a French environmental group, says it has dismantled 22 ski lifts in France since 2001, and estimates there are still 106 abandoned ski lifts in 59 locations in the country.
According to a report published in the scientific journal Nature Climate Change in August, 53% of 2,234 ski resorts surveyed in Europe are likely to face a “very high risk of snowfall” when global temperatures rise by 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above a year ago. 2018. Industrial levels, without the use of artificial snow.
A report published in January in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that there is a “high probability” that global temperatures will rise beyond the 2 degree Celsius threshold by mid-century.
“All winter sports resorts in France are affected by global warming,” said La Sambouie’s Dalix, especially those at an average mountain altitude of 1,000 to 1,500 metres.
However, not everyone in their city is willing to give up without a fight.
A petition was launched this year by an association called All Together For La Sambuy (Tous Ensemble Pour La Sambuy), urging that the resort and others be kept open by adopting a new, more “durable” model – mainly, by operating a chair lift in the summer to take visitors to the top of the mountain,
The petition has garnered more than 1,900 signatures, and according to Christian Bailey, the association’s president, the group is taking legal action to overturn the city council’s decision.
He said the closure was “harmful” to the town and local lands, adding that the ski resort was “a social element in our small town of 7,500 people”.
Daleks says the reason for the closure is clear. He said that “global warming is clearly happening” and is happening “more quickly than scientists expected.” He said it was becoming increasingly difficult for ski resorts to operate, with many “having to adapt” to the new climate.
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