Challenges of seasonal tourism. This lack of ice is not clearly attributable to global warming since we have taken for granted in recent years that Dec = snow when this may not be the case all the time in the past.
In a bid to maintain the ski season, operators may result to the use of artificial means to recreate the needed conditions, however, how sustainable is this?
So most resorts across the Alps are turning to artificial snow. Snow cannons have been used for many years to patch up vulnerable sections of a slope, but in the last decade their use has increased dramatically.
Fifty percent of Swiss slopes can now be snowed artificially. In neighbouring Austria the figure is 70%. It is, as Christoph Marty points out, an expensive business.
“We need a lot of water for artificial snow, and there is a lot of consumption of power,” he says. “This is one reason why lift tickets are not cheap.”