Bob’s Bits for July 2023

Bob’s Bits for July 2023

Not sure what to think about the national weather – heat, tornados, and flooding. Thoughts and prayers go out to those suffering from the impacts of these violent acts of nature.

After three years of La Nina’s influence on the tropics, conditions transitioned to El Niño in June 2023. The warmth shows up first in the far eastern tropical Pacific and steadily moves westward to engulf the Galápagos Islands and overtake the cool waters in the key El Niño-monitoring region.  This year’s El Niño is expected to keep building and remain strong through the 2023-2024 winter. This year is predicted to be the inverse of what we’ve seen the last three years, in which we have had back-to-back La Niña seasons. (from NOAA) Weather is the ski industry’s largest challenge in my opinion – see graphic.

It is up to all of us from lifty to CEO to do what we can about climate.  Don’t be a denier but do whatever you can.  As an industry must make changes in our operations so we can move forward, but our strongest effort is one of advocacy with skiers and riders, many of whom can make a difference from their professional positions.

Steep Management in recognition of the reality for most ski areas on the dependency of snowmaking, and the energy-consumptive nature of snowmaking has become a North American rep for Arena Slope Maintenance.  Steep is amidst training with Arena on the Slope Maintenance product/program.  The ultimate goal for a ski area using Arena Slope Maintenance is to significantly reduce their energy consumption via managing their snowmaking by trail and trail location (a very high-level summary).   There will be more to come in next month’s Steep Management Newsletter. We are excited to be able to do our small part in helping ski areas go forward with snowmaking yet further reducing their climate impact.

Stay cool and dry and be safe.