Loveland begins making snow for ski season
LOVELAND – It may not even be October yet, but Loveland Ski Area is already singing “Let it snow.”Loveland claims to have received the first snowfall of the season Thursday, and is now expounding on the opportunity to make some snow of their own. Around 4 a.m. when humidity levels dropped Friday, snowmaking crews began their work icing three of Loveland’s trails: Catwalk, Mambo, and Homerun.Last year Loveland was the first ski resort in North America to open its slopes when it started its lifts on October 7.If temperature and humidity levels remain low enough, the snowmakers will continue to try and give the resort a headstart on the ski season.-Daily News staff report
TELLURIDE – Mountain Village and the Telluride Ski & Golf Company are negotiating to charge for skier parking in the Gondola Parking Garage starting in November.Telski originally donated the land for the Gondola Garage with the condition that the town allow free parking in the winter. However in recent years, council has moved to charge for parking to cover the tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars required to maintain and operate the garage.In a Town Council meeting last week, Mountain Village Town Manager Greg Sparks introduced a proposed agreement between the two entities that would start daily winter fees at $5 per day and increase incrementally by a dollar a year to $9 a day.The proposal was the result of negotiations between Sparks and Telski, and the two parties were sent back to the table after last week’s council meeting to hammer out a final proposal this week.The agreement also would stipulate that the town put any excess revenues from parking fees into a general fund to go toward developing more free parking options in the future.In the next five years, the town estimates around $576,000 would be reserved for the proposed Parking Fund to help develop more parking options down the road.”We’re trying to maintain the guest experience and not drive people to Telluride to look for more parking,” Sparks said during Thursday’s council meeting. “Five dollars is manageable; there’s not sticker shock.”The town’s projected expenses for maintaining the parking garage in 2011 is estimated at $84,919 and would be covered by summer and winter revenues instead of coming from the town’s general fund.- Kathrine Warren/ Telluride Daily Planet
SACRAMENTO, CALIF – Children will not have to wear helmets when they hit the ski slopes in California after Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a piece of legislation Friday.The measure by state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, would have imposed a $25 fine on parents of minors caught skiing or snowboarding without a helmet, though supporters acknowledged the rule would be unlikely to be enforced. The language of the measure mirrors bicycle helmet laws already in place.Schwarzenegger actually signed that bill, but vetoed a companion bill that would have required ski resorts to develop and publish safety plans and submit reports to state safety officials. The veto of that measure, AB1652 by Assemblyman Dave Jones, D-Sacramento, means that Yee’s bill will not go into effect.”Many California ski resorts are located on U.S. Forest Service land, and are already required to compile and file safety and accident reports with USFS as well as maintain some of this information in the resort management office,” Schwarzenegger wrote in his veto message. “Ski resorts in California also already mark their ski area boundaries and trails with appropriate information. This bill may place an unnecessary burden on resorts, without assurance of a significant reduction in ski and snowboard-related injuries and fatalities.”Yee’s bill, SB880, was opposed by some Republicans who said it amounts to “nanny government” and infringes on parents’ rights.But Yee – a child psychologist – argued that ski resorts are one of the only places of recreation where safety standards are absent, and said that the measure would significantly reduce traumatic brain injuries and deaths.- Marisa Lagos/ San Francisco Chronicleouth, UK, and colleagues say deforestation could be an important part of the puzzle. Between September 2004 and July 2008, the team took hourly humidity and temperature readings at 10 elevations on the mountain. These revealed that daytime heating generates a flow of warm, moist air up the mountainside.Trees play an important role here by providing moisture through transpiration. Pepin suggests that extensive local deforestation in recent decades has likely reduced this flow of moisture, depleting the mountain’s icy hood.- New Scientist/ http://www.newscientist.com
SPOKANE, Wash. – Lookout Pass Ski Area on the Idaho-Montana border is planning a $20 million expansion that would more than quadruple its terrain, add eight chairlifts and a second base area, and encompass two additional peaks.The ski area has submitted a 20-year plan to the U.S. Forest Service that considers the improvements in phases.”There’s a need,” said Lookout Pass chief executive Phil Edholm told the Spokesman-Review. “People like affordable recreation, and that’s what we offer here.”The ski area operates on national forest land under a special use permit. The plan is subject to environmental reviews and will involve input from officials with the Idaho Panhandle and Lolo National Forests, the newspaper reported.The ski area sits atop the Idaho-Montana divide, about 80 miles east of Spokane, Wash. It currently operates three chairlifts that access about 540 skiable acres, and employs about 100 part-time workers in the winter.Edholm said he designed the expansion with careful consideration of the environment. The plan minimizes ground disturbance near streams, and new buildings would follow the principles set out by the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED standards, he said.He also said the expansion avoids encroaching into terrain farther up the St. Regis Basin that is used by snowmobilers and backcountry skiers.- The Associated Press
MOUNT KILIMANJARO, TANZANIA – Aggressive tree-felling on Mount Kilimanjaro could be partly to blame for its vanishing ice cap.The ice on Kilimanjaro’s summit has shrunk to just 15 percent of its extent in 1912, leading campaigners to hold it up as a symbol of climate change. But other factors are also at play. For instance, the air at the summit is getting drier, reducing the snowfall that replenishes the ice and reflects solar radiation.Now Nicholas Pepin from the University of Portsmouth, UK, and colleagues say deforestation could be an important part of the puzzle. Between September 2004 and July 2008, the team took hourly humidity and temperature readings at 10 elevations on the mountain. These revealed that daytime heating generates a flow of warm, moist air up the mountainside.Trees play an important role here by providing moisture through transpiration. Pepin suggests that extensive local deforestation in recent decades has likely reduced this flow of moisture, depleting the mountain’s icy hood.- New Scientist/ http://www.newscientist.com
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