Top Five Fridays - July 17, 2015 // Ski Industry News

Top Five Fridays - July 17, 2015: Lead Image

#1: Progress Made as Utah Resorts Reach Agreement with Mountain Accord Approval:

Top 5 Fridays: Wasatch Groups in Utah Reach Agreement with Mountain Accord

This is ONE Wasatch's vision for the future of the Wasatch Mountain Range. They're just one of several groups pushing for change. Photo: ONE Wasatch

If you’re living in Utah, then there’s no doubt that you’re aware of the ongoing debate surrounding the use of land in the Wasatch range. With multiple groups pushing for multiple uses and plans of the land, it’s been a complicated and sloppy process to ensure that everyone from the ski bum backcountry skiers to the CEO’s of Deer Valley is satisfied.

That is, until this past week then the Mountain Accord agreement was approved unanimously. While there are still a lot of details to work out, the general gist of the agreement is that the resorts involved will essentially focus their efforts on developing the land around their bases, while forgoing new land gains that would take away public backcountry terrain from skiers who prefer to earn their turns. There’s obviously a lot more to know about the agreement, so for more information we highly recommend reading this article from the Salt Lake Tribune.

#2: Silverton Looking to “Diversify” Heli Skiing Terrain:

Top 5 Fridays: Silverton Land Shuffle

The proposed changes to Silverton's Heli Skiing terrain. Photo: Bureau of Land Management

Speaking of shuffling the land deck, Silverton Resort, the renown hell skiing operation based out of Silverton, CO has recently asked the federal Bureau of Land Management to allow them to adjust the land that they can use for their hell skiing operations. According to Silverton, the request wouldn’t increase the amount of land being used, it would simply change their access to provide a wider variety of terrain for their customers. As is expected, the locals are less than excited about the proposal, stating that the land in question contains some of the best lines on the mountain. For more information, check out the writeup from the Durango Herald.

#3: Finally, Some Good News for Chilean Ski Resorts:

Top 5 Fridays: Chile Finally has Enough Snow to Open

Portillo Ski Area as of July 13, 2015. Photo: Ski Portillo Facebook Page

Last week we reported on the lack of snow in Australia this year, and as it turns out, Chile has a similar problem. That is, until they finally got slammed with an El Nino storm that brought up to 6’ of snow to some areas. This latest storm comes as much needed relief for Chilean Ski Resorts that have been struggling to open. Typically open by the middle of June, resorts such as Valle Nevado and Ski Portillo are finally hoping to open this coming weekend.

#4: We’re Heading for a Mini Ice-Age! Or, Maybe Not:

Top 5 Fridays: We're Heading for a Mini Ice Age

While we’re on the subject of unpredictable weather, news broke this week predicting that planet Earth may be entering a Mini Ice Age starting in about 15 years. The argument comes from English scientist and professor Valentina Zharkova who studies the sun’s activity. According to her “double dynamo” model, there will be an approximately 60% reduction in the volume of sun spots and solar flares starting in about 2030. The last time this drastic of a reduction in the Sun’s activity was between 1645 and 1715, which is also when Earth experienced the “Little Ice Age”.

Do the math and it all adds up to a crisis averted, no more reason to worry about climate change, right? Well, maybe not. As is always the case with Science, there’s another side to the argument. While there’s little debate that the sun’s activity will in fact decrease in about 15 years, climate change scientists argue that the effects will have little impact compared to the global warming resulting from the greenhouse gases that are insulating and heating the Earth.

So where does this all leave us? Who knows. Science is confusing.

#5: And Now, the Edit of the Week:

There’s no words needed for this one. Just watch.


Written by Matt McGinnis on 7/17/15