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Climate Ski resort in the French Alps closes permanently because there is not enough snow

Climate Ski resort in the French Alps closes permanently because there is not enough snow

Winter is approaching, but for another ski resort in France, it means facing the reality that there isn’t enough snow. SamboyThe city that runs a family ski destination near Mont Blanc in the French Alps has decided to do just that Dismantling its ski lifts Why Climate change It shortened the ski season to a few weeks, meaning it was no longer profitable to keep it open. “It was practically snowing from December 1 to March 30La Sambuie Mayor Jacques Dalix told CNN. But last winter there was only “Four weeks of snow and even then there wasn’t much snow“, he added. ““Soon stones and rocks appeared on the path.”

Given that it is only able to open for less than five weeks in January and February, Dalex said the resort expects an annual operating loss of around €500,000. The cost of maintaining the ski lifts alone is 80,000 euros per year.

Sambuy is not a huge resort, with only three ski lifts and a few slopes with a maximum height of 1,850 metres. But with a range of slopes ranging from ‘black’ for experts to ‘green’ for beginners and relatively cheap pistes, they have been popular with families looking for a quieter alpine experience than those offered by larger, higher-altitude destinations. UK snow report website On The Snow calls it “An ideal place to visit, with exceptional panoramic views and everything you need in one welcoming place“.

This summer, when the crucial moment came to plan the winter season, the La Sambuy City Council decided to close the resort it had managed since 2016. La Sambuy’s website now carries a message informing it that the ski resort ““It has been permanently closed.” On September 10, following a city council decision. “Thank you all for last summer season 2023 and for all the wonderful years I spent by your side.”, is being read. Although the ski infrastructure is expected to be dismantled as soon as possible, it is hoped that the city will still be able to attract visitors. The resort, which also markets itself as a summer destination for hiking and outdoor activities, will become a place for “Discover and protect nature, go hiking and exercising if possible.

Ice making

Samboy is not the only French ski resort facing collapse. Last year, San Fermin, another small Alpine ski destination, decided to remove its ski lift after seeing its winter shorten from months to weeks, a situation also attributed to 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.

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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 “Very high risk of snowfall“At a temperature 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, without the use of artificial snow.

Petition to save the La Sambuy ski lift

This was mentioned by the Dalex of La Sambuy “All winter sports resorts in France are affected by global warming“, especially those at mid-mountain altitudes between 1,000 and 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) , which demands that this resort and others be kept open, and that a new policy be adopted more “solid“, using cable cars mainly in the summer to take visitors up the mountains. The petition has collected 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. Bailey said the closure is “Harmful“For the city and the local area, adding that the ski resort is there “A social element in our small town of 7,500 people“.

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