Linking Turns: Climate Change, why skiing is so expensive and travel tips to limit anxiety

Midwest Ski Journal likes to highlight a few pieces of skiing internet worth your time in Linking Turns. Find the best, most important, least important and otherwise links here each week.

This week we read a definitive account of Climate Change’s effects on the ski industry. Then, we read about why skiing is the most expensive it has ever been, despite being affordable, too. Finally, we peruse some travel tips for the anxiety-prone.

TURN 1: A French ski resort had to helicopter snow onto its slopes in order to remain open (Ivana Kottasova/CNN)

CNN’s Ivana Kottasova put together this really interesting, data-fueled piece about the effects of Climate Change on our favorite pastime. It’s a fascinating look at the problem we all know exists, but it puts the problem in context and explains it by using a French resort’s plight as the centerpiece.

According to NASA, global temperatures are now 0.98 degrees Celsius warmer than the 1951-1980 mean. The impact of this warming on snow depth is already noticeable.

When scientists from the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute looked at snow depth data from 1,131 weather stations across Europe, they found that, on average, mean snow depth had decreased by more than 12% a decade over the past 66 years.

The IOC said warming temperatures were particularly bad news for ski resorts located below altitudes of 1,000 meters.

Ivana Kottasova/CNN

She also quoted the IOC as saying, “The ski season may start up to a month later and finish up to three months earlier.”

I highly recommend reading this piece. It’s worth your time and is full of great information.

TURN 2: Here’s Why Skiing Got So Expensive and So Cheap at the Same Time (Josh Barro/Intelligencer)

This story from February is a really well-reported look at skiing’s “sticker shock” problem at premier resorts like Vail. Barro does a really good job of explaining the effect of Vail’s $200+ single-day lift ticket prices on the growth of the industry.

Skiing has never been an inexpensive pursuit. But over the last two decades, the sticker price for skiing at the best U.S. resorts has risen at a far faster pace than inflation. In 2006, the maximum price for a one-day lift ticket at Vail, one of Colorado’s premier resorts, was $85. If that price had risen in line with inflation, it would be $111 today. Instead, the maximum one-day lift ticket sticker price at Vail has climbed to an eye-watering $219.

Josh Barro/Intelligencer

As a result of these high prices, Barro notes that fewer Americans are getting into skiing.

Vail’s sticker price may turn first-timers and novices away, but it’s mega pass has made skiing more affordable for frequent skiers and riders.

However, the crux of his argument is that skiing is as inexpensive as ever for established skiers. Without the entry costs of gear and the single-day ticket rat race, the big multi-resort passes have made skiing 20 days a year cheaper than skiing 5.

TURN 3: How I Manage My Anxiety While Traveling (Gilad Gamliel/Outside Magazine)

This piece from Gilad Gamliel of Outside Magazine can be useful for skiers who love themselves a good trip.

While it’s not directly about skiing, ski travel is full of variables and points of frustration that can create anxiety. For me, that anxiety erupts when traveling or coordinating with more than 4 people.

This piece is full of great tips about not over-planning (of which I’m chronically guilty), not over-packing and making sure you actively take time for enjoyment and socialization.

When you have anxiety, heading into an unknown environment means your brain works overtime to prepare for the worst-case scenario. It’s important to remember that this isn’t inherently bad but an evolutionary skill meant to help you avoid danger. Unfortunately, this means pre-trip anxiety wants to stop you from leaving, because your brain equates the uncertainty inherent in going to a new place with an imminent threat. While there’s no cure-all for preventing this, I find that plenty of preparation eases the fear of the unfamiliar. 

Gilad Gamliel/Outside Magazine

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