It’s no secret that ski seasons have been getting shorter, snow has been falling less and less, and the ski industry’s future is looking gloomy. Sure, every once in a while a good dump comes around, but the season totals are shrinking. In France, lower altitude ski lifts, where many once spent their childhoods learning to ski, have sat closed and rusting for years.
“We no longer have the climate that produces constant snow, and we can’t install snow cannons here.” – Saint-Firmin local councilor Didier Beauzon, according to France 24.
This past week in Saint-Firmin, France, an old t-bar installed in 1963 stood tall for the last time. The non-governmental agency Mountain Wilderness was enlisted by members of the town council to remove the lifts pylons. It topped out at 1,550 meters (5,100 feet) and mostly faced south, leading to its doom. It’s been closed for the past 15 years.
Mountain Wilderness, created in Italy in 1987, has worked to restore landscapes to their natural beauty, removing around two dozen abandoned ski lifts and a total of 70 unused installations. The organization’s main goal is to encourage those responsible for the nearly 3000 such installations to remove the debris they create.
“The ultimate goal is to have each developer, each agency, take responsibility for the dismantlement, without the intervention of an NGO or volunteers. Removing a structure and putting things back in their natural state should be the norm, it’s a fundamental part of sustainable development. Unfortunately that doesn’t always seem so obvious.” – Nicolas Masson with Mountain Wilderness’ French arm, according to France 24.
Image Credit: Mountain Wilderness France via Facebook