A ski resort in France recently came into limelight for using helicopters to transport snow to its dried out peaks. According to BBC, the step was taken after the mild weather posed a threat of closure.
The Luchon-Superbagnères resort in the Pyrenees range in France planned a systematized drop of about 50 tonnes of snow on its slopes last week.
The local council of Haute-Garonne estimated the cost of delivering the snow on the peaks to be around $5,400 (approx. Rs 3. 85 lakh).
The director of the council, Hervé Pounau called it to be a worthwhile investment. “We're not going to cover the entire ski station in snow and if it was not transported a ‘large part’ of the resort would have to be closed,” France 24 reported Pounau as saying. He also mentioned that if the resort stays open, it safeguards the jobs of lift operators and ski school teachers.
Un hélicoptère pour enneiger une piste de la station Luchon Superbagnères. Sur fond de montagne dénudée. En plein hiver.Je trouve cette vidéo très triste. Source : https://t.co/9j6TOHw8TQ pic.twitter.com/HqbQtteI9v— Hugo Clément (@hugoclement) February 15, 2020
However, covering the slopes with snow lifted from higher peaks has been condemned by environmental groups and individuals in the French government. Élisabeth Borne, advisor to French Minister of Ecological Transition, told the news agency AFP, “It's not possible to repeat such a highly polluting operation. Using helicopters to bring snow to ski resorts is not an option.”
Green group Europe Écologie Les Verts (EELV)’s member, Bastien Ho also slammed it, stating that such actions will create a double problem by contributing to global warming.
The lack of snow in the French Alps is causing worries to a number of ski resorts in the country, with a few of them shutting down early or closing permanently.