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Pilot project to protect Whistler glacier
Thursday June 18, 2015 - Email this article to a friend

The Horstman glacier is shrinking and if it continues then one day skiing in the Canadian resort will not be possible outside of winter.

Following the summer ski season, that winds up at the end of July, 4 low-energy snow guns will be set up. 

They will begin to make snow in October and the project will last for 1-year.

They will produce snow that will hopefully go some way to preserving the glacier and preventing further shrinkage.

If it proves to be successful it could be expanded and a full-scale snowmaking system installed across the glacier.

During the summer the Horstman Glacier is one of two glaciers in North America that offers skiing and snowboarding.

It serves as a training area for ski and snowboard national teams from all over the world and many others.

It brings in much-needed summer revenue.

"The goal of this project is to preserve the high quality product we currently offer in both the winter and summer months," said the President and CEO at Whistler Blackcomb, Dave Brownlie.

"A snowmaking system on the Horstman Glacier could assist with preserving our summer glacier experience for guests to enjoy in the future, as well as improve the early season access to glacier skiing and snowboarding during the winter," he added.

Horstman glacier, photo c/o Paul MorrisonHorstman glacier, photo c/o Paul Morrison

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The shrinking of glaciers is also a problem in Europe and some resorts fear for the long-term future.

There are around a dozen glaciers in Europe that offer skiing in the summer months.

The Gurschen glacier above Andermatt in Switzerland is covered each summer as we reported earlier.

Gurschen glacier, SwitzerlandGurschen glacier, Switzerland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gurschen glacierGurschen glacier

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It has been judged a success and has been covered for the past decade each summer.

Several years ago we reported from summer ski area of Saas-Fee in Switzerland about the impact of climate change on the glacier.

Meanwhile summer skiing and snowboarding starts on the glacier in Les2Alps this weekend as we have previewed here.

For the spirit of the mountains

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