Vail Resorts bought Whistler Blackcomb. That’s either big news or signifies it’s time for a quiet nap. I don’t know. Anyone have any idea what’ll change? According to this Denver Post article, the buyers say “Whistler’s terrain is “well positioned” to face the challenges of changing weather conditions facing the ski industry as a whole..” They got sold a bill of goods on that one, it rains plenty hard at Whistler, as many skiers probably remember. The resort is even making snow to try and keep a glacier intact! A better purchase to avoid climate change shutting down the skiing would have been something high altitude on the Colorado plateau.
Another article in the Post attempts to bring up key points about the buy. But falls flat when you get to them quoting Forbes Magazine saying that Whistler has “some of the best food in any ski town” anywhere. I’m sure you can get good food in Whistler (I remember a nice breakfast there). On the other hand, Cortina exists. As do about a zillion other Italian tratoria and ristorante with nearby skiing.Article here.
Want to ski tour just miles from the nearest terrorist training camp? Here you go.
Looking to speed solo and ski Everest or another big mountain in the Himalayas? Better get it done soon, The Himalayan Times reports that solo climbing may be banned, along with climbing while over 75 years of age or as a double amputee. Why they obsess on that stuff is a mystery, I mean, if an old guy wants to give it a go why not? Perhaps the Nepalese Government is concerned about rescue costs, or just the excessive use of helicopters that by all accounts are now swooping around the mountain almost constantly when weather permits (the proposed rules also ban helicopter use above base camp, we assume with an exception for rescue). China owns part of Mount Everest as well, one wonders if they’ll do a reciprocal agreement that implements that same rules.
Just hope the regulators don’t set their sights on skiing, one can imagine they’d not look favorably on summit ski descent attempts any more than they favor solo climbers.
Wildsnow science report: What purpose do the most accurate clocks in the world serve to us backcountry skiers? It’s like this. For your GPS to work well it refers to a digital model of the earth’s surface, which is irregular, not a perfect sphere. The reference surface (“0 point”) for this is an imaginary sphere known as the “geoid” and the data the GPS refers to is the “datum.” You may have noticed that unless your GPS uses a datum that matches your chosen map system, it’ll be noticeably inaccurate (there are actually hundreds of datums, but the most common here in North America is WGS-84, which is used by Google Maps and USGS).
Apparently, using synchronized clocks to measure variations in gravitational force is one way of creating the best geoid, subsequently used as reference for creating datums. I thought the Swiss would have led the world in the most accurate clocks, but apparently Germany and France are leading. Technical stuff here. Also, if you’re interested in GPS tech get yourself up to speed on jamming, in case you’re a victim.
WildSnow local news: We love Aspen, both as the economic engine of our region as well as a source of amusement. The town’s command and control economy is always “interesting.” When the commissars start trying to figure out what the definition of “local” is we enjoy a few chuckles. More here.
Vogue Magazine gives up a story about skiing in Argentina. Standout sentence “I thought about taking a Xanax and decided against it.” Enjoy the whole sanduíche here. Honestly, I don’t know how my web browser ended up on Vogue magazine. Perhaps way too much longing for the crisp days of autumn.
I was thinking today about where my interest in affordable housing comes from. It’s probably due to living in everything from a van to a teepee at one time or another (not to mention tents and snowcaves), so I could exist as a mountain sports bum in a U.S. mountain town. Thus, while browsing the news, housing reports always grab me. I’m of the opinion that the whole “affordable housing crisis” we have in some of our mountain towns could be vaporized by a few politician’s signatures on zoning changes, such as reducing minimum home sizes to allow “tiny house” development, along with easing up on restrictions to owners creating accessory dwelling units. But the economic forces against those things are strong (e.g., tiny houses don’t generate massive tax revenue), as are legitimate concerns of people in existing neighborhoods where a limited amount of short and long-term rentals are hardly noticeable, but can reach critical mass and turn family enclaves into what are essentially unregulated hotel districts. The town of Jackson in Wyoming is struggling with all these issues, article here.
Check out the latest of Alan Best’s Mountain Town news if you want to find out who many of the real locals are in our Colorado mountain towns. (Hint, they shop meals by how high the price, rather than how low.)