Whistler to test snowmaking on glacier to fight climate change
Training courses are seen on the Blackcomb glacier in Whistler, B.C. in this file photo from Friday, July, 6, 2012. (Jonathan Hayward / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, June 16, 2015 11:40AM EDT
WHISTLER, B.C. -- Whistler Blackcomb is planning to test snowmaking on the Horstman Glacier in an effort to battle the effects of climate change.
The resort says it will launch a pilot project this winter with four snowmaking guns before deciding whether to install a full-scale snowmaking system to prevent further recession of the glacier.
Horstman is used for summer skiing and snowboarding, and serves as a training area for ski and snowboard national teams from around the world.
At above 2,000 metres in elevation, the glacier will be the highest point at which Whistler has ever carried out snowmaking, said Arthur De Jong, the resort's mountain planning and environmental resource manager.
Horstman has been losing half a million cubic metres of snow annually, on average, over the last decade because of hotter summers, De Jong said.
"Last summer and certainly this year we will see more significant retreat than in prior years, and that's one of the reasons we're now stepping up to the plate," he said.