Outside Magazine just did a great interview series with ten pioneers of skiing, from clothing giants to non-profit leaders and big-mountain athletes about the future of skiing in the next 25 years. As one might imagine, climate change was the biggest concern, and the ideas about its implications for skiing range quite a bit, from a lack of real concern for it to fears that it will further relegate access to the sport to only the uber-rich that will have the wherewithal to travel to the remote corners of the globe where snow will still exist. Curbed Ski's pulled out a few good excerpts below, but they're an interesting series of reads, so it'd be a good idea to give the full series a read.
· Klaus Obermeyer, founder of Sport Obermeyer: "Resorts will have dedicated more of their beginner-level terrain to be open free of charge, brands and shops will have partnered together on programs that encourage more people to get out and enjoy winter."
· Glen Plake, freestyle skiing pioneer: "Maybe in the future the only thing a ski area will do is provide a lift and a lodge for people to get warm and get a sandwich. All this other manipulation of snow—the snowmaking, the grooming, the shaping into [terrain park] features—will stop."
· Jeremy Jones, big-mountain snowboard pioneer: "Everyone will have an airbag in 25 years and we won't be bombing for avy control. We'll have automated snow control, like on Teton Pass, but everywhere."
· Jamie Schectman, Co-Founder, Mountain Riders' Alliance: "I envision many ski areas that are owned by their customers and the surrounding community. Much like the 50-mile diet and local co-ops, the concept of people pooling their assets together for a common good will be prevalent."
· Auden Schendler, VP of Sustainability for Aspen/Snowmass: "Instead of the crazed need to be open by Thanksgiving, maybe climate change will force us to the sensible realization that it's good business to open on December 15th and rely more on natural snow. Maybe smaller, flexible, regional resorts that pulse open or closed with the storm cycles will take over in places where it's clearly too much trouble to try to be open all the time."
· The Future of Skiing [Outside Magazine]