Is there really such a thing as sustainable skiing?

As we head off to Mammoth California for several days of family skiing I wonder – is there really such a thing as sustainable skiing?

I think at some level the answer has to be – no – not really. Right – bringing thousands upon thousands of people to remote – hard to access mountain slopes to race down…then get "lifted" back to the top….well who is fooling who?

But – as with many things in life – we like it and it is great family fun – soooo – the question is how to enjoy skiing – and the beautiful mountains – leaving the smallest human imprint possible. This I think is important because if we do so in the mountain – recreation – environment – then maybe we will take our good (sustainable) habits home with us and use them in our homes and communities.


So – we have found a web site – Ski Area Citizens' Coalition – that actually grades ski areas across the country (or at least the west). They use several criteria:

  • Habitat Protection
  • Protecting Watersheds
  • Addressing Global Climate Change
  • Environmental Practices and Policies

These seem right to us… The top ranked resort – Squaw Valley in California, second Aspen in Colorado….for the rest best and worst – go check out their site.

We have to do the best we can – and when we are serious about sustainability – we can actually do a pretty good job.

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