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Saving Winter

Randall Osterhuber at The Central Sierra Snow Laboratory
Randall Osterhuber at The Central Sierra Snow Laboratory
Snow scientists say our ski seasons are getting warmer, wetter, and less snowy. The good news? Ski resorts and climate activists say this is the greatest opportunity to provoke change the ski industry has ever had.

Randall Osterhuber is standing chest-deep in a snow pit of his own digging. When he crouches down to take a snow sample, he disappears completely.

“Our precipitation is below average, but not dramatically,” he tells me from within his pit. He cuts a chunk of snow with a metal edge and dips down again, now shouting from below the surface. “Our snow depth is about 50 percent of average for today’s date and snowfall is about 65 percent of average for the year.”

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