One day while hitting the slopes, recent college graduate Christian Nitu had his skis and poles stolen. That led him and five friends, all hardcore skiers and then-business students, to develop a product designed to keep gear safe.
His company, SnowGate, makes outdoor locker systems that are currently used at Winter Park Resort in Colorado. Mobile-controlled, card-activated, and accessible 24/7, it’s an update to the old padlocked systems in many base lodges. The cost: $2 per hour, and $6 for overnight storage.
Climate change is a reality. But what can we do to stop it? We called on former vice president and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Al Gore for some input.
What’s behind your recent push to involve skiers and boarders in your efforts?
Our ski seasons are getting shorter, and our Earth is getting warmer. We all need snow, but right now, snow needs us. Nobody sees and feels these impacts more than skiers and boarders. There were numerous international competitions that were canceled last year due to poor ski conditions—these aren’t random occurrences. We should be asking ourselves, what would we do when there’s no more snow, and what are we prepared to do to ensure that this scenario never becomes a reality?
Snow scientists say our ski seasons are getting warmer, wetter, and less snowy. The good news? An opportunity to provoke change.
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.”