Krystin Rae | Dec 27, 2022
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. —
There are only a couple of days left in this week’s forecast for snow-making before warmer temperatures start to creep in at a time when the Alpine Ski Venue is preparing to welcome athletes competing in the 2023 FISU World University Games.
The general manager of Whiteface Mountain Ski resort, Aaron Kellett, says this has been a “really challenging early season.”
“Right now, we’re focused on preparing for it,” said Kellett.
A couple inches of rain just a few days ago, paired with warmer temperatures later this week, has the alpine ski venue working hard to make up for what’s lost and for what’s to come.
“We’re going to focus on wrapping up what we need to do for the World University Games and protecting our skiing terrain,” said Kellett.
Snow-making is underway at Whiteface, where the skiing competitions will take place for the FISU games from Jan. 12 to Jan. 22.
The location’s efforts have moved from the higher terrains to base steps to ensure there’s enough packed evenly on the trails for the event that’s expected to bring 1,500 athletes to the area of Lake Placid.
“Climate change is an issue; it’s an issue that threatens winter sports in general and not always in the short term, but definitely in the long term,” said Karlan Jessen, FISU Head of legacy and sustainability.
Seemingly shorter, more unpredictable winters are putting sports venues to the test as they continuously work to recover from sweeps of warmer temperatures.
“We hope to demonstrate initiatives that can be adopted by other winter resort communities,” said Jessen. “How can we take the lessons learned at these games and also have FISU adopt the as a future standard for games going forward?”
The Lake Placid FISU games will host the first-ever FISU World Conference that’s focused specifically on the intersection of climate change and winter sports.
The event will feature around 40 guest speakers who will discuss topics in relation to the intersection of climate change and winter sports.
More information can be found here.
“Lake Placid coins itself as the ‘winter sports capital of the world.’ If we can’t talk in Lake Placid about protecting winter, there’s no more appropriate place to have that conversation,” said Jessen.
As part of their sustainability initiative, the FISU games in Lake Placid are hosting a number of non-profits. One of them is called “One Tree Planted,” an organization that will plant a tree for only one dollar donated during the event.