Throughout our travels around the western United States and soon to be Eastern United states. Our coaches Christi and Rachel have challenge myself, along with all of my teammates to analyze the complex social and environmental challenges faced by the many ski towns and resorts that we travel to race over the course of the season. To me the social aspect is the most interesting whereas the environmental is the most shocking. Many of our races are held in small, beautiful mountain towns nestled in the foothills of breathtaking mountains and buried under enormous snowfall. It is often the case that half of these houses within the town void of families; Air BnB's make up at least half the real estate and the houses that are not open for short time lodging are mini mansion easily worth over a million dollars. As beautiful as the mountain towns are its hard to shake the feeling of a gentrification and a cardboard main street that could fall down at any moment revealing the façade. It's clear that there is a lot of new money within city limits, and you cannot tell where those that keep the town supported live. On the other side of things, it is shocking how from weekend to weekend the weather that use to be so reliable can change so fast. One week we will be racing in frigged temperatures worrying about athletic and cold endused asthma and the next we will be discussing if we should race in T- shirt. As an Ecological Studies major I have been aware of climate change for quite some time and have studied it extensively within the classroom; but this winter it has become more apparent then ever of its drastic effects upon the world.
Madison Tinker and others of the University of Wyoming Ski Team