Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 9, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
Wednejdny, February 9, 1972 THE ItTHBRIDGI HEBAID 33 A FAMILY AFFAIR Wriler Clifford Irving leads son Nedsky, 4, while his wife Edith carried their son Barney, 2, al the Manhaltan hotel where the family is staying. Irving is ihe writer of the dispuled "autobiogrcphy" of billionaire Howard Hughes. Pholo by New York News photographer Frank Hurley. i industry hit by lack of snow By ROLAND HUNTTORD London Observer Service WEXGEN.Swilzerland Un- reasonal sales of ski equipment in Ihe Alps suggest that all is not well with that most expen- sive of leisure industries, win- ter sports. The trouble is tne weather. Them has been too little snow. The optimists talk of a freak winter. But the freak seasons peak viewing time is enough to keep thousands of people away From the slopes. ParadoHicaily, the total amount of snow Uiis winter has been as high as ever. But i t fell ,in November, subsequent- ly rained 2nd (hawed away, and was followed by hardly any more snow in December and January. The situation iji the Alps is 10 he turning into the; comparable to a seaport threat- norm. Last winter was even worse. The two years before that were anything but satis- f-CLOry. A'ineteen sixty four, the year of the Innsbruck ler Olympics, was a catastro- phic snow drought. Half the pest 10 winters have been bad. Old and honest Alpine inhabi- tants admit that some kind of climatic change is faking place. Warm winters and little snow appear to be a regular thing. But this is speculation. Of the concrete effects there can be no doubt. The increasing scar- city of their raw material has brought trouble to Ihe entre- preneurs of the winter sports industry. The explosive ad- vance of skiing has involved enormous investment. A m o d- r.rn resort is a highly mechan- ized and expensive affair. The contemporary" skier demands plenty of lifts to cart him up to the slopes. Each resort will have at least one. probably a heavy cableway carrying 100 people in each cabin and cost- ing more than The mechanical investment in a big resort will run into millions of pounds. HEADACHES ened by silting up and the re- treat of the sea.Tlie popula- tions of whole provinces France, Switzerland and Aus- tiia now depend for their live- lihood on winter sports. Besides hoteliers, ski teach- ers and the lift operalors. the crisis involves shopkeepers, hairdressers, motor mechanics and all the tradesmen neces- sary to Ihe comfort of visitors. If the snow disappeared, hun- dreds of villages would be left with mountains full of derelict equipment and the population would have no alternative but to move lo the towns. For the winter sports industry has giv- en wealth lo the uplands and prevented the depopulation of Hie Alps. Austria has been worst hit this season. In the Tyrol, for example, the Valley of the Riv- er inn, usually certain of 18 inches of snow in January, has been completely bare, with green grass. Only up on north- facing slopes is there any snow. Switzerland is a liltle better off, with at least a sprinkling of snow down in the liigher resells and acceptable conditions on (he upper slopes. But nobody The bad winters the past j can pretend that the winter is four or five >cars have caused k'eal. On the north side of the headaches for many a skill ft! Alps Ihere are icy hard-pack- manager. They are not Ihe only i cd slopes and apprehensive ski- ones lo suffer Ilclel bookings i crs. been cancelled wholesale. Television has added to Ihe troubles. Sporting programs have been full of the difficul- ties facing the organizers of big ski races; how snow has had to be fetched and cours prepared with great efforl. It a sin- has been established thai gle report of this kind during CAU'rTTA (API The ct-li- maicil Indian slill m u.ll he with- draw n liy March i.l. Prime Min- isirr Indira Caadhi India and Miijibur lliihmiin of Bangladesh announced Lociay. The date is the first annivsr- viry of the Pakistani army's crackdown on the Bangladesh independence movement, which louched off nine months of civil war and led lo India's success- ful intervention on Ihe side of Ihe rebels. In a joint sl.alcmenl issued nfle.r Iwo clays of talks, Mrs. (iandhi and Sheik Mujib said: "The prime minister of Bang- ladesh paid warm tribule lo the armed forces of India and Ihe part they played in Ihe lihcra- lion of Bangladesh. "The task having been com- pleted, Ibe Iwo prime ministers lell that these forces could be withdrawn." Aiithorilafivr mililary sources have said India used about ir.il.con troops in the invasion of Pakistan, which began DC. -I and ended Dec. in wilh Ihe Mirmidrr of Paki- stani Iro.'ips and Ihe establish- ment of Ihe new1 Bengali nation. In the south, conditions are slightly better. Italy has a rea- sonable amount of snow. So has that part of Austria south of the watershed of the Tauern moun- lain range. Unfortunately, that includes hardly any of the well- known resorts. The snow has fallen in the wrong place. FAR TOO WARM Moreover, the weather has been far loo warm. Where tem- peratures of -10 deg. C. to -15 deg. C. have been Ihe rule, this year has seen temperatures of i a round 0 deg. C (freezing point) and somewhat above. Jr.nuary has been like March i or April, winter seems not to have arrived. Out of these climatic chan- ges (here is lalk. sollly in cor- nors. n[ rash investment. The winter lr.xilli has arisen frcm Ihe assumption thai win- UTS ;.re always When 111." miiiran occurs, I rouble immediately ari.'on. 0 n o b a d wir.tcr was enough In drive a .Swedish ski manufacturer to bankruptcy. Continental manu- facturers are in a somewhat stronger position, hul Ihey too are feeling the pinch. When snow is plcnliful there is something in (he atmosphere Ibat. induces Ihe purchase of new and shiny equipment. Skis are like cars; fashions chance, and there is pressure lo htiy a now model every year. But in a winter such as this ihe temptation is lo make do with w-liat you have, specially "since icy runs and slones breaking Ihe surlacc of Ihe snow will wreak havoc with your equip- ment. Doubtless financiers would be charmed if meteorologists could provide reliable long Icrm cli- malic predictions, and Uius a reasonable guide lo investment. 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