Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 9, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
Wednesday, February 9, 1972 TH! ItTHBRIDGI HERAIO 33 A FAMILY AFFAIR Wriler Clifford Irving leads son Nedsky, 4, while his wife Edith carried their son Barney, 2, at the Manhattan hotel where the family is staying. Irving is the writer of the disputed "autobiography" of billionaire Howard Hughes. Photo by New York News photographer Frank Hurley. Ski industry hit by lack of snow By ROLAND HUNTFORD London Observer Service WENGEN.Switzerland Un- seasonal sales of ski equipment in the Alps suggest that all is not well with that most expen- sive of leisure industries, win- ter sports. The trouble is the weather. There has been too liltle snow. The optimists talk of a freak winter. But the freak seasons Kcoin to be turning into the norm. Last winter was even worse. The two years before that were anything but satis- factory. Nineteen sixty four, (lie year of the Innsbruck Win- ter Olympics, was a catasiro- p'm'c snow drought. Half the past 10 winters have been bad. Old and honest Alpine inhabi- tants admit that some kind of climatic change is taking place. Warm winters and little Know 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 the entre- preneurs of the winter sports industry. The explosive ad- vance of skiing has involved enormous investment. A m o d- ern 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 The bad winters over the past four or five years have caused headaches for many a skilift They are not the only fmes to suffer. Hctel bookings have been cancelled wholesale. Television has added to the troubles. Sporting programs have been full of the difficul- ties facing the organizers of ski races; how snow has bad to be fetched and cours prepared with great effort. It has been established that a sin- gle report of this kind during CALCUTTA The iiKili'd Indian troop.-; still in will hf with- drawn Iiy March Prime Mil'.- isicr Indira Gamlhi of India ami Mujibur Hahman of Bangladesh announced today. The date is the first annivar- Miry of the Pakistani army's crackdown on the Bangladesh independence movement, which louchcd off nine months of civil war and led to India's success- ful intervention on the side of the rebels. In a joint, statement issued after two days of talks, Mrs. (inndhi and Sheik Mujib said: "The prime minister of Bang- ladesh paid warm tribute to the armed forces of India and Hie part, they played in the libera- tion of Bangladesh. "The task having been com- pleted, the two prime ministers It'll I hat Ihese forcos could be withdrawn." Authoritative military sources have said India used about l.SO.COfl troops in the invasion of Pakistan, which beg.in He. 'I and ended Dec. ir> with the surrender of Paki- stani Ironps and the establish- ment of tlie new Jtrng.ili nalion. peak viewing time is enough to keep thousands of people away from the slopes. Paradoxically, the total amount of snow this winter has been as high as ever. But i t fell ,in November, subsequent- ly rained and thawed away, and was followed by hardly any more snow in December and January. The situation in the Alps is comparable to a seaport threat- ened by silting up and the re- treat of the sea.Tile popula- tions of whole provinces in France, Switzerland and Aus- tria now depend for then; live- lihood on winter sports. Besides hoteliers, ski teach- ers and the lift operators, the crisis involves shopkeepers, hairdressers, motor mechanics and all the tradesmen neces- sary to the 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 to the towns. For the winter sports industry has giv- en wealth to the uplands and prevented the depopulation of the 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 little better off, with at least a sprinkling of snow down in the higher resorts and acceptable conditions on the upper slopes. But nobody I can pretend that the winter is i ideal. On the north side of the i Alps there are icy hard-pack- cd slopes and apprehensive ski- ers. 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- tain 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 too warm. Where tem- peratures of -10 deg. C. to -15 deg. C. have been the rule, this year has seen temperatures of i a r o u n d 0 deg. C. (freezing point) and somewhat above. January has been like March i or April, winter seems not to j have arrived. j Out of these climatic chan- j Res there is talk, softly in cor-1 nars. of rash investment. The winter has arisen from liie assumption thai win- h'rs r.i'o alw.-iys When Ihp Oiimrarv ooeurs, trouble immediately ari.'X's. a d winter was lo drive a Swedish ski manufacturer to bankruptcy. Continental manu- facturcrs are in a somewhat stronger position, but they too are feeling the pinch. When snow is plentiful there is something in the atmosphere that inriuce.s the purchase of new and shiny equipment. Skis are like ears; fashions change, and there is pressure to buy a new model every year. But in a winter such as this [he temptation is to make do with what you have, specially 'since icy runs and stones breaking the surtace of the snow will i i wreak havoc with your equip- ment, i Doubtless financiers would be charmed if meteorologists could provide reliable long term cli- matic predictions, and thus a reasonable guide lo investment. All they can do, however, is to adjust their activity lo the so- ber assumption that the fat jenrs will I'.nve lo pay (or the lean. SIMPSONS-SEARS arc you to your Valeptiije? A FRILLY HEART, FILLED WITH THOSE DELICIOUS COUNTRY INN CHOCOLATES A. A big 1 pound Henri filled with on assortment of scrumptious milk chocolates. Made lo please one's favorite Valentine. 2.98 Cinnomon Hearts! Ib. Hearts. B. One delicious pound of choco- lates for Valentines who have a t sweet tooth. They corne in white, pink or gold satin finished hearts. Cupid's Choice. Beans. 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