Environment: Study tracks soot pollution in snow

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Pure white? Not always.

Staff Report

FRISCO— From a distance, a freshly fallen blanket of snow looks pure white, but there’s more than meets the eye. Mixed in with the reflective flakes are tiny, dark particles of pollution. University of Washington scientists recently studied that pollution to see if they could find regional or seasonal patterns that might affect melting and the overall climate.

The study shows that North American snow away from cities is similar to Arctic snow in many places, with more pollution in the U.S. Great Plains. The findings also also show that agricultural practices, not just smokestacks and tailpipes, may have a big impact on snow purity. Continue reading

Morning photo: Deep winter

Mountains aglow …

FRISCO — There’s nothing better than a mountain sunrise or sunset on a crisp winter day, with deep snow all around to help diffuse the light and add sparkle to the air. For this set, I pulled a handful of images from the archives going back just a few weeks, starting around the time of the winter solstice. Follow our Instagram feed for daily updates, and visit the online Summit Voice gallery at Fine Art America to see more Summit County nature and landscape images.

Morning photo: Solstice!

Winter begins …


FRISCO — Once more, our Blue Marble has slipped into another celestial phase, marking the northern hemisphere’s maximum tilt away from the sun. The low sun angle often helps create dramatic landscapes, as the snow takes on an otherwordly glow, enveloping the mountains with soft light and long shadows. Enjoy the season!

Morning Photo: Winter vibes

Snow cometh …


FRISCO — Winter is working its magic across the high country of Colorado, painting the mountains and valleys with a glittery blanket of snow. These shots highlight the many different ways light can manifest on freshly fallen snow, all taken on different days, but at about the same time each day, within an hour after sunrise. Enjoy the season!

Morning photo: Snow dancing

Powder love!

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Dylan and Comet enjoy some powder and air time in the Loveland Pass backcountry.

FRISCO — All the world’s eyes focusing on the current round of climate talks in Lima, Peru, made me realize once again how much is at stake for those of us who love winter and snow. Of course, global warming isn’t going to wipe out all the snow at once, but that’s one of the things that makes the global warming issue so vexing. Even if we can’t see much change from season to season, there’s a good chance that snowfall patterns will be very different 50 years from now. Based on everything we know, it’s hard to say with any certainty that skiing will be be sustainable as a sport by the end of the century. Since I want my son, and his children, to have the same chance to experience winter the way we do know, I know that it’s imperative to #actonclimate. Continue reading

Climate: Skiers rally to support EPA Clean Power Plan

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Powder is in peril, so skiers and ski areas are rallying to support the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.

Numerous resorts sign on to letter calling for cuts in greenhouse gas emissions

Staff Report

FRISCO — With so much at stake around the world, it seems almost frivolous to talk about how global warming might affect the ski industry. But in some parts of the world, skiing is central to the culture of mountain communities, so it’s not surprising that skiers and their allies are rallying to support the EPA proposal to cut greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

As the comment period on the agency’s Clean Power Plan closed, more than 115 snow and mountain supporters across the country including ski areas, local businesses, professional winter sports athletes, local governments, and organizations signed letters supporting the plan. Continue reading

Morning photo: First storm

Crystalline magic

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Morning mist over Dillon, Colorado.

FRISCO — Winter landed all at once in Summit County, with a storm that delivered several feet of snow to the mountains and valleys. The seasonal transformation happens every year, but it’s still a miracle to see it unfold, with a soft and cold blanket of white settling over the land. to stay in place for half a year, through mid-April or so. Welcome back, winter! Continue reading

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