A French ski resort has angered ecologists by using a helicopter to move snow from higher up the mountains after exceptionally mild weather left its slopes bare. Officials at Luchon-Superbagnères in the Pyrenees authorised the “exceptional” emergency operation overnight on Friday. The helicopter spent two hours transporting 50 tonnes of snow to drop on the lower slopes used by beginners and ski schools. Hervé Pounau, the director of the local department council, said the cost of the operation would be recouped many times over by the business that would have been lost to a lack of snow. “It will cost us between €5,000 and €6,000, in the knowledge that over the long term we will get at least 10 times’ return on that investment,” Pounau said in a statement. Keeping the station open safeguarded 50 to 80 jobs, including lift operators, ski school teachers, childminders, ski equipment rental shop staff and restaurant owners, he added. “We’re not going to cover the entire ski station in snow, but without it we would have had to close a huge part of the ski domain, and it’s during the holidays that we have the most activity for beginners and the ski schools,” Pounau… Read full this story
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