More snowmaking and parking lots at Copper, fewer trees at Vail

We've only just said goodbye to a mostly dismal ski season, but it's never too early to start planning for next year. What kind of plans? Mostly the kind that contribute to the End of Snow that should hit us in, oh say, 50 years.

Copper Mountain has announced plans to ramp up snowmaking next year by 25 percent in an effort to expand ski terrain and combat said lack of snow. Kinda lame, since the increased power use won't help that whole climate-change thing too much.

They also plan to expand parking lots to accommodate more free parking and better access to Union Creek.

Meanwhile, Vail will cut down on some of the greenery, with the help of the Forest Service. They'll trim thousands of dead and dying trees at Vail and Beaver Creek, in an effort to make the forests more healthy for the long-term. That sounds good, but will your favorite tree runs look the same? Maybe not:

"I think there's going to be some differences when skiing trails," said Roger Poirer, winter sports program manager for the White River National Forest. "Some of these tree islands are going to change. Some are going to end up skiing differently. But I think the ski areas are really keeping the skiing experience the same."

If by "keeping the experience the same" they mean "still charging $13 for a turkey sandwich," that just gives me one more reason to go exclusively backcountry next year.

via The Goat