Métabief in the French Jura is typical of skiing in the mountain range. Colder than the Alps, the ski runs are located between 900 and 1430 meters altitude. The resort has been considering a future without snow since 2015. France has been severely impacted by climate change with temperature increases over the last century 30% higher compared to the global average. It is even more severe in the mountains and by 2018 approached a 2 °C average increase compared to the industrial revolution with an accelerating increase in the past few decades.
The impact of global warming in the country's ski resorts is evident and risks making alpine skiing uneconomic in many areas in the near future. The rain/snow limit has risen 200 meters over the last 20 years. However Métabief is still 90% dependent on alpine skiing and the activity contributes half of the region's tourism.
Olivier Érard, director of the Syndicat Mixte Métabief Mont d’Or anticipates the end of skiing by 2035 "we'll try to keep going as long as possible but there will be no new snow making. Below 1800 meters it is getting more and more complicated to make snow, we've stopped making large investments in alpine skiing; we're just doing maintenance and all season equipment such as the new luge. The end of an era is hard to accept, it is not a political choice, I'm upset but we have to face facts. The difficulty is getting the local communities to face reality because in just over a decade the cake will be gone."
Métabief is leading the transition of ski resorts. The objective is to reinvent mountain tourism. The area is well known for mountain biking but can anything replace skiing?