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San Glorio bears

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Offline lisa

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« Reply #40 on: August 21, 2007, 08:37 AM »
P.S.
Be neutral 'Shroomies  :speechless:
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Offline Clive

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« Reply #41 on: August 21, 2007, 19:45 PM »
I have placed an external link to this topic from the wikipedia page....

So go back and check your spelling on the posts you have made in this topic and please keep the conversation here limited to San Glorio, the proposed constructions and/or the bears and other wildlife that inhabit the area.

Make a new topic in another board if you want to discuss other subjects....

Clive
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Offline dominickk

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« Reply #42 on: August 30, 2007, 10:24 AM »
Hello Lisa,

I visited los Picos  for the first time last week - I live in Seville.

I am a professional ski instructor and had heard 4 years ago about a new ski staion but not exactly where it was to be.

When we arrived in Potes we were stunned by how beautiful and unspoilt the area is - when I noticed the advertisement about the ski station project I was very surprised and excited. We both went to look around the Puerte de San Glorio and after having been there and having since thought about the implications I would be very very sad if the project went forward.

I have tried to look at the situation from the point of view of the locals and I understand that they might believe they will get a significant influx of tourist ski trade but I am very sure they will not get anywhere near the volume they are hoping for !

This maybe a good point to make to the relevant authorities.

I have lived in Spain for the last 6 years and have split my skiing time beteween the Alps and the Pyrenees every season and have observed a very obvious pattern.

It is VERY unusual to see Spanish skiers except at the weekends and "puentes" (public holidays eg Dec 6-8th) - during the week 80% of the tourists are British - and that 80% only amounts to 30 or 40 people in many of the Pyrenean stations ! I cannot comment on Sierra Nevada - the proportion is the same but actual numbers higher I am informed by other teachers who work there. I usualy work in the Alps - but always spend the weeks that are busy in the Alps in Spain for some peace and quiet !

For example - the busiest 2 alpine weeks of the season are always the last 2 weeks of Feb (especially in France where the french school holidays, english school holidays and Paris week coincide) - but in Baqueira for example - only 10 - 15 % capacity full - I have spent 2 weeks there in feb 2006 for example in amazing conditions and it was almost empty. There are no half term holidays in Spain and the Spanish skiers who spend money for a weeks holiday or more prefer to go the significantly larger (and unfairly more prestigous) stations in the Alps.

Skiing in Spain is not really any less expensive for the british skier than the Alps and I think it would very difficult to persuade any volume of British skiers to come to San Glorio
because of it's comparative size to Alpine stations and it's location will make the average british ski tourist (if there is such a thing) believe the snow conditions are too unreliable - be careful about mentioning altitude - it is not actually good measure of snow conditions in itself - I have spent many seasons at Alpine stations at only 980 mtrs with much better snow all season than the big Tarentaise stations at 1850 mtrs - it is a combination of altitude and location - maybe San Glorio has a unique micro climate - I don't know but if it has the locals will try and use that to justify the project - don't shoot yourself in the foot. Also the altitude at San Glorio is in fact quite high in comparison with the largest Pyrenean stations - Baqueira starts at 1500 and the top staion is about 2500, Bareges/La Mongie in the French Pyrenees starts at 1250 to 2350 aprox - again i have skied there in incredible conditions from the beginning of December through to the end of April, again at Masella - notorious for bad snow and wind - it has been very good most of the last 7 years even skiing powder on May 2nd 2004 -  and in 7 years the only season with poor conditions was 2006-2007 but the Alps also started very late - by the middle of the season you wouldnt have know there was anything wrong - the previous seasons from 2001 had been actually very good.  The point I am making is the authorities know this and have the actual statistics to back the plan so my advice is do not keep referring to snow conditions and climate change - the evidence supports the ski area !

The way forward is to show them that they will spend huge amounts of money, damage the summer business - especially from the locals who will avoid a tourist trap like the plague
and that the station will not be profitable.
A small number of businesses only will benefit from extra visitors during the busiest ski weeks - 10 days from Xmas to New Year, maybe a few in Feb - but not many, easter if it comes early.

It will be a lovely place to ski dring the week because there won't be anybody there ! 

I could put together an argument that the San Glorio station would get a lot of weekend business from the Spanish but very little from holidayers who spend an entire week or more - and I think that after peoplle have tried to drive from Potes to the ski station they will soon get tired of that road - you have to climb from 300mtrs to 1600 mtrs and it was very tedious even on a clear day in the summer with nobody in fron ot of me - that road would stop dead with 2 inches of snow and just 1 car without snow tyres - I knwo they keep it clear but it only takes one weekend and then it will be in the paper !

Anyway - enough of my rambling - If I lived there maybe I too would want the ski station - but I would live to regret it !

 


Offline nick

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« Reply #43 on: August 30, 2007, 14:24 PM »
Hi Dominickk,
Welcome and thanks for your interesting assessment I'm sure Lisa will have lots to say.

As far as I can see it this project has precious to do with actual skiing and lots to do with all the subsequent urbanisation and infrastructure that come with it. From their point of view, although they wouldn't admit it, it doesn't really matter if the snow fails, because once all the chalets, bars, hotels, shops, roads and whatnot are up, it will be become a tourist leisure area in its own right which will attract more chalets, bars, hotels, shops, roads and whatnot, and a never-ending circle of money making for a rich few.
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Offline lisa

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« Reply #44 on: August 31, 2007, 08:14 AM »
Hi Dominickk and welcome to the forum!
I can't see hoardes of piste skiers coming to it either. We ski too (ski mountaineering I hasten to add) and know the conditions well. The big drawback is the wind aswell as unreliable snow. The promoters reckon it's possible to ski well into spring but this would involve massive use of snow-making machinery and drainage of water. For ski touring it's O.K. because you can just go where the conditions are good but with pistes you're stuck with what there is at the time, which here would be very few times in the winter. Piste skiers just don't go up when conditions are not perfect - snow, sun, no high wind etc.
I'll come back to this after I've posted my report.....
Oh, and Nick's right too. The project is pure speculation to the detriment of the Cantabrian bears which are timid creatures not comparable to the grizzlies who can cope with the odd ski resort in their path.
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Offline lisa

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« Reply #45 on: August 31, 2007, 10:28 AM »
Sunday the 26th of August 2007.  Protest walk towards Pico Tres Provincias against the San Glorio ski resort project. A pictorial account. Attempt 5  :banghead:  :banghead:  :banghead:

Morning dawned with the prospect of better weather to come than that endured by the third of the Liébana contingent who persevered through the stormy night (unlike the third who decamped back to base). Alright I'll come clean, I "slept" in the van with Olivia, Isaac, B.B. Chulo and Mina and though buffeted by the wind, was at least dry  8)
While the children slept on, I took a stroll with the dogs and was surprised to find this Elder, Sambucus nigra, Spanish - saúco, still in flower while the berries in the valley have been ripe for a couple of weeks now.
The stone igloo it's growing by is a shelter for the farmers looking after the cattle and horses grazing on the summer pasture and is built in the León style, I think.
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Offline nick

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« Reply #46 on: August 31, 2007, 10:30 AM »
Lovely photos Lisa.

Do you know the specific name for this type of cabaña?
Nick
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Offline lisa

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« Reply #47 on: August 31, 2007, 10:33 AM »
Patience Nick - part 2 coming up. I don't know a name for the cabana - sorry, circumflex not working!
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Offline lisa

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« Reply #48 on: August 31, 2007, 10:56 AM »
So, at just before 10.00am we met the final third of our party (the sensible softies who hadn't even contemplated sleeping out) and group photos were taken of the manifestantes - a disappointing number of less than a hundred but this is August with people either away on holiday or working in tourism.
I gave up trying not to trample the carpet of Merenderas, Merendera pyrenaica but found the Pyrenean eryngos, Eryngium bougatii, Spanish - cardo azul, much easier to avoid.
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Offline lisa

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« Reply #49 on: August 31, 2007, 11:26 AM »
Passing through a ravine of conglomerate rock, made green by the lichen growing on it, we walked into the valley of the shadow of Valle del Naranco. Bear territory!
My now reduced party managed to reach a third of the way up to towards the Boquerón de Bobies (1858m) before rebelling and refusing to go any further. The tougher Spanish party made it the top of Pico Tres Provincias (2497m) to unroll a pancarta (banner) and take more photos. We headed back down to have our picnic and play by a stream.
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Offline lisa

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« Reply #50 on: August 31, 2007, 11:31 AM »
Lichen-covered conglomerate rock.
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Offline lisa

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« Reply #51 on: August 31, 2007, 11:33 AM »
The Valle del Naranco with the mutineers at its head.
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Offline Technopat

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« Reply #52 on: August 31, 2007, 11:47 AM »
Greetings Dominickk and All,
Welcome to the forum Dominickk and thanx for your insight re. skiing at San Glorio.

As both Nick and Lisa (thanx for pictorial update) point out, it's very much a speculative thing, with the promotors trying to use readily-available public funds to set up facilities (one of the buzzwords in Spain recently (apart from tunnels in Madrid) is snow-making machinery - in itself far from ecological*) which will not be put to good use and will probably be abandoned over the years. In that sense, I'm more optimistic than most people 'cos I reckon Mother Nature will always reclaim her property in the long run - OK, so maybe not in our lifetimes - but in the meantime we get to put up with the eyesores.

The problem is with the living species that get displaced or directly killed off in the process. One thing is the normal, natural run-of-the-mill killing that gets done in the food chain, another is that we humans, out of mere greed and/or stupidity impose our criteria on achieving our short-term aims.

I actually spoke a few months back to a bigwig in the venture capital world here in Spain who was one of the original promotors for this particular resort way back, and he said they gave it up 'cos it was totally unviable on all counts and that he'd heard there were some promotors "de poca monta" (En. anyone?) trying to do something with it now. (Off on a tangent: this guy goes heli-skiing every year to Canada and/or Vail, etc.) I get to see the pics - nice to see how other people live!

*Does anyone know of any research into this thing, i.e. long-term effects? What goes up must come down, so if they're spouting it out it must eventually return to the aquifers, no?

Regs.,
Technopat
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Offline Technopat

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« Reply #53 on: August 31, 2007, 11:51 AM »
Greetings Lisa,
Don't mutineers in your excursion parties get abandoned to their suerte, i.e. blend in with nature by becoming bear fodder? Or are you becoming a softy? :technodevil:
Regs.,
Technopat
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
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Offline lisa

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« Reply #54 on: August 31, 2007, 12:02 PM »
'Ang on a minute, not quite finished!

I thought you may all like to see what bears actually eat here in the Cordillera Cantábrica so found Alpine buckthorn, Rhamnus alpinus, Spanish - pudio?.........
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Offline lisa

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« Reply #55 on: August 31, 2007, 12:05 PM »
Dog Rose hips, Rosa canina and a favourite, Bilberries, Vaccinum myrtillus, Spanish - arándanos.
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Offline lisa

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« Reply #56 on: August 31, 2007, 12:15 PM »
Before I disappear after this mammoth trial  :banghead:
You kept that quiet TP!
I would have left the kids there if there hadn't been two bulls in the vicinity.
After being snow machined - water contaminated?
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Offline Technopat

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« Reply #57 on: August 31, 2007, 12:29 PM »
Greetings Lisa,
Loved the last coupla pics. Dog Rose hips, Rosa canina and blueberries Vaccinum myrtillus, Spanish - arándanos are just 'bout my favourites - from my cross-country skiing days in other climes (passing ref. only) - I'll go anywhere to get them in the wild and any poor bears in the vicinity will have their work cut out to stop me snarfing the lot! :technodevil:

Regs.,
Technopat

For those of you with an Ikea around, they sell both in packet format for making hot drink/soup. Now you, and Tore, especially, know what I get high on in the long dark winter months. :dancing:
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Offline glennie

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« Reply #58 on: August 31, 2007, 13:04 PM »
TP, what do you do with the arándnos? Use them for liqueurs etc.?

Offline lucy

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« Reply #59 on: August 31, 2007, 14:08 PM »
Thanks for the report Lisa.  The phrase that TP heard

Quote
some promoters "de poca monta"

often features in accounts about Spains environmental disasters, often describing the small town politicians who find themselves in a position to wreak havoc on an enormous scale.