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Colorado Edition: Challenges facing ski towns and the future of the sport; efforts to ban PFAS from ski wax

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Stephanie Daniel
/
KUNC

Many rural towns across the Mountain West are experiencing a moment of crisis — water scarcity and the threat of wildfire, as well as extreme income inequality and a shortage of workers, in part, because the cost of living is often incredibly high. All of this is impacting the world of skiing, from the collective culture skiers carry with them, to the snow they pursue.

Veteran ski journalist Heather Hansman examines these issues in her book, Powder Days: Ski Bums, Ski Towns, and the Future of Chasing Snow. We speak to Hansman about the life of those married to skiing, the economic challenges facing rural mountain ski towns, and how our changing climate could impact the future of skiing.

Products like non-stick pans and waterproof jackets have something in common. They’re often made with chemicals known as PFAS. But the man-made chemicals don’t break down in the environment, or our bodies. And they’re suspected of causing cancer and other health problems. The Mountain West News Bureau’s Madelyn Beck reports on efforts to ban PFAS in a popular winter product: ski wax.

Colorado Edition is hosted by Erin O'Toole (@ErinOtoole1) and edited by Henry Zimmerman (@kombuchacowboy). Our production team includes Tess Novotny (@tess_novotny). Web was edited by digital operations manager Ashley Jefcoat.

The mission of Colorado Edition is to deepen understanding of life in Northern Colorado through authentic conversation and storytelling. It's available as a podcast on iTunesSpotifyGoogle PlayStitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts.

You can hear the show on KUNC, Monday through Friday at 2:30 and at 6:30 p.m.
 
Colorado Edition is made possible with support from our KUNC members. Thank you!

Our theme music was composed by Colorado musicians Briana Harris and Johnny Burroughs. Other music in the show by Blue Dot Sessions.

KUNC's Colorado Edition is a daily look at the stories, news, people and issues important to you. It's a window to the communities along the Colorado Rocky Mountains.