The mountain at a time of choices: How to transform the snow economy in the context of climate change?

Vertiginous walls and impressive vistas. Glaciers rustling with a thousand cracks. Gigantic rocky chaos. But also flower-filled meadows buzzing with foraging insects. Green mountain pastures that soothe the eye. Fragrant forests and streams that provide shade and coolness. Wind, storms and blizzards. But also colourful dawns and blazing twilights, pure clear air as far as the eye can see, and white calm speckled with snowflakes. Speed on icy slopes. Agility over bumps and pegs. But also warmth by the fire, over pierrade or raclette. Slowness on steep or uphill paths. Balance and concentration on vertical walls. Calm and emotion, height and serenity.

The mountains are all this and much more. An imagination that reconciles the human, the mineral, the plant and the animal, at the heart of a seemingly massive, rooted and unchanging universe. But this world is not immune to concerns about the viability of the mountain economy in the face of global warming. Despite the efforts of nations to combat greenhouse gas emissions, we know that the next few years will see a clear trend towards higher average temperatures. This does not mean that there will be no more snow in the mountains, but that the periods of snow cover will probably be different, with precipitation of a much more variable and irregular intensity than in the past.

An economy still largely dependent on snow 


How can we turn white gold into green gold? How can we encourage the transformation of “ski” resorts into “mountain” resorts? What tools can be created to transform the seasonal ski business into an annual business?

Laurent Reynaud, General Manager of the ski area, sums up the situation very well: “Today, no-one – anywhere in the world, in fact – has found a substitute for skiing. 40% of French people know how to ski. 19% come to ski every year. It’s quite a popular sport! The difficulty, which was sadly illustrated in winter 2021 (Covid), is that these alternative activities don’t have the same appeal as skiing. That winter, we were allowed to go zip-lining, 4-season sledging, ski touring, snowshoeing and even Nordic skiing. The only thing we weren’t allowed to do was downhill skiing, because the ski lifts were administratively closed as part of the pandemic.

As a result, two out of three customers gave up their holiday and we lost 70% of our revenue and jobs. More generally, all non-skiing activities were stable or up, particularly those aimed at children (in 52% of resorts), walking (57% of resorts) and snowshoeing (63% of resorts). Consumption within the resorts is increasing or remaining stable: 64% of resorts consider that consumption has increased in restaurants. Despite a real desire to diversify, it is snow that remains the essential vector for the development of the mountain economy in general, and ski resorts in particular. Such dependence on a meteorological phenomenon that we know is going to be disrupted by climate change must now be the subject of in-depth reflection on the near and distant future.

A collective debate between all those involved in skiing

Within this community of players, some play a crucial role in the economy of the resorts, and are co-responsible for adding value to the resort: all the activities and services available in mountain resorts. These are the people who create the atmosphere in the resort and encourage skiers and customers to take advantage of the whole range of activities on offer: restaurants, hotels, shopkeepers, hire companies, agencies, personal services, public services, etc. In a new economic architecture, these players will play a predominant role, on a par with the activities directly related to downhill skiing. Of course, all the players in the mountains (associations, federations, ski resorts, POIs, but also users of ski resorts and the mountains in general) will be able to lead this transformation by working together. To do this, they will be able to equip themselves with shared tools, and in particular digital applications capable of bringing everyone together.

It should be noted that organisations such as France Montagne, which brings together the main players in mountain tourism in France, including the French Ski School (ESF), the French Ski Areas (DSF) and the National Association of Mayors of Mountain Resorts (ANMSM), are very active in this area.

The Skiif application is designed to contribute to this transition by creating and leading a community of active users. Skiif proposes to be the tool that links the players in the ski business and skiers, and that stimulates relations between them, thanks to the power of its community, initially of skiers, then of skiifeurs

Skiff has become a real tool for transforming ski tourism into mountain tourism, and skiers into ski lovers.


How many paper maps are distributed in your resort each year? With Skiif, no more waste and savings on your printing budget.


Skiif’s aim is to unite the key players in your resort in an innovative application, using a different tool to bring this community to life and help build the mountains of tomorrow.


The user data collected by the application is hosted in a country that applies European law, limited to compliance with the law, clearly listed and made available to the user.

Digital responsability

Our technical experts have developed an application with technical solutions that optimise digital responsibility: technology, size of the application, quantity and size of data transferred, optimisation of the data exchange system, etc…