FORGET the Winter Games, Vancouver’s unseasonal verdant green landscape means competitors could be forgiven for thinking they were about the compete in the first-ever Spring Olympics.
HARD WORK: A snow moving machine shapes the snowboard cross course in Cypress Mountain but a lack of the white stuff is causing organisers some headaches (Getty Images)
The roads leading to Cypress Mountain, venue for freestyle skiing and snowboarding events, are virtually snow-free.
And with conditions unseasonably mild – and predicted to stay that way – organisers are getting increasing desperate, with the first medals due to be awarded in just ten days time.
Not even snow machines, which require cold weather to operate, will do the job – meaning officials have had to resort to their back-up emergency plan – stockpiling snow from further up mountains or trucking it in from elsewhere, with more than thirty vehicles reportedly offering a round-the-clock service.
“Forecasted colder temperatures are not materialising so, to be safe, we’re taking measures to ensure that there is enough snow stockpiled at the venue,” said Vanoc spokeswoman Renee Smith-Valade.
“This includes harvesting snow through both helicopters and trucking operations.”
With so many gas-guzzling lorries chugging up and down the mountains, it’s little wonder Vanoc have been on the end of criticism from environmental campaigners on the eve of the Games.
British Colombia-based David Suzuki Foundation have awarded only a bronze medal for organisers’ efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.