All holidays abroad - by definition - require travel to get to them. Whichever way to travel to a ski resort, whether it is plane, train or driving, it takes a while to get there, and it causes pollution and carbon emissions.
However, going by train is by far the most sustainable of these methods. Take, as an example, the trip from the UK to the ski resort of Sauze d'Oulx in Italy, for example. A one-way trip will produce the following emissions:
By plane (from Gatwick) = approx 98kg Co2 (per person)
By car (from London) = approx 227 kg Co2 (per car)
By train (from London) = approx 11kg Co2 (per person)
(source: Best Foot Forward, 2010)
This is a big difference, but is the "travel part" a big proportion of the overall emissions pollution of a ski holliday?
In 2007 environmental ski charity Mountain Riders and French Goverment agence ADEME carried out a study to measure the carbon emission of a typical ski resort. They found that around 73% of the emissions of a ski resort were the result of transport of holidaymakers to the resort..
Does my journey by train make a difference?
Yes. Although in isolation, one journey by train instead of plane or car doesn't makes little difference in terms of global emmissions and pollution, the more people who travel by train instead of plane or car, the greater the wider effect. Your journey, your stories about the journeys, encourage other skiers to do this, and help rail companies put on more services for skiers, tour operators create more rail packages, accommodation providers and ski resorts to continue to encourge rail travel.
We're not saying don't fly or drive, or never fly or drive. But if we all - skiers and snowboarders - take the train where we can, then we can make a big difference.