Feb. 17 (UPI) --
A French ski resort experiencing unseasonably high temperatures used a helicopter to air-lift snow onto its slopes so it could remain open.
The Luchon-Superbagneres resort in the Pyrenees had a helicopter spend two hours Friday air-lifting 55 tons of snow to the lower slopes used for classes and beginner use.
A second snow-moving session took place Saturday.
Herve Pounau, director of the Haute-Garonne department council, said the move was necessary to keep the resort open and protect 50-80 jobs that would have been lost if it was forced to close during the February-March winter sports season.
Officials said the resort has struggled with unusually high temperatures, which reached nearly 52 degrees Friday. They said the temperatures are too high to use the resort's snow cannons, which are normally used to spread artificially-created snow on the slopes.
The snow air-lifting has drawn criticism from politicians including French ecology minister Elisabeth Borne and Bastien Ho, the secretary of Europe Ecologie Les Verts party.
Critics said using a helicopter to move snow creates carbon emissions that contribute to climate change, making the resort's solution a part of the problem.