Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Project Zero Coalition to Launch "Backcountry Starts Here" Campaign

WASHINGTON (January 14, 2015) - It’s a numbers game...
With exponential growth in both sales and participation in the backcountry snow sports category in the past three seasons, more and more people and groups are venturing out into what was once restricted “out of bounds” on-snow terrain.
Is it any wonder that more avalanche incidences are occurring?
Season over season, the numbers continue to rise. To meet the demand, gear innovation and terrain openings continue to grow. Skiers, snowboarders, ice climbers and winter mountaineers, snowshoers and snowmobilers continue to head to the backcountry in droves, without a clear sense of what will enable them to return home safely.
Both the snow sports and outdoor industries recognize the need for a consistent safety and awareness campaign as the participation numbers continue to climb among the once-niche backcountry enthusiast ranks.
Collectively, for the first time, the industries, avalanche forecast and training centers, non-profits and supporting companies have proactively put action ahead of agenda in a never-before-seen collaborative effort committed to reducing avalanche fatalities to zero.
Enter Project Zero.
Project Zero is a North American industry collaboration between avalanche forecast centers, educators, equipment manufacturers, industry associations and businesses, non-profits, and the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE). Project Zero is launching its first targeted campaign,Backcountry Starts Here (BSH), at the 2015 SIA Snow Show, which opens later this month on January 29th in Denver, Colo.
The intention of BSH is to reduce avalanche fatalities by changing perceptions of avalanche risk and backcountry behavior in young, skilled skiers and riders with immediate intentions to enter backcountry terrain. The campaign is rooted in market research conducted by Project Zero during the winter of 2013/14, which identified a strong need for peer-to-peer education. Additionally, the research showed that social media influences were an absolute necessity to drive these desired cultural changes.
“SIA is thrilled to support the launch of Backcountry Starts Here,” said Dave WraySIA Western Sales and Marketing Manager. “The backcountry community, which includes retailers, manufacturers, guides, resorts and of course, end-consumers, all need to get on the same page to promote a safety mindset and this is a great step forward in accomplishing just that.”
SIA’s Backcountry Experience booth at the 2015 SIA Snow Show will be the industry launch of the campaign where retailers, reps and the media can learn more from AIARE professionals, athletes and guides includingChris DavenportLynsey Dyer, Greg Hill and Jeremy Jones. Each day, Backcountry Experience will host retail clinics, panel discussions, happy hours with the pros, in addition to supporting content structured around the basics of the Backcountry Starts Here campaign. Whether an individual is a longtime backcountry enthusiast or are starting this season, Show attendees are encouraged to learn more during the 2015 SIA Snow Show.
“We want to create a new normal,” commented AIARE’s Tom Murphy. “Currently the thinking is, ‘I have my beacon, shovel, probe. Let’s go.’ We need people to be thinking, ‘I have my gear, what’s the avalanche problem today and how do we avoid it?’ That will require a systemic change. And all of the stakeholders-the users, enforcers, rescuers, designers-will need to work together to promote it.”
In October of 2012, SIA gathered a group of industry professionals ranging from avalanche forecasters, manufacturers, retailers, guides and resorts for the very first SIA Backcountry Committee meeting. After some additional round table meetings and conference calls the message was clear -- the industry needed consistent messaging, signage and terminology for avalanche safety and awareness that all facets of the marketplace would embrace. At the time, AIARE had already been working on Project Zero.
This collaborative effort leverages a variety of stakeholders throughout the industry to affect positive change. CEO of up-and-coming backcountry safety equipment manufacturer AvaTechBrint Markle states, "Project Zero is pioneering an effort to bring together exceptional leaders from across our industry to reduce avalanche fatalities and promote a safer backcountry experience. There is no better time than now. More and more people are heading into beautiful, but potentially deadly terrain. We couldn't be more excited to be a Founding Partner of this critical initiative."
AIARE’s Program Director, Ben Pritchett, agrees.
“We’ve all come together with the goal of leveraging our resources to drive avalanche fatalities toward zero. It’s an audacious goal and it’s one that we’re not going to achieve unless we have support from all aspects of the snow sports industry,” said Pritchett.
For more information on Project Zero and Backcountry Starts Here, visit: or find us on FacebookInstagram, or Twitter for the latest updates, contests, articles and more.
About Project Zero: 
Project Zero is a groundbreaking North American industry collaboration between avalanche forecast centers, educators, equipment manufacturers, industry associations and businesses and non-profits formed under the far-reaching vision to “Reduce Avalanche Fatalities to Zero.” While lofty, this statement sets a vision that can only happen through broad collaboration towards cultural, infrastructure and educational changes in how we manage avalanche risk and backcountry travel.
About AIARE: 
AIARE develops and disseminates avalanche course materials to avalanche educators in the United States, South America and Europe. There are over 95 AIARE course providers and 300 instructors representing AIARE internationally. AIARE gather’s the latest knowledge, research and ideas in avalanche safety to create avalanche training courses that reflect the needs of today’s backcountry travelers. AIARE is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit educational organization. For more information contact Tim Bennet at 303- 817-7378 or

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Protect Our Winters Launches The POW Science Alliance

Transworld business - In a continuing effort to provide the most credible and updated climate information to the winter sports community, Protect Our Winters announced today that they have launched the “POW Science Alliance,” an advisory board of the most esteemed climate and snow scientists in the world, with expertise in snow hydrology, glaciology, sea level rise, mountain sustainability, and climate science communication. 
The Science Alliance advisory board consists of:
· Dr. Jason Box, Professor, Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland 
· Dr. Jennifer Francis, Research Professor, Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Rutgers University
· Dr. Gregory Greenwood, Executive Director, Mountain Research Initiative (MRI) 
· Dr. Thomas Painter, Scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology
· Dr. Tad Pfeffer, Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Institute for Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR), University of Colorado at Boulder
· Dr. David Robinson, Professor, Department of Geography, Rutgers University
· Dr. Kevin Trenberth, Distinguished senior scientist in the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. 
· Dr. Jim White, Professor, Department of Geological Sciences and INSTAAR Director, University of Colorado.
The primary objective of the Science Alliance is to serve as a resource providing the most accurate and up-to-date climate and snow science information to POW and our members to create a winter sports community that’s fully informed about the science behind climate change. POW also provides these scientists with access to our enthusiastic community of snow athletes who are energized to bring awareness of climate change issues and solutions to a broad community. Prepared with first hand experience and the most accurate climate science, we will all be better equipped to fight climate change. 
“We’re truly honored. POW is a young organization, but these are some of the top climate and snow scientists in the world. Just like the world-class athletes on our Riders Alliance, we’ve now got the same on our Science Alliance, to move forward and rally a community that’s fully armed with the latest climate science,” said POW’s Executive Director, Chris Steinkamp.
Protect Our Winters (POW) is the environmental center point of the winter sports community, united together towards a common goal of reducing climate change’s effects on our sport and mountain economies. Founded in 2007, POW focused on youth education, advocacy and community activism. For more information, visit

Friday, January 2, 2015

Squaw-Alpine: Climate change an industry threat to Tahoe resorts |

OLYMPIC VALLEY, Calif. — For the past four years, Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows management has been “quietly, but assertively” working on improving the resort’s sustainability practices, officials said this week.
By the numbers
2013: 11,430 estimated metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions by Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows.
2012: 13,765 tons
2011: 13,205 tons (Squaw and Alpine merger)
2010: 9,722 tons
Source: Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows
Key efforts have focused on reducing the ski area’s carbon footprint, as highlighted in its recently released “Environmental & Community Report 2014.”
“.... We have an obligation as a responsible corporation to reduce our environmental impact,” said Andy Wirth, president and CEO of the resort. “As a well-known ski resort, we hope to inspire and compel other ski resorts and businesses to do the same and see how they can make improvements in their own operations.”
According to the report, in 2013, Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows reduced its carbon dioxide emissions by more than 1,700 tons by making boiler upgrades, installing automated controls at High Camp and replacing more than 1,500 light bulbs with more energy-efficient ones.
Also in 2013, Squaw Valley became the first California ski resort to install electric car charging stations, resulting in 4,750 emission-free miles driven from December 2013 through April 2014.
Other transit-emission saving efforts, according to the report, include a free shuttle making runs between Squaw and Alpine, and contributions of more than $60,000 annually to Tahoe Area Regional Transit to ensure employees have an environmentally friendly way to get to work.
As for snowmaking, more than $5.2 million has been invested in infrastructure in the past three years, which the resort said has reduced the amount of water, compressed air and power needed to make snow.
“I have seen firsthand the commitment Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows have made to operating a sustainable resort — their actions are real,” Tuckee’s Jeremy Jones, a professional snowboarder and founder of Protect Our Winters, said in the report.
Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows is among those who recognize current and future impacts of climate change, said Michael Gross, director of risk management at Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows, which is one of the areas highlighted in the report.
“Climate change will not (be) solved by one person, one business or one country alone,” said Gross, who’s also identified as Squaw/Alpine’s “director of environmental initiatives” in the report. “We all need to work together toward a common goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and C02 levels because winters without snow would be a real grim place to live in, and our business depends on snow.”
According to the report, projected impacts of climate change to the ski industry include later seasonal snow, less snow coverage, earlier wet snow avalanches and, on average, shorter winters.
By the 2050s, ski seasons are projected to be three to six weeks shorter in California’s Sierra Nevada, the report states.
“Climate change is a growing, long-term threat to all ski resorts,” Wirth said. “However ... we very much have the ability to adapt and hedge our businesses ... So, while climate change is most certainly a real threat, it’s not a direct threat to our existence as viable businesses.”
Wirth went on to say, “There are many facets to our ability to hedge our business, not the least of which is our snowmaking capabilities, which have been a focus of our capital investment over the past three years. Since the mid-80s, the length of ski seasons has actually materially increased with the advent of snow making. We have other tools by which we can effectively manage our business through such challenging times.”
Some future sustainable efforts planned by the resort include Squaw’s Member’s Locker Room receiving a high-efficiency boiler in 2015; analyzing solar power installations; and continuing to expand recycling and composting efforts.
“We are dedicated to preserving our winters and alpine environment for current and future generations,” the report states in closing. “We understand that our business is dependent on our ability to care for and cherish our natural resources ... We pledge to continue to reduce our footprint, remain early-adopters of sustainable technologies and to work within our community to encourage our peers and partners to do the same.”

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Eco Tip Tuesday #14: Wrap Your Presents with Snowboard Magazines! - Niche Snowboards

This Christmas, get crafty by recycling the pages of your old snowboard magazines, and turning them into unique, rad wrapping paper! Not only is this an eco-friendly thing to do, but it ends up looking super cool. Your friends and family will admire your craftiness while having some rad photos to look at under the tree. So save yourself some cash, skip buying ordinary wrapping paper from the store, and give the gift of awesome. [via niche snowboards eco tip tuesday #14]

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Munk Pack: tasty healthy snack for the slopes

Munk Pack™, a newly-launched  company based in Greenwich, CT, is excited to announce its debut in the  natural foods market, with the introduction of the first ready-to-eat oatmeal fruit  squeeze snacks for adults.
Driven by the need for convenient, portable, whole food snacks and inspired by  nature, Munk Pack™ provides delicious, on-the-go nutrition for sustained energy  to last throughout the day. Perfect for breakfast or a snack, Munk Pack™ is a  satisfying mix of whole grain rolled oats, flax and delicious fruits in the  convenience of pouches, which allow for non-perishable foods to keep without  the use of artificial preservatives.  

“From our corporate lives to our camping adventures, we were always looking  for portable, healthy, great tasting foods,” says Tobias Glienke, co-founder of  Munk Pack™. “We were tired of bars, and wanted real food that was minimally  processed and without the sugars, syrups and fillers that you find in most bars  and snacks.”  

Along with whole grains and fruit bites, Munk Pack’s ready-to-eat oatmeal fruit  squeezes are packed with other wholesome ingredients – such as flax, coconut  and quinoa – and come in three different flavors: Apple Quinoa Cinnamon,  Blueberry Acai Flax and Raspberry Coconut. Other notable aspects include: 

● BPA-free packaging 
● No artificial flavors 
● Sugar from fruit only 
● Non-GMO Project verified 
● Gluten-Free Certified 

“With Munk Pack™, we hope to share the wholesome goodness that helps to  fuel peoples’ daily activity,” says Michelle Leutzinger, co-founder of Munk ack™. “Our vision and goal is also to cultivate healthy eating and inspire connection with nature.” 

For additional company information, visit For media  inquiries, please contact Sandja Brügmann at or  303.717.7651. 

Munk Pack™  
Munk Pack™ is an outdoorsy brand of natural food products that empowers  people to lead an active and healthy lifestyle. We are committed to bringing  only healthy, great tasting products of the highest quality to market. Inspiring  daily adventure, the brand and products appeal to active, fit and busy  consumers of all ages.

Monday, December 15, 2014

SHRED Foundation: Snow, Skate, Work.

The goal for the SHRED Foundation is to harness the unifying power of snow/skate culture to inspire an alternative path for young people considering non-traditional career opportunities. Our programming incorporates "Learn to Ride" programs designed to challenge youth, facilitate self efficacy and teach basic life skills. The program will also provide workshops and training in graphic design, journalism, photography, videography, new media education, environmental advocacy and entrepreneurial training.

By partnering with local stakeholders (organizations, schools, local recreation departments, snow/skate companies, reps, shops, mountains, and brands), SHRED will also provide apprentice programs for youth who are interested in pursuing potential careers outside of traditional routes. SHRED values the importance of teaching its youth the core aspects of the culture, which include individuality, creativity, progression, entrepreneurial drive and community. 

Support the campaign below!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Real vs. Fake: The Great Christmas Tree Debate by terrapass

Are they real or fake? Most of us who celebrate the holidays with a Christmas tree have an opinion about which type of tree is better, so we decided to take a look at the climate impact of each to see if that should make a difference in your decision.

The winner?
It depends on how long you keep your artificial tree and how far you drive to purchase a tree.

Whether you opt for a real or fake tree, there’s a forest full of trees that we can all get behind: The City of Arcata Community Forest absorbs and stores approximately 2,500 more metric tons of C02 a year than neighboring forests, or the equivalent of taking 550 cars off the road each year.
Purchase a Holiday Forest bundle this holiday season and you’ll receive a 1 mT carbon offset from this project, a digital certificate and a plantable holiday tree tag made of parsley, basil and chive seeds!