It's not hard to get behind a group that calls itself Protect Our Winters. Maybe snowbirds and Mayor Bloomberg would disagree, but in general, beautiful mountains covered in pristine snow is an image that has universal appeal. And we all remember those polar bears falling off of crumbling glaciers; who wouldn't want to stop that?
At a recent press event at the outdoors outfitter Patagonia, the Protect Our Winters group, spearheaded by snowboarder extraordinaire Jeremy Jones, kicked off the non-profit's new partnership with the Argentine vintner Alamos Wines.
With a famed athlete like Jones in the lead, backed by brands The North Face, Quiksilver and Vans and with Board Members from Aspen and Grand Targhee, the envirnmental group aims to bring awareness of how climate change is adversely affecting winter sports.
Joining them, glass in hand, Alamos served wines from the Mendoza region which relies on climate for their harvest.
After welcoming guests, the articulate, handsome Jones talked about the organization and its goals. He showed clips from recent films that highlighted just how beautiful winter can be. The first clip of astonishing snowboarding footage was produced by POW sponsor Teton Gravity Research; it was from "Jeremy Jones' Deeper" done about two years ago, followed by a teaser for a Japan project called "Further" to be released soon.
Fortunately for all moms of young riders, in each clip Jones and his partners stress the importance of safety while practicing extreme sports (many of the athletes, including Jones, wear air bags when doing big mountain descents). They promote the environment by their respect for it. POW has designed an education program called Cool Athletes/Hot Planet which pairs its famous pro snow sports athletes with educators from Alliance for Climate Education (ACE), the national leader in high school climate education, to deliver an award-winning multimedia assembly on climate science and solutions.
Another project POW runs is Coal Kills Snow to reduce the impact of coal mining on mountain regions. When not working to promote his own winter webisodes and feature films, Jones has been lobbying on Capitol Hill in defense of the EPA.
This year, Jones, the organization's founder, is also focused on Jones Snowboards, which will be designing new split boards for women. He calls them the "Mrs. Jones" snowboard.
So where does he like to travel to snowboard? Jones says he prefers coastal mountain regions because they are safer than inland areas such as Colorado. That means he's interested in trying the terrain in Georgia, the former USSR republic, as well as his backyard range in The Sierras. And he loves the groomers at Stowe in Vermont.
When asked to name his favorite mountains to ride, Jones cited Jackson Hole in Wyoming, Las Leñas in Argentina (the region the delicious Alamos Wines are from) and almost any mountain in Europe, though he prefers the small local ones. We hope you have your winter vacations all planned out.
For more information about how climate change is affecting mountain communities, and what you can do with Jeremy Jones to reverse the damage, check in on Protect Our Winters and become a POW member.
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