Melting snow can uncover hidden treasures on ski mountains.
Single gloves, dropped goggles, abandoned poles and even whole skis emerge from their icy hiding placing as temperatures warm. If you know someone who has worked ski patrol or snow removal, you've likely heard stories of rolls of cash, gold watches, and even mysteries like a full set of dentures being left behind by melting snow. But in addition to these inadvertently dropped and lost valuables, mountain resorts are increasingly battling a more worrying collection hidden beneath the snow: thousands of pounds of cigarette buts, plastic bottles and other litter.
Visit a ski resort during the summer, and you're likely to hike past a few stashes of red bull cans that never made it into the recycling bin, or piles of decomposing cigarette butts, carelessly disposed of months ago in the snow.
This is a terrible legacy that ski and snowboard resorts bear. As outdoor enthusiasts and appreciators of the natural world, we believe it is our responsibility to protect and advocate for our environment, not contribute to its further degradation through carelessness and lack of foresight. Snowriders wants to change this dirty legacy of ski resorts by committing to more responsible stewardship of our mountains.
This commitment comes in two parts:
1) Don't be part of the problem:
Do. Not. Litter. Remember you are a guest in a wild and beautiful landscape while you're skiing. You wouldn't throw your trash all over a national forest or city park (I hope), so don't do it while you're skiing or riding, either!
2) Become part of the solution:
As individuals, we can't solve this garbage problem alone, but we can take responsibility for it. The environmental impacts of our winter sports are the problem of every skier and snowboarder. Become a good steward! Help clean up the places we play!
Check if your local mountain holds a volunteer clean-up day over the summer, or before next season begins in the fall. Here are a few great clean-up opportunities on our radar:
Alta Ski Area Clean Up - Saturday, July 8, 2017; 8:00am to 12:00pm
"Join us for a fun day of all over the mountain. It's not just a trash clean up, but a treasure hunt sometimes. After a lovely lift ride to the top of Collins, we will leisurely take our routes downhill. It's a stewardship exploration."
Keystone Resort Clean Up Day - Tuesday, June 12; 8am
"Join fellow employees and community members as we pick up litter on the mountain, roads, and base areas."
Sierra-at-Tahoe "Keep Sierra Clean Day" - TBD, likely October, 2018
For the last 11 years, Sierra-at-Tahoe has gathered their community in the fall to clean up their mountain playground before the snow starts falling for the season. Keep an eye our for the announcement of this year's event.
Respect the Mountain Project, across Europe - multiple events
Throughout the summer, the Respect the Mountain Project hosts events across europe - from Spain to Romania - to help clean tonnes of trash strewn across the alps each winter. In Europe this summer? Check out their extensive events calendar to do your part.