And because of those experiences, I’m voting to make sure winter stays around for a long, long time.
by Jeremy Jones
I snowboarded at Palisades Tahoe formerly Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows with my kids, Mia and Cass, a ton last winter. While I used to show them around the mountain, they’re now taking me to their favorite zones. We do a lot of amazing things as a family, but riding together is the coolest thing we do. I’ll take chasing my kids around the mountain any day.
Protecting Winter for the Next Generation
It’s because of their generation that I started Protect Our Winters (POW) 13 years ago. I knew winter was acting weird—warmer, drier, less snowy, more unpredictable—just as the scientists were warning us about. I knew if we didn’t do something about our changing climate, the generations that come next wouldn’t get to experience the same rad moments in snowy mountains that I’ve built my life around.
It was also clear that we needed large-scale systemic changes to move the needle on climate. The kind of changes that can really only take place when our elected officials pass climate-forward policy. Our goal at POW is to get those who love the outdoors to rally together so that policymakers hear our voices from the mountaintops. The outdoors aren’t just a way of life. Our community revolves around snow. It is the engine of our economy. Without snow or clean air, our communities do not work.
Building a Love of the Mountains
I first came out to Tahoe when I was in my teens. I grew up in Massachusetts as a competitive snowboarder and Tahoe was a great West Coast hub. Plus, I had a couch to surf. It was easy to fall in love with the Sierra. The backcountry terrain drew me in, but so did the resorts. I could credit much of my pro snowboarding career to Olympic Valley’s KT-22, one of the most revered lifts in America. That terrain became my big-mountain training ground, and it’s where I met some of the people who shaped my life and became my closest friends.
These days, a lot of my snowboarding is in the backcountry, but I still ride the resort 50-plus days—most of those days are with my family. The fact that you can access some of my favorite resorts like Mammoth Mountain, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and Big Sky on the Ikon Pass is a convenience that’s hard to pass up.
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Forming a Strong Partnership
Protect Our Winters partnered with the Ikon Pass in 2018 because it’s an obvious connection. There are over 50 million people in this country who love the outdoors—we’re calling them the Outdoor State. But yet, not everyone in that population is showing up to vote to put the environment and the places they love to recreate first. Ikon Pass offers a POW membership to any and all interested pass holders, and we’ve been able to directly reach and engage thousands of the most passionate outdoor enthusiasts who, like me, want to preserve the mountain experience for generations to come. Ikon Pass’ support has been critical as we’ve built our nonpartisan tools and resources.
A Call to Action: Make A Plan
If we’re going to make changes as a society to make sure that families 100 years from now can go skiing and snowboarding then there’s only one way we can do that—together. Climate change shouldn’t be a divisive issue. It’s something that will affect all of us. Who doesn’t want clean air, clean water, and a healthy planet for future generations? It’s time we all got together to do something about it. Make a Plan to vote this November. Hope to see you on the mountain this winter.
About Jeremy Jones
As an accomplished filmmaker, entrepreneur, environmentalist and snowboarding pioneer, Jeremy Jones is widely regarded as one of the most legendary big mountain riders and explorers of all time. In 2007 Jeremy founded Protect Our Winters, a global cause uniting the winter sports community against climate change and was recognized in 2013 as a Champion of Change by President Barack Obama.