Protect Our Winters was excited to welcome back winter with a bang – or more accurately a POW! – on opening weekend, 11 June 2022.

With bushfires and then COVID making things tough for our alpine regions and industries, mother nature got the #welcomebackwinter memo and came to the party big time!

We had ski and snowboard boots on the ground across a number of resorts and resort towns, all with the goal to #welcomebackwinter and re-introduce Protect Our Winters Australia to our passionate community of snow lovers and advocates.

“It was wonderful seeing the community turn out on opening weekend to support POW either in person on the slopes or online,” said Protect Our Winters Campaign Organiser Cam Walker.

“We put the call-out to our community to see who would like to put their hand up to host a gathering at their venue or on the mountain and we were overwhelmed by the positive response.”

“I was up at Mt Hotham and met by a great bunch of people who were happy to sacrifice their time and turns on the hill in the name of Protect Our Winters. We got together, took photos, waved POW placards and called on our new Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Minister for Climate Change & Energy, Mr Chris Bowen, to support an emissions reduction target of 75% by 2030 (#75by2030).”

“It was especially encouraging to see young skiers and boarder band together. Like one group who said they were inspired by Greta!” Said Cam.

Nearby at Falls Creek, POW committee member Sam Quirke met up with our friends at Bright Brewery for the launch of Bright Brewery’s POW Pale Ale. They took plenty more group photos, team turns and shared tales of what it will take to preserve the integrity of the Aussie alpine environment.

“It was great to have the support of Falls Creek management board over the weekend (shout out to Bridget and James!), as well as our friends at Bright Brewery,” said Sam. “Speaking with people about our shared love of winter was really special, especially since it’s been so long since most people have enjoyed it! We all went up the top of the hill, rode down, and were met by a nice, cold POW Pale Ale to enjoy at the bottom.”

Elsewhere on the hill, gatherings were had at Frying Pan Inn up at Falls Creek and at Zirky’s in Mount Hotham.

Over in New South Wales, we had excellent support from the folks at ESS Boardstore Jindabyne who held a members sign on even with coffees and conversations to help create a positive mindset for a cleaner and cooler future! For every coffee purchased, ESS donated $1 to POW Australia.

“It was an awesome weekend with lots of people interested to sign up and learn more.” Said Flynn Medson from ESS.

“Jindabyne central school students also did some great posters and were super keen to get involved.”

Once happy hour came around, the crew traded coffees for beers at Holly Go Lightly in Jindabyne, and $1 was donated for every schooner sold.

Steve Leeder was on the mic at Holly Go Lightly and said, “I got to talk to whoever would listen to me about what Protect Our Winters Aus is all about and I’m pretty stoked that so many really wanted to listen.”

Photo Competitions

To those who were unable to #welcomebackwinter with us in person, we also held photo competitions on social media supported by Bogong Equipment and Wild Magazine.

Pauly Mackrell won the $150 voucher to Bogong Equipment with this incredible shot, highlining above the Kosciuszko Main Range.

Hugh Cross won himself a subscription to Wild Mag for this shot looking up towards Blue Lake in Kosciuszko National Park.

Once the dust (read: snow) settled on the official opening day, the stoke was high for Protect Our Winters Australia as we look towards our next campaigns.

To keep the momentum sliding, we’re calling on our POW community to sign our petition for #75by2030 — an emissions target that will help preserve the Australian winters that we know and love.

While mother nature came to play on opening weekend, we know all too well, that weather and climate are not to be conflated, and that our winters are on a slippery slope indeed without adequate action to stop climate change.