After two years of lockdowns and the pandemic, this was the winter we all needed. And it certainly delivered, with an early start – massive snowfalls in mid June saw some resorts open a week early – and despite boom and bust cycles, we ended the official season with good snow pack across the resorts.
People loved it, and visited in droves. Anyone in the resorts could see the huge numbers of first timers and it seemed like every rider in the country was out in the mountains.
This caused problems of course, especially with crowding on runs and traffic jams and issues with car parking, but it was great to see so many out enjoying the mountains. To take one example, nearly 210,000 people stayed close on half a million nights at Mt Hotham this season. This was a huge increase of 89% visitation on the 10 year average and it was welcome news for local businesses who had struggled through almost three years of bushfires and lockdowns. And for people living the dream in the mountains, there was lots of work.
From Opening Weekend til October, the resorts were buzzing.
And the snow gods delivered what we were after. At higher resorts, there was a cumulative snowfall of over 4 metres for the season.
After two quiet years, it seemed like the right time to relaunch POW Australia.
We constructed a brand new website, mission statement and vision for the future of POW.
Our volunteer committee worked hard during the year to create events and campaigns to engage and mobilise the snow sports community. At the end of this great season, we feel that POW is back in the game and we are already planning for an even better 2023.
Here’s a look back at some of our ‘pow turns’.
Opening Weekend – #WELCOMEBACKWINTER
After years of climate denial and inaction by the federal government the election of the ALP, which had a solid commitment to act on climate change, a huge opportunity was presented to push them to do more. After years of Australia having a paltry emission reduction target of 26-28% reduction by 2030, the ALP’s commitment to a 43% reduction was welcome.
But, the sciences says we must do more and POW backed the call by many groups to adopt a 75% reduction target. We used opening weekend as a chance to regroup and get our supporters together to call on the government to support #75by2030.
POW supporters came out in Jindabyne, Falls Creek, Hotham and in the Snowy Mountains to call for deeper ambition by the Australian government.
Social Media Activation – #WAYSTOACTWEDNESDAY
During July we kicked off our 4 week blog series bringing you actionable items to help make a difference in reducing Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.
We emailed local MP’s, took alternative modes of transport, reduced and re-used and most impactfully, petitioned our banks and super to divest from fossil fuels.
Spring – #POWLAPSWITHVAL
We rounded out the season with Spring Pow laps with young gun snowboarder Valentino Guseli.
Val volunteered his time, Burton Australia/NZ donated a brand new snowboard and Thredbo Resort offered up lift tickets for one lucky winner and their friend to join Val for a day on the hill.
Of over 2115 entries, a young local rider Jake Levy was randomly selected and an epic day was enjoyed by all.
There was olympic level shredding and a side-serving of climate conversation regarding how we can Protect Our Winters and the activities that we love.
Snowy Mountains Captured
We were pleased to be involved with the 2nd annual Snowy Mountains Captured — A short film and photo festival based in the Snowy Mountains of NSW and the High Country of VIC.
During the final screening at Holly Go Lightly, the organising team raised just over $500 on raffle tickets and most importantly, shared the beauty and fragility of the Australian alpine ecosystem with the community — online and in-person.
View this post on Instagram
Safe Spring Touring with Mountain Safety Collective
We teamed up with our friends at Mountain Safety Collective to deliver some backcountry do’s and don’ts off the back of an uncharacteristically touchy snowpack this season.
Check out the pointers and follow MSC here
View this post on Instagram
End of Season Raffle
Finally, we finished off the season with our friends at Bright Brewery and Liebe skis raffling off a fantastic set of skis to provide welcome funds for POW’s campaign work — all of which is volunteer.
Whether we’ll receive as much snow next season remains to be seen, however POW is committed to going as deep on climate action and awareness as possible.
We have heard your calls and are working to build local chapters and advocates to fly the POW flag.
We are also in conversations to produce sustainable POW branded merchandise.