Countdown to Winter Solstice

Winter is our reason for being. It’s why we do what we do.

Photo Credit: Adam Clark

Every year, Winter Solstice welcomes the beginning of a new season and gives more reason to reflect on all that we came across in the skin track and all that we’re leaving behind. It’s a reminder to continue working, striving, and becoming an ally for wild winter spaces through stewardship and responsible recreation. It’s a reminder to continue connecting our Alliance to each other and outside.

We hope you’ll revel in the solstice energy with us and celebrate by joining as a member. Whether you’re renewing your membership, becoming a member, or gifting a membership this season: a membership to our organization is a way to fuel your passion about snow and winter, and also public lands, conservation, and equitable recreation.

Our Alliance helps us protect and preserve raw, vast, and quiet winter landscapes for the sake of conservation and human-powered recreation. As we countdown together to Winter Solstice on December 21st, we’re making it a point to revel in the moments between seasons. It might be sunny and warm, or dark and cold, or raining or sleeting or hailing or snowing, and busy as can be with the holidays.

Let quotes from our members below inspire you and remind you why we do what we do over the next 21 days. In the meantime, we’ll be going outside, entering the portal of the natural world, walking on a dirt path underneath tall trees. We hope you will be doing the same.

Who knows, maybe tomorrow we’ll wake up to a blanket of snow.

“The backcountry is an amazing mental, physical and emotional escape for me and I want to do everything I can to protect it and get others on board.”

—Eric Merideth, Washington, DC

“I grew up in Anchorage, Alaska, with the most glorious winters you could imagine. We were always outside, even during the dark, long, and cold winter: cross-country skiing, sledding, or building snow forts. I’ve since added backcountry skiing and mountaineering to my repertoire, and I’ve followed winter and the mountains to Colorado and Washington. Now, winter signifies more to me than just fun: It’s a barometer for the health of our planet.”
—Brianna Traxinger, Seattle, WA

“The natural world is a place that I, fortunately, find myself in nearly every day. This is where my two worlds collide. One as an up-and-coming conservation scientist and the other as a person who enjoys biking, skiing, running, climbing, and exploring the woods. Between these two, I am heavily invested in the protection of these open spaces. I see them for both their provision of habitat, cultural significance, and their recreational value.

“Often some of the greatest appreciation of the ecosystems I work to protect comes through adventure. This is why the Winter Wildlands Alliance values are something I support. The natural world isn’t just a big playground, but a vital part of our existence and essential to the life of millions of forms of life. By encouraging the use of open spaces for human-powered recreational backcountry skiing, these areas stay wild for my personal enjoyment and the livelihood of the ecosystems being protected.”

—Jayden Skelly

“The experience of skiing in the backcountry is precious. Powering my body uphill through untracked snow, I hear only my breath and the slide of my skis. My brain is quiet; my muscles wide awake. I feel strong, at peace, and completely one with the natural world. What a gift!”
—Caryn Gerber; Boulder, CO
“We are new members for two reasons:
1. Our daughter is named Winter, and just like your hat says, she’s wild.
2. We love our winters here in snowy Vermont. We want to protect them from climate change so we can enjoy skiing them and for the myriad other reasons!”
—Sean Prentiss, Woodbury, VT
“Somehow it is easy to justify spending hundreds of dollars on a ski resort seasons pass, but when thinking of supporting an organization that protects and advocates for public land access, it’s difficult to comprehend. I truly cherish and never take for granted the access we have here in Idaho and the tremendous terrain when I lived in Wyoming. The quiet of the backcountry and the fulfillment of human powered adventure fills my cup to the brim. I am a better person, wife, daughter, sister, friend, nurse, neighbor, and dog mom because I have the opportunity to find reprieve in the wintery mountains.”
—Kate Sullivan, Boise, ID

“Because we love wild spaces and feel like the best versions of ourselves when we get to spend time in the backcountry. Winter offers us this outlet and a way to explore terrain that connects us to the earth, ourselves, our friends, and our relationship! We are so grateful for your work to protect these spaces for us and for generations to come. Your work to connect kids to these spaces is inspiring and hits home for us- both educators and expedition leaders that do the work because we love connecting youth to beautiful places.”

Emily Mulnick, Boise, ID