April 2023

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Thanks for taking our poll!

Tired of winter or not, we hope you’ll take the next step and become a member of our wild Alliance. We are skiers and snowboarders. Snowshoers and mountaineers. Dog sledders and fat bike riders. We are YOU and we give a voice to solitude together. Join us to celebrate winter, take action, and keep winter wild.

Backcountry Film Festival: Watch Now!

What a wild 18th annual tour season! Thank you to everyone who showed up to support your local host, hoot and holler to a bunch of ski movies, and share in the revelry with fellow stinky mountain goats.

You can watch the latest Backcountry Film Festival online now! Watch it again, watch it for the first time, share it with a friend, or put it on in the background as you begin to pack away your winter gear. However you watch, we appreciate your support and hope you enjoy!

Did you know that members watch for free? As a member, you can watch for free as a thank you for your support.

Questions about your membership benefits or how to access for free? Email us: info@winterwildlands.org.

Take Action: Little Cottonwood Canyon

Wasatch Backcountry Alliance needs your public comment submitted to UDOT regarding a gondola proposed in Little Cottonwood Canyon. Currently, the comment period addresses whether or not building a gondola would violate the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule, which we believe it does. Comment by April 18.

Policy Update – March 2023

In this month’s policy update, we share an update on the SHRED Act, Vermont’s new backcountry ski handbook, and our 10th biennial Grassroots Advocacy Conference.

Submit Your Film

Wild stories are told to connect individuals, communities, organizations, businesses, and more. Too often those connections don’t reflect all of the human-powered voices in our lives and outdoor spaces. Connection is built through representation.

Presented by Winter Wildlands Alliance and Sierra Nevada, the Backcountry Film Festival Human-Powered Film Grant provides financial support for these kinds of connecting stories. Let’s bring our voices in and out of the backcountry for all snow seasons to come.

Submissions of any type of status are due by May 1, 2023.

Vermont Backcountry Ski Handbook

The Vermont Backcountry Ski Handbook was developed with input from the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation, the Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife, the US Forest Service, and the Catamount Trail Association.

It covers natural resource and social considerations, building partnerships with public and private land managers, delineating backcountry zones, and outlines the process for implementation, construction, and maintenance. It’s a complete how-to guide for creating high quality, sustainable backcountry ski terrain in a cooperative fashion with forest land managers.

Remember our SnowSchool Takeover?

We hope last month’s Stash Blast demonstrated how much our SnowSchool program is making a difference across the snow belt.

Students are able to learn in this special way because of your support. Please consider making a donation today to our SnowSchool fund, which supports our work year-round to share our curriculum and program with over 35,000 students and 70 sites around the country.

El Sendero Hut is Now Open

El Sendero Backcountry Ski and SnowShoe Club is a Winter Wildlands grassroots group in Wenatchee, WA. Join us in congratulating them for opening their first backcountry hut in Stemilt Basin! East of the Mission Ridge ski area, The Hut is a hoop wall tent heated by a wood stove that sleeps up to three people.

Currently open to El Sendero members only, the group plans to continue to grow their presence in the area and share the love for Stemilt Basin through their policy and advocacy work.

Backcountry Partner Spotlight

Backwoods Mountain Sports is a nearly fifty-year-old, independently owned, outdoor store in Ketchum, Idaho (Winter Wildlands Alliance’s founding home!). The staff are passionate skiers, mountain bikers, climbers, hikers and kayakers.

Backwoods is proud to work hard to protect the places that make Idaho such a special outdoor playground. Their owners sit on the boards of the Nordic and Backcountry Skiers Alliance of Idaho (the founding organization of Winter Wildlands Alliance), and Idaho Rivers United. They strive to help our environment and have as much fun as possible doing it!

Be sure to support Backwoods Mountain Sports next time you’re exploring Ketchum, Sun Valley, and the public lands that make that area so special.

Our Backcountry Partner program is a unique partnership program
for backcountry-oriented small businesses: retail stores, guide services, outfitters and others who support, and want their customers to know they support our work to protect wild winters. 
Interested in becoming a backcountry partner? Email Kate Thorpe, Membership Director, today: kthorpe@winterwildlands.org.


“A heartfelt thank you to everyone who joined us in and out of the skin track this winter 💙 And what a wild winter it was (and one that is far from over for most). We were lucky to get out on a couple of adventures with our staff, board, and Alliance members amidst our policy and advocacy work, running our 70 @wwasnowschool programs across the snow belt, touring the @backcountryfilmfestival to 100+ mountain communities, and encouraging everyone to @ski_kind in the backcountry. While “winter” is in our name, our work is year-round and we’ll be preparing for (read: dreaming about) next season all summer long!”

See more at our Instagram profile.