February 2021

Share Your Backcountry Love Story

What makes the backcountry so magical? Why are wild winters so WILD? What brings us back(country) again and again? Why do we work to preserve and protect these spaces? Take inspiration from the deepest of pow days, the craziest of snow facts, or the best backcountry day you spent with your buddies that you will remember forever. Share what makes you love the backcountry to our collective storytelling board. Plus: win some wild winter merch just for submitting your love story.

Of the People and the Land: An Alternative Land Acknowledgement

“When I was a little girl my dad put me on skis and sent me down the hills at Winter Park, on land that is home of the Ute peoples, colonized today as Colorado. I bombed down, rarely turning to slow myself, my Dad barreling after me in his Carhartt jacket and Wrangler blue jeans. My biggest role model in this world wore jeans. He poured all his money into my ski suit so I wouldn’t be cold. It was always my dad making sacrifices for us, so that we could be outside.” By Micheli Oliver.

SnowSchool at Home: Make Your Own Snowshoes

What do you think of when you hear the word “snowshoes”? Did an image of tennis rackets pop in your head? Snowshoes have been around for thousands of years and they help people move more easily through snow because they spread a person’s weight out over a larger surface area. There’s even an animal named in honor of snowshoes because it has such big feet that help it move quickly through snow: the snowshoe hare. In this week’s SnowSchool at Home activity, we make snowshoes!

January 2021 Policy Update

New administration priorities, Snow Ranger Summit, Heli-Skiing, and California Winter Travel Planning. Check out our first policy update of 2021!

Backcountry Film Festival Bloopers

Have you watched the Backcountry Film Festival yet? (If not, get on it!) Our 2020-21 virtual tour is mid-season and we wanted to share a *quick* laugh from the woman behind the curtain for all BCFF screenings: our Events and Marketing Director, Melinda. Check out the short compilation of bloopers from her recording the program’s welcome video!

WWA x Backcountry Magazine Podcast

WWA Executive Director, Todd Walton, dishes on WWA’s latest efforts, the Biden administration, “skiing kind” and the radical changes in winter recreation on the latest episode of Backcountry Magazine‘s podcast. Whether you listen on your way to the trailhead, as you start out in the skin track, or as you reflect on a day in the backcountry: we hope you enjoy!

Six More Weeks of Winter = Dawn Patrol (Coffee)

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow and we are celebrating six more weeks of winter! Through May 2021, Dawson Taylor Coffee’s Dawn Patrol blend donates $.50 of every pound sold back to WWA and our work to keep winter wild. Buy locally throughout Idaho or buy online to be shipped directly to your thermos at the trailhead.

Wild Winter Events

Don’t miss out on the following upcoming wild winter events hosted by us and our partners! Make sure to bookmark our website calendar or follow us as we post events in the next few weeks.

Join the Northwest Avalanche Center for an introductory virtual class on basic approach to managing risk in the backcountry on Feburary 11. NWAC instructors will explain how to access avalanche and mountain weather forecasts and recognize basic signs of avalanche danger. Whether you ski, snowshoe, snowboard, or snowmobile, recognition of avalanche danger is an essential and potentially lifesaving skill.

This month, Montana Mountaineering Association’s Speaker Series hosts climber Manoah Ainuu (@adreadedclimber). Born in Compton, CA to first-generation immigrants from Samoa and Ethiopia, Manoah’s childhood was surrounded by concrete and congested freeways. Now, his everyday views include vertical blue ice, pocketed limestone crags and the high peaks of six mountain ranges in a 1.8-million-acre forest. Tune in February 17 at 6:00pm MT via Facebook Live.

Alpenglow Sports’ Winter Speaker Series wraps on February 25 with WWA Ambassador and professional skier, Vasu Sojitra. Vasu is one of the top adaptive athletes and backcountry skiers in the world, and is known for putting down First Disabled Descents (FDDs) and his true passion lies in making the outdoors accessible to all. He has coined his approach to backcountry skiing as “ninjasticking,” and uses this to bring intersectionality to the outdoor space. Sojitra’s show will look at this intersectionality in-depth, and how reclaiming and breaking down stigmas that come with a Disability can change how transformation of outdoor spaces are viewed, welcomed and celebrated. All giveaways benefit Tahoe Institute for Natural Science.


“Our Winter 2021 Trail Break is here! From stories of finding place in winter, to the snow village that makes @wwasnowschool possible, to the rise of snow rangers via @coloradomtnclub, to our 2020 annual report, and more. Our members are receiving their copies in the mail now! Do you have yours? Aren’t a member and want to check it out – visit our link in bio. Want your own copy for your coffee table? Let us know via DM or email at info@winterwildlands.org.”

See more at our Instagram profile.