Dude…Where’s My Winter?

Jeremy Jones hits Thredbo’s backcountry with Matt Deck to talk climate change and how you can protect our mountains.

Words: Matt Deck

Ah climate change, somehow one of the more disputed scientific events happening in our time. We are in the midst of the age of information. Social media is a giant worldwide forum. And yet, one of the many topics we argue about without any true understanding or knowledge is climate change. It’s almost like we have lost our primal instinct to survive and fight in combat so our only avenue is to finger joust a qwerty keyboard, arguing with complete strangers over the topic.

I’m the most under-qualified person to be talking about such a complex issue and a straight up hypocrite, in every sense of the term. I’m a slave to convenience. It’s almost like you put the damage on layby [and because you can’t actually see the damage happening, you can pretend it isn’t].

However, we can all make steps towards improvement – [even if they’re small ones]. Don’t write the little things off as small drops in the bucket – just focus on the splash it can make.

[One such splash] is being made right now at Thredbo. When Jeremy Jones came to town to announce a partnership with the resort and POW (Protect Our Winters), I was obviously stoked, for a plethora of reasons.

Arguably one of the biggest names in snowboarding, Jones singlehandedly inspired me to cut my first board in half and start split boarding. To be asked to take him for a tour in the Oz backcountry was obviously an honour. Jeremy decided he would bring his young daughter Mia out for her first backcountry tour which was a special experience for all of us.

The weather leading up to the day was horrendous, with huge winds and refreeze, which made for some classic Australian touring. We decided to head to Etheridge Ridge, a zone in between Thredbo and Mt Kosciuszko.

Etheridge is a really cool spot, littered with tonnes of features and on this particular day, had some really nice windblown stashes. Mia tore the place apart, proving her freeride skills were well beyond her years. It will be exciting to follow her progression in the future.

On the skin back, we chatted about POW and what it means for Thredbo. This partnership is a step in the right direction because it brings light to the subject, but we can’t get complacent and see it as a solution. POW give us the tools for change but we as individuals still need to push – things don’t just change by themselves.

It’s been famously quoted that there’s no difference between a pessimist that thinks it’s all over – let’s not bother doing anything, and an optimist who thinks it’s all fine – let’s not both doing anything. Get some purpose and get active. 

4 Practical Ways You as a Snowboarder Can actively Protect Our Winter:

  1. Stop looking at recycling as the solution. Recycling is “downcycling” and it unfortunately isn’t a magic place [where things go to disappear into an environmental oasis]. Wherever possible, supply your own vessel for consumption. 
  2. When grabbing a coffee in a resort, sit in and ask for a mug. There are many venues on the mountain that don’t have that option  [and just use single-use cups] and they should… so apply some pressure! Or even better, purchase a collapsible keep cup and keep it! Fits in the pocket perfectly.
  3. Care about where your products come from. You don’t realise how much power you have as a consumer. There are brands out there that are having a legitimate go and you should support those because it pressures the others. Shop managers and distributors need to pressure the suppliers to innovate the way garments are sent to stores, I’m not very smart but there has to be a better way than wrapping clothes in plastic then unwrapping them putting them on a shelf then sending them on their way in a plastic bag. 
  4. Educate yourself, read both sides of the issue and form your own opinion.


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