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Winter Wildlands Alliance Launches “Ski Kind” Campaign to Promote Backcountry Responsibility

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Winter Wildlands Alliance is proud to introduce the Ski Kind Backcountry Responsibility Code, a set of guidelines to promote responsible winter recreation this season. Backcountry participation numbers are increasing due to resort restrictions and people looking for COVID-safe activities, and there will be a dramatic growth in the number of backcountry snowshoers, skiers, snowboarders, cross country skiers, and other users getting outside.

With the onset of COVID-19 this past winter, people have been taking solace in the outdoors and outdoor recreation. It began with the resorts closing early and people buying backcountry gear to skin up the slopes and continued through the summer with increased trail and water recreation throughout the country.

“With the growth in backcountry participation, a wide variety of users and experience levels, we were having conversations about how to address the impact,” says Todd Walton, Winter Wildlands Alliance’s Executive Director. “The concept of ‘ski kind’ came from Tyler Ray who runs Granite Backcountry Alliance, one of WWA’s grassroots partners and through the course of the conversation, we worked on the basic concepts and honed it together from there.”

Ski Kind is an open toolkit for users to share and learn from. Visit https://www.skikind.org/toolkit to download everything you need to help talk about and promote this unique initiative on social media and other platforms.

Here are the basic tenets of Ski Kind: 

Ski Kind. Be a good neighbor, do right by others. Be kind even to someone who’s being a jerk.

Ski No Trace. Take only photos, leave only tracks. Pack out all poop.

Ski Self-Reliant. Carry what you need and be prepared for worst case scenarios.

Ski Inclusive. Everyone’s welcome. Find a mentor, be a mentor. Acknowledge native stewardship.

Ski Aware. Avalanches ruin lives. Get educated. Have a plan.

Ski Respectful. Be nice, make space. Park appropriately. Respect closures. Don’t step or pee in the skin track. 

Ski Smart. Know your gear; know your limits. Keep skills sharp.

Said David Page, Advocacy Director at Winter Wildlands Alliance: “We worked closely with the team at Recreate Responsibly for a winter version of their efforts. It’s a very important effort for all of us to engage. While Ski Kind is a little more backcountry focused, all of the efforts are valuable.  Everyone starts as a beginner and we hope by creating Ski Kind as an initiative that we can provide some tools that all users can learn from and take to heart.”