It’s undeniable that global warming is real and surely happening. What does that mean for us? That our grand children will never see a polar bear? It means shorter winters, less snow, and a decreasing amount of life changing powder days, and it’s important that the ski fanatics of Colorado understand this. The chairlifts that we take for granted pump CO2 emissions into our air and man made snow requires a lot of water to make. Some resorts have taken this into consideration and made their resorts more Earth friendly; if you’re looking for a green ski vacation you might want to head to Squaw, California or Aspen, Colorado, the two Earth-friendliest ski resorts in the United States.
Snow related recreation contributes approximately $67 billion annually and supports 900,000 jobs. With less snow and shortened seasons, America’s jobs and economy would suffer. It’s up to the skiers to make, better, more eco-friendly choices. Lane Segerstrom had an idea, to create skis and snowboards out of wasted stalk and husk to make corn board. Corn board makes up the core of the ski. With the use of corn board, there is less of a dependency of wood products therefore less deforestation and more eco-friendly. Lane Segerstrom’s company, Stalk It, is now selling these corn board based skis. Years of research went into building Stalk It’s 2015 season skis. Segerstrom and Stalk It are basing their marketing efforts out of Telluride and pushing their product on the local market. Telluride Ski Resort was so thrilled with Stalk It’s green initiative, they made Stalk It their official snowboard partner for the 2014-2015 season.
In February, while visiting Telluride, I became aware of Stalk It and Segerstrom’s innovative strategies of fighting climate change. Since then, I have interviewed Larry Neihaus, Telluride’s regional ski representative. An excited Neihaus talks about Stalk It’s 2015 season’s skis, “We researched the industry and came up with what we thought were the best designs that could most benefit from out corn board technology. I believe we’ve come up with a design that skiers and snowboarders are going to love.” Stalk It introduced three skis to the market this season; a power specific ski, an all-mountain ski, and a park specific ski. Neihaus had a heavy influence while designing these skis. While some people were skeptical about a corn board base, Stalk It and Neihaus are so confident in their design, the imposed a life time guarantee on Stalk It skis.
Neihaus and Segerstrom are important in today’s winter sport culture because of their sustainability initiative. It’s easy to ski at a mountain resort all day and feel as if you are in the wilderness. In all reality, skiing is more eco-friendly than some sports, such as NASCAR, but you have to take into consideration a commute to the resort, multiple chairlifts running all day long throughout the mountain, and cut down trees to create trails. It’s up to us to follow in Neihaus’ and Segerstrom’s footsteps and look for opportunities to lengthen the ski season. To learn more and get involved visit Protect Our Winters.
Contact Information: Larry Neihaus: (970) 708-4321