POW. It’s frozen snow crystals flying around you, floating you through Winter Wonderland. It makes your dreams vibrate. It drains your wallet in the name of bliss. And it’s also a vital acronym: Protect Our Winters.
POW lives at the center of our lives as skiers.
So, fittingly, we introduce the custom Powder7 Nomad 105 Lite, a collaboration between Powder7 and Protect Our Winters (POW), the Boulder-based climate advocacy group that has garnered international attention mobilizing snow-lovers to a higher cause.
Built by Icelantic, our limited edition Nomad is a perfect do-everything ski for big Colorado mountains–and $150 from the sale of each pair will be donated to POW. Click here to see the full specs of our first custom Powder7 ski.
I was thrilled, albeit a little nervous, to be given the task of designing the topsheet for the new skis. Over about a month, I tried to mesh the essence of skiing with our identity at Powder7 and the core mission of Protect our Winters. Let me share with you my process:
It all started with a pencil and paper. A simple line drawing of the mountains—you know, those big powerful hunks of rock and snow that give us a reason to live.
However, I wanted these ski graphics to have a purpose beyond a pretty picture of mountains.
After much research, I was most compelled by NASA’s Images of Change gallery. These photos are taken over various time periods of different locations on Earth, showing how our planet is in a constant state of flux.
I decided to use the photos from 5 locations in the design of the skis. The left ski has the before images, compared to the after images on the right ski. To unify the design and idea, a weather map of high pressure and low pressure storm systems overlays each of the images.
The tip of the skis show shrinking sea-ice coverage in the Arctic. In 2012, the minimum ice coverage hit a record low since reliable measurements began in 1979
Arctic Sea-Ice Coverage
Underfoot there are images of the shrinking Mýrdalsjökull ice cap in Iceland, which is the fourth largest ice cap. Many of the ice caps in Iceland have been retreating as much as 164 feet per year.
Mýrdalsjökull Ice Cap, Iceland
Moving down the ski, we have images of the Mueller Glacier, Hooker Glacier and Tasman Glacier, which are New Zealand’s longest glaciers. New Zealand is home to over 3,000 glaciers and most of them have been shrinking since 1980. According to scientist from New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, these changes are primarily caused by global warming.
Shrinking glaciers, New Zealand
Sierra Nevadas, California
The final image at the tails shows early sea-ice breakup in the Beaufort Sea, Arctic. By April 2016 there was substantial ice fracturing and breakup which was attributed to unusually warm air temperatures and strong winds caused by stalled high-pressure systems, according to NASA ice specialists.
Beaufort Sea, Arctic
The graphics of this ski visually represent the mountains we love and the threat climate change poses to them. They’re bright and attention-grabbing, in hopes they’ll start conversations in the lift line or on the chair.
Winter is all we do at Powder7, and it’s no secret that our changing climate directly threatens the snow sports we love. We’ve partnered with Protect Our Winters to educate people about climate change and help preserve winter for future generations of skiers.