Project Zero Coalition to Launch "Backcountry Starts Here" Campaign

Author:
Updated:
Original:

Unprecedented Collaborative Industry Campaign Launched to Establish Safety Culture for Backcountry Snowsports Enthusiasts

Denver, Colorado – It’s a numbers game. ….

With exponential growth in both sales and participation in the backcountry snowsports category in the past three seasons, more and more people and groups are venturing out into what was once restricted “out of bounds” on-snow terrain.

 Is it any wonder that more avalanche incidences are occurring?

 Season over season, the numbers continue to rise. To meet the demand, gear innovation and terrain openings continue to grow. Skiers, snowboarders, ice climbers and winter mountaineers, snowshoers and snowmobilers continue to head to the backcountry in droves, without a clear sense of what will enable them to return home safely.

 Both the wintersports and outdoor industries recognize the need for a consistent safety and awareness campaign as the participation numbers continue to climb among the once-niche backcountry enthusiast ranks.

 Collectively, for the first time, the industries, avalanche forecast and training centers, non-profits and supporting companies have proactively put action ahead of agenda in a never-before-seen collaborative effort committed to reducing avalanche fatalities to zero.

 Enter Project Zero.

 Project Zero is a North American industry collaboration between avalanche forecast centers, educators, equipment manufacturers, industry associations and businesses, non-profits, and the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE). Project Zero is launching its first targeted campaign, Backcountry Starts Here (BSH), at the SnowSports Industries America (SIA) 2015 Snow Show, which begins on Jan. 28, 2015, in Denver, Colo.

 The intention of BSH is to reduce avalanche fatalities by changing perceptions of avalanche risk and backcountry behavior in young, skilled skiers and riders with immediate intentions to enter backcountry terrain. The campaign is rooted in market research conducted by Project Zero during the winter of 2013/14, which identified a strong need for peer-to-peer education. Additionally, the research showed that social media influences were an absolute necessity to drive these desired cultural changes.

 “SIA is thrilled to support the launch of Backcountry Starts Here,” said Dave Wray, SIA Western Sales and Marketing Manager.

 “The backcountry community, which including retailers, manufacturers, guides, resorts and of course, end-consumers, all need to get on the same page to promote a safety mindset and this is a great step forward in accomplishing just that.” 

 SIA’s Backcountry Experience booth at SIA 2015 will be the industry launch of the campaign where retailers, reps and the media can learn more from AIARE professionals, athletes and guides including Chris Davenport, Lynsey Dyer and Jeremy Jones. Each day, Backcountry Experience will host retail clinics, panel discussions, happy hours with the pros, in addition to supporting content structured around the basics of the Backcountry Starts Here campaign. Whether an individual is a longtime backcountry enthusiast or are starting this season, Show attendees are encouraged to learn more during the 2015 SIA Snow Show.

 “We want to create a new normal,” commented AIARE’s Tom Murphy. “Currently the thinking is, ‘I have my beacon, shovel, probe. Let’s go.’ We need people to be thinking, ‘I have my gear, what’s the avalanche problem today and how do we avoid it?’ That will require a systemic change. And all of the stakeholders—the users, enforcers, rescuers, designers—will need to work together to promote it.”

 In October of 2012, SIA gathered a group of industry professionals ranging from avalanche forecasters, manufacturers, retailers, guides and resorts for the very first SIA Backcountry Committee meeting. After some additional round table meetings and conference calls the message was clear -- the industry needed consistent messaging, signage and terminology for avalanche safety and awareness that all facets of the marketplace would embrace. At the time, AIARE had already been working on Project Zero.

 This collaborative effort leverages a variety of stakeholders throughout the industry to affect positive change. CEO of up-and-coming backcountry safety equipment manufacturer AvaTech, Brint Markle states, "Project Zero is pioneering an effort to bring together exceptional leaders from across our industry to reduce avalanche fatalities and promote a safer backcountry experience.”

 “There is no better time than now. More and more people are heading into beautiful but potentially deadly terrain. We couldn't be more excited to be a Founding Partner of this critical initiative."

 AIARE’s Program Director, Ben Pritchett, agrees.

 “We’ve all come together with the goal of leveraging our resources to drive avalanche fatalities toward zero. It’s an audacious goal and it’s one that we’re not going to achieve unless we have support from all aspects of the snow sports industry,” said Pritchett. 

 For more information on Project Zero and Backcountry Starts Here, visit: backcountrystartshere.com or find us on FacebookInstagram or Twitter for the latest updates, contests, articles and more.

About Project Zero: 
Project Zero is a groundbreaking North American industry collaboration between avalanche forecast centers, educators, equipment manufacturers, industry associations and businesses and non-profits formed under the far-reaching vision to “Reduce Avalanche Fatalities to Zero.” While lofty, this statement sets a vision that can only happen through broad collaboration towards cultural, infrastructure and educational changes in how we manage avalancherisk and backcountry travel.

About SIA:
Celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2014, SnowSports Industries America (SIA) is a non-profit member-owned trade association with a long history of working to support the snow sports industry. SIA, based in the Washington, DC Metro-Area with offices in CO, OR and RI, works year-round with North American snow sports suppliers, retailers, resorts, reps and service providers to develop products and programs for their individual and collective business. For more - https://vimeo.com/84794471

About AIARE: 
AIARE develops and disseminates avalanche course materials to avalanche educators in the United States, South America and Europe. There are over 95 AIARE course providers and 300 instructors representing AIARE internationally. AIARE gather’s the latest knowledge, research and ideas in avalanche safety to create avalanche training courses that reflect the needs of today’s backcountry travelers. AIARE is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit educational organization. For more information contact Tim Bennet at 303- 817-7378 or tim@avtraining.org. 

Contact Information: 

Rachel Reich - Project Manager, Project Zero -rach.eden@gmail.com

 Tim Bennett - AIARE Executive Director - tim@avtraining.org

Related

Print

I Heart Keenwah Launches #HeartYourself Campaign

Chicago, IL -I Heart Keenwah, makers of nutrient-rich quinoa snacks, is set to kick-off their #HeartYourself social media campaign on February 1st in conjunction with the launch of their new branding and recipe formulation. The heart plays a large role in the new I Heart Keenwah ...read more

FW_HAITI_2

Freewaters Footwear Partners with Project 509 on Clean Drinking Water Project in Haiti

Laguna Hills, CA (September 23, 2014) – Freewaters footwear, which donates 1% of gross sales to clean drinking water projects, is excited to announce a new partnership with Project 509 on the successful expansion of a clean water project in Haiti. Jesse Baker, Founder of Project ...read more

Spectrum Fuel Headlamp

Princeton Tec Donates to Breast Cancer Fund Through “Beyond the Pink” Campaign

Incorporate the color pink into a custom Fuel headlamp using PTec’s exclusive Spectrum program and $10 will be donated to the campaign. BORDENTOWN, N.J. – Princeton Tec, the market leader of U.S.-manufactured headlamps and handheld lights for the outdoor, bike, tactical, ...read more

FreewatersInsta

Freewaters Kicks Off Instagram Campaign To #CelebrateWater for World Water Day

Laguna Hills, CA– From Kenya to Cali, the healing power of water connects us all. To raise awareness of World Water Day taking place on March 22nd, Freewaters footwear is excited to announce its #CelebrateWater Instagram campaign. Here's how anyone can enter and help spread the ...read more

LOGO1.ai

Setton Farms Completes Non-GMO Project’s Product Verification

Terra Bella, CA – Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella, Inc. – the nation’s second largest pistachio processor and maker of Setton Farms Pistachio Chewy Bites based in California’s Central Valley- is proud to announce that their Roasted Salted Pistachios, Roasted Unsalted Pistachios, ...read more

05090016

$25,000 Matching Funds Campaign for Jeff Lowe's Metanoia

A private family foundation is donating $25,000.00 in matching funds to Jeff Lowe's Metanoia. Tax deductible donations to the Jeff Lowe Mountain Foundation via paypal, text to donate or by check will be matched dollar for dollar until the goal of $50,000.00 is reached. Every ...read more

FW_TAR_water_project[1]

Freewaters and Therm-a-Rest® Make Positive Impact in Ventura County School Through Water Purification STEM Project

Laguna Hills, CA (July 29th, 2014) – Freewaters footwear and Therm-a-Rest® are excited to announce the success of a pilot program they co-funded on water purification and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) lesson plan at Channel Islands High School in California. By ...read more

FW_CHANNEL_ISLANDS

Freewaters to Be Official Footwear Partner of Channel Islands Surfboards Starting Spring 2015

Laguna Hills, CA (August 19th, 2014) – Freewaters footwear announces an exclusive Channel Islands Surfboards sandal collection for Spring 2015 that will debut at Surf Expo in September. The Spring 2015 collection features four men’s sandals each with a unique material and foot ...read more

ProduceForKids1

Setton Farms Pistachio Chewy Bites Participates in Get Healthy, Give Hope Campaign

Terra Bella, CA – Setton Pistachio—the nation’s second largest pistachio processor and maker of Pistachio Chewy Bites based in California’s Central Valley—is participating in the 12th Annual Produce for Kids® Get Healthy, Give Hope campaign, which raises thousands of dollars for ...read more