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Environmental group launches new series

Hilltrip brings speakers, holds party to benefit The Snowriders Project

By Clare Ogilvie

Whistler’s Hilltrip group will launch a new series of events to raise awareness and money for mountain environmental issues this Friday night at Maxx Fish.

Called Step it Up, the first session, it will feature speakers Jonaven Moore and Tyler Bradley. It starts at 7 p.m.

Moore, a professional snowboarder, has become a strong advocate of environmental awareness within the snowboard industry. He spent this past fall studying political ecology at the University of Victoria.

Event organizer Marie-LN Fortin said Moore will discuss how negative PR is affecting people’s understanding of climate change and other related issues.

“This is a very, very important topic,” she said. “Lots of people are coming up to me all the time and saying, ‘whatever, it is not happening,’ and the other comments that are fueled by the big oil companies.

“It is so wrong to just go into denial. People need to realize that this is happening now and they need to act now. This will the biggest message at the event.

“It is going to cost us a lot of money in the medium term if we don’t act now.”

Bradley, who spoke at a Hilltrip event last year, will be talking about how global warming affects skiing and snowboarding and how resorts and their users are affecting climate change. The discussion will include the environmental impact of snowmaking, pollution from snowmobiling, and from waxing skis and boards.

He will also be talking about the positive moves resorts are making to tackle these issues.

Bradley is the chemist behind the creation of the first environmentally friendly ski wax in the world: Hillbilly Wax-Works and Ethica Enviro-Wax.

Anyone who attends the educational session will get in free to the after party at Maxx Fish, otherwise a $10 cover charge will apply. Any monies raised at the event beyond expenses will go to the Snowrider Project of The Surfrider Foundation’s Vancouver chapter.

The Snowrider project was launched in 1997 to bring greater understanding of the hydrological cycle and to foster a sense of stewardship toward alpine and valley watersheds.

Cliff Bar will also be at the event selling Cool tags for $2. The money is sent to help finance a wind energy farm in the U.S. to offset carbon dioxide production.