A big part of what Protect Our Winters does is to provide athletes with the climate knowledge and tools to be effective climate leaders and it was exactly to that end that POW France held its first ever Riders Summit in the Chamonix valley in early December.

POW Summit ateliers

Almost all of the current Riders Alliance in France, plus two prospective new members, and the core POW France team came together for a weekend of intensive workshops, training, discussion and strategising.

What a great couple of days! Among the best skiers, snowboarders, climbers and alpinists of their generation, united by their conviction of the need to protect the beautiful mountain playgrounds we all love, dedicated an entire weekend in their busy schedules to better understand how they can make a difference and be effective climate activists. The room was buzzing, the energy so positive and much fun was had – indoors and out.


Reminding us of the global reach of the POW movement, we were even joined for part of the time by two American members of the Riders Alliance, Griffin Post and Johnny Collinson.

Johnny and Griffin

And, yes, we managed to find some time to get out there and ride…

POW Summit Ride Session

Thanks to all the riders and to Zoe Hart of Patagonia, who led sessions on storytelling and interview technique, to Angie Dazé from the International Institute for Sustainable Development and glaciologist Luc Moreau for the wealth of valuable knowledge shared on climate science and for helping us better understand the priorities and our impacts, and to Mathieu Ros, editor of Ski Magazine et Snowsurf, for the workshop on communications and social media. As well as to all the other POW France volunteer team members: Marita, Thibault, Emelina et Alex.

A big thanks, too, to Patagonia for their support for the event, to Tim and Gaby Newman of Huski Chalets, who strive to promote more environmentally conscious tourism and made their charming chalet La Vieille Forge in Les Houches available to us, to Yogi Blanche for the early morning yoga session to get us all energised and focused for the day’s work ahead and to Saveurs du Mont Blanc for the delicious vegetarian meal.

We made sure we took advantage of the time together to work on our plans for the season ahead and upcoming POW actions, so stay tuned!

PS: The two prospective new riders have since joined us – welcome to the POW Riders Alliance, Emilien Badoux et Leo Taillefer!

Marita van Oldenborgh

Author Marita van Oldenborgh

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