Know The Snow: Inside Project Zero’s Video Contest

“We’re trying to create a new norm that really embraces avalanche safety skills,” says Tom Murphy, director of operations at the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE), of the Project Zero initiative. Project Zero’s aim is to reduce the number of avalanche fatalities to zero by gathering together stakeholders—backcountry manufacturers, land managers, avalanche educators, retailers—to send a unified message about avalanche safety. And the initiative’s latest project is a community-sourced video contest and education campaign called Know The Snow.

For three weeks in March, the Know The Snow contest will be collecting skier- and rider-submitted videos that emphasize the safety and decision-making story behind riding backcountry lines. Winners will be selected by viewers and an expert panel.

“We see a lot of the money shots but we never see any of the planning and preparation that occurs behind the scenes,” Murphy says. “It’s exciting to encourage folks to get the awesome ski lines but also to capture the process of their decision making. We can learn a lot from each other.”

Find out more details at and in the press release below.

BOULDER, CO (February 27, 2014): A unique partnership between US and Canadian avalanche safety organizations is issuing a challenge to skiers and snowboarders: Make a 4-minute video that shows the proper preparation for riding beyond resort boundaries, and you and your film could become a role model for sidecountry riders.

“Show us what happens before you hit your favorite powder stash,” said Bruce Edgerly, VP of avalanche safety equipment manufacturer, Backcountry Access (BCA). “Use your camera to tell the story about how you and your crew get ready to safely explore beyond the resort boundary–and you’ve got a great chance to win some amazing prizes.” BCA is a member of Project Zero, a consortium of snowsports companies and avalanche centers recently assembled with the goal of eliminating avalanche fatalities.

The videos will be posted on Vimeo ( and promoted by GoPro and other partners. The contest will run during the last three weeks of winter: March 1 – 21. The final winner will be determined by a combination of most views and an expert panel. Prizes include:

  • A two-day trip for two at Monashee Powder Snowcats in the snowbelt of BC’s interior
  • Two four-day Gold Passes to any resort in the United States
  • Backcountry Access Float 22 airbag
  • GoPro Hero3 camera

The winning videos will be announced in late March. “Our goal is to simplify what’s involved in avalanche terrain preparation,” Edgerly said. To keep the momentum going, the project will continue through next season with expert editing help from Sherpas Cinema.  A final highlight reel will be created with the best video submissions and broadcast at ski events and major retailers starting in November, 2014.

These are the organizations involved in this project:

  • American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education //
  • Canadian Avalanche Centre //
  • Colorado Avalanche Information Center //
  • National Ski Areas Association //
  • National Ski Patrol //
  • Northwest Avalanche Center //
  • SnowSports Industries America //
  • Utah Avalanche Center //

For more details on the contest, go to

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