Buffalo, N.Y. Receives Colossal Snowstorm, Protect Our Winters Visits D.C., Black Diamond Issues Whippet Recall, Japan’s new backcountry project


Buffalo, N.Y. Area Receives Colossal Snowstorm

Buffalo, N.Y. This week two storms—combined with the lake effect off the Great Lakes—pummeled the Northeast. Artic winds blowing over unfrozen Lake Erie pulled a wall of moisture into the sky, converted it to light, fluffy snow and dumped more than 60 inches along a 130-mile stretch of I-90, extending from Erie to Buffalo. Roofs collapsed. People were trapped and needed rescue, and cars were abandoned. Unfortunately, Buffalo, located 600 feet above sea level, has a few ski hills with a few hundred feet of vertical drop didn’t help skiers or boarders. “What a waste of all that great snow,” remarked pro skier Adam U.

Drone footage of Storm by James Grimaldi on YouTube.com.

Protect Our Winters Visits Washington, D.C.POW_banter

Washington, D.C. On November 18, ski industry partners and athletes gathered with environmental groups on Capitol Hill to gain support for setting carbon standards. Athletes and organizations in attendance included Chris Davenport, Burton Snowboards, Aspen Snowmass and others. Meetings were held with the Environmental Protection Agency, senators on Capitol Hill, and the White House Council on Environmental Quality. “Our strategy is to leverage the economic impact of the snow sports industry and the social influence of pro athletes to influence policy in Washington,” Protect Our Winters stated on Facebook.

Black Diamond Issues Voluntary Whippet Recall

Salt Lake City, Utah In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Black Diamond Equipment has issued a voluntary recall on their Whippet and Carbon Whippet self arrest ski poles. The models, produced between May 1, 2013 and January 15, 2014, feature a notched, polished, stainless steel tip that has been found to break under certain circumstances. No injuries have been reported. According to Black Diamond, Whippets that are currently being sold have an updated tip and are unaffected by the recall. Affected Whippets have serial numbers between 13121 and 14015, which can be found underneath the Flicklock mechanism. For more information on this recall, including how to warranty an affected Whippet, click here.

[Image] Courtesy of Black Diamond Equipment

[Image] Courtesy of Black Diamond Equipment

Filmmakers Launch Hokkaido Backcountry Project

Niseko, Japan Filmmaker Matt Standal launched a Kickstarter campaign on November 7 to document Japan’s first modern heli ski and snowboard operation, and he’s aiming to create a risk-management program for backcountry skiers with help from the Japanese government. As of November 21, the campaign has exceeded its required pledge of $8,000 with 14 days remaining. The documentary, in addition to filming the return of heli skiing and snowboarding in Japan, will promote safety and backcountry access with the Niseko community. Plus, it “will take you behind the scenes to explore the beautiful and rugged island of Hokkaido,” Standal states. Filming will take place from December 2014 though March 2015.

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