Backcountry snowboarding can be a ruthlessly selfish endeavor. At the mercy of weather, avalanche conditions, and simply the time necessary to make it a success, expeditions like Jeremy Jones' to Nepal to ride the dreamy Shangri-La spine wall for Higher can come across as overwhelming self-serving missions. But the same initiative and perspective that led Jer to start Protect Our Winters also convinced him of the need to make space for a greater cause on the Nepal expedition.
So he and his team coordinated with fellow Clif Bar athlete and Executive Director of Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation, Gregg Treinish, to include collecting snow and ice samples from the high-altitude glaciers of the Himalaya as one of the trip's objectives.
With mountains storing much of the freshwater that supplies the world's rivers, the ASC has been studying high-altitude glaciers–those above 16,400 feet specifically–in order to understand how quickly they're thinning due to climate change, and thus, how much dryer of a future those downstream should expect and prepare for. Naturally, getting bodies up that high is a huge task, so the ASC has been looking for folks like Jeremy (and like you, if you happen to be headed that high anytime in the near future) to help with collecting snow and ice samples up high during their own expeditions.
"It was definitely more work than I thought," Jeremy said in an interview on Clif's site. "Mainly, digging a hole at altitude proved to be hard and required help from a bunch of people just to dig deep. Because at altitude, you can get into a pace where walking’s not affecting you, but as soon as you start doing something strenuous like digging a hole, or climbing or snowboarding, then that’s where you feel it. But it was awesome … it felt good to be helping these scientists."
If you'd like to help the greater good during the course of your own adventures, be sure to check out the five projects the ASC is currently looking for adventuring volunteers for.