This winter, visitors exiting the Silver Queen Gondola atop Aspen Mountain in Colorado will see a “melting” gondola car.
“A symbol of a warming planet, the new art installation launches a climate action campaign in partnership with the non-profit Protect Our Winters (POW) to mobilize outdoorspeople in the fight against climate change,” an Aspen statement explains.
Since Aspen Snowmass first opened in the winter of 1946-47, the region’s average temperature has warmed by three degrees Fahrenheit. The resort has calculated that it has lost 30 days of winter since 1980 alone.
“As part of Aspen’s 75th anniversary this season, The Melted Gondola has been installed as a push for people to think about the next 75 years, and to draw attention to the urgent need to aggressively address climate change,” the statement continues.
Aspen Snowmass has partnered on this campaign with Protect Our Winters (POW)—a worldwide community of athletes, scientists, creatives, and business leaders advancing non-partisan climate policies—asking visitors to bring #PowertoPOW through memberships and donations.
“We need a movement to create large-scale policy change on climate. POW is that movement, mobilizing the outdoor industry as a political force,” says Auden Schendler, Aspen Skiing Company’s SVP of Sustainability. “The ski and outdoor industry are enthusiastic, but have not historically wielded large amounts of power the way other industries like oil and gas or big pharma, often do. We want to help bring that power to the fight against climate change.”
Schendler suggest that becoming a member of Protect Our Winters will provide people with information and steps to take meaningful action, thinking systemically, and suggests people write to politicians, businesses to use their voice and influence to add to the pressure to move to a clean, green economy.
The Melted Gondola installation was fabricated entirely in Aspen’s Roaring Fork Valley by artist Chris Erikson. The piece was inspired by James Dive and The Glue Society’s ‘Hot with the Chance of a Late Storm’, a potent message in sculptural form about our quickly warming world.
“We wanted to create a statement piece that represents not just our resort, but our whole industry,” says Aspen Snowmass Creative Director Mark Carolan. “With it, we are encouraging dialogue, support, and most importantly—through our close connection with POW—strong action.”
Aspen Snowmass encourages guests to visit the display throughout the season and to post pictures of the installation using the hashtag #PowertoPOW. The company plans to continue building on the Melted Gondola campaign and its partnership with POW throughout the 2021-22 season, generating further opportunities for people to engage with the fight against climate change.