Alpine Club of Canada

ACC_Gazette_Winter2018_FINAL

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10 The Alpine Club of Canada Gazette Winter 2018 Connect to Disconnect by Matt Mosteller (Steller @Powdermatt) It's a well-known rule of online marketing that you take your message to where your target audience lives. But what if the message you want to get across to your audience is that they're spending too much time online and that they should change their habits for the sake of their health? Can you make an effective message about the importance of getting offline and then go online to connect with people to get that across? Can you connect to disconnect? I 'm going to say some strong words here — of nine million youths (15‑34 years old) in Canada only 1 in 10 meet the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines for this age group. Some estimates peg the number of times daily that a youth's attention is captured by their phones at 2,000. Virtually all of them use online social networks. As a country, Canada earns a 'D' grade for our youth's overall physical activity. Most schools today, compared with 30 years ago when I was growing up, offer less programming and fewer opportunities to get young people outside. While there are a variety of reasons for this, it's clear that our country has a health and well‑ ness problem of a giant magnitude. It is imperative that we act and try new ways to inspire positive change. The future of our country's health depends upon it. Personal connection The fact is I was a fat kid growing up. And then I was saved from a life of obesity when a ski instructor sparked in me what would become a lifetime pursuit of out‑ door adventure. One human being caring for the welfare of another changed a life. I know there are many others like En route to the Bow Hut, Powder Matt and Alison Criscitiello use an iPhone as an interface to a satellite link to take questions from students in classrooms across Canada. Photo: Kyle Taylor me out there, kids in that same situation, peering through an ice‑encrusted window, ready and waiting for someone to share that life‑changing moment of joy. I can't leave them sitting there wondering. A Wapta Plan One thing you can say about today's youth is that they can be engaged in, and genuinely care about important issues. Climate change is one of the most important issues facing us today and one that youth understand and care deeply about. A plan began to form between my media team, a teacher/explorer, our good friends at The Alpine Club of Canada, and a glacier scientist super geek. Alison Criscitiello is the Technical Director of the Ice Core Lab at the University of Alberta and the first PhD in glaciology from MIT. She's also a world‑ class climber and skier, author and the co‑founder of the Girls on Ice Canada program. She's the super geek. Joe Grabowski is a teacher and a National Geographic Emerging Explorer Program member who's also the creator of an innovative, live online show called Exploring by the Seat of Your Pants. Joe had the connections to get live video into classrooms across North America. All my team of journalist ski bums had to do was create that live feed from the Wapta via a backpack satellite rig – something that had never been done before. And we're off In April 2018, we bundled up our ski team, some high‑tech broadcast gear, and the goal of simultaneously inspiring school kids to put down their devices and get outside and to dig deeper into the issue of climate change. We'd do it with a live video feed where five different classrooms could ask us live questions. We took these high hopes and headed up on the Wapta. Our plan was to start our route at Bow Lake, stay at the Bow, Louise & Richard Guy, and Stanley Mitchell Huts (the "Bow‑Yoho Traverse"), and emerge near Field, BC five days later. And it worked. We pulled off two broadcast sessions: one from the glacier into classrooms and a second from the Guy Hut to the ACC's Facebook Page. We experienced all of the extreme weather the Wapta is known for, from bluebird

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