Your participation on the Mountain Hub app can help our partner organizations achieve positive change.
Do you ever get that sinking feeling that you could be doing more to stand up and help out with causes you are passionate about? It can be easy to feel powerless in the face of huge issues like climate change or protecting the public lands where you enjoy recreating. We’re pretty stoked to tell you that in some cases using Mountain Hub can help scientists, universities, and nonprofit organizations collect invaluable data and crowd-sourced information that will vastly improve a wide diversity of projects.
We’ve teamed up with like-minded organizations because we know how powerful good data can be. In turn, you can help the following organizations by simply posting an observation, Adventure Track or trip report on Mountain Hub — it almost sounds too easy! Just make sure your sharing is set to “Public.” Any publicly shared posts on Mountain Hub will be anonymized and aggregated before the data is used by these organizations. And don’t worry – your privately shared tracks, observations, and personal information will stay private!
The incredible organizations listed below need your help. Learn how you can lend a hand, and remember, only data you share publicly helps these partners!
The mission of Outdoor Alliance is to unite diverse outdoor lovers in protecting the human-powered outdoor recreation experience and conserving America’s public lands. Mountain Hub has partnered with Outdoor Alliance to provide anonymous Adventure Tracks so OA can aggregate data with an end goal of advocating for public land use this year. The data collected by different user groups on Mountain Hub, from hikers, to bikers, to backcountry skiers to paddlers and more will help OA better understand how and where people are recreating outdoors. Adventure Tracks inform OA about activity-specific usage and is used to show legislators the importance of conserving and protecting public lands. Outdoor Alliance also uses the information to better represent the human-powered recreation community during national forest planning and other land planning processes that affect recreation conditions for decades When you share an Adventure Track within the US, it will help OA identify high priority lands and advocate for their protection.
NASA Citizen Science – Community Snow Observations Initiative
Mountain Hub has partnered with NASA and the University of Alaska on the Community Snow Observation (CSO) initiative. CSO is a citizen science project that crowdsources measurements of snowpack depths from volunteer backcountry travelers. The snow depth observations uploaded to Mountain Hub support research to inform water resource management, river flows, ecology, tourism, climate change, and snow and avalanche hazards. The Mountain Hub app is the primary app used by researchers and citizen scientists to collect this data. This year, CSO and Mountain Hub are expanding the project globally, enabling anyone to participate and share snow measurements anywhere in the world. The initiative is also supported by Protect Our Winters (POW), the leading climate advocacy group for the winter sports community. POW athletes, ambassadors, and staff will contribute data throughout the season and help spread the word to amplify the impact of the program. To participate, simply check out the CSO’s information page to learn more about the project. Follow the CSO Twitter account for more information and learn how you can become involved.
Winter Wildlands Alliance & US Forest Service
Mountain Hub is proud to have forged a partnership with the Winter Wildlands Alliance (WWA) and the US Forest Service. WWA, a founding member of Outdoor Alliance, is a nonprofit organization devoted to protecting wildlands and a high quality human-powered snowsport experience on public lands. Data uploaded from the Mountain Hub community is used to inform planning and initiatives on our Forest Service managed lands. Observations and Trip Reports from Mountain Hub have already been successfully incorporated into forest planning projects for the Sequoia, Inyo, and Sierra National Forests. “The forest service generally has very little data—if any—on where people are recreating, especially in winter,” says David Page, WWA’s advocacy manager. “As more and more skiers log their backcountry adventures, we can begin to show real use patterns that can help forest managers prioritize trailhead maintenance and staging areas and through effective travel planning mitigate resource damage and user conflict.”
Supporting Local Avalanche Forecasters
Mountain Hub partners with numerous avalanche centers around the globe to provide a rich bank of data for avalanche forecasting. For example, Mountain Hub public posts about avalanche activity, snow conditions, snowpack test results, and weather data help forecast centers like the Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center (ESAC). ESAC also takes advantage of the Mountain Hub map plugin to display notable observations in their region as shown below. This winter, we’ll be integrating with the Bridger Teton Avalanche Center and the Alaska Avalanche Information Center. Mountain Hub is also a huge help and resource for regions where data is limited, for example the Gulmarg Avalanche Center.
In hopes to provide forecasters with better resources and data, Mountain Hub has made its publicly-shared data available to the following organizations: Avalanche Canada, Utah Avalanche Center, Colorado Avalanche Information Center, Sierra Avalanche Center, and the Sawtooth Avalanche Center. Please note, simply because we have made the data available, does not always mean they will ingest it. If you like using Mountain Hub to share observations, please encourage your local avalanche center to work with us and take advantage of our rich user-submitted data.
Montana State University – Avalanche Travel Behavior Research
Another exciting project related to traveling safely in the backcountry is an initiative with Associate Professor and Director of the Snow and Avalanche Lab, Jordy Hendrikx, of Montana State University. We are partnering with Jordy this winter to provide his team with additional backcountry skiing track data that will support behavioral research on decision making in avalanche terrain–super cool stuff! Mountain Hub will anonymously submit publicly shared GPS backcountry ski tracks to help the team better understand the amount of risk people are willing to accept to ski specific terrain objectives. Once a track has been submitted, they will request that you complete a short 1-2 minute survey that asks about actual decisions and group dynamics. With their work, they aim to inform the backcountry decision making process, aid avalanche education, and ultimately, save lives. This project is an ongoing collaboration between the Snow and Avalanche Lab at Montana State University and the Arctic University of Norway Center for Avalanche Research and Education.
To learn more about this project, click here.
Leave No Trace
Mountain Hub is working with Leave No Trace to help share and promote their core principles to the Mountain Hub community:
Plan Ahead and Prepare
Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
Dispose of Waste Properly
Leave What You Find
Minimize Campfire Impacts
Be Considerate of Other Visitors
At Mountain Hub, we share the values and ethics of Leave No Trace and encourage everyone in our community to respect and protect the beautiful places in which we are so fortunate to live, work and play.
Help Fellow Mountain Travelers
It almost goes without saying, but sharing on Mountain Hub is also all about helping your fellow community members. Sure, you don’t have to share you secret stash or fishing hole, but be open to sharing helpful information, trips, conditions, or otherwise, that you feel could benefit others in the community. We aren’t a community of self-promoters, we are a community of dedicated adventurers supporting each other and our broader outdoor community.
Mountain Hub believes that good data can help improve the outdoors. We are keen to continue adding partners and facilitating useful data collection for like-minded organizations. As a community, the information our outdoor enthusiasts are sharing is helping to protect the places in which we play, keep the backcountry safer, better understand the effects of climate change, and more. So what are you waiting for? Help us do good. Take us along on your next adventure and have a positive impact on your outdoor community. If you have other ideas or projects you think we should be involved in that can have a positive impact on the outdoors, please reach out to us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org