Colorado’s Business Leaders Preserving Our Iconic Winters

By: Peter Arlein
  • Family of four stands in grass in front of a mountain, advocating for iconic winters

From cruisy hills to steep slopes, when it comes to backcountry skiing, the weight of your gear is the name of the game. Keeping your skis light plays a significant role in how far you can go, how long it takes you to get there, and how much fun you have along the way.

As an avid backcountry skier, these are the things I live for and the reasons I went searching for the perfect ski-wax on the market — a product that was high performing but also sustainable.

The only problem was, it didn’t exist.

Nearly all ski wax is created with petroleum and fluorocarbons, both of which can be extremely harmful to our environment and health.

Headshot of Peter Arlein, founder and CEO of MountainFLOW eco-wax, works to preserve Colorado's iconic winters

Peter Arlein, Founder & CEO of mountainFLOW eco-wax

As you ski, small pieces of wax are pulled out of your ski bases and into the snow. When the snow melts, the harmful petroleum-based chemicals found in the wax flow into creeks, streams, rivers, and reservoirs. Once they’re in our groundwater systems, they’re a real concern for both wildlife habitat and drinking water supplies. This is especially true when you consider that during a single ski season millions of pounds of ski wax enter the environment.

That’s crazy, right?

If you’re like me, you’d be asking yourself, “why not come up with a plant-based alternative?”

mountainFLOW's eco-wax, a ski wax made entirely from plants

mountainFLOW’s plant-based ski waxes

This is the question that led me and my team on a multi-year journey of research, product testing, head scratching, iteration — and ultimately the creation of a revolutionary product.

MountainFLOW’s eco-wax is the only plant-based ski wax in North America. It works as well as conventional ski wax, without any of the negative environmental impacts. 

It’s our belief that eco-friendly and high-performance products shouldn’t be mutually exclusive — we’re proud to be leading on both fronts.

And much like us, Conservation Colorado is using common-sense solutions to lead on environmental issues. That’s why we’re so excited to work with them in a coalition of Colorado Outdoor Business Alliance (COBA) members advocating for the unique competitive advantages that conservation values bring to our businesses and way of life.

We recognize that climate change, driven by the petroleum industry, threatens Colorado’s unmatched recreation opportunities and our thriving outdoor-based economy. A shallower snowpack and shorter ski season would be devastating to winter sports businesses like mine and the tens of thousands of jobs that they provide statewide.

As skiers and Colorado-based business owners, it’s our job to get the word out there about common-sense solutions that benefit our customers, our bottom lines, and the mountain environments that we love.

But we can’t do it alone.

If we as Coloradans want to ensure our iconic winters will be around for the next generation, we’ll need leadership at all levels: local, state, and federal. It’s up to us to see that Colorado sets an example for the nation.

And we each have a role to play.

By making a contribution to support the advocacy work that businesses like ours and Conservation Colorado are doing to help Colorado lead the way on bold climate policies, you can do your part to leave an outdoor legacy for the future.