Leaving a Trace in the Ski Industry

As the ski industry collectively and individually moves toward having a more proactive role in how it affects the planet, we feel there are important niches that can be filled by nonprofit groups and foundations. The Leave a Trace Ski and Ride Foundation has been established to encourage and help people in the snowsports world to leave a trace of their love of riding by spreading it to their local communities and around the globe. In the process we can provide opportunities for people to develop skills, feel good about themselves, and broaden their contacts. Whether you are a manufacturer, a filmmaker, an event sponsor/host, a ski area, or just an individual rider; Leave a Trace Ski and Ride Foundation can help you make a difference.

Jay Cowan, Board Member



Connecting gear and instruction with snow riders around the globe. 

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At Leave a Trace Ski and Ride Foundation, we are dedicated to making a change in the industry. Getting gear to the other side of the planet is by no means an easy feat, but through creative collaboration and global support we can connect good people with good gear.



Provide instruction from professional instructors, athletes, coaches, guides, and industry leaders.



Now is the time to shake up the industry by giving voice to women, indigenous people, under privileged people, youth, and elders from around the globe.


In February 2020 we successfully delivered and distributed six pair of big free-ride skis to instructors and Berber youth at Oukaimeden ski village in Morocco. We are currently working to get 6th graders from the Warm Springs tribe a ski program at Ski Bowl Mount Hood, and the same thing for La Pine students at Mount Bachelor or Willamette Pass. We are also dialoguing with the Lummi Tribe in Washington to help gain support for their newly created ski and ride club. These are initial examples of a vast range of possibilities.

We encourage folks in the ski/ride industry to donate their gear after a trip or expedition, to hold ski swap sales to benefit local snowsports programs for the underprivileged, hire locals for events and films, support and provide mental health services in ski areas and resorts that don’t have them, and create more snowsports programs for indigenous peoples and the disadvantaged.

On a larger scale we need to persuade film-makers to give more back to the locales and people they sometimes seem to treat only as exotic props for their movies. The same goes for manufacturers who like to have beautiful places in their photo shoots and are in positions to leave clothing, paychecks and good will behind. The professional golf tours of the world raise millions for charity every year at each of their event venues and have created a template that could be emulated by the FIS World Cup and XGames and similar snow sports tours.

A number of great programs already exist throughout the industry, and there is room for many more. We just need to keep stepping up our game.




Founder and President Ashley "Uhu" Teren holds a master in education and is a Level III PSIA (Professional Ski Instructors of America)  instructor. She strives to ski and give back to lesser known snowy regions of the globe. Ashley grew up ski racing in Utah and finished her high school education in Islamabad, Pakistan. She spent her college and graduate school years in Hawaii where she became an accomplished spear-fisher woman and completely forgot about skiing. Upon her return to the US mainland, after a 15 year break from skiing, she wholeheartedly immersed herself in the industry by skiing year round, ski/summiting peaks in the summer, and honing her PSIA credentials in the winter. Using frequent flyer miles Ashley travels to shadowy corners of the globe to discover new cultures, new lines, and creative ways to give back to local communities.



Jay Cowan has been writing about skiing, travel, people and politics for the better part of five decades. He has been published in a wide variety of magazines and newspapers around the world and received multiple awards for his work. A longtime former contributing editor at SKI, he currently writes for SNOW and Skiing History among others, and his books include Hunter S. Thompson, The Best of the Alps, In the Land of Living Dangerously, and Scandal Aspen. After growing up and living in Aspen, Colorado, he now resides in Montana and travels as widely and often as possible. “I would like to see skiers and riders and the industry that they support give back more broadly to the people around the planet who we have the ability to reach through our love of snow sports, and I think the Leave a Trace Foundation is a great vehicle for that.”

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Nickolaus Dee Lewis is the co-founder of the Xwelemi Nation Snowboard Family, who's mission is to afford an opportunity for families to experience the wonders of winter sports, and to improve the quality of life for Lummi families promoting health and wellness. Nickolaus is a tribal citizen of the Lummi Nation in Washington State and the Chairman of the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board. Lewis is a veteran of the U.S. Navy (2000 to 2008). He is the grandson of the late Chief Sa-hum-kun (Donald Lewis) and believes that as his grandson he must honor his name by serving his people as his grandfather has done before him.
Prior to his service on Tribal Council, Mr. Lewis worked as a juvenile and adult probation officer where he helped create the first Swift, Certain, and Fair Probation Model for a Native American Tribe, inspired by HOPE Probation in Hawaii. This model was called Lummi Chinqinst Probation, as “Chinqinst” translates to “Beginning to be on the right path.”



Azam is the founder of Hunza Ski Club that works to promote snow sports (ski, ride and ice skate) to the young and talented athletes of Northern Pakistan. Azam Baig is from the legendary Hunza Valley of Northern Pakistan, that was the bases for James Hilton’s Shangri-La in his 1933 novel Lost Horizons. Azam is the son of Jahan Baig who was prominent guide in the Karakoram and Himalaya ranges. Jahan Baig lost his life on a K2 expedition; Azam honors his father legacy by sharing snow sports with the youth of his region. 

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Get in touch with Leave a Trace Ski and Ride Foundation to learn more about our work and how you can get involved.

PO Box 4754 Bend OR 97707 USA


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