Aspen/Snowmass sessions a coal mine in “Our Story” ep. 2

October 31st, 2013 by

In the second episode of Aspen/Snowmass’ Our Story the resort outlines its Coal Mine Methane Project. Aspen Ski Co. invested in a coal mine in Somerset, Colorado, and is capturing the dangerous methane gas that it vents, and using that gas to generate electricity. This latest episode tells that story in a way that certainly resonates with freeskiers.

“Auden Schendler, he’s our VP of sustainability, he’s been heading up the Coal Mine Methane Project,” says Meredith McKee, public relations guru for Aspen Ski Co. “We’re creating as much energy at the coal mine, two hours away, that we use in an entire year as a company.”

Logistically, this project, [shooting episode 2], was difficult to put together. The coal mine is two hours from the resort, and Aspen/Snowmass had to figure out how it would get materials out there, as well as the team athletes it needed. “That was one of our biggest challenges, was, ‘How do we get out there? How do we film this?’” says McKee. “It wasn’t on our mountain, so [Schendler] has been a huge help in making those connections in Somerset to get us out there.”

Episode 2 of Aspen/Snowmass’ Our Story – Coal Mine

As outlined in this episode, Aspen/Snowmass generates 24 million kilowatt hours annually from the project, enough energy to power 2,400 homes. There are also only three coal mine methane power plants in the United States, and the resort plans to change that.

“We’ve always had a partnership, because our power comes from coal,” Schendler explains in the video. “And now we’re saying, ‘Let’s find a cleaner way to get that power.”

Sad as it may be, promoting energy efficiency ain’t glamorous. So, how to capture the masses’ attention? Aspen/Snowmass brought a couple of its team riders, including Aidan Sheahan and Matt Walker, to the coal mine to session a rail set-up. The result is a video that captivates on multiple levels. The group’s efforts also yielded a unique print advertisement, appearing in the 2013 Resort Guide.

Aspen/Snowmass will be releasing new episodes  of Our Story every week; be sure to follow Aspen/Snowmass on Twitter and Facebook for news re: upcoming episodes.

Related: Telling the true narrative of Aspen/Snowmass in Our Story

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About the author:
Donny O'Neill hails from the mystical, faraway land of New Hartford, CT. When he's not in the mountains searching for Big Foot, he's the Associate Editor here at Freeskier.