Enjoy the journey and leave nothing behind!
Dennis Marx – livingtheunknown.com
Michi Reinhardt - Photographer // www.michireinhardt.com

Standing on the balcony of our old flat in Berchtesgaden, I was cold, even with my sweater and jacket on, but it didn’t matter. I felt paralyzed from that special cold smell in the air only winter could give. “A perfect day for staying home”, my mom used to say on days like this. But already as a kid I couldn’t help myself and had to go out! For my childhood nature was essential. I used to play outside no matter what the weather was like. To me the woods simply were the best thing you could imagine. And mother nature still is the best thing you can imagine.

And that’s the reason mankind should protect its winters, mountains and all of wild mother nature. Our  mountain ranges aren‘t here to be preyed by industrial projects. Like to generate hydroelectricity by buidling dams or to build new slopes for ski tourism. It’s a place to protect, a place to worship.
And that’s a thing I’m trying to dedicate my life to. I’m not saying I already dedicated my life to protecting nature, I’m simply trying. I’m trying in my everyday life with my family. It starts when it comes to grocery shopping and keeping the trash as little as possible. Especially plastic trash is what I‘m trying to avoid. Taking the bicycle instead of the car sometimes is a good option to. As I told you, I used to play outside since I was little. Already back then my parents told me not to throw a single thing away and to leave nothing behind. Over the years and also because of me snowboarding this became more and more importent to me. So I‘ll never leave any trash behinde and mostly I even collect the trash of others on my tours. I‘m always trying to leave the smallest footprint I can, in all my actions. 

You might think “what the hell has all this to do with snowboarding”. Well this the hell, has everything to do with snowboarding. Snowboarding is not only about spinning the shit out of yourself on a huge kicker that could also be built in a snow dome. Snowboarding is a lifestyle, it’s a spirit. And that spirit of snowboarding could never survive in a snow dome. It needs real snow, glaciers, mountains, pillow fields in the middle of nowhere, tree runs on a wild mountainside.

Of course, I would love to explore some of the world’s most remote mountain areas somewhere in Canada, Patagonia or Alaska, but first of all I’d like to raise awareness of how much of our nature we already sold here in Europe. Sold for what? I just have to look at the valley in Tyrol I live now. There are 515 km of slopes and 179 high-tech cable cars and ski lifts in four ski regions that will take you quickly and comfortably from 580m up to 3,250m above sea level.

Do we really need more and more all the time, does everything has to be comfortable to reach, or is it actually the effort of a long hike that gives you this good feeling. The special feeling of having achieved something, so you really earned that run. And that’s why I fell in love with splitboarding.

But it’s not only about achievement, it’s also about the escape. You have to understand: In everyday life I’m just another consumer, another citizen, obeying the system. But out there, in the mountains, there is just me.

Down in the valley I have to obey rules of conduct, like which way to go, or waiting in lines. But up here are other rules to follow, quite more important. Here you have to check on weather, terrain and snowpack conditions. Even though a mistake in the wildness can be fatal, there is something liberating in that. The liberation of only obeying mother nature’s rules. I just feel alive out there.

When I came to plan the Mizu Mission thousands of ideas came to my mind. Like which mountain would be the most spectacular one, or which line would be the most impressive. But then I realized I had to think outside the box: It shouldn’t be about the most sensational photos. It rather should be about raising awareness.

Earlier in this article I told you, I feel alive out there and I want you to feel alive out there too. So, if we don’t stop cultivate all of our mountain ranges and leaving trash behind, there is not much to fell alive about out there anymore. So, what makes this Mizu Mission so special is, raising awareness of an almost lost battle.

A battle against trash, a battle against exaggerated tourism, a battle against too much mountain construction. Please don’t misunderstand me, we are all tourists somewhere and beautiful places should be shared, but there is a thin line between tourism and exaggerated tourism. And no matter if you are local or just a visitor, leave nothing behind, there is already so much trash out there. Instead of taking some up, you better take some trash down. If I find some cigarette butts on one of my tours or other trash I always put them in my pockets. Gross! I know, but to me it’s even more disgusting leaving them up on the mountain. If we don’t protect the few beautiful places we have left, there won’t be beautiful places in the future. Who wants to hike up a mountain full of garbage, beside a cable care, while tourists are taking pictures?

A reason why I simply love the brand Mizu is because they follow the spirit of protection and give all of us a great way not to produce more trash. Mizu offers a big arrangement of reusable stuff, that I use in all of my tours and in my everyday life. Throughout this Mizu Mission I was well fitted with great products, that made my journey sustainable and comfortable.

I bet there are hundreds out there who feel just like I do, so let’s get together and save our nature, our mountains, our winters. I beg you not to leave trash behind, I beg you to be aware of all your actions. “Enjoy the journey” and “leave nothing behind”.