I'm feeling really excited.
Just I can't wait to see where the journey takes me.
You know, this is just a very, very beginn Today on Windows to the Wild.
Gabriel Andrus takes us on a jou inspired by a photograph.
He wraps his arms around winter in New Hampshire to share its magic and its challenges.
So the cooking all happens on this old coal sto We got to keep it going.
We met Gabriel a few years ago in the galley of a schooner.
He was aboard the Shenandoah, working on an outdoor education program with students.
I kind of have to step outside your comfort zone in order to start learning and on the boa you know, it's a novel environme and they're all working together Gabriel stayed in touch with us about his work on the schooner and his love of film making.
What we learned is that he had a story of his ow on the front burner right now I'’’m planning, and I am the length of New Hampshire from the Canadian border all the way south to my home town of Walpole, New Hampshire, to experience the new Hampshire winter landscape firsthand and o how it's changing along the way.
Gabriel will film his adventure.
He's making a documentary about winter in New Hampshire.
Up in here until you get like on the main trail.
And that really is the premise f project is what winter was, what it is now and what it's becoming.
So any pre-trip jitters?
Yeah, I mean, there's definitely nerves for sure.
I think it would be I'd be more if I didn't have nerves.
He figures the trip will take about 20 days to complete.
He packs what he needs food, a t a sleeping bag and camera gear.
and my camera is right here.
It's, you know, obviously, it's a litt racking being a parent, but, I m kind of used to it with Gabe.
The various things he's done throughout his life, starting when he was, I would say, you know, in his at 12, 13 years you know, he's always been outdo mountain biking, swimming, climbing, whatever, you know.
So this is just a next level, if you will, for him, I think.
So, yeah, we're pretty excited for him.
Ye I feel really happy to be immers in this winter landscape because a lot of this winter hasn't felt super wintry.
So it's really special to come n and really to see all the trees laden with snow.
Gabriel loves winter and he's about to spend a lot of knee deep in it.
Yeah, but you got to go up there see that?
You know, there's this huge feeling of just almost and just anticipation and like t wash of excitement that's been washed over me because of how mu has gone into this exact moment, starting the journey.
His curiosity about what's happe to winter in New Hampshire came from a photograph, this pho But I think back to that initial that I saw flipping through the album with my grandpa a year ago, and just seeing those pictures o as a kid next to these massive snow banks drifts, these old black and whit and just being really inspired and wanting to learn more about wanting to learn more about my g his connection to the winter lan Am I supposed to be looking at t Or just yapping?
You can just look at me.
Oh, good God, I have to?
That's Bryant Andrus, Gabriel's grandfa Along with a sense of humor.
He has great memories of what wi were like when he was a kid.
He's got his grandson thinking about it, too, to.
I think we used to get more snow.
Not necessarily deeper snow, but more storms wit snow you had to really move, which was kind of a pain at time Sometimes you couldn't get away from the house for a we because the roads weren't open.
With my grandfather.
He's been keeping a weather log, I think, for the past 20 years, not his entire lifetime, but for the past 20 years or so, been keeping a daily weather log And he writes little illustratio of what the weather looks like o My grandmother, my father's moth Yeah, she did the exact very similar t She kept a really close journal of daily activities, plu She was a big bird watcher, so she always kept track of the birds up, come to h feeder.
Something simi Yes.
Pretty neat, actually.
Now, it skipped a generation.
Skipped right over me to Gabe.
All right, here we go.
With provisions packed on a sled Gabriel begins his 280 mile trip south from the Canadian border t New Hampshire.
A quick wave to the Border Patro and he's on his way.
The journey Gabriel is taking began months ago.
He set out across the state to m who could tell him what's happen to the winter that his grandfath So I moved to New Hampshire from in the eighties, late eighties.
And one of the first things we d when we got here was my parents took us skiing.
So we're going to head over to t frost tubes.
One of the people Gabriel filmed is Elizabeth Burakovsky.
She teaches at the University of New Hampshire, and her love of winter began as I have very vivid memories of our first time skiing, and it was an immediate like, I' going to do this for the rest of And then I've also been cross-co skiing for a number of years now And having trails everywhere in New Hampshire really facilita Not having snow everywhere in Ne Hampshire makes it a lot more di Today, Elizabeth, studies and teaches about global environmental chang So what we have here is marked in black as 2022.
That's our ground line.
Things like deforestation and ho it might affect New Hampshire sn Her interest in it began years a while working with other scienti on the Gulf of Maine.
A report on New Hampshire's climate got her attention.
And reading that report, you kno two things that confirmed my exp One was that the Gulf of Maine i really fast.
It's one of the fastest warming of water on Earth.
And the other was that winter in Hampshire was our fastest warmin And as a skier and rider who had been skiing since the ei you know, 20 years later in the early 2000 seeing that experience confirmed in data was powerful for me.
And I wanted to do more about it I wanted to know more about why it was warming, how much has it How much snow have we lost?
We'’’re in the heart of the mounta now, heart of the White Mountain Up here at Zealand campground.
Oh, look at those beautiful spruce laden hills.
It's like we found winter up here in the north.
What do you think so far?
Oh, it's so good.
It's just surreal to be out here everything that's gone into the project and just to be in this beautiful win wonderland is incredible and makes me so excited for ever that's to come and to really fee and experience the state of New wholly and completely in the natural flora and fauna.
And I'm really excited to just immerse myself in winter.
I grew up skiing.
I love winter time.
We had the chance to talk with G a month before he began his ski What you see behind him should b We're in the seacoast area of New Hampshire.
When winter looks a bit differen than it should.
My colleagues and I at UNH and other organizations took a m term look at how winter has chan over the past like hundred years So since the early 1900s to toda we've lost about three weeks of in New Hampshire.
And it's substantial.
That means not just warmer tempe You know, we are losing our cold but we're also losing extreme co So those temperatures that are c enough to kill off nasty bugs like Hemlock Wooly Ad which we're battling here in our right now, or emerald ash borer.
That's sickening our ash trees, I mean, cold temperatures are part of the ingredients for keeping those pests at bay.
So we've seen these warming tren that have really clearly pointed to a loss and especially extreme cold.
We've also seen the trends point towards three weeks less of snow And when I'm talking about snow I'm talking about natural snow c not technical snow made by snow making machine And that loss of snow cover has impacts, again, not just on skiing, but also on our ecosystems.
And when I look at, again, the cultural aspect, the loss of snow has an impact on some people's moods.
It's it changes your perspective it means to be winter in New Ham And that to me is is concerning.
Gabriel met with people who expe winter in a variety of ways.
They study it, they play in it, and their livelihoods depend on Farmers got to talk to some farm and it affects haying in the hay And because you don't have that of snow over the hay, what happe the in the spring when everythin you can get freeze and it kills And so there's big swaths of hay that they need to replant.
All the people I've been able to it's been one of the greatest pa about this project, I think so far is all the connec but I think really what I've learned overall is tha people love winter.
People see what's happening to winter t and there's a general consensus that there's something that we should we should do about it.
Oh, It's the sun.
Oh, there it goes.
sun came out.
Fog is lifted.
See the hills around.
Feels so nice.
My hip having a weird hip thing but kind of working through it f I'm feeling pretty good.
Stoked that the sun.
The sun is out.
A little break in the clouds the trail.
Gabriel is on is an important economic corridor for the state.
It's where people from New Engla and beyond come to play and spend money winter attracts skiers, snowmobilers, and people who want to leave the city behin According to the state, that's worth more than $150 million a year.
But without snow, people stay aw And what we found is that during those warm snowless winters that are equally challenging to even make snow, we would see a loss of about a billion dollars in economic ac across the United States.
And when we looked at the number of skier in the state of New Hampshire, our warm, snowy years cost us about 20% decline in skier visitation.
And there's also a cascade of ecological effects that, you changing winter has on animals a And I've gotten to learn so much meeting so many amazing people about the effects of climate cha on winter in New Hampshire.
And I feel really impassioned to share the beauty of this land with people and help people connect to it.
When I wrote an op ed for The Gu back in 2015, one of the last li in there was like, you know, if we don't act on cli change, the loss of skiing is go one of our least concerns.
And I still believe that to this Gabriel moves across 15 miles of each day, and with each day, the snowpack becomes thinner.
Once daylight slips away, it's time to stop, set up camp and reflect.
Camp is all set up cozy, homey, lovely, beautiful s Hear the distant sound of snowmo amongst these beautiful spruce and fir and moose.
Saw some moose tracks on the way Kind of do my weather observatio I'll be interested to see how much snow is up here.
I mean, you're just sitting in y and peek out at the stars and su by blanketed snowy landscape is really a spec special moment and reflect on my relationship with my grandfat and doing daily weather log, sor to connect with him in that way and have that in common with him Do that daily weather observatio like he does.
And as I got further and further south and saw winter sort of slo dissipate and melt and fade away it affected me.
I was I was sad to see it and I realized that I really don't want to focus on the loss of winter.
I think as a person I tried to hang on to hope and o and really trying to communicate that in this film as well because there are a lot of solut out there.
We have the solutions.
There's things that people can do as individual and there's stuff that we can do as a state and as that can make a difference.
So that gives me a lot of hope and, you know, younger generatio you know, kids and, you know, that all gives me a lot of hope for t when we think about what is going to happen in the f I mean, that's what's happened in the past.
So We've already bought into that a accepted that that's what happen When we look into the future now we have choices.
We can't change the past, but we can make decisions moving to change the trajectory that we're on for future winters And when we act, you know, in a that is getting people to come t to reduce fossil fuel burning, r the emissions of greenhouse gase to embrace energy efficiency and use less energy overall, we see a future that's that's actually not too b You can you can save, you know, a good a good chunk of by doing that.
First and foremost, when people are done watching th I want them to feel inspired.
I want them to feel hopeful.
I really want people to initiall watch the film and just be like, like winter is beautiful and there's something that we ca You know, there's there is hope and just w feeling inspired.
So in creating this film, I've t a lot of different perspectives.
I am taking a lot of different perspectives, and I really want it to be unify as well and help people realize this winter is something that we are all a winter in New is something that we all are a p We found Gabriel on the trail a week after he left us at the Canadian border.
Thanks so much.
Last night sleeping.
It was pretty warm.
I have a -20 sleeping bag, so I'm like super warm most nights, especially with the weather that we've been having.
So I usually kind of sleep like half out of my sle And then it snowed sort of in th of the night and kept snowing.
Was nice to wake up to.
A fresh layer of snow is the fir since the beginning of the trip that I've woken up to the snow.
Besides the time that it rained, my route has been adjusted.
Initially, I was going to go through the Pemigewasset Wildern but I've had some equipment issu The sole on the boot is starting to separate duct tape is working and for now.
So we'll see how that holds up.
And also, I just feel a little b having a little bit more time to prepare a route, like a more detailed route through the Pemmy And the warm w we've had makes some of the stre crossings questionable.
And in the forecast, you have some really warm days.
I've definitely been surprised by the lack of snow on some of the trails and just how little snow there is even he So it makes me a little nervous how much further I'm going to be able to go The pace has really been ground to a really slow, slow pace is slow, slow pace because of the lack of snow and slow going.
Long day, hoping to make it to camp before After ten days and 158 miles on Gabriel ends his journey and ret home.
He encountered an adversary he couldn't beat.
I was really only able to make i on skis, made it to around the Thornton Campton area of New Hampshire.
So that was about halfway.
And the snow even started to thi as I was coming down into the White Mountains and Jef and even up to Milan, some of the trails are starting to kind of see bare spots.
And I was really surprised to se thinning that soon.
Gabriel skied as far as winter would take him.
He leaves the trail earlier than but takes a lot of experiences w My initial goal with the expedit was to make it back here to Walp I'd be coming right up this hill and that was my initial goal to make it to Walpole, to ski he and to hike a little bit if nece But I came up short on that goal because of how early I had to st So in that sense I came up short of the goal.
But I think in personally the goal was always to go out th and to really just connect with the winter landscape and be able to share that with other people through the fi So in that sense, I think I acco the goal making our way down sou to see the mountain.
Oh, oh, you can see the presidential ran Oh my God.
Check it out.
There they are.
I realize that this story is so much bigger than just one journey, and so it's sort of been like a journey of m as a filmmaker and young person, just trying to figure out how to the rapidly changing world and what I can do to sort of help and communicate in something that I love.
This is one small part of a very big issue.
But I think when you can break i and find that passion and approa excitement and enthusiasm and co through something that you love, which for me is wintertime and for a lot of the people that is winter time, I think you can do a lot of good when you come at it from that passionate, inspired perspective.
It'’’s been a joy to share Gabriel and journey into New Hampshire's I'm Willem Lange and I hope to see you again on Windows to the Wild.
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Ugh, I'm going to make the outtakes.