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Pro Climbers Travel For a Living. Can They Also be Climate Advocates?

Piolet d’Or-winning alpinist Graham Zimmerman shows how you don't need to be environmentally perfect to be a powerful advocate for the environment.

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Climbers travel to climb. We drive to the gym. We drive eight or ten or thirty hours so we can spend a week at some storied crag. Every once in a while, if we’re privileged or driven or both, we hop on a plane and spew exhaust across the continent or an ocean or an ocean and a continent.

But professional climbers? They travel a lot.

Travel is both a privilege and a cost of being a pro, says Graham Zimmerman, a Piolet d’Or-winning alpinist and Protect Our Winters advocate. It means: “a lot of plane flights, a lot of time sitting in the car, a lot of ropes, a lot of tents, a lot of jackets.”

As someone who lives such a high-carbon life, “who am I to be an advocate for climate change?” Zimmerman asks. Wouldn’t his efforts at activism just come across as a hypocritical?

“An Imperfect Advocate,” a new film released by Protect Our Winters (produced by Bedrock Film Works, hosted by Outside TV), dives into that morass and ultimately demonstrates how each of us, despite our day-to-day imperfections, can also become agents of change—and why we must.

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