Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Cosmic ski race

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Monday, June 16, 2008

We've done gone and moved

T'wasn't my choice. I could have spent my whole life under Blogger's big sky, but corporate winds have driven us to wordtype. Change your links, we've moved to

Captain Jacks motorized designation

Turns out Captain Jacks, a Colorado Springs trail developed by motor bikes, is not officially designated for motorized use. So parks is holding a hearing on whether official motorized use should be granted.
What interests me though, is Captain Jack herself. Here is a nice article on the woman who lends her name to this popular trail (above) and the guest house she ran at the top of the high drive (below.)

First run up Pikes Peak

I did my first run of the year all the way up Barr Trail Sunday. All things considered, it went pretty well. There were only three or four stretches of soft snow. The weather was calm and sunny, and I got up to the summit in 3:04, only walking for a short time on the Golden Stairs.
I saw a number of runners up there, and the usual crowd of tourists amazed that people run at all, let alone up a mountain. Hitch-hiked down. A good time, but I need a little variety, I think next week it will be a different fourteener.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Caught in blizzard on Raineer, man dies to save wife

This is a sad story. Three climbers on Mount Rainier in Washington were caught in a blizzard this week. To survive, they dug a trench for shelter. The man insisted on lying on the bottom to insulate his wife. She made it. He died of hypothermia.

What's in bloom

Here are a few things I've been seeing on the trail. For a great online flower guide courtesy of CSU, click here. Boulder Raspberry, a gorgeous and widespread bush
Chiming bells (seem to prefer dry areas)
wild clematis (a very cool vine)
Unidentified composit (these guys can be tough to correctly identify.)
Rocky Mountain Pentstemon

Barr trail clear of snow

Less than 300 steps in the snow now on the front of Pikes Peak. It's officially open for running.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Colorado Springs has long been a partner in bringing back the nearly extinct black-footed ferret thanks to a breeding program at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Young ferrets are shipped from the zoo every fall to re-introduction sites around the West. One of the must successful is Conata Basin in South Dakota, mostly because the prairie dogs there don't carry plague (which kills both the rodents and the ferrets.) But now, plague has shown up in the basin. Several federal agencies and organizations have begun the battle against plague. They've zeroed in on killing fleas, a known vector of plague, by spraying dust into prairie dog burrows. They are also vaccinating ferrets against plague. But all this is expensive. You can help by “adopting” a black-footed ferret at The funds go directly to protecting ferrets in the Conata Basin.

Keystone bike park delayed by snow

Keystone's Bike Park will open June 28, one week later than planned because of a stubborn snowpack (backcountry skiing is still in excellent condition.) The resort plans to open more than 16 trails, bringing the total mileage of this downhill Mecca to 57.
An adult, unlimited run lift ticket costs $30.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Bear captured in downtown C. Springs

This happened today near Platte and El Paso

Speaking of biking with Obama...

The AP reports he rode his bike this weekend with his family, causing much speculating and hand-wringing amongst pundits (slow news day anyone?). The Right Wing generally questioned whether his somewhat geeky-looking helmet would be another Dukakis moment.
Newsweek says no, this is good politics: "While the press has tended to focus on Obama's connection to black culture in recent weeks, from his reference to Jay-Z's "Dirt Off Your Shoulder" to his fist pound with wife Michelle, the bike photos prove, once and for all, that Obama can be painfully, embarrassingly white as well."

A legend returns... somewhat diminished

Big Sur, a mythical wave of the Colorado River that only appears during flows above 20,000 cfs is back after several years and well... it turns out it is not that exciting. A good story in today's post details how modern boats and kayak parks have diminished the allure of this prodigal wave.
Photo by Scott Willoughby

One expensive commode!

According to the AP, Mount Rainier National Park is "celebrating" the installation of a $70,000 ecologically correct toilet at Cougar Rock Campground.

The toilet was donated by Groundwork Mishima, a group that promotes volunteerism at Mount Fuji, which has a "sister mountain" relationship with the park.
The toilet was installed with the help of students from the Japanese Volunteers-in-Parks Association.
The toilet uses cedar chips and natural composting to operate with little water or odor.
Here's a volunteers group blog post about it.


When asked to choose an answer to the following question, “You are lost in the woods and a storm is coming, who would you choose to lead you to safety?” respondents to The Great Outdoor Survey voted for Homer Simpson more often than George W. Bush. Barack Obama came out on top when it comes to leading Americans out of the woods during a storm, while Sen. Hillary Clinton was a close second and Sen. John McCain ranked third.

If the choice is finding a conversation partner for a long day hike, Oprah Winfrey tops the list with Bill Gates coming in second, the Pope garnering third, and George Clooney nabbing fourth. President Bush was a last choice yet again.

And who wins as a partner for a long bike ride? The nod goes once again to Obama. I just hope he really stopped smoking.

Aspen reopens this weekend

Don't put those skis away.

Aspen Skiing Co. said it will open the top of Aspen Mountain for skiing this weekend because there's so much snow.
It's a first for the resort, said spokesman Jeff Hanle.
An average depth of more than 3 feet on the upper slopes will allow the ski area to open seven runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. About 45 acres of mainly intermediate terrain served by the Ajax Express chairlift will be available.
Aspen/Snowmass Premier, Silver and 6-and-under passholders can ski for free. Other pass- holders pay discounted rates.
Adult single-day tickets will be $29 a day, youth and seniors will pay $26, and children's tickets will cost $18.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Roan Plateau goes on the block

The Bureau of Land Management in Colorado plans to auction oil and gas development rights on 55,186 acres in the Roan Plateau
Planning Area August 14. It is the latest development in an on-going struggle between energy needs (evidenced by higher prices and an explosion of gas wells in the surrounding mesas) and a wide-spread local effort to preserve the relatively pristine and wildlife-rich plateau which rises north of Rifle.
As a compromise, the BLM requires stipulations to protect the area’s streams, wildlife habitat and landscape views. Leases on top of the plateau will requird phased, ridge-by-ridge development, in which only one operator conducts operations on behalf of all leassees, which in theory, allows the BLM to exert tight control over oil and gas development, while consolidating infrastructure like roads, power lines and pipelines.

Elk Park Trail Clear

I just got back from a trip to Barr Camp, and except for a six-foot stretch of snow, Elk Park Trail is good to go. Already have seen several bike tracks on this popular ride and hike, and passed a pick-up full of down-hillers on their way up today.