Monday, July 30, 2007

Your 2 cents on Vail Pass

Let the forest service know about your last winter experience on Vail Pass with this on-line survey.
Most of the questions center around motorized, non-motorized conflict. I encouraged them to charge by the car, not the skier, to encourage carpooling.

Colorado goes hi-res

We just got a note saying the whole state of Colorado is now high resolution on Google Earth.
For a long time, any spot far from the urban corridors has been a pixilated blur. Now, no matter where you fly on the map, you get good, clear images. The detail is high enough that I can even show you the trail I took up South Maroon Peak this weekend. See above.
Actually, it was so socked in when I was there, that I couldn't see a thing, so it's nice to see it on the map. Google Earth is the coolest.

No young lynx found this year

The Colorado Division of Wildlife recently completed its annual search for lynx kittens. No dens with kittens were found this year. Although disappointing, the DOW said, the result was not completely unexpected given the biology of lynx and snowshoe hares, their primary prey item.
DOW biologists and researchers believe that the lack of lynx reproduction is most likely due to a decline in snowshoe hare numbers as part of a natural cycle in hare abundance. In Canada, it is well known that the population of lynx fluctuates with the cycles of snowshoe hare population. No formal studies have been conducted to determine if snowshoe hare populations fluctuate in Colorado.

The agency started a study in early 2006. In the spring of 2006, DOW researchers found only four lynx dens and a total of 11 kittens, a large decline from the three previous years. Researchers now suspect that this was an indication that the drop in the snowshoe hare population might have started in late 2005 or early 2006. DOW biologists estimate that at least 125 cats are alive. Trapping operations last winter found that adult animals were in good physical condition. But few of the kittens born in 2005 and 2006 survived.

No new lynx were released last winter because of the low reproduction rate during 2006. Biologists were concerned that adding more cats could disrupt some of the lynx natural social structures or contribute to food-shortage problems.The DOW started planning the lynx reintroduction program in 1997. 218 lynx have been reintroduced. 116 lynx kittens are known to have been born in Colorado.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Uphill battle for Trans-Rockies run

A seven-day, 130-mile trail running race from Beaver Creek to Leadville to Aspen planned for this September has hit some road blocks, according to the Aspen Daily News. The TransRockies Run, a fully-supported stage race with a minimum $1,250 entry fee is being barraged by concerns of local agencies. The permitting process for a race this vast is huge. Organizers have to deal with various federal and local managers. Some of them, including the Division of Wildlife and locals in Woody Creek near Aspen are not too thrilled, and are considering denying a permit, the story said.
"This is a luxury footrace, something the community has been asked to bend over backwards for. Woody Creek is just not interested. We don't see the benefits to having the event at all," Ann Owsley of the Woody Creek Caucus told the news.

Thomas Trail pix here







Hope this'll work. I'm trying to post from a La Quinta Inn in Albuquerque. I may have to ask my colleagues in the Springs to lend a hand.

This trail above Green Mountain Falls is fun. It's not difficult, and the lower part isn't long, but it isn't flat, either. It's the sort of trail my friends and I would have staked out as kids, playing army or jungle warriors - lots of up and down, rocks and trees, places to set up an ambush.

Take a short hike or run along the bottom stretch or set aside a few hours for the loop. Lunch in the Garden of Eden sounds great right now.

This is a good trail on a hot day - plenty of shade. And be kind to the folks who live near the trailhead and park down below in town. You're out for a hike, so what's it matter to add a few blocks?

What trails do you hike when it's hot out?

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Colorado Trail Race leaders in

The first bikers in the unofficial, un-sanctioned, Colorado Trail Race finished late Tuesday in Durango, after starting the race in Denver five days and about five hours before. The racers are required to call in an leave a message at certain towns. At the final one, the leader, Jefe Branham, called in and said "As you can imagine, I'm pretty whooped" but he said he was already thinking about doing it next year. If you're "thinking" about doing a race again in the hours just after it when the suffering is still in your mind, then you'll almost certainly be back.
Congrats to all those guys on a true, pure athletic achievement. And luck to the many who are still on the trail.

Breakfast talk: physical therapy

I'm at the U.S. open mountainboarding championships in Snowmass right now, after a great late night drive over Independence Pass. (You've gotta hand it to the inflential people in Aspen. I assume they lean on whoever mentions improving and widening the pass. That keeps the RV riffraff out.)
Anyway, most of the mountainboarders here for the competition are staying at the same hotel. And most of them went, like me to the free breakfast downstairs. And what were they talking about? Maybe this isn't surprising: injuries.

Falling on a snowboard usually doesn't hurt. You slide on snow.

Mountainboarders often say the advantage of their snowboard-like sport is that snow melts, but dirt doesn't.

True. But snow is often soft and fluffy, and even when hard, at least it lets those who fall slide with minimal rending of skin.

Not so dirt. And so these guys are pretty beat up. I see a lot of scarred knees. The competition starts this morning. People are literally here from all over the world. Should be exciting.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Tour leader booted from race

Tour de France leader Michael Rasmussen of Denmark has been removed from the race. (ABC News says he was "sensationally expelled!")

No one is saying it was related to drug use at an event rocked by a series of doping scandals.

“Michael Rasmussen has been sent home for violating (the team’s) internal rules,” Rabobank team spokesman Jacob Bergsma told The Associated Press by phone today.

The expulsion, which Bergsma said was ordered by the Dutch team sponsor, was linked to “incorrect” information that Rasmussen gave to the team’s sports director over his whereabouts last month. Rasmussen missed random drug tests May 8 and June 28.

The 33-year-old rider, who won today’s stage, had looked set to win the race, which ends Sunday in Paris. But Tour officials questioned why he was allowed to take the start on July 7 in London, England.

“We cannot say that Rasmussen cheated, but his flippancy and his lies on his whereabouts had become unbearable,” Tour director Christian Prudhomme told the AP.

TV and Out There writer Andy Wineke and I were talking about throwing the race open to whatever enhancements a rider wants. Pump yourself up, and let's see who really flies. At this point, you wonder why not?

Where's Dave?

I'm up in the mountains, working on a profile on local godfather of mountain boarding, Jason Lee. Hopefully, we'll be blogging remotely from beautiful Snowmass.

Colorado Trail Race grinds on

The first racers in this multi-day, unsupported, unofficial mountain bike race on the Colorado Trail are almost through Silverton. Not far to go now to the finish in Durango. They may finish today. The rest of the pack is strung out over perhaps 100 miles. Track their progress here.

See short video interview with the current leader just outside Lake City on YouTube Here

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Crock Epidemic

How a heinous synthetic shoe conquered the world... from Slate.com.
Read the full story here.

More dope at Tour de France

PAU, France (AP) -- Tour de France rider Alexandre Vinokourov, one of the strongest riders, tested positive for a banned blood transfusion after winning last weekend's time trial, prompting his Astana team to pull out of the race.
The positive test of the Kazakh rider, a one-time favorite to win cycling's premier event, dealt a heavy blow to a sport already reeling from a spate of doping scandals.
"Vino has tested positive having to do with a blood transfusion and the team is leaving the Tour," team spokeswoman Corinne Druey said, using the rider's nickname.

Follow the Colorado Trail Race

A handful of riders competing in an unofficial, unsponsored, no prize endurance bike race across the Rocky Mountains from Denver to Durango are now probably somewhere near Buena Vista. You can track their progress here.
This is an increasingly big trend. Insurance and regulations have put barriers in front of racing, and racers have found their way around it.

What's hot for 2008? Wheat accents

It's easy to forget the outdoor gear industry and the fashion industry have many close links. After all, much of the design is done by not-all-that-rugged trained fashion designers in New York and on the West Coast (and all over the Pacific Rim.) And retailers follow fashion trends closely. Probably not surprising, but a bit funny when you think about how many outdoor pursuits are in theory anti-fashion.
Anyway, I think this e-mail send out to outdoor industry folks by fashion color expert Dawn Rae Knoth , concerning "hot colors for 2008," is an insightful window into that outdoor fashion bridge. It's also quite funny, since, in spotting trends, she names pretty much every color out there.

Fresh colors
In the warmer months, we tend to dress with a little more color. Spring 2008 will offer many options to help us get out of winter doldrums. Fresh, clean colors like grassy greens, punchy oranges and bright reds bring a joyful sense of youth to the palette.

Pale tones
For the most part, spring 2008 colors range from mid-tone to pale. The palette is visually light. So, we see many hues with only the slightest hint of color. Soft gray is one of the most significant neutrals of the season. Also, pay attention to whispers of yellow, mint, pink and lavender, and a range of warm neutrals. Don't forget white. It's still critical to appearing modern and crisp.

Blues & blue greens
Blues and blue greens continue to be a strong theme. The hues range from electric, athletic blues to swimming turquoises to weathered denim to deep lagoon. There is a wide range here, definitely something for the most conservative customer to the most progressive. I especially love the combination of pool-like blues with poppy.

Natural & muted colors
When people tend to feel pessimistic, they are drawn towards brighter, happier colors. Recently, the general mood has become more positive and we see this reflected in the rising number of natural and muted colors in the spring 2008 palette. Some of my favorites this season are the rustic oranges, ochres and sable reds.Rich darks A few darks balance the palette and add richness.

Deep, dark brown -- almost black -- is one key color.
Navy, dark cedar and earthy or berry deep reds are others.Accent colors Similar to fall 2007, the most popular accent colors this season are yellow-inspired. Gold, lime and yellow add a fun hit of color. The brighter and clearer the hue, the faster and more athletic the look. For a more urban or casual feel, look for gold or wheat accents.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Climb a 14er this weekend? Compare your time

In the era of the Internet, you have to expect someone to keep a running tally of just about every record. No different with Colorado's 14ers.
A list of the most speedy climbs is compiled here.
Some of the records are for straight forward ascents, such as a round-trip of Quandry Peak in 1 hour, 45 minutes. Others are standing challenges much discussed by locals, but often kept out of the guide books, such as the Nolan's 14 (All 14 14er's in the Sawatch Rang -- 90 miles with 44,000 vertical feet of climbing.) in 54 hours, 57 minutes.

Friday, July 20, 2007

I bet that made a dent

An adult, female grizzly died after being struck by a motor vehicle on U.S. 2 about 10 miles east of West Glacier, Montana. The highway in that area runs along the southern boundary of Glacier National Park.

The bear had been lactating, but no cubs were found. She was 10 to 12 years old and weighed about 300 pounds.

No one has reported hitting the bear.

Cat season

It’s never to early to think about great powder skiing.
Monarch is now taking full Snowcat reservations for the 2007-2008 season. Rent the whole cat, get a bit of a discount, and make sure you're not waiting on slowpokes when the skiing is truly prime. If you have questions or want to reserve your space, call group sales at 888-996-7669 Ext. 5101 or locally at 719-530-5101. Email questions/reservations to me at: connie@skimonarch.com.

Colorado Springs geology rocks!

OK, it's a bad pun, but seriously, where else can you find over a billion years of the geologic record exposed in the city limits? When the Rockies popped up about 70 million years ago, during what's called the Laramide orogeny, they upended hundreds of millions of years of ancient seas, deserts and forests that had been hidden by time (click on the map above for a larger view.) There's a brief explanation of the different layers visible in Garden of the Gods here.
Unfortunately, the Colorado Springs area doesn't have a good, on-line tour of local geology, but the rocks near Golden, 70 miles north, are almost identical, and they do have a good guide, with pictures. Check it out.
The west side of Pikes Peak is a whole different story, instead of up-ended sedimentary beds, it's a complex of volcanic debris and lake sediments that created, among other things, the Florissant Fossil Beds.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Crankworx live webcast

Miss the Crankworx competition at Winter Park? We'll give you an update on the scene and why it's exploding in next Friday's Out There.

Keen to watch the stunts live (there's some sick riding going on at the resorts this summer)? Check out the live webcasts on Rip.TV during the Kokanee Crankworx Slopestyle finals, 6-8 p.m. July 28, at Whistler.

Last year 15,000 watched on site as Cameron Zink of Dayton, Nevada, landed a backflip X-up one-footer.

This year's event should feature two-time champ Paul Basagoitia, Cam McCaul, Darren Berrecloth and Jamie Goldman.

Catch a berm


Anyone around here a dirtsurfer?

Just got an e-mail: A dirtsurfing crew is coming to Denver and doing demos next week before and after the US Open Mountainboarding Championships at Snowmass. Been mountainboarding, but not dirt surfing. Check it out here.

Apparently pro dirtsurfer Quin-Lee Ng lives in Denver. And, of course, many credit Jason Lee and Patrick McConnell with moving to the Springs and starting mountainboarding.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Out with the Chiweenie

Dave stopped by a bit ago with Stanley, the mighty Chiweenie. They were headed out to hike a Happy Trails for an upcoming Out There section. Stanley's a good hiker.

Deputy news editor Carmen Boles says her Chihuahua, Teacup, is a good hiker too. I saw a Dachshund moving at a good clip at the top of the switchbacks on Barr Trail a week ago. Great hikers come in all shapes and sizes.

Make sure you take plenty of water for yourself and your hiking companions. And if you think of it. send us a photo for the blog.

This happy hiker among the penstemon was resting along the Mount Esther Trail a few weeks ago with Out There friend Zen.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Dog hit in Tour de France

A wandering Labrador went into a French road today and got creamed by a racer. Both went down. The dog almost immediately got up. And true to Lab style, its tail was still wagging.
Here's the video.

Guilt over SUV use

It's ironic that those who most want to protect the environment are actively participating in its deterioration. I, for example, drove six hours over the weekend so I could walk up a single peak. At the 2007 Teva Mountain Games in Vail, SNEWS Live chatted with environmentally conscious sport utility drivers to discover how they resolve what they call the SUV/conservationist paradox.
Listen here.

Sean Swarner Booksigning tonight at Poor Richard's

Don't know if anyone else has been following the accomplishments of Sean Swarner. This is a guy who was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Disease and Askin's Sarcoma, given only a few months to live several times, had parts of his lungs removed, and then climbed the Seven Summits. He just finished with Denali about a month ago. That's one tough mug.
His new goal is to become only the fifth person in history to accomplish the "Adventure Grand Slam," which consists of not only climbing to the peak of the tallest mountain on each of the earth's seven continents, but also trekking to both the North and South Poles.
He'll be at Poor Richards tonight signing his new book.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Snowboarder sentenced

From the AP: A snowboarder who collided with an 8-year-old girl on Vail Mountain was ordered today to do 75 hours of community service and pay fines of $344.

Christopher Dunsmore, 23, also was sentenced to one year of probation and a 30-day suspended jail term that he will not have to serve if he completes other terms of his sentence.

Dunsmore originally was accused of drunken skiing and leaving an accident scene in violation of the state’s Skier Safety Act after the crash in December. He pleaded guilty in April to harassment and could have faced up to six months in jail and a $750 fine.

Finally, I find success in the Wilsons

After two trips in two years that were both cut short by helacious weather, I finally made it up one of the three fourteeners west of Telluride, often called the Wilsons. Sunday, friends and I climbed El Diente from Kilpacker Creek. We encountered a little snow and lots of loose rock.
It was a five mile walk in. Then we started ascending steep talus, working our way around cliff bands and up a series of gullies. At one point, we ran into some snow that was dangerously solid for our running shoesBut, by 8:30 a.m. we gained the steep ridge at 14,000 feet By 9 a.m. we were on top, looking east along a gorgeous ridge to Mount Wilson.
There was one other party on top. For them, it was the 54th fourteener! They toasted with fruit juice.


Deaths on the Arkansas

The Gazette ran a Pueblo Chieftain story today about the unusually high number of deaths of rafters on the Arkansas River this year. The Arkansas is the most commercially rafted river in the United States. To date, this season, five people have died. The trend, according to the story, seems to be out-of-state, middle-aged commercial clients drowning after a raft flips in the icy, rough waters of some of the more serious rapids.
One of the BLM rangers quoted in the story essential said, hey, these are wild rivers, not amusement park rides. No one designed them to be safe.
It reminds me a lot of skiing. People assume since someone is charging you to do it, it must be safe, but people die every year.
It's interesting to me that no kayakers have died on the Ark. Perhaps because the sport requires a higher level of fitness, ability and experience.

Friday, July 13, 2007

This could be fun...

The NRA is now accepting entries for its 2007 Youth Wildlife Art Contest. The contest, the 20th in the annual series, is open to students in grades 1 through 12 (including home-schooled children). Entries may portray any North American game bird or animal that may be legally hunted or trapped. Endangered species and non-game animals, such as eagles and snakes, are not eligible subjects. Call (703) 267-1595 if you need to confirm whether a certain animal or bird is eligible. (Think of this as the "Can I shoot it?" hotline). The picture above won last year. This year, maybe something like the one below is more fitting.

Not much remains

The Out There main story today is about wreckchasing in Colorado. A small cadre of searchers track down old plane wrecks and document them. Often, there isn't much left. Here are a few pics from planes around the state: before and after. Often, not much is left to suggest it was once a plane.

B-17 Flying Fortress near Estes Park

Before;


After:


C-49 cargo plane

Before: (this is actually a C-47 but they look the same)



To see the after, use Google Earth to follow this link: C ...
To see many more crash sites, visit http://coloradowreckchasing.tripod.com/

Thursday, July 12, 2007

A tough old dude.

The Summit Daily had a story yesterday about an 89-year-old local who went horse packing into his favorite backcountry valley in the Gore Range, Slate Creek (pictured above). His horse stumbled, pinning both rider and horse on a steep hill in downed timber. The old man was able to reach a hatchet on the pack and free himself (I'm assuming by chopping up the trees, not the horse.) All would have been fine, but then the horse ran away. See the rest of the story here. Then compare it to the series of rather silly rescues we had on Pikes Peak this spring due to snow and inclement weather. I'd say this guy is varsity.
Photo of his rescue by the Summit Daily.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Think snow! Think 10 mountains in 1 pass!

(Screen shot from the oh-so-fun Ski Stunt Simulator physics game

Monarch Mountain has teamed up with 9 other ski areas for a 07-08 ski pass that offeres free days at some mountains and discounts at others.

You'll get 3 free days at Crested Butte, Loveland, Purgatory, Sunlight and Powderhorn...

and 1 free day at Silverton Mountain during the unguided season.

Head to New Mexico and 3 free days at Angel Fire and Pajarito Mountain.

And ski for half price at Alta in Utah.

If you've got a pass from one of the partner resorts, you'll get a deal at Monarch. Sweet if you've got friends or relatives closer to one of the 9 partners.

Monarch season passes cost $299 through Nov. 3 -- $179 ages 13-15 or ages 62-69, $89 ages 7-12. Skiers 6 and younger or 70 and older are free.

Caught in the act


I got turned on to this blog a week or two ago when a few of us were discussing fellow humans who trash wilderness.

Whether you're a hiker, biker, dirt biker, off-roader... Doesn't matter. This blog will make you think twice about what you do in our forests. And you'll shake your head at what some of your fellow "outdoors lovers" are doing.

The blog is dedicated to capturing "the stupidity that takes place on our public lands." Check it out.

Out There North

Deb Acord, creator and long-time writer for Out There has a good story on Pikes Peak's Ring the Peak for the Rocky Mountain News. Read it here.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

As a good friend who just e-mailed me said, "It looks like the Ascent wasn't the only race to fill up fast."
Primal Quest, the multi-day suffer fest adventure race filled up in less than 12 hours. That's not quite the 10 minutes of the Pikes Peak Ascent, but bear in mind, the race costs $12,500 with a deposit of $2,500 required with application. And the racers don't even know where the race is. It's "somewhere in the Rockies."
Ouch. Writing a check like that could get you used to the pain of the race.
BOY SLAPS BEAR

Officials from New Mexico's Department of Game and Fish have set a trap for a bear that bit a 13-year-old boy camping at Sugarite Canyon State Park near Raton on Sunday.

The boy heard something brush against his tent about 2:20 a.m. and slapped the side, thinking a relative was playing a trick. He apparently slapped the bear, which bit his hand and ran away, parks officials said.

The teen wasn't seriously hurt. He was camping at the Soda Pocket Campground.

The boy told authorities he had no food in his tent, but officials didn't say whether he was wearing the same clothes he'd worn while eating earlier.

Acorns and berries that bears eat are not yet at their peak, and drier weather has caused bears to search harder for food, officials said.

Gregory named favorite packs by Backpacker readers

Gregory Packs was the top backpack manufacturer named by Backpacker Magazine subscribers in four out of five categories of a recent survey titled “What we know about Backpacker Subscribers’ Backpacks.”
Gregory was the top brand in four categories: ‘most comfort,’ ‘best performance,’ ‘most advanced technology’ and ‘leading brands of backpacks.’
In the last three years, the 30-year-old company won awards for its pack designs from such diverse media outlets as Backpacker Magazine, Popular Science, National Geographic Adventure, Consumers Digest and Alpinist Magazine. Responsible for many industry firsts in backpacking fit and design, the Gregory research and design team, including company founder Wayne Gregory, continues does make a pretty cool bag. The company in recent years has expanded into lightweight packs, sport-specific packs.
Personally, I'm an Osprey guy, though I do think Gregory makes a nice, and well priced pack. It's also starting to do some really light packs, which are perfect for Rocky Mountain weekends.

Monday, July 09, 2007

RED ROCK CANYON NEWS

A series of free talks about Red Rock Canyon Open Space are scheduled through September, according to Don Ellis, a Friends of RRC board member.

The talks are 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the courtroom at the Pioneers Museum downtown.

July 12 — History
July 26 — Geology
August 16 — Native American Heritage
August 23 — Biology
September 13 — Interpretive Concepts

The series is sponsored by Friends of Red Rock Canyon and the Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services.
CRAGS ROAD CLOSED

If you didn't see this in Saturday's Gazette, take note. Forest Development Road No. 383 in Teller County - better known as The Crags Road - will be closed, mostly, for 10 days this month as workers make it passable for all types of vehicles.

Work will close the road July 16-20 and July 23-27 from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. But traffic will be allowed through on those days at 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.

No construction will occur July 21-22.
Hiker dies on 14er The body of a 53-year-old hiker, who had been reported missing by his family, was found Sunday in the area of Mt. Evans/Mt. Bierstadt, according to the Clear Creek County Sheriff's Office.
Lawrence Gang of Longmont had been on a climb up Mount Bierstadt. His family called authorities Saturday, saying he was overdue.
Chatter on
http://www.14ers.com/ suggests he was probably doing the Sawtooth Ridge, an airy Class III route connecting Mt. Evans to Mt. Bierstadt.
As one 14ers.com poster put it: "The ridge is completely doable by experienced climbers, in good physical condition, in good weather conditions, and using good judgment. Absent one of these four factors, risks rise significantly. This one could have been just a freak accident."

Larry Gang was a member of 14ers.com. He is the second to die in a few months.

His last trip report on the site, in which he took a tricky alternate route up Quandry Peak, foreshadows his death. Read it here. He concludes by saying: :"I'm quite pleased with my 51 year old body and the way it handled the West Ridge and love the rush of being on the edge of danger. Hiking alone has become my habit since I am slower than most people who would take on such routes."

Friday, July 06, 2007

GOING TOOBING?

If you're headed to the Arkansas River near Pueblo to go toobing, as we suggested today in The Gazette, beware we gave you a wrong turn in the directions.


If you're headed south in I-25 you'll turn WEST on U.S. 50 to get to Pueblo Boulevard. Head east, as one toober who drive down this morning says, and you'll hit Kansas.



Another reader is asking for info about the trip below the Nature Center. Specifically about the low-head dam Dave mentioned in an earlier post.

Anyone know more about how dangerous that is, or have other tips for the trip beyond the Nature Center?

Ranger actually spotted in woods!

Lou Dawson, the rather cranky godfather of ski mountaineering in Colorado, has a funny post on his blog www.wildsnow.com today. He hiked into American Lake south of Aspen and saw a ranger sitting by the shore:

"I was amazed. This was one of the few times in decades of wilderness travel that I’ve seen one of our forest stewards anywhere but at a trailhead or in an office," he writes

Seems true to me (not that I think its necessarily the rangers' fault). They always are around the office, but I have never, ever seen a Forest Service employee on local trails or forest roads. What gives? Too much paper work?

Winter Park's Crankworx Colorado

Is going on this weekend. Click here for some sweet pics of trials yesterday.

Biking down Barr: bad idea

So... The Gazette reported a guy from Montana knocked himself out cold while biking down the Barr Trail Thursday. He was helicoptered out. He apparently got about halfway down before the spill that stopped him, which is impressive.
I'm a mountain biker. I'm all for bikes on trails, but I'm totally against people driving up to the top of the peak and trying to ride down the Barr Trail for the following reasons:
1. It's too crowded.
2. It's too difficult for the majority of people it attracts.
3. The people it does attract are generally inexperienced, under-equipped, unfamiliar with the trail and riding bikes ill-suited for such an endeavor. In other words, yahoos.
A better way to go down is to ride the Elk Park Trail to Barr Camp, ride down Barr for a short while, then drop down Longs Ranch Road to Manitou. Great riding, less people.
By the way, I have mad respect for the guys who ride UP the Barr Trail.

Palmer's gifts turn 100

There's a story in the Gazette today about some of Colorado Springs' greatest city parks (Palmer Park, North Cheyenne Canon, and Monument Valley) turing 100 this year. What would this city be without Palmer's vision? Way to go, dude.

In OUT THERE this moring we had a story about Toobing (my prefered spelling) on the Arkansas River.
My wife, The 'Zette's cool summer intern
Jessica Sidman, and I floated the Ark a few weeks ago and had a great time. We even rescued a bat who was trapped in the water. Here are some pics from the morning.
By the way, the float from the Pueblo dam to the takeout at the Nature Center is 3.75 miles. You can float all the way downtown, but there is a dangerous low-head dam you have to portage at about 5 miles.




Thursday, July 05, 2007

Great job, if you can get it

A group of researchers got the plum job of wandering the back trails of Yellowstone National Park taking photos.

They're lugging around 70-year-old camera equipment to the park’s highest points to take photos from the same vantage points as did Leonard M. Moe, who took dozens of panoramic photos in the park in the 1930s, according to the AP.

Moe’s photos were marked with peaks and other landmarks and kept in fire towers to help rangers be able to describe where a fire had broken out. Over time, however, the photos became less useful as landscape changed.

The researchers hope to document exactly how the park has changed by taking the same photos Moe took and comparing the images after 72 years of fires, bark beetle infestations, climate change and other factors. It's a joint project of the Park Service and U.S. Forest Service.

Some photo spots are accessible by helicopter or road. But most required hiking up steep slopes with 75 pounds of equipment.

Cool Bock house at Red Rock Canyon will be saved

The monthly meeting for Friends of Red Rock Canyon happens tonight (July 5) from 7 to 9 PM in the Academy Room at City Hall.
The group will be discussing transforming the old Bock house into an open-air pavilion. The city already has plans for this. It's just a matter of getting the money together. Apparently the garage/bombshelter next door will be knocked down. Too bad -- a piece of Cold War history destroyed.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Dinosaurs in Red Rock Canyon

Before you fire up the grill Wednesday, or maybe as you're waiting for the coals to burn down (if you're a charcoal cooker), look for these two stories in the Gazette:

In Metro: Bill Vogrin went fossil hunting with experts in Red Rock Canyon Open Space and found dinosaur footprints, fossilized clams; the teeth of shell-crushing sharks; and numerous imprints of nautilus-like ammonites.
Way cool.

Check this for a sneak preview.

Another promising story, this time in Sports:
Brian Gomez is writing about the Mountain Bike Marathon National Championships in Breckenridge. He said he'll talk to at least one of these three Springs cyclists: Kelli Emmett, Sam Jurekovic or Katherine Compton.
Here is a shot of last weekend's gravity racing at Keystone, the first stop of the new Rocky Mountain G3 Gravity Series with two downhill races and a Super D race and a purse of $10,000 in cold, hard cash. Angel Fire and Sol Vista will host the next two stops on the gravity race series.

Check out Keystone's Labor Day Mountain States Cup event - The Keystone Climax (Aug. 31 - Sept. 2) - and Keystone's six new downhill trails that'll open this summer (the Money trail has already opened with 22 tabletop jumps. Even Flow trail is set to open next week followed by four more trails later this summer).
Click here for results:
http://www.g3gravityseries.com/keystone.html

Photo credit Bob Winsett. Keystone Bike Park