Friday, February 29, 2008
Nikwax Down Proof
Nothing beats puffy down for lightweight warmth in jackets and sleeping bags, but get the feathers wet and they’ll collapse like Superman after a kryptonite martini, losing all insulating ability.
Just pour the waterproofer in the washing machine, add your sleeping bag or jacket, and set on gentle. Directions suggest using a front-load washer, but we threw a 12-year-old down bag into a home top-load washer with no problems. It came out with renewed puffy loft and more waterproof than the day it was made.
Bonus: It’s fun to watch water droplets bead on the nylon shell.
Bummer: Nikwax recommends you use its down cleaner ($7.50) before waterproofing.
Where to get it: Mountain Chalet, REI
See something you think we should try? E-mail your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information call 970-264-5639 or visit wolfcreekski.com.
When: Saturday, March 1st, 2008 @ 7:00pm
Where: The Lloyd Shaw Auditorium @ Cheyenne Mountain High School, 1200 Cresta Rd.
Cost: $12.00 General Admission
And here's a cool video of granddaughter Adriana Blake talking about her grandfather who started the mountain. Click here.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
A highlight of her trip was a close encounter with a humpback whale, which she wrote about for Out There.
Here are a few more photos that show how close she and others got to the whale, which can weigh 45 tons.
The researchers found "a lot of ancient sharks' teeth, a mummified seal, and possibly a bone from a prehistoric, 6-foot tall penguin," she said.
Way cool. I'm ready to go. I think Dave is, too.
Colorado congressmen Doug Lamborn and Mark Udall introduced legislation today that makes the Bureau of Reclamation responsible for removing up to 1 billion gallons of contaminated water trapped in a Leadville drainage tunnel.
The legislation comes two weeks after Lake County officials declared a state of emergency, saying water pressure in the tunnel could cause a blowout and flood the town.
The tunnel drains water from hundreds of abandoned mine shafts. A collapse inside the tunnel, detected in 1995, caused the water to back up inside the shafts.
Udall has said some of the water could be pumped to a nearby well the EPA owns. But longer-term, Udall and Lamborn want Reclamation to build another well and transfer the water to its treatment facility.
Check this ensemble:
That could be Dave as a boy - he's prone to Day-Glo outfits, even now - but I can't see his mom ever pulling on that getup.
Head on up to Eldora Saturday and rock it old school - '70s and '80s - all day. There's a kids costume contest at 12:30 -- grooviest, most far out and coolest.
There's an adult apres ski costume contest at 3:30 with "live, funky music." A little Parliament, anyone?
If you've got pix of yourself in great old ski gear, send 'em in. We'll have a little contest of our own. email@example.com
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
So after a few personal break downs and serious doubt about our decision we got to work trying to make a normal and structured life for Tali. We had lots of walks, stood, for what felt like hours, at the far side of our local park watching other dogs. We exposed her to as much as possible in a supportive and safe environment. As the summer went on we made some big and not so big break-throughs. We took off her gentle-leader, started leaving her training treats at home, and no longer ducked and ran when we saw another dog. She began playing with other dogs, she would listen to basic commands, and started to live a happy life. Not to say that she is now the perfect dog, but we can walk her without a leash, and know how she will respond in certain situations, and her basic obedience is now better than some other dogs we come across.
Because of her breed, which we now believe to be a mix of English Setter and Border Collie, Tali needs lots of exercise. We got her a Frisbee, which we doubted would draw any interest but thought it was worth a try. After a throw or two she became obsessed. Her drive to get the Frisbee, find the Frisbee, and never leave the Frisbee was almost alarming. As fall started we began to notice traits that might make her a good avalanche dog. What we saw was first and foremost a strong work ethic, a desire to please, loyalty, and a love to play. As the winter started my wife and I discussed the thought about seeing if she could make it as a working avalanche dog.
I talked to everyone in the dog program at work and they were all very encouraging and supportive about her starting the training. With that she was on her way to a potential new career.
When: Saturday, March 1st, 2008 @ 7:00pm
Where: The Lloyd Shaw Auditorium @ Cheyenne Mountain High School
1200 Cresta Rd. Colorado Springs, CO 80906
Cost: $12.00 General Admission
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
NOAA climatologist Klaus Wolter said this fall that this was going to be an exceptionally dry snow year for the mountains. He must have been hanging out with the same guys this fall who predicted John McCain was broke and done because snow continues to hammperthe Colorado Rockies making the 2007-08 season one for the record books. The first of a two part storm swept across the western region of the state yesterday leaving mounds of snow in its wake. The second wave of the storm further steeped the state in snow last night and today resorts are enjoying the 60th powder day of the season (calculated as at least one resort receiving 5 or more inches of new snow).
The southwest portion of the state leads by the sheer volume of snow they’ve received this winter. As of this morning, Wolf Creek Ski Area has had nearly 41 feet of snow this season to date and neighboring
Monday, February 25, 2008
Out there has been running gear reviews for years, but many readers have had trouble finding them online, so I'll begin posting them weekly. Here is the first:
Sigg Active Top aluminum water bottle An old standby has a hip new look now that Sigg water bottles come decorated with stripes and swirls of every color.
The sturdy Swissmade bottles, which have an optional nipple top to replace the screw top, arrive at a time when the outdoor world is in a tizzy over whether Lexan plastic bottles release toxic chemicals, pushing them to the front of the shelf. Plus, they look cool.
Bonus: 144 vibrant designs
Bummer: Paint scratches easily, aluminum conducts heat so water warms faster than in a plastic bottle.
Where to get it: Mountain Chalet, REI
See something you think we should try? E-mail your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Friday, February 22, 2008
Apparently he lost it while skiing on Tuesday and went back on his snowboard to fetch it Wednesday. He lowered himself down a cliff face on a rope, got the pole, then couldn't get back up. D'oh!
Eventually he called for a helicopter rescue. Yes, the sheriff says he'll get a bill.
Here's the full story in the Jackson Hole paper.
The Minturn Town Council has given preliminary approval to a private ski resort and 1,700 homes near the former railroad town.
The proposal includes annexing more than 4,300 acres owned by the Ginn Development Co. The proposed development also includes a golf course on and around Battle Mountain south of Minturn.
Left unresolved is how residents of the development would be taxed and how that money would be used to make improvements inMinturn, such as a recreation center and a bike path. The action came after 2½ years of planning and faces a second vote next week.
Read more here in the Vail Daily.
Now, El Paso County commissioner Jim Bensberg is complaining that they didn't ask him first, saying “It is not right and it is not fair.”
Looking at this not from a pro and anti motorcycle point of view, but simply from a local politics angle, Bensberg has a lot of brass. His plan for a motorcycle park came out of nowhere, with no public comment process, and I would bet, no letters to local politicians.
His complaining may do little good. It looks increasingly like the local Republican will run into a blue Democratic wall of opposition. If he wanted to get this thing through, he should have tried to rush this through when Gov. Bill Owens and his less tree-hugger inclined Natural Resources Department were still in place. He might have had a chance.
I would guess that Sherman and the Parks board won't go out on a limb for a controversial project in a Republican commissioner's back yard.
This whole thing may be a lesson in knowing what your politicians' passtimes are before you vote. It obviously effects their policy.
Bensberg is a big motorcycle guy.
Merrifield is an avid mountain biker.
I'm not sure about Morse. Anyone?
Here's a story I wrote last year that looked at past ski areas, and talked to experts who said it was unlikely skiing would ever return. D'oh.Also, check out the excellent pages on Ski Broadmoor and Pikes Peak Ski Area put together by the folks at www.Coloradoskihistory.com. Both pages have memories posted by locals.
I am one of thousands of local "ski bees" who braved the icy tongue of Midway, Main and North (the only three runs) to learn to ski at Ski Broadmoor (pictured above) but I'm too young to have ever skied Pikes Peak before the lifts were pulled out.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
On the right is an old brochure from the now-defunct Pikes Peak Ski Area. Click it to see it full-size.
February 22nd at 10 a.m., Embassy Suites, 7290 Commerce Center Drive, to the west of I-25 and Woodmen Road.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
By Dave Philipps
It has been 17 years since the last local ski area closed and many have predicted that ski lifts would never turn in the Pikes Peak region again. But Wednesday a local investor said he plans to open a small ski resort on the back of Pikes Peak.
John Ball, former C.E.O. of Eller Industries, a Boulder-based broadband company, has a contract with local climbing legend Harvey Carter to buy 320 acres of land just south of The Crags on the west side of Pikes Peak. He plans to build “The Resort at Pikes Peak,” a small, renewable energy-powered ski area with slopeside condos.
He envisions it as a community hill used mainly by people in El Paso and Teller Counties. It could eventually include five chairlifts, 33 ski trails,three restaurants, a 300
It is one of a growing trend in niche family hills that survive in the shadows of coporate giants like Vail by being closer and more convenient.
“It would be like Eldora, just above Boulder,” Ball said Wednesday. “People don’t necessarily come from out of state to ski it, but the community loves it because its so close. My kids can take the bus up to Eldora in 30 minutes.”
The Pikes Peak plan is still in its infancy. It needs approval from the Teller County Commissioners, who are not yet aware of the plan, including detailed plans for road access, water and sewer lines. Since the road would cross Pike National Forest, it will also need approval from the U.S. Forest Service.
The talk of a ski area on Carter’s land may have some longtime local skiers saying “not again.”
Harvey Carter, 77, who, among other things, worked for 22 years as an Aspen ski patroller and founded Climbing magazine, has been trying to build a ski area on the backside of Pikes Peak for the better part of 50 years.
“It’s the only place on the peak you could do it,” he said Wednesday. “It gets the most snow. It has private land right where it would need to be at the base. And it’s high enough.”
Carter’s long-term measurements on land, which is at 10,500 feet, show the area gets an average of 12 feet of snow — almost twice that of other slopes on Pikes Peak.
He has been courting investors since the 1960s,<>
She was shy, timid, and quiet in clear opposition of her six-month-old puppy frame. She had been attacked by another dog and had a large bite wound on her muzzle. Because of this she spent her time in the shelter in quarantine. We took her out to play with our other dog Riddle and they got along, Riddle wasn’t quite sure what to do with her. My wife and I took Riddle on a long walk around the area, talked about this little white puppy, saw her one more time and that was that. We signed the paper work, loaded her into our car and we were now a two dog family.
We discussed names on the way home and Talus was our favorite. Our first night with her was a foreshadowing of the months to come. When it was time to take the dogs for their nightly walk it was snowing, (yes this was June) with 50mph winds and felt like total chaos. Tali was terrified and shook and refused to pee. So we made the decision that we would just have to clean up after her in the morning.
The weeks to come we learned what we were in for. Tali it turns out loves to talk, she barks at just about anything she can. She was terrified of any dog, car, person, tree, leaf, or shadow we came across on our walks. She was so petrified that she would hurl herself into the air in absolute hysterics anytime we came across another dog. Two full one on one dog training sessions later and weeks of constant obedience work, we weren’t sure if we could give this little puppy the home she needed. However, we made the commitment to take this dog in and we need to do what ever it took to make her happy.
(more to come)
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
The plan would be much like Salida's fabled "Lap" -- a long, informal group ride up into the mountains, in this case climbing gold camp to Jones Downhill, and finishing at Stratton Open Space.
No races, just biking with apres beer.
In a town with so many bikers and no bike events, this sounds like a great idea.
Monday, February 18, 2008
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Today I would like to introduce you to my dog Talus. Tali, as she is lovingly called, has just started in the Breckenridge Ski Patrol Avalanche Dog training program. This journey will take Tali and me on a two to three year quest that will hopefully end in our certification as a Colorado Avalanche Rapid Deployment Team.
Friday, February 15, 2008
More than 1 billion gallons of contaminated water — enough to fill 1,500 Olympic-sized swimming pools — is trapped in a tunnel in the mountains above the historic town of Leadville and threatening to blow.
Lake County Commissioners have declared a local state of emergency for fear that this winter's above-average snowpack will melt and cause a catastrophic tidal wave.
The water is backed up in abandoned mine shafts and a 2.1-mile drainage tunnel that is partially collapsed, creating the pooling of water contaminated with heavy metals.
County officials have been nervously monitoring the rising water pressure inside the mine shafts for about two years. An explosion could inundate Leadville and contaminate the Arkansas River.
Next time you're at Ski Cooper, bring your hip waders.
He hadn't intended to spend night like that. He had set out from Colorado Springs Thursday morning intending to do a day trip on Cottonwood Pass, a popular snowmobiling area west of Buena Vista. Everything started out fine. He was the only one there. He zoomed up to the pass, then played around in the deep powder off the trail.
It was up there that he met another sledder from Kansas named Jeff. They talked. They hit it off. Riding with a friend is always more fun than riding by yourself so when Jeff suggested they go about 10 miles down the west side of the pass to get a burger at the little mountain outpost of Taylor, Mata said sure.
They zoomed down the packed trail, which is a dirt road in the summer. Jeff was in the lead, they were cruising past open glades of untouched powder that looked too good to pass up. So Jeff turned in.
Mata hadn't planned to go off trail, especially while he was by himself. Being in the Boy Scouts as a kid, and a long-time snowmobiler had taught him to always use the buddy system in case something went wrong. But here was Jeff, disappearing into the woods. Mata figured he'd better follow.
That's where everything went wrong.
The mountains around Cottonwood Pass have near-record snowpack this winter. Cold, cloudy days have kept the snow from packing down, so when the snowmobilers turned off the trail, they turned into about five feet of unconsolidated fluff.
"It was fine while we were going down hill," Mata said, "But we got into this ravine and when we tried to get out, turning up hill, the sleds just buried themselves."
They dug themselves in like moles, then had to dig out their sleds and try again three times. About 1:30 p.m., they realized it was no use. They'd have to walk to Taylor and get help to pull the machines out. They could see a packed snowmobile trail across a meadow. It was less than a half mile away. So they started walking.
It wasn't easy. Each step in the powder meant sinking in to the chest. Jeff had snowshoes, Mata didn't. Jeff was struggling with sea-level lungs and a lack of fitness. Mata was basically swimming in the powder. Their speed was measured in feet per hour. Just as it was getting dark, when they were almost to the trail, they hit a broad creek.
Jeff wanted to splash through the creek. Mata said at the rate they were moving, if they got wet now, they'd freeze to death. There was a small fishermen's bridge a short distance away, but it would take hours to reach. Jeff said he thought he was having a heart attack. Mata suggested they go for the bridge in the morning.
They dug a snowcave. Mata had an emergency pack with a small tarp, a shovel, a glow stick, some fire starter and a can of sardines. They snuggled into the tiny cave, cracked the glow stick and ate the sardines. The wind had started howling. Gusts in the area were blasting over 50 miles per hour, Mata said.
Visibility in the open meadow by the creek was zero, but they were safe, and relatively dry. When the sardines where done, they planned to build a small fire in the tin with a few twigs they'd filched from a nearby beaver dam. Then the snow cave collapsed.
They stumbled out into the wind, furiously searching the snow for the shovel and glow stick. The tin was gone. The fire starter was gone. There would be no fire.
Mata dug another snow cave in the dark. Both crawled in. That one lasted until about 5 a.m. Then it collapsed. They when through the same drill, searching for the shovel and digging a new cave. It seemed like dawn would never come.
When it did, the two split up. Jeff opted for a direct route across a nearby snow bridge. Mata, afraid the snow wouldn't hold, opted to go for the fisherman's bridge. It was about four blocks away, he thought. He set off crawling, almost swimming, trying to spread his weight out on the snow. Every so often, his arms would sink. He'd be buried head-first and have to wriggle out.
The whole morning passed. By noon he was almost to the bridge. He looked back. Jeff had made it out to the trail. And just then a small snowcat came by.
The cat took Jeff to Taylor and sent rescuers to get Mata. He was only feet from the packed trail when they reached him, but was exhausted, with a body core temperature of 92 degrees.
The rescuers gave the men food and the next day they headed back to their cars, abandoning the sleds in the snow, for now.
Mata said Monday he was shocked by how debilitating the deep snow was. "I want my ordeal to act as a lesson for others," he said. "Always go prepared. Don't travel alone."
He also went out and bought a pair of snowshoes.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Irvin was a Southwest Airlines pilot. He had a 1-year-old and his wife was expecting a second child.
Winter Park: Officials say a 68-year-old man was found face down, unconscious in the snow Wednesday on the Cramner Trail. He died, and the cause was unknown today.
RIP skier friends.
Christine Wheeler claims Lindsay Osbon struck her from behind in February 2006 on a trail on Aspen Mountain. The lawsuit said Wheeler was stopped on the side of a trail in plain view in clear weather when Osbon skied recklessly into her, going too fast and not looking out for skiers downhill from him.
Wheeler’s lawsuit seeks costs of medical treatment, transportation, loss of earnings and earning capacity, risk of future arthritis, and pain and suffering.
In 5 days of snowboarding, I haven't had anyone smack me that hard, but I've been run into by 1 little kid snowboarder and 3 adult skiers (older than me). All were people losing control (one would presume) near lift lines.
Am I right to believe this type of collision - with injury - is rare?
The seminar is free, but class size is limited to the first 40 who sign up. Please call Trina Romero at 719-227-5284 to reserve a seat.
Just to trot out my gender biases. I don't know if most women would benefit from a survival course. There judgment is generally too good to get them into fixes where "survival" might be an issue. It's guys who do the really dumb stuff. I guess it couldn't hurt. Discuss.
"Based on the information provided by a citizen, we were able to get a confession from a juvenile who admitted shooting deer with a bow and arrow," said investigating officer Steve Cooley of the DOW.
I bet the kid wet his pants when armed DOW guys showed up.
He was charged with three wildlife hunting violations and paid a fine of $2,877.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Oh, and by the way, it will also make it easier for the man to track your whereabouts.
2006 post hunt population estimate:
Randy Hampton, a spokesman for the Colorado Division of Wildlife, said that the DOW was notified early last week by the Copper Mountain ski patrol that there was a coyote roaming the ski slopes and acting in an aggressive manner. He said the DOW, along with the patrol, were in the process of formulating a plan about what to do when the coyote's behavior escalated Saturday.
"On Saturday, she approached people baring her teeth. In two different incidents, she nipped at a boot and grabbed at a child's jacket," said Hampton.
From the Denver Post