An interesting and somewhat amusing analysis of the science of skiing and snowboarding, courtesy of the science and tech writer for the Economist. I’ve never boarded, but I’m going to try. My own comparisons to be released at a later date. Have a read:
Trying something new on the ski reports. This is a more complete list I found on one of our wire services, and it includes cross-country ski areas (marked XC). I’ll also include state links from skireport.com for the latest snowfall totals.
Most of the central Rockies have received quite a bit of early winter snowfall. So if you’re heading to Colorado, Utah or Wyoming, expect good conditions and fresh snow.
New Mexico has been dry – until this week. A recent snow dropped anywhere from 4 to 9 inches on all New Mexico ski areas. While the listings below don’t reflect it, the most current figures show that most runs at all New Mexico ski areas are open with fresh snow to boot. Badly needed, and just in time for the New Years weekend. Here’s the latest ski reports:
Arapahoe Basin — Wed 5:23 am packed powder machine groomed 46-46 base 94 of 105 trails 100% open, 900 acres, 7 of 7 lifts, Mon-Fri: 8:30a-4p; Sat/Sun: 8:30a-4p;
Aspen Highlands — Wed 6:23 am packed powder 45-62 base 116 of 124 trails 97% open, 998 acres, 5 of 5 lifts, Mon-Fri: 9a-3:30p; Sat/Sun: 9a-3:30p;
Aspen Mountain — Wed 6:20 am packed powder 34-37 base 75 of 76 trails 99% open, 671 acres, 6 of 8 lifts, Mon-Fri: 9a-3:30p; Sat/Sun: 9a-3:30p;
Beaver Creek — Wed 6:56 am powder machine groomed 33-33 base 141 of 149 trails 96% open, 1735 acres, 25 of 26 lifts, Mon-Fri: 8:30a-3:30p Sat/Sun: 8:30a-3:30p;
Breckenridge — Wed 6:58 am powder machine groomed 57-57 base 155 of 155 trails 100% open, 2370 acres, 30 of 30 lifts, Mon-Fri: 9a-4p; Sat/Sun: 9a-4p;
Buttermilk — Wed 6:24 am packed powder 27-34 base 43 of 43 trails 99% open, 468 acres, 6 of 9 lifts, Mon-Fri: 9a-3:30p; Sat/Sun: 9a-3:30p;
Copper Mountain — Wed 5:29 am packed powder machine groomed 48-57 base 134 of 134 trails 100% open, 2465 acres, 20 of 22 lifts, Mon-Fri: 8:30a-4p Sat/Sun: 8:30a-4p;
Crested Butte — Wed 7:20 am powder machine groomed 52-62 base 96 of 121 trails 100% open, 951 acres, 16 of 16 lifts, sm Mon-Fri: 9a-4p; Sat/Sun: 9a-4p;
Echo Mountain — Wed 7:44 am hard packed machine groomed 22-22 base 10 of 16 trails 63% open, 3 of 3 lifts, sm Mon: 9a-9p, Wed-Fri: 9a-9p; Sat: 9a-9p, Sun: 9a-4p Dec 31: 9a-4p;
Eldora — Wed 5:35 am packed powder machine groomed 38-38 base 48 of 53 trails, 91% open 10 of 12 lifts, sm Mon-Fri: 9a-4p; Sat/Sun: 8:30a-4p;
Kendall Mountain — Wed 2:48 pm powder 48-48 base 4 of 4 trails 100% open, 1 of 1 lift Fri: 11a-4:30p; Sat/Sun: 11a-4:30p Dec 30-Jan 2: 11a-4p;
Keystone — Wed 6:57 am powder machine groomed 37-37 base 129 of 135 trails 98% open, 3077 acres, 20 of 20 lifts, Mon-Fri: 9a-4p; Sat/Sun: 9a-4p;
Loveland — Wed 5:29 am packed powder 51-51 base 87 of 93 trails, 86% open 1430 acres, 9 of 9 lifts, Mon-Fri: 9a-4p; Sat/Sun: 8:30a-4p;
Monarch — Wed 12:43 pm 1 new powder machine groomed 57-57 base 53 of 64 trails 100% open, 800 acres, 7 of 7 lifts, Mon-Fri: 9a-4p; Sat/Sun: 9a-4p;
Powderhorn — Wed 5:52 am 1 new packed powder 35-35 base 42 of 44 trails 95% open, 4 of 4 lifts, Mon-Fri: 9a-4p; Sat/Sun: 9a-4p;
Purgatory at Durango — Wed 11:51 am 6 new powder machine groomed 51-55 base 87 of 88 trails, 99% open, 1360 acres, 9 of 10 lifts, sm Mon-Fri: 9a-4p Sat/Sun: 9a-4p;
Silverton Mountain — Wed 5:51 pm powder 85-130 base 68 of 69 trails, 99% open, 1819 acres, 1 of 1 lift Thu/Fri: 9a-4p; Sat/Sun: 9a-4p;
Ski Cooper — Wed 5:19 am powder machine groomed 41-43 base 26 of 26 trails 100% open, 26 miles, 400 acres, 4 of 5 lifts, Mon-Fri: 8a-4p Sat/Sun: 8a-4p;
Snowmass — Wed 6:21 am packed powder 31-53 base 85 of 91 trails, 87% open 2773 acres, 16 of 24 lifts, Mon-Fri: 9a-3:30p; Sat/Sun: 9a-3:30p;
SolVista Basin — Wed 10:40 am powder machine groomed 16-21 base 95% open 5 of 6 lifts, Mon-Fri: 9a-4p; Sat/Sun: 9a-4p;
Steamboat — Wed 5:08 am packed powder machine groomed 54-72 base 163 of 165 trails 99% open, 2954 acres, 16 of 20 lifts, sm Mon-Fri: 8:30a-4p; Sat/Sun: 8:30a-4p;
Sunlight — Wed 6:07 am packed powder 37-40 base 50 of 67 trails, 75% open 3 of 3 lifts, Mon-Fri: 9a-4p; Sat/Sun: 9a-4p;
Telluride — Wed 5:13 am powder machine groomed 45-45 base 80 of 125 trails 65% open, 17 of 18 lifts, sm Mon-Fri: 9a-4p; Sat/Sun: 9a-4p;
Vail — Wed 6:55 am powder machine groomed 41-41 base 191 of 193 trails, 100% open 5268 acres, 31 of 34 lifts, Mon-Fri: 8:30a-4p; Sat/Sun: 8:30a-4p;
Winter Park — Wed 5:37 am packed powder machine groomed 45-48 base 133 of 145 trails 95% open, 2551 acres, 23 of 26 lifts, sm Mon-Fri: 9a-4p; Sat/Sun: 8:30a-4p;
Wolf Creek — Wed 6:21 am powder machine groomed 80-84 base 77 of 77 trails 100% open, 42 miles, 1600 acres, 6 of 7 lifts, Mon-Fri: 8:30a-4p Sat/Sun: 8:30a-4a;
Ashcroft XC — Wed 8:27 am 2 new powder machine groomed 30-42 base 9 of 20 trails 24 miles Mon-Fri: 9a-4p; Sat/Sun: 9a-4p;
Aspen/Snowmass XC — Wed 6:37 am packed powder machine groomed 3-5 base 7 of 15 trails 52 miles Mon-Fri: 7a-5p; Sat/Sun: 7a-5p;
Crested Butte XC — Wed 9:23 am powder machine groomed 20-25 base 23 of 23 trails 50 miles Mon-Fri: 9a-9p; Sat/Sun: 9a-9p; Dec 31: 8a-9p Jan 01: 8a-9p;
Gold Run XC — Operating, no details Mon-Fri: 9a-4p Sat/Sun: 9a-4p;
Snow Mountain XC — Wed 9:09 am packed powder machine groomed 26-120 base 80 miles Mon-Fri: 8:30a-5p; Sat/Sun: 8:30a-5p;
Steamboat XC — Operating, no details Mon-Fri: 9a-5p Sat/Sun: 9a-5p;
Tennessee Pass XC — Operating no details Mon-Fri: 9a-5p; Sat/Sun: 9a-5p;
Vail Golden Peak Nordic — Operating no details Mon-Fri: 9a-4p; Sat/Sun: 9a-4p;
Vista Verde Ranch XC — Operating, no details
Angel Fire — Wed 6:54 am packed powder machine groomed 20-22 base 13 of 75 trails 21% open, 6 of 7 lifts, Mon-Fri: 9a-4p; Sat/Sun: 9a-4p;
Pajarito — Opening Soon for Snow Sports
Red River — Wed 7:06 am packed powder machine groomed 16-25 base 14 of 57 trails 32% open, 5 of 7 lifts, sm Mon-Fri: 9a-4p; Sat/Sun: 9a-4p;
Sandia Peak — Wed 9:54 am packed powder machine groomed 20-30 base 28 of 30 trails 94% open, 5 of 5 lifts, Mon-Fri: 9a-4p; Sat/Sun: 9a-4p;
Sipapu — Wed 9:34 am packed powder machine groomed 18-24 base 20 of 41 trails, 49% open 4 of 4 lifts, sm Mon-Fri: 9a-4p; Sat/Sun: 9a-4p;
Ski Apache — Wed 5:54 am packed powder machine groomed 22-24 base 7 of 55 trails 14% open, 5 of 10 lifts, sm Mon-Fri: 9a-4p; Sat/Sun: 9a-4p;
Ski Santa Fe — Wed 3:39 pm packed powder 20-30 base 22 of 72 trails 29% open, 5 of 7 lifts, Mon-Fri: 9:30a-4:30p; Sat/Sun: 9:30a-4:30p;
Taos — Wed 6:16 am packed powder machine groomed 28-32 base 27 of 110 trails, 30% open 12 of 13 lifts, sm Mon-Fri: 9a-4p; Sat/Sun: 9a-4p;
Enchanted Forest XC — Wed 6:26 am packed powder machine groomed 8-14 base 25 of 40 trails 24 miles Mon-Fri: 9a-4:30p; Sat/Sun: 9a-4:30p;
Alta — Wed 5:27 am 2 new packed powder machine groomed 104-104 base 114 of 114 trails 100% open, 2200 acres, 11 of 11 lifts, Mon-Fri: 9:15a-4:30p Sat/Sun: 9:15a-4:30p;
Beaver Mountain — Wed 11:25 am 2 new packed powder 64-64 base 48 of 48 trails, 100% open, 5 of 6 lifts, Mon-Fri: 9a-4p; Sat/Sun: 9a-4p;
Brian Head — Wed 7:20 am 1 new powder machine groomed 66-66 base 65 of 65 trails 100% open, 8 of 8 lifts, Mon-Fri: 9:30a-4:30p; Sat/Sun: 9:30a-4:30p;
Brighton — Wed 4:05 am 5 new powder machine groomed 100-100 base 66 of 66 trails 100% open, 26 miles, 1050 acres, 7 of 7 lifts, Mon: 9a-4p; Tue-Fri: 9a-9p Sat: 9a-9p, Sun: 9a-4p;
Canyons — Wed 7:24 am 4 new powder machine groomed 64-84 base 154 of 182 trails 85% open, 3385 acres, 17 of 19 lifts, sm Mon-Fri: 9a-4p; Sat/Sun: 9a-4p;
Deer Valley — Wed 5:23 am 6 new powder machine groomed 82-82 base 97 of 100 trails, 97% open, 21 of 21 lifts, Mon-Fri: 9a-4:15p; Sat/Sun: 9a-4:15p;
Eagle Point Resort — Wed 6:47 am 7 new powder machine groomed 70-74 base 36 of 36 trails, 100% open, 450 acres, 5 of 6 lifts, Mon-Fri: 9a-4:30p Sat/Sun: 9a-4:30p;
Park City — Wed 5:17 am 5 new powder machine groomed 83-83 base 109 of 114 trails 98% open, 16 of 16 lifts, Mon-Fri: 9a-9p; Sat/Sun: 9a-9p;
Powder Mountain — Wed 11:29 am 5 new packed powder 71-71 base 124 of 124 trails, 100% open, 7 of 7 lifts, Mon-Fri: 9a-9p; Sat/Sun: 9a-9p;
Snowbasin — Wed 6:10 am 6 new packed powder machine groomed 82-82 base 102 of 107 trails 99% open, 3000 acres, 7 of 9 lifts, sm Mon-Fri: 9a-4p; Sat/Sun: 9a-4p;
Snowbird — Wed 7:27 am 2 new powder machine groomed 97-97 base 85 of 85 trails 100% open, 12 of 12 lifts, Mon-Fri: 9a-5p; Sat/Sun: 9a-5p;
Solitude — Wed 7:15 am 6 new powder machine groomed 87-87 base 61 of 65 trails 94% open, 1200 acres, 8 of 8 lifts, Mon-Fri: 9a-4p; Sat/Sun: 9a-4p;
Sundance — Wed 5:12 am 7 new powder machine groomed 67-67 base 41 of 42 trails 98% open, 450 acres, 4 of 4 lifts, Mon-Fri: 9a-4:30p; Sat/Sun: 9a-4:30p;
Wolf Creek Utah — Wed 3:44 pm 6 new packed powder 21-46 base 20 of 20 trails, 100% open, 4 of 4 lifts, sm Mon-Fri: 9a-9p; Sat/Sun: 9a-9p;
Soldier Hollow XC — Operating, no details
Grand Targhee — Wed 6:39 am 10 new powder machine groomed 82-82 base 74 of 74 trails, 100% open, 45 miles, 2402 acres, 5 of 5 lifts, Mon-Fri: 9a-4p Sat/Sun: 9a-4p;
Hogadon — Wed 6:14 am packed powder machine groomed 12-16 base 14 of 24 trails, 59% open 2 of 3 lifts, Wed-Fri: 9:30a-3:30p; Sat/Sun: 9:30a-3:30p; Open Wed-Sun;
Jackson Hole — Wed 6:46 am 7 new powder machine groomed 69-83 base 116 of 116 trails, 100% open, 2500 acres, 12 of 12 lifts, Mon-Fri: 9a-4p Sat/Sun: 9a-4p;
Meadowlark Ski Lodge — Wed 9:26 pm powder machine groomed 42-48 base 14 of 14 trails, 100% open, 2 of 2 lifts, Fri: 9a-4p; Sat/Sun: 9a-4p Dec 29-30: 9a-4p;
Sleeping Giant — Wed 8:36 am loose granular machine groomed 24-48 base 47 of 47 trails 100% open, 3 of 3 lifts, Thu: 10a-4p; Fri: 9a-4p; Sat/Sun: 9a-4p Dec 29: 9a-4p;
Snow King — Wed 10:15 am 4 new packed powder 26-35 base 16 of 16 trails 100% open, 400 acres, 4 of 4 lifts, Mon: 10a-4p; Tue-Fri: 10a-7p Sat: 10a-7p; Sun: 10a-4p;
White Pine — Wed Reopen 12/30 variable 1-32 base Open Thu-Sun;
Grand Targhee XC — Wed 6:42 am packed powder machine groomed 73-73 base 15 miles Mon-Fri: 9a-4p; Sat/Sun: 9a-4p;
Ever get on a ski lift, look at the heights below you and sweat a little? Get nervous when the chairlift suddenly stops, leaving you dangling 50 feet in the air? It’s not something I worry about, but others do. And more will with this story out of Maine, where a ski lift failed, sending a whole gaggle of skiers plummeting as much as 30 feet to the ground. Thankfully, the Sugarloaf Mountain ski area had received a good dose of fresh powder, softening the fall. But eight people ended up being injured. Here’s an Associated Press video about the accident:
Here’s some more on the story:
CARRABASSETT VALLEY, Maine (AP) — All of that snow from the recent Northeast blizzard proved to be a blessing for at least one of the skiers who tumbled from a chair lift a Maine ski resort.
Rebecca London, who was aboard the crippled lift, credited fresh, ungroomed snow for softening her landing Tuesday; the resort said it got 20 to 22 inches of snow a day earlier.
“The snow was all soft,” said London, of Carrabassett Valley, whose goggles also protected her face when it hit the chair lift’s retaining bar during the 30-foot fall.
At least eight others — including three children — were taken to hospitals after the double-chair lift at Sugarloaf derailed during a busy vacation week at the popular resort 120 miles north of Portland. Dozens of skiers remained on the crippled lift for more than an hour until the ski patrol could get them down.
An investigation will determine whether the accident was wind-related or mechanical, officials said. The ski resort was being buffeted by winds gusting up to 40 mph a day after the blizzard blew through. A witness said he saw a Sugarloaf employee working on the lift before the derailment.
The resort said the lift, which recently passed an inspection, was due to be replaced — possibly as early as this coming summer — partly because of vulnerability to wind. Five chairs fell 25 to 30 feet onto a ski trail below, Sugarloaf spokesman Ethan Austin said.
Jay Marshall, who was on a lift that was parallel to the one that broke, said his lift was moving but the other was not. There was a “loud snapping noise” after the lift restarted, he said, then some screams.
“The next thing I know, it was bouncing up and down like a yo-yo,” said Marshall, of Carrabassett Valley. He said it was too difficult to watch, so he looked away.
“It was terrifying,” he said.
Marshall said there was a worker atop the tower where the lift’s cable derailed, but noted that could have been a coincidence. It’s not uncommon to see workers on the lift towers, he said.
All told, there were about 150 skiers on the lift at the time, according to Sugarloaf, operated by Boyne Falls, Mich.-based Boyne Resorts. Sugarloaf workers used a pulley-like system to lower skiers to safety.
Eight people were taken 35 miles to Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington, said Gerald Cayer, the hospital’s executive vice president. Two of them were transferred to Maine Medical Center in Portland, Cayer said.
The failed East Spillway lift is 4,013 feet long, gains 1,454 feet of elevation and nearly reaches the summit of 4,327-foot Sugarloaf, the state’s second-tallest mountain. It went into service in 1975 and was modified in 1983, according to Sugarloaf officials.
That lift and two others started the day on a “wind hold” because of the blustery weather, but Sugarloaf officials later deemed it safe to operate before the accident at 10:30 a.m., Austin said. Guidelines for “wind holds” include wind speed and other factors, he said.
Betsy Twombly of Falmouth said the resort had notified season pass holders like herself that the lift would be the first to be replaced under a 10-year improvement plan. Austin told reporters it was on a list of those to be upgraded, but declined to say when that was due to happen.
A website dedicated to Sugarloaf’s master plan said the first priority for lifts was to replace the twin east and west spillway lifts with a larger quad lift, partly because of vulnerability to the wind. The Bangor Daily News previously quoted John Diller, Sugarloaf’s general manager, as saying he hoped this would be the last winter for the lift.
“A fixed-grip quad will provide faster and more reliable transportation for skiers and, due to its additional weight, will be significantly less prone to wind holds than the current lift,” the website said.
Twombly witnessed the aftermath of the accident and praised the quick help from Sugarloaf workers, who she said worked calmly and efficiently to get people down from the lift and off the mountain.
“I expected to see hysteria, but there was none,” she said.
Sugarloaf assured visitors that its lifts are inspected each day.
“We haven’t had a derailment of this magnitude in the 60 years Sugarloaf has been in operation,” said Richard Wilkinson, vice president for mountain operations.
The lift was properly licensed and inspected for 2010, said Doug Dunbar of Maine Department of Professional and Financial Regulation. Ski resort chair lifts fall under the jurisdiction of the department’s Board of Elevator and Tramway Safety, and two inspectors were dispatched to Sugarloaf, Dunbar said.
I can’t tell you how rare this is. But it’s probably making a lot of ski area operators think about checking their lifts, just in case.
So you think the winter months are no good for getting outside? Let me try to convince you otherwise.
A lot of people who dabble in the outdoors are looking to break free of office sounds, cell phones and e-mail. Solitude is the prize. Here’s a little secret: The cold shoos away the crowds.
But is it too uncomfortable to get outside in the deep freeze of winter? I don’t think so. Not if you prepare.
Oklahoma winters are relatively mild and mostly free of snow. It can get cold, and our winter winds to have a bite to them. But if you’re dressed right, you can have a great experience outside during winter. Some tips:
Dress in layers. Preferably, packable layers. Lightweight synthetics, fleeces, etc., can easily be stowed in a daypack if temps warm up, and then put back on when the wind kicks up for temperatures drop. Leave bulky clothes behind.
Steer clear of cotton. Cotton is durable, comfortable and breathes. It also soaks up and retains moisture, which is bad news when it’s cold. At best, you’ll feel clammy and cold. At worst, wet cotton clothing can contribute to hypothermia, which can be deadly.
Bring rain gear. Winter is a dry time in Oklahoma, but wet weather – rain, snow, sleet and ice – can occur. Even water-resistant clothing can get waterlogged, so rain gear is a good idea to have along.
Take a hat, and gloves, too. Some outdoor activities, like climbing, don’t mesh with gloves. But a hat and gloves can help regulate your body temperatures without forcing you to wear a ton of layers.
Bring plenty of food, water and sunscreen. Even though it’s cold, don’t be fooled into thinking you can’t get dehydrated. Bring two to three liters of water for a typical day trek. You burn more calories when it’s cold, so food is key. And just because it’s cold doesn’t mean you can’t suffer from sunburns. Bring lip balm, too.
These are just a few tips. Do your research. Learn what hunters, skiers and snowboarders have known for a long time: Cold-weather activities in the outdoors can be fun if you’re prepared.
Aside from opening day, this is the next biggest ski weekend of the season. From what I’ve read, things are looking pretty good on the slopes.
In particular, take a look at some of the places in southwestern Colorado. Twenty-five to 50 inches of snow in the past three days! Similar accumulations showed up throughout Utah. Taos in New Mexico got 7 inches of new snow in that same time period, which isn’t too shabby.
Here’s some links to Rocky Mountain ski areas:
New Mexico: http://www.skireport.com/newmexico/
Saw an interesting story on denverpost.com concerning a brewing controversy over the possible reintroduction of wolverines into the Colorado Rockies.
You can read the story here: http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_16907832
The issue: Ski resort operators are worried that introducing wolverines into the state may trigger government restrictions on how ski resorts can operate or expand.
Wolverines are under a protected status. The debate has arisen that pits the possible reintroduction of 30 wolverines vs. the interests of businesses, their owners and the people who work there.
This is a recurring issues in the west, where the most famous controversy erupted when wildlife officials began introduring wolves into places in the northern Rockies. Ranchers cried foul, citing big financial losses due to wolf predation.
What are your thoughts? Drop me a line and let me know what you think.
Speaking of wolves, there’s a plan by an environmental group to sue the U.S. government in an attempt to reintroduce wolves throughout the lower 48 states.
Here’s a story from The Associated Press:
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — An environmental group filed notice Tuesday that it intends to sue the federal government to force adoption of a plan to recover gray wolves across the lower 48 states.
The predators were poisoned and trapped to near-extermination in the United States in the last century. But they have bounced back in some wilderness areas over the last few decades.
Biologists with the Arizona-based Center for Biological Diversity said Tuesday they want to expand that recovery nationwide.
In the notice filed with the Interior Department, the group said it will sue within 60 days if the agency doesn’t start crafting a plan to expand wolf ranges. The Endangered Species Act requires the agency to be notified two months before a lawsuit is filed.
Despite making gains in some areas since the species was first listed as endangered in 1974, the gray wolf remains limited to about 5 percent of its historical range. About 6,000 wolves live in the lower 48 states. They are protected from hunting except in Alaska.
“Wolves once roamed nearly the whole country and down into Mexico,” said Noah Greenwald with the Center for Biological Diversity.
“We’ve learned from where wolves have been reintroduced that they have a tremendous benefit,” he said. “They force elk to move around more, which allows riparian vegetation to come back and increases songbirds, and they control coyote populations.”
Like the Bush administration, the Obama administration has pushed to end federal protections for wolves and turn control over the animals over to the states.
Could wolves be coming to Oklahoma? I’ve been getting a steady stream of people commenting on mountain lion sightings. Wolves would make for an interesting — and potentially controversial — addition to the state’s list of predator species.
Ever been lost? Not like lost in a parking lot trying to find your car in the parking lot, or lost in a new city and you can’t find a specific address or street. I mean out in the bush, off trail, not sure where you are or how to get out.
If the answer is yes, let me toss in a few variables. Ever been lost in the dark? During bad weather? Now that can be scary. I came across this post courtesy of The Adventure Journal: http://aaronteasdale.blogspot.com/2010/12/winter-descends-on-kishenehn-glacier.html
This is a pretty fascinating read, given the extreme conditions the writer was dealing with and the presence of many large predators.
Do you have a similar story? Write me about it and I’ll share it with folks.
I normally don’t post much information about far west skiing, but if you’re going to be headed to Lake Tahoe for the Christmas and New Years holidays, you are in luck.
That part of the world recently received somewhere in the neighborhood of 6 feet of snow recently. Just in time for holiday skiers.
News and notes from the world of the outdoors…
One Out There reader expressed concern that when MAPS 3 gets going and the Core to Shore portion revs up, Rocktown might be in danger of being overtaken.
Rocktown is a converted grain elevator that has rock climbing routes inside and outside the building.
I’d written about outdoor adventure in the Oklahoma City area and mentioned this place in particular. So I asked a colleague, business writer Steve Lackmeyer, for some guidance. Lackmeyer primarily writes about the downtown scene and stays up on any issues that might affect Oklahoma City’s central business district, which includes development along the Oklahoma River. His take: “At this point I don’t know of any plans that would put Rocktown in jeopardy – not even the convention center.”
So rest easy, rockhounds. Looks like Rocktown is safe.
Tennis great Martina Navratilova’s bid to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro ended prematurely, as she had to be evacuated off the mountain due to high altitude pulmonary edema.
The condition occurs when high altitude induces fluid buildup in the lungs. The best way to treat it is to go to a lower elevation. If not treated successfully, the condition can be fatal.
Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest peak at 19,341 feet. Navratilova fell ill just shy of 14,800 feet.
She’s going to be OK, but it sounds like her charity fundraiser climb was not exactly a good experience. You can read more here: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/outposts/2010/12/martina-navratilova-tennis-legend-mt-kilimanjaro-.html
For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been trying to post text from the ski reports in Colorado and New Mexico. Very time-consuming. So I think I’m going to go back to posting links, and I’ll include more states.
From what I see, plenty of good snow has been reported in Colorado, and decent snows also in Utah and Wyoming. New Mexico continues to be on the dry side, but most of the ski areas there expect to open within a week.
Many of the anecdotal reports I’ve read have suggested that the Rockies could see heavy snow all season, which bodes well for skiers and boarders. Check back here and I’ll report more as I learn more. Here’s some links…
New Mexico: http://www.skireport.com/newmexico/
I decided awhile ago that I wasn’t going to follow or write about “Sarah Pailn’s Alaska,” mostly because it doesn’t really fit the type of things I write about here. It’s a reality show set in Alaska, not an outdoors show about Alaska. But there are some days when I have to break the rules. This is one of those times.
The latest episode had the Palin clan greeting Kate Gosselin and her eight children for a campout, Alaska-style. What I expected was one thing (I didn’t watch), but what happened was something else, according to this blog post from Entertainment Weekly’s Ken Tucker: http://watching-tv.ew.com/2010/12/12/sarah-palin-alaska-kate-gosselin/?hpt=T2
Read that, and read it close. All I can say is, “Wow.”
I’ll let Mr. Tucker offer the commentary on Ms. Gosselin’s antics. Here’s my question for you: What’s the worst campout experience you’ve ever had? Or, more concisely, share your experience with us about the one person on a campout who rained on everyone else’s time.
Let’s hear it, folks!
In the northwest, you even have a bit of desert at Little Sahara State Park.
So you can climb, hike, kayak and otherwise play outside to your heart’s content.
If you’re willing to drive.
It’s two or more hours of driving for me to visit my favorite places in the state. Tulsa residents might have it a little easier for some things, but for those of us in central or western Oklahoma, you’re going to drive unless you’re OK hanging out in our plentiful prairies.
At least that was my initial thinking. But as it turns out, urban outdoor adventure exists, right in the middle of Oklahoma City. I did a little thinking and came up with a few ideas for those who want to get outside but can’t commit to a longer trip.
Climbing: Go downtown to Rocktown. The former grain silo’s interior is fitted with climbing wall handholds and footholds, with routes of varying difficulty. They’ll teach you the basics of belaying and climbing, and it’s a cheap outing right downtown. When you’re done, all of Bricktown awaits. Check them out here: http://www.rocktowngym.com/index.html
Offroad biking: Check out the trails around Lake Thunderbird. I know the lake water there isn’t the prettiest, but the trails are good, plentiful and challenging. And it’s close. Cap off a solid day of biking with a few celebratory cold ones and some food in Norman. Plenty of trails also await bikers at Lake Stanley Draper.
Hiking: You’ve got your choice, though they will be mellow hikes short on challenge, but long on nature viewing. Good trails await at the Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge west of Bethany or the Martin Park Nature Center in north Oklahoma City. These places are also pretty kid-friendly, as the hikes are fairly short and are on easy-to-follow and well-maintained trails.
Water sports: This is where Oklahoma City excels, and it’s a scene that is diverse and growing. Outside of motorsports and fishing, there are plenty of options for human-powered water sports: kayaking in many metro lakes; rowing at Lake Hefner and the Oklahoma River; windsurfing at Lake Hefner. Later on, expect a whitewater kayaking course to be developed at the Oklahoma River as development downtown – and particularly at the river – continues.
Oklahoma City suffers from many of the same geographical limitations as other cities in the Great Plains, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t things to do outside here. We’re blessed with fairly mild winters, and the spring and fall seasons are nice (outside the occasional severe storm).
Check out these opportunities (and these are not all of them by any means) and get outside more. You never know what you’ll see, do and grow into.