More than 100 dead after tragic avalanche cycle on the Afghanistan/Pakistan border

 

Staff Report, Backcountry Magazine

Over the past week, tragedy has struck the mountainous border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, where avalanches caused by heavy snowfall have lead to the deaths of more than 100 people and have buried two entire villages.

CNN reports that the avalanches occurring on Sunday, February 5, primarily claimed the lives of women and children who were residing in the provinces of eastern Nuristan, northern Parwan, Sar-e-Pul, Badakhshan and eastern Wardak in Afghanistan, and in the Garam Chashma area of Pakistan.

Source: More than 100 dead after tragic avalanche cycle on the Afghanistan/Pakistan border

Meet the man behind one of skiing’s raddest podcasts

BY CONNOR W. DAVIS, Freeskier magazine

Alex Kaufman doesn’t need to host and produce a podcast about skiing; he’s got a family, a full-time gig managing properties across the U.S. and all sorts of other responsibilities that make him a very busy dude. Yet, the ski-crazed Vermonter runs one anyways—dubbed Wintry Mix—for one overarching reason: passion.

Over the past couple of decades, Kaufman has been heavily involved in the ski industry, bouncing around between Boulder, Colorado; Vail, Colorado; Steamboat Springs, Colorado; Killington, Vermont; Attitash, New Hampshire; Sunday River, Maine; Mount Bachelor, Oregon; then all over the East Coast as a Jack of all trades for the multi-faceted brand, Ski The East. After leaving Ski The East, he knew totally abandoning the industry just wasn’t an option, leading to the creation of Wintry Mix—an insightful podcast that discusses all things skiing.

From mom-and-pop rope tow operations to Vail Resorts’ world dominance to the latest gear trends and everything in between, Wintry Mix covers it all. This isn’t just some random production, either; the podcast airs on Vermont Public Radio (most episodes are East Coast-focused), and Kaufman says his episodes are potentially going to serve as course materials at certain colleges with ski industry programs.

– See more at: http://freeskier.com/stories/meet-the-man-behind-one-of-skiings-raddest-podcasts#sthash.vjcekuoe.dpuf

Source: Meet the man behind one of skiing’s raddest podcasts

Interactive map of Colorado’s trail system in testing stages

DENVER – Coloradans can look forward to an interactive map of more than 20,000 miles of Colorado trails that will roll out this summer as part of Gov. John Hickenlooper’s Colorado the Beautiful initiative.

The mapping system is in early testing stages, and will include trails from agencies all over the state, including those that fall in wilderness areas such as the Weminuche, said Chris Kehmeier, project manager for the initiative.

Source: Interactive map of Colorado’s trail system in testing stages

A New Film to Inspire Families to Get Outside

“Going for a short hike, watching the ducks, and letting your kids roll around in the dirt can have a much larger impact on their lives and the health of our planet than you may realize.”  Alisa Geiser and Aly Nicklas are the founders of Born Wild Project…

Source: A New Film to Inspire Families to Get Outside

Braving the Elements

Right now, I am sitting in my neighborhood coffee shop, enjoying an incredibly beautiful late fall day…the kind where I walk out my front door and take a deep happy breath. It is in the 70s in the middle of November! I did get up this morning and run in the cold, but it was the kind of cold that I knew would shortly morph into this amazing day.

I know what will be coming soon though. The deep, dark winter.  When many people seem to disappear from the outside.  Where is everyone? This disappearance is universal apparently, in places that have real seasons. In my past life in Chicago, before I embraced running as an essential part of my life, I wondered the same thing when I would trek to the local bar in a real live Chicago snowstorm.  Where is everyone? And then of course, spring would come, and everyone would come out of the woodwork. Back then, I would walk ten blocks to the EL every day of every brutal winter to get to work – I did not think much about it as that was just what I had to do.  I certainly did not appreciate it.

But now, in my life as an ultra-runner, there is a choice. Why do I choose to run in the snow, in the sleet, in the rain, in the ten degree temperatures? And why do I appreciate it? Just to train for a race or to stay in shape during the wintertime? Those are important reasons, although I think it really is more than that.  I think it comes down to the importance of braving the elements. I actually want to brave the elements.

There are so many things in our lives that we can let limit or control us. Tradition, structure, time of day, time constraints, personal and societal expectations, the dark and the light, and the list goes on. And of course nature and the weather…the elements.

Yet, braving the elements opens an entirely new perspective. It goes along with something I aspire to as a person – which is to put myself in situations that I would not otherwise be in, to see things that I would not otherwise see. To become more resilient. To gain more freedom of movement and experience. To have one less thing to hold me back. I like to call it “freedom via Mother Nature.”

It all started when I signed up for my first ultra marathon on New Year’s Day in 2015, which meant my training started immediately…and I had never even run on a trail before! Here is a scene from my very first run on a trail:

winter

Who doesn’t want to run around in the snow and feel like a child again? I think I was excited overall but training in the winter still seemed daunting to me. However, it quickly became a lesson in organization and preparation, both of which are key to many things in life. I also quickly realized that it will be difficult to have a bad day in nature when I am excited about it, no matter what the circumstances of nature. We cannot control the elements of course, but we can control our approach towards braving the elements. Organization, preparation, excitement.

Now, I rarely even think twice about the weather, whether I am walking or riding to my office in the city, or spending time in the woods on the weekends. Learning how to brave and appreciate the elements really has made it second nature to be outside…which in turn really lets me feel more alive.  I often feel like I can go anywhere and do anything outside at any time in any weather.

Now that is freedom…

Ilene Bloom is an evolving ultra runner, mother and lawyer who lives in Denver. She also knows how to knit warm scarves to brave the elements in. She does have her limits, though–at about ten degrees- and she feels differently about driving in the winter. If you have any questions or thoughts about this article, Ilene can be reached at ilenebloom@hotmail.com.

 

Did An Unknown Hiker Just Break Every A.T. Record?

Her story seems inconceivable, but an unknown hiker claims to have bested Karl Meltzer’s day-old record on the AT, and she claims to have done it self-supported.

Source: Did An Unknown Hiker Just Break Every A.T. Record?

Rob Barlow, 31, beats grim asthma diagnosis and sets record for biking, climbing 105 of Colorado’s highest peaks

Told he’d be tethered to oxygen by age 30, assistant Denver DA who is hardy in spirit and body proves doctors wrong by climbing 105 peaks with no motors involved.

Source: Rob Barlow, 31, beats grim asthma diagnosis and sets record for biking, climbing 105 of Colorado’s highest peaks

Ganja-preneurs create customized experiences that combine recreation and marijuana | SummitDaily.com

When Joel Schneider first began doing business in Colorado, he wasn’t planning on entering the cannabis industry. At the time, he was commuting back and forth from New York,

Source: Ganja-preneurs create customized experiences that combine recreation and marijuana | SummitDaily.com