By Allen Best
Adventure tourism in B.C.
REVELSTOKE, B,C. – Thompson River University plans to launch an adventure tourism program in autumn 2013. The program currently accepts 50 students a year and offers courses in the Revelstoke area such as advanced ski touring and avalanche training, notes the Revelstoke Times Review
Paperwork cited in layoffs
PARK CITY, Utah – Park City’s preeminent five-star hotel has fired an unspecified number of workers after a random audit by U.S. immigration authorities revealed that invalid or inaccurate or incomplete information had been provided on I-9 forms.
The Park Record said that the chief executive at the Stein Eriksen Lodge declined to say which countries the employees were from. Some of the employees had worked at the hotel for years and others just for a season. They will be invited to return pending the submittal of complete information.
The case had provoked the hotel to use the e-Verify on-line system to check whether someone is eligible to work in the United States.
How Rio affects Snowmass
SNOWMASS VILLAGE, Colo. – Reflecting the shifts in the world economics, the business level at Snowmass and Aspen now varies greatly depends upon when the Brazilian holiday of Carnival is held.
Last year, the Carnival was held in March, and rooms in Snowmass filled. This year, it shifted to February. February lodging was up 16 percent, reports the Aspen Daily News, while March was down nearly 13 percent.
Rec-center bikes let riders juice
EDWARDS, COLO. – People pedaling the stationary bicycles at the recreational field house at Edwards should feel connected as well as healthier.
The bicycles produce electricity that is fed into the grid. There’s no expectation that the bicycles produce all that much, but they do give riders a sense of just how difficult it is to keep the lights and heat on.
A recent analysis shows that the field house is spending 64 percent less on energy use per square foot than an average commercial building in the Untied States.
The facility has big fans, R-50 ceiling insulation, and radiant heat in the floor.
Colorado ice gone earliest ever
DILLON, Colo. – Last year, the clock placed on the ice of Dillon Reservoir by the Rotary Club of Summit County stayed topside until May 23. This year, father time took a chill dip on April 11.
It was the earliest ending ever in the 47-year history of the contest.
Previously, the earliest day for the clock to drop was April 28, which occurred in the extreme drought year of 2002, notes the Summit Daily News.
Possible water restrictions in CO
VAIL, Colo. – It’s going to be a rough year for water in the Vail Valley, according to local water officials. They are telling homeowners, landscaper and others that there’s a possibility that outdoor watering will have to be restricted.
Although the storm over the weekend undoubtedly improved the picture somewhat, the view last week was that this could be the worst year ever.
“2002 was the worst thing we had seen,” said Lin Brooks, general manger of the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District. “It was the worst drought Colorado had seen since like the 1750s, according to tree ring data, and this one is so much worse, or at least shaping up to be much worse.”
Since 2002, said Brooks, the water district has increased reservoir capacities, added new water tanks, and created better plans to optimize streamflows.
“We’ve done all these things, and that should reduce the likelihood of having to have outdoor water districts,” she told the Vail Daily. “But that being said, this drought is much worse than 2002.”
A friend in need …
WHISTLER, B.C. – Several times each year, somebody suffocates after plopping head first into a tree well, a hole in the snow along a creek, or just into a pile of deep, powder snow. If not for companions who stayed close, Sarah Masseria might have been one of those victims.
In March, after a 46-inch dump at Whistler-Blackcomb, she was riding the snow atop a creek. She was riding behind two others, whom she had met that morning, and one of them at the top of the run had paused to say: “Let’sjust go slow and stay together, because there’s a ton of holes.”
Even so, she nearly perished. She went down in a hole with a thin covering of powder. “From above, all you could see was my board,” she wrote in a letter published in Pique Newsmagazine. “It was basically like being in a tree well. The more you move, the more you sink and the more that snow drops on you, weighting you down even more,” she said. “The more I moved, the further I went down…”
She was starting to suffocate.
Her companions were in front of her, but one of them had seen her go down in the corner of his eye. Even so, getting back to her was difficult in the deep snow. They tried to get her bindings off her feet. It was difficult. In a near panic, they tried harder. Finally, they dislodged her from the vise of snow. They then dragged her out of the creek.
“The three of us just looked at each other in shock and disbelief,” she writes. “If I had been alone, there’s no way I would have been able to get out.”
Population bomb redux
TELLURIDE, Colo. – Whether at 26,000 feet or at sea level, Telluride Mountainfilm takes on existential issues with big gulps.
The festival – held in Telluride on Memorial Day, but with highlights then taken to other ski towns of the West through the year – began in 1979 patterned after an Italian festival devoted to adventure and mountains.
“At our roots, our core, we are about mountains and adventure,” says Peter Kenworthy, executive director of the festival. “But since the 1990s, we have also been about – as the mission statement says – issues that matter.:”
This year, the festival has a day-long session devoted to population – appropriate, given that the world population is now tipping over the 7 billion mark, says David Holbrooke, festival director. Among those speaking will be Paul Ehrlich, author of the seminal tome, The Population Bomb, from 1968.
Also returning this year to debut his new series about the Dust Bowl of the 1930s is filmmaker Ken Burns.
The Telluride Watch notes that what may best epitomize the festival was the 1991 appearance of Sir Edmund Hillary, who was celebrated not only for his stature as the first to reach Everest’s summit, but also for his work building schools in impoverished Nepal.
“It wasn’t just mountaineering anymore,” writes Peter Shelton. “It was the things that mountaineers saw out there and what moved them to give back.”