AS LINDSEY VONN’S MARRIAGE CRUMBLED, SHE FOUND NEW SUCCESS. The alpine racer split with her husband of four years, Thomas, in an acrimonious divorce that both call a “mess,” but the 27-year-old had her best year ever on the World Cup, winning in disciplines that weren’t her strength and dominating those that were. “This year, I realized that I’m the only one in the start gate and I’m the only one deciding what line to ski and how fast,” Vonn said. “That was really empowering. It was kind of like being a kid again, skiing for yourself and having fun with it.” Without Thomas as coach and mentor, Vonn found support among her fellow ski teamers and even her sometimes chilly relationship with rival Julia Mancuso began to thaw. Via NY Times.
ITALIAN SIMONE MORO IS GOING FOR EVEREST AND LHOTSE on the same expedition — again. The 45-year-old has summited Everest four times, but nobody’s completed the attempt to link Everest and Lhotse. The difficulty is that even though the route is obvious: descend Everest after summiting, then head up the South Col to the top of Lhotse, the fourth-highest mountain on earth, it means spending an eternity above 8,000 meters. Moro tried it in 2010, only to have his gear at his highest camp swept away in an avalanche and his base camp belongings stolen. Now he’s headed back and brothers Helmut and Hans Peter Karbon will climb and film with him. As if the effort weren’t difficult enough, the goal is to do the climb with no oxygen. Via Montagna.tv.
RESORT OPERATOR STARWOOD IS DEVELOPING A HUGE SKI AREA IN CHINA. Starwood and Sheraton are opening resort properties in China’s Changbai Mountains in August. The area is home to plenty of skiing already, and the world’s longest toboggan run, but in a growing sign that the Chinese want higher-class amenities at home, both Starwood and Sheraton are extending brands in the country, hoping to get a toehold on a potentially huge recreation market. And although the Changbai have skiing, the region is vast enough for much greater lift-served development — not to mention, full-fledged resorts. Many of the villages are relatively sleepy, lacking the beds and other amenities that have seen Chinese skiers head abroad instead. Via Marketwatch.com.
ONE WAY TO BATTLE AN INVASIVE SPECIES: SHOOT IT. The island of Boca Grande, Florida, has more than 10,000 iguanas thanks to pet importers who brought them (and many other non-native species) to the Sunshine State over the years and owners who released them into the wild. One problem: These reptiles have no natural predators but prey on local species, both fauna and flora. George Cera was hired to do something about it and he’s shot thousands of them. In this video, he explains the unsettling reality: That it’s sad to have to kill the iguanas, but the option of letting them run amok just isn’t viable, either. Via Vimeo.