NED OVEREND SAYS DOPERS SHOULD BE JAILED
Ned Overend, who might be the most respected mountain biker in the history of the sport, is calling for stricter punishment of cyclists who are busted for doping, saying that they should be treated as criminals. “My opinion is, it needs to be a crime to cheat in sports, to take drugs in sports. Unless they make it a crime, they’re going to have a hard time controlling” doping, he said. Overend points out that dopers effectively steal hundred thousands of dollars from racers who didn’t cheat. “That’s a crime and needs to be made a crime, so these guys would be going to jail,” said the Lung. Via Cyclingnews.
INTERIOR SECRETARY KEN SALAZAR CALLS IT QUITS
Coloradan Ken Salazar has announced he’s hanging up his Secretary of the Interior boots. The departure comes none to soon for critics on the right, who said Salazar didn’t move fast enough on oil and gas exploration in the West and pushed too hard on solar and wind energy production from that same land. Critics on the left say the opposite, that Salazar was too in bed with big oil, angering environmentalists who attacked coal projects in Wyoming and preliminary drilling in Arctic waters. His replacement will almost certainly also be a Westerner. Names floated include former senator Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, outgoing Washington governor Christine Gregoire, and recently departed Montana governor Brian Schweitzer. Via The Hill.
JACKSON’S SNOW KING OPENS ICE CLIMBING PARK
Ouray’s ice climbing gorge is better known, but it’s plenty cold enough in Jackson Hole to keep ice fresh all winter, so why not have an ice climbing center in town? Now, there is one. The new Teton Ice Park, a 40-foot-high wall at Snow King, the town ski area, was built in part by
Exum Mountain Guides Jackson-based guiding outfit Aerial Boundaries, who came back from Ouray green with envy. After that, Aerial ran an ice park at Grand Targhee from 2009 to 2011, and last summer Snow King approached the guide service about setting up one in Jackson. It brings this town of mountaineers something they haven’t had: Good ice nearby. Ice climbing in the Tetons is difficult — access is tough, routes are remote, and many of the lines are in avalanche paths. Not exactly friendly. The new park is geared for everyone from beginners to seasoned vets, and all top-roped. Via Deseret News.
WHITE NOSE SYNDROME FOUND AT MAMMOTH CAVES
White nose syndrome always sounds like some post-nasal 1980s hangover, but it’s actually a nasty disease whacking bat populations across the U.S., and now it’s been found in Kentucky’s Mammoth Caves National Park, in Long Cave. There’s reason for hope, however, despite the fact that Long Cave is the largest bat hibernaculum in the park: Although more than 400,000 visitors come to Mammoth Caves each year, Long Cave isn’t open to the public. That’s important, because although bats are thought to spread white nose to each other, there’s also suspicion that human beings may be vectors as well — just as with the current flu outbreak, you don’t have to have symptoms of an illness to spread it. Now, park officials say, decontamination procedures adopted more than two years ago in an effort to delay white nose’s arrival will help prevent people from spreading it further. Via Caving News.