THE RUGGED REALITY OF SKIING TO THE SOUTH POLE
Two days ago Roland Krueger became the first German to solo ski to the South Pole, and it sure didn’t sound easy. He skied for 64 days straight pulling a 286-pound sledge, often making as little as ten miles a day battling monster sastrugi — huge, overhead-high frozen waves of snow. Krueger was often forced to crawl, and in his wake are three more skiers. Icelander Vilborg Arna Gissurardóttir is very close and will become the first native of her country to reach the pole unaided. Farther back is American Aaron Lindsdau, who sent a radio diary yesterday about the mental torment of both the sastrugi and whiteout conditions: “Mechanically [I'm fit] but psychologically and emotionally, oh man, no fricken way, I’ve just gotten torn to ribbons. It’s mind junk that just eats you alive here.” Brit Richard Parks has even farther to go and tweeted: “Have rationed food to make 2 extra days up. 8 days to make it to the Pole, I’m going to be cutting it fine.” Via Explorersweb.
SKI RESORTS BATTLE AGING DEMOGRAPHIC
Climate change isn’t the biggest challenge facing ski resorts — it’s that skiers are OLD. Attracting new skiers isn’t easy and neither is retaining them: Resorts like Vermont’s Jay Peak say that college skiers often drop out of skiing as they start their careers. Even worse, children aren’t learning at the same rate of 20 years ago. Jay is battling the trend (which could see a drop-off of 40 million annual skier visits by 2025) by reaching out to entire families, not just with packages, but with a massive, $2.5-million skier education program. The company’s CEO, Bill Stenger, says focusing on recruiting and keeping new skiers is long overdue: “I honestly think our industry has gotten a little bit lazy. We need to be more aggressive and more deliberate in how we introduce kids, in the proper way, so they get passionate about it.” Via WPTZ.com.
WYOMING BILL WOULD LEGALIZE EATING ROADKILL
A bill before the Wyoming legislature would allow people to take home roadkill and eat it. And, no, you’re not reading The Onion. House Bill 144 would allow people to take the food “if they’re going to eat it or process it,” said Representative Dan Zwonitzer. The bill would also allow the collection of carcasses for extracting an elk’s ivory teeth or an antelope hide. It likely would require anyone with a roadkill-eating permit to have committed to “putting road-killed wildlife carcasses to a beneficial use,” the bill states. Zwonitzer acknowledged that people may abuse the law and run down animals intentionally. “We have to think of all the angles and bad actors. People may not follow the law. But they’re also not following the law now.” Okay, then. Via Billings Gazette.
ULTRARUNNER’S POLAR QUEST HALTED DUE TO TOO LITTLE ICE
Ultrarunner Tim Williamson was due to set off on a record-breaking trek across the Arctic ice, leaving from Canada’s Resolute Bay for a walk, without skis, of 2,200 miles lasting between 100 and 120 days. But after receiving advice from an independent geographical society and several seasoned Arctic expedition campaigners, he has postponed his trip. The 25-year-old’s quest would almost surely have gone awry, his team says, because last summer was so unusually hot and the polar ice that has formed would’ve been especially treacherous to cross. Williamson says he’s not giving up the idea though. He’s headed to Iceland where he’ll spend the next four months training for walking and jogging in harsh conditions. Via Grough.