The Outside Blog

Skiing and Snowboarding : May 2012

Famous 'Falling Bear' Killed by Car in CO

A black bear famously photographed falling from a tree while tranquilized last month was struck and killed by cars near Boulder, Colorado, on Thursday. The 280-pound bear, which had been relocated to a wilderness 50 miles west of Boulder, attempted to cross U.S. 36 near Boulder when it was hit by two cars. Wildlife officials say the bear was likely trying to return due to food scarcity. "It's a bummer. It's so hard to go through this and not be able to give these bears a good place to live," said spokesperson Jennifer Churchill. "The community sees relocating bears as a kind of perfect solution, and unfortunately it's a really difficult proposition."

Read more at The Boulder Daily Camera

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Cory Richards Will Not Return to Everest

Cory Richards, the award-winning photographer and climber for the North Face, will not return to Mount Everest after suffering respiratory distress that forced his evacuation from 23,000 feet on Saturday. Doctors in Kathmandu cleared Richards to return to the mountain after finding no evidence of altitude-related illness, but team leaders at Base Camp remain concerned for Richards' health and have pulled him from the expedition. "Though I'm deeply disappointed in the decision not to let me return, I understand completely the team's collective concerns regarding my health and well-being, and honor and respect them," Richards wrote in an email on Wednesday. He is now in Kathmandu and will return to his home in Boulder, Colorado. Richards' climbing partner, Conrad Anker, has not yet decided whether to continue up the West Ridge, though he says he is looking for a suitable partner.

Read more at The North Face

--Nick Davidson
@nickgdavidson

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Greenland Glacial Melt Slows in Areas

A new study by researchers from the University of Washington's Polar Science Center suggests that Greenland's glaciers are melting significantly slower than previously believed. Ian Joughin and colleagues analyzed radar images of 200 Greenland glaciers that revealed dramatic inconsistencies in ice flow. Melt on the Jakobshavn glacier abruptly doubled its rate a few years ago, suggesting a possible six-foot rise in ocean levels by the end of the century. "Some people feared if they could double their speed over two or three years, they could keep doubling," Joughin said. He now estimates a sea level rise of three feet or less. Greenland's glaciers hold enough water to raise the sea level by 20 feet.

Read more at NPR

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Ivory-Smuggling Case Turns Up Stolen Art

Officials from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service are hoping to return a cache of stolen art uncovered last year during an investigation into a major ivory-smuggling operation in Alaska. Prosecutors say Jesse Leboeuf and Loretta Sternbach, who were found with poached ivory taken from some 100 walruses, also planned to sell five stolen paintings worth as much as $1 million. Investigators believe the paintings were taken from a collector named Nicolette Wernick in 2005. It is the first known case in USFWS history involving stolen art. "There's been things like jewelry from overseas made from parts of endangered animals, but as far as pieces of fine art, that's never happened, as far as I can remember," said spokesman Bruce Woods.

Read more at Reuters

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The Six-Month Test: Focus FSL 1.0

This German race machine is plenty fast and light but still left us wanting.

The Focus  FSL 1.0
It's not often that a brand new suspension design shows up, so as soon as we saw the Focus FSL, we knew we had to ride it. The German bike manufacturer showed a prototype of this 100mm, 26-inch-wheeled model at Interbike 2010, but because of production and stock issues we didn't get our tester until nearly a year later. The bike was officially on the market in 2011 but pretty hard to find, meaning that 2012 is the first time that consumers will have easy access to the FSL.

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