The Outside Blog

Dispatches : Feb 2010

Shin Injury Potentially Sidelines Lindsey Vonn

Just days before Lindsey Vonn is slated to compete in her first event of the 2010 Winter Olympics. We just blogged that the skier revealed a shin injury she'd sustained Feb. 3 during a practice run in Austria, and warned she may not be able to race in Vancouver.

Here's a bit more news on the matter. Vonn said she will attempt a training run on Thursday. She refused x-rays, not wanting to know if her leg had fractured.

Vonn's injury brings back memories of her gnarly 2006 crash during a training run at the Turin Olympics. After a shocking brief hospital stay, Vonn was cleared to compete and finished a disappointing eighth. 

Four years later, expectations are high for Vonn: she is competing in all five women's Alpine events and was the favorite to win gold in the downhill and super-G events. Stay tuned to see if Vonn's cheese-wrap treatment helps her get back on the slopes.

-- Jennifer L. Schwartz

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Video: Shannon Bahrke on Today Show

Moguls skier Shannon Bahrke, who won silver at the Salt Lake Games, is one of my favorite Olympic athletes. She's down-to-earth, friendly, and just ridiculously positive. Here she dishes with Matt Lauer on the conditions on the Olympic moguls course at Cypress Mountain and her upcoming wedding. Women's moguls is one of the first Olympic events: Both the qualifiers and finals go off on Saturday. 

--Kate Siber

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Everest 2010: A Tibetan Preview from Jamie McGuinness

Shishapangma_2007_02061

It is about a month before teams from all around the world packtheir duffel bags for the flights to Kathmandu. Thus far the southlooks like business as usual with about 16 teams already announced. Toput this in perspective, in 2007, when we saw a record number ofEverest summits, there were about 17 teams on each side.

One question for 2010 is how the north will shape up. It has been afew years since climbing was open from the north. The Chinese closedEverest with their desire to celebrate the 2008 Olympics in Beijing bytaking the torch to the summit.

This created difficulties in getting permits and access to routes in2007 when they did a practice climb and again in 2008 when they took atorch to the summit. In 2009, violence in Lhasa resulted in Chinaclosing Tibet to foreigners for most of the climbing season.

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Spring Break: Hike Arches

Scenario: PBS Keeps Airing Ken Burns's The National Parks
Due to its proximity to Moab, Arches National Park has seen a steady increase in visitation since the eighties. This year, expect a deluge thanks to Burns's documentary. But the park is most heavily trafficked in May, meaning an early spring trip gets you uncrowded access to the 2,500-odd archways. At this time of year, Arches sees everything from temps in the seventies to light snow. But south-facing walls soak up enough sun to keep climbers comfortable in all conditions. Outfitters don't guide in the park, so rent gear in town at Pagan Mountaineering (435-259-1117) and shimmy up Owl Rock, an easy 5.8 trad route (stay on the park's main road past the visitor center and turn right by Balance Rock). Hikers: You'll find the most arches on the 7.2-mile Devil's Garden loop. Camp at one of Sand Flats Recreation Area's 120 sites, located on a high-desert plateau with views of the 11,500-foot La Sal Mountains ($10 per night; 435-259-2444).

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