The Outside Blog

Dispatches : Feb 2010

Mavericks: What You Missed This Weekend

Chris Bertish of South Africa won the 2009/2010 Mavericks Surf Contest by aggressively paddling into monster surf that many were calling 40-foot and higher, with some reports of 60-foot waves that no one was able to catch.

"I took the worst beating of my life out there," Bertish told Surfline after the event.

A crowd of approximately 50,000 fans at Half Moon Bay also watched Anthony Tashnick win the "Gnarliest Drop" Award and Dave Wassel claim the Jay Moriarity Award, given to the surfer who best exemplifies the spirit and passion that Jay was famous for.

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British Teams Wins Wenger Patagonian

Wenger Patagonian Expedition Race ChampionsAfter six-and-a-half grueling days, the British team Helly-Hansen Prunesco bested 14 international teams and held on to their title at the Wenger Patagonian Expedition Race, the "world's toughest and wildest race" through the southernmost reaches of Chilean Patagonia.

The 600km course has teams trekking, kayaking and biking in Tierra Del Fuego (translation: Land of Fire), the Karukinka Reserve, Cordillera Darwin and in the Beagle Channel.  

The ongoing race is scheduled to finish for the remaining competitors on February 17, with eight teams (five have dropped out) still trying to complete the course before the time cut-off. Last year's finish rate was 30 percent.

-- Jennifer L. Schwartz

 

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The Top 5 Things To Do in Steamboat

Julia&chad

I recently got back from an epic weekend in Steamboat. I stayed at the swanky One Steamboat Place, a brand new ski-in/ski-out residence, located just steps from the gondola. The spacious yet cozy "gathering room" was a major treat--a great spot to either hang with your buds before a run or relax fireside with a glass of vino after a long day out. While there's no shortage of adventures in Steamboat, I narrowed the list down to five things you should definitely check out this winter.

5. Chill with Former Olympians: They're all over the place. I had a blast with Brendan Doran and Randy Weber, Olympic ski jumpers in the '98 Nagano Olympics, at the 97th Annual Winter Carnival Night Show at Howelsen Hill.

4. Get down with the locals: There's awesome live music and plenty to drink at the Ghost Ranch Saloon--don't miss it.

3. Say mush: Go dog sledding at Grizzle-T Dog & Sled Works. This is the only outfit in town that allows you to drive the sleds on your own. I learned to drive a team of huskies along a beautiful, scenic backcountry trail.

2. Bliss out: Soak your muscles after a long day of snowboarding or skiing at the relaxing Strawberry Park Hot Springs.

1. Score some powder: I got to snowboard some killer groomed runs with former downhill Olympic ski racer Chad Fleischer (I know, again with the Olympians. It's like I said). I had the privilege of getting pulled through an awesome powder meadow (check out the photo above) by Fleischer himself.

--Julia Fullerton

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Update: Climber's Body Recovered From Mount St. Helens


Update: A Navy helicopter recovered the body of 52-year-old climber Joseph Bohlig from the crater of Mount St. Helens, according to oregonlive.com. An autopsy will be performed at the Clark County Medical Examiner's Office.

Earlier Post

Due to bad weather, an ongoing rescue attempt has yet to extricate 52-year-old Joseph Bohlig of Washington state from the crater of Mount St. Helens. His condition is unknown.

After removing his gear and jacket for a celebratory photo on the volcano's infamous lip yesterday afternoon, a snow cornice gave way, sending Bohlig tumbling 1,500 feet down, according to USA Today. Bohlig's climbing partner, Scott Salkovics -- an army rescue pilot -- quickly tossed the parka and emergency supplies down after him and called 911. Both men are experienced climbers; Bohlig has reportedly climbed Mount St. Helens dozens of times.

Three hours after the fall, a Coast Guard rescue pilot reported seeing Bohlig upright but not moving and unresponsive to the helicopter above, according to Portland's KGW. Today, an Air Force helicopter has joined in on the rescue.

-- Jennifer L. Schwartz

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Is Low Altitude a Disadvantage for Olympic Athletes?

It seems counterintuitive: Shouldn't Vancouver's relatively low altitude and thicker air help athletes perform better at this year's Olympics?

Not always, says Robert Chapman, an expert in altitude training and exercise physiologist at Indiana University. In the special Winter Olympics issue of the journal Experimental Physiology, Chapman argues that altitude affects athletes in skill sports such as skating, ski jumping and snowboarding by tweaking the amount of air resistance they feel when performing the exacting moves they've practiced thousands of times.

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