The Outside Blog

Dispatches : Apr 2013

3 Presumed Dead in Alaska Heli Crash

Three people are presumed dead after an Alaska State Trooper helicopter crashed near Larson Lake in the south-central portion of the state on Saturday night. The helicopter had picked up a stranded snowmobiler and was carrying the rider, a state trooper, and a pilot back to Talkeetna when it crashed for unknown reasons.

A National Guard helicopter spotted the crash site at 9:20 a.m. on Sunday. Mandatory crew rest and fog in Anchorage prevented them from launching an air search until 5 a.m.

"This is a huge, profound tragedy for us. We can replace the helicopter, but we can't replace what went down with it," said Megan Peters, a spokesperson for the Alaska State Troopers. The National Transportation Safety Board plans to investigate the incident.

Via The New Jersey Star-Ledger

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Hiker Rescued After 6 Days on Mount Hood

Six days after she set out to hike 11,235-foot Mount Hood, a 23 year old who got lost and fell in a canyon during a snowstorm was located by a helicopter and rescued. Fox College student Mary Owen made the trip alone after a group of friends decided not to join her during spring break. "It was a really headstrong decision," she told The Oregonian.

The following details from her survival ordeal appeared in The Oregonian. Owens set on Sunday morning, March 24, to hike the mountain, and got caught in a snowstorm roughly 1,000 feet from her destination. The white out conditions led her to mistakenly walk into a canyon she could not climb out of due to deep snow. On Monday morning, she fell roughly 40 feet over rocky terrain and injured her leg. She built a fire to melt water, dug a snow hole, and rationed her Nutri-Grain bars, crackers, ramen noodles, and chia seeds. On Wednesday, she ran out of food, her friends began to worry, and her parents called police. On Thursday, police found her car and began searching. She was rescued by a helicopter on Saturday after climbing up to a ridgeline. Owens was taken to a hospital due to a cut on her thigh, a minor injury to her right leg, and frostbite on both feet.

"I hope I get my toes," she said. "I like to run around barefoot."

Test your survival skills with this quiz.

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Exxon Cleaning Up Huge Arkansas Spill

Exxon Mobil is continuing its efforts to clean up a pipeline spill that dumped thousands of gallons of heavy Canadian crude on the town of Mayflower, Arkansas. The spill came from Exxon’s Pegasus pipelines, which carries 90,000 barrels of crude per day (bpd) from Illinois to Texas. The leak was discovered Friday, but not before it forced the evacuation of 22 homes. Exxon has not given an estimate for how much was spilled, according to Reuters, but they claim to have recovered 12,000 barrels of oil and water so far.

Opponents of the 800,000 bpd Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry heavy crude from Canada’s tar sands to the Gulf Coast, are pointing to the incident as proof that crude from oil sands is more corrosive to pipelines and inherently more dangerous. "Whether it's the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, or ... [the] mess in Arkansas, Americans are realizing that transporting large amounts of this corrosive and polluting fuel is a bad deal for American taxpayers and for our environment," said Representative Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat.

Last week, a train carrying crude from the Alberta tar sands in Canada derailed in western Minnesota, spilling 15,000 gallons of fuel. Investigations by government agencies into both spills are under way.

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The Minimalism Starter Kit: Strength and Agility

Do these drills twice in succession two days a week for 30 to 50 yards on flat ground.

BACKWARD LUNGES: Helps activate your glutes and hamstrings, which improves coordination.

DUCK AND PIGEON WALK: To increase ankle mobility, turn your feet in 45 degrees (see above), don’t bend your knees, take long strides, and stay on the outside of your arches. Then turn your feet out 45 degrees, don’t bend your knees, take short steps, and stay on the inside of your arches.

SKIPPING: Try and come down fast, which helps speed your toe-off.

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The Minimalism Starter Kit: Focus on Form

RUN TALL: Keep your head over your shoulders, your shoulders over your hips, your hips over your knees, and your knees over your feet.

KEEP IT QUICK AND LIGHT: Shoot for 165 to 180 steps per minute; imagine you’re running on hot coals.

STAY RELAXED: Keep your jaw, neck, shoulders, and arms loose but engaged.

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