August 13, 2012

Badwater     Photo: Jeff Hitchcock/Flickr

Ultrarunner Dies of Heatstroke

Mikhail Popov was on a solo run in Death Valley

Speed hiker and ultrarunner Mikhail "Misha" Popov died last week of heatstroke following a solo training run in Death Valley, California. He was 34. On Tuesday morning, he drove to West Side Road with his partner, Sarah Spelt, to complete a six-mile solo training run to Badwater. Spelt said she regretted not being able to talk him out of the route, which he didn't start until noon. "I said, 'Mish, you can't try to get across here.' I pictured him stranded in bushes in the heat, stuck, dying. I just can't get over that I didn't just slap him and make him listen to me." Popov ended up misjudging his route, lengthening his time in the 123-degree heat. When paramedics arrived, they were unable to revive him. Popov was well known for breaking the speed record for the 222-mile John Muir Trail in 2007, hiking it unassisted in 4 days, 5 hours, and 25 minutes.

Via San Francisco Chronicle


Beaver swimming    

Boy Scouts Stone Rabid Beaver

Animal attacked Scoutmaster

A group of Boy Scouts stoned a rabid beaver to death after it attacked their leader while he was swimming in a New York river. Assistant Scoutmaster Normand Brousseau, 51, was swimming in the Delaware River when the animal swam up to him and started biting him on the torso, buttocks, leg, and arm. After helping Brousseau to shore, the group of scouts began throwing rocks at the animal. "We could see it was still dangerous," said 16-year-old Nick Hedges. While local health officials said the encounter was unusual, it's not the first instance this summer of a swimmer being attacked by a rabid beaver. In July, two young sisters ended up in the hospital after a similar attack.



    Photo: Rick McCharles/Flickr

Coming Soon: Instant Backcountry Beer

Alaskan company to release beverage mixes

Soon you'll be able to purchase condensed and powdered beer and soda for your next multi-day expedition into the wilds. Pat’s Backcountry Beverages, an Alaska-based company, is launching a line of concentrated-liquid beers and sodas that are designed to lighten your load. All that’s required is a special bottle, which has a built-in pump to pressurize the contents, a tiny pouch filled with the beer or soda, carbonate, and some water. You put the carbonate into a cup attached to the bottle’s cap, pour the water and the concentrated beer/soda into the bottle, shake, and then drink your suddenly-created carbonated beverage of choice. The sodas, which include root beer, ginger ale, and lemon lime flavors, are set to launch at the end of August, while the beers should be released in early 2013. No word yet as to how they stack up against their preassembled peers.

Via Gizmodo



Wildfire     Photo: The National Guard/Flickr

Thousands Flee Canary Islands Wildfires

Travel warnings as fire threatens national parks

Over 5,000 people were evacuated over the weekend as strong winds fanned wildfires in Spain's Canary Islands, prompting governments to issue travel warnings. A fire on La Gomera Island forced the evacuation of around 1,000 tourists and residents by ferry and is threatening to decimate Garajonay National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site that contains woodlands that have survived for over 11 million years. “We are living through hell, we have asked the central government for more resources with which to fight the fire,” Casimimo Curbelo, a local government leader of La Gomera, told the Associated Press. A dry winter and extremely hot summer have the islands hard, where about five million tourists visit every year.

Via International Business Times


JFK Airport     Photo: Doug Letterman/Flickr

Jet Skier Breaches JFK Airport Security

Swam ashore after his PWC broke down

A jet skier managed to breach the security system at John F. Kennedy International Airport after his jet ski broke down, forcing him to swim ashore. Daniel Castillo was out on Jamaica Bay around 7:45 p.m. when his jet ski began taking on water. After his friends, who were out on the water with him, failed to come to his aid, Castillo started swimming toward land. Eventually, he reached the airport runway, scaled the airport's 8-foot perimeter fence, and entered one of the terminals—undetected by state-of-the-art motion sensors and closed-circuit cameras. Castillo was finally arrested after approaching a Delta Airlines employee and charged with criminal trespass. The Port Authority is currently investigating how Castillo made it past the $100 million airport perimeter security system.