U.S. Ski Team Takes Over Nastar

A young racer with Steve Nyman. The U.S. Ski Team will assume daily responsibility of Nastar to bring more awareness to ski racing.     Photo: U.S. Ski Team

U.S. Ski Team Takes Over Nastar

Hopes integration will boost recruitment

The U.S. Ski Team is taking operational control of Nastar, the recreational ski racing program that brought up the likes of Ted Ligety and Julia Mancuso. The announcement was made Monday at the National Ski Areas Association annual convention, according to Ski Magazine.

“Being able to integrate Nastar directly into our programs will allow us to better include competitors of all ages, encouraging them to expand their participation in ski racing and connecting them with USSA clubs and racing system nationwide,” U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) CEO Tiger Shaw said in the statement.

By taking over Nastar, which began in 1968 as a program of Ski Magazine, the U.S. Ski Team hopes to broaden its pool of young ski racers. The USSA’s statement said that the integration will increase awareness of the sport and serve as a recruiting tool.

“Nastar is where most ski racers in America, including myself, were introduced to the thrill of going fast and competing on skis, by challenging our friends and family on the course,” Ligety said in the statement.

The USSA and Active Interest Media—which owns Ski and Skiing magazines, Warren Miller Entertainment, and, until this year, Nastar—have signed a letter of intent for USSA to take operational control in 2015. Nastar is currently in place at 115 U.S. resorts, and USSA hopes the program will boost numbers at its 400-plus local clubs across the country.

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Dean Potter Sets FKT on Half Dome

Dean Potter shared this map of his FKT route, which he completed in two hours, 17 minutes, and 52 seconds.     Photo: Dean Potter/Facebook

Dean Potter Sets FKT on Half Dome

Shaves nearly six minutes off old record

Dean Potter set the fastest known time (FKT) running up and down Half Dome in Yosemite National Park last weekend, Adventure Journal reported Tuesday

Potter completed his climb and descent in 2 hours, 17 minutes, 52 seconds. His mark was nearly six minutes faster than the previous record of 2:23:51, which Kyle Williams set in September 2014. During his record-setting effort, Potter carried no food or water and wore only shorts, socks, and shoes, according to Adventure Journal

Potter has made headlines in the past for other stunts, including his controversial wingsuit flight with his dog and his controversial May 2006 climb of Delicate Arch in Arches National Park. 

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Map: Popular Mountain Bike Trails by State

Singletracks uses data from its members to determine the most popular trails.     Photo: Aspen Snowmass/Flickr

Map: Popular Mountain Bike Trails by State

Interactive map shows most-ridden tracks

Singletracks.com released its 2015 list of the most popular U.S. mountain bike trail in each state. 

The rankings were determined by Singletracks’ average reviewer rating, number of reviews, number of members who have ridden the trail, and number of members who want to ride the trail.

Since last year, Singletracks received almost 10,000 new mountain bike trail ratings and reviews, resulting in the most popular trail changing in 20 states from 2014 to 2015. 

Check out the interactive map at Singletracks.com.

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Artist to Cover Italian Lake in Gold Fabric

Christo plans to connect Italy's Lake Iseo with a pier on which visitors can walk.     Photo: Jon Shave/Flickr

Artist to Cover Italian Lake in Gold Fabric

‘Floating Piers’ will allow visitors to walk on water

Conceptual artist Christo has unveiled plans to envelope Lake Iseo, a freshwater lake in Italy’s Lombardy region, in more than 750,000 square feet of yellow fabric, according to a recent press release. The Floating Piers will involve a modular floating dock system of 200,000 high-density polyethylene cubes to support the fabric, creating a two-mile walkway from the town of Sulzano to the island of Monte Isola and around the island of San Paolo.

“It will be like walking on water,” Christo said during a press conference at the Maxxi Auditorium in Rome, according to the ANSA news agency

The Floating Piers, which may bear some resemblance to his large-scale covered-in-cloth project Surrounded Islands (1983), is Christo’s first major project since The Gates (2005), in which he and his late partner Jeanne-Claude filled New York City’s Central Park with a series of orange-draped archways. Though Christo has raised $10 million for this project, it’s unclear how much it will ultimately cost to bring to fruition.

The announcement comes a few months after Christo enjoyed a major victory with another large-scale land sculpture. In January, a federal judge deferred to an approving decision by the Bureau of Land Management to allow Christo to build Over the River, which would involve installing a series of luminous silvery panels along a 42-mile stretch above the Arkansas River, according to the Pueblo Chieftan. As Outside reported in 2012, Over the River was subject to an uncommonly long process of obtaining government approval, in addition to protests from nearby community residents who believed Over the River would be detrimental to the environment.

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