Chris Davenport in Svalbard, Norway in May 2014.     Photo: Christian Pondella/Red Bull Cont

Davenport Elected to USSA Hall of Fame

First to ski all Colorado fourteeners in a year

Chris Davenport, the ski mountaineer who became the first person to ski all of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks in a year, was elected into the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame on April 11. The New Hampshire native has also climbed Mount Everest and skied the Lhotse Face.

Davenport credits Lou Dawson’s two-volume guide to Colorado’s fourteeners for inspiring his 2007 quest to ski them all in a year. According to the Denver Post, Davenport found the book during his freshman year at the University of Colorado.

“I loved that book,” Davenport told the Post. “Not only was it a guide to the fourteeners, it included skiing for all the peaks. It was something I’d never seen before, a guide to ski mountaineering. That book became my bible.”

Davenport grew up in New Hampshire’s Mount Washington Valley and was skiing in Tuckerman’s Ravine before he hit his teens. The late Shane McConkey put Davenport on the track to ski mountaineering stardom when he called Davenport in 1993 and suggested he join him at the U.S. Extreme Championships in Crested Butte. From there, Davenport went on to ski Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn, win two world extreme skiing championships, and earn a Winter X Games medal, in addition to his Everest summit and fourteener project.

At age 44, Davenport says he still has plenty of gas in the tank. “I feel like I have so much more to do skiing and so much more to give,” Davenport told the Post. “I’m young. I want to be Klaus Obermeyer. I want to be 95 and skiing Buttermilk every day.”



Nebraska's Platte River is an important natural area for migratory birds, but officials also want the park to appeal to easily bored children.     Photo: Diana Robinson/Flickr

Nebraska to Create Venture Park Complex

Weaving together recreation areas

Four park areas along the Platte River in Nebraska are set to become a “venture park” complex, the Journal Star reported Tuesday.  

The $35 million plan will lead to a number of additions to the parks, including water cycles, a natural rock wall, inflated balls that children can sit in while rolling down a hill, and unconventional lodging such as yurts and luxury tents. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission hopes the additions will give more children something to enjoy in the parks.

The commission will put venture parks in four state parks and state recreation areas between Lincoln and Omaha: Mahoney, Schramm, Platte River, and Louisville. The plan is separate from continuing efforts to address a $44.5 million backlog in deferred state park maintenance, according to the Journal Star


Man with Muscular Dystrophy Finishes Boston Marathon

Maickel Melamed (center) has a form of muscular dystrophy that severely impairs his movement.     Photo: Maickel Melamed/Twitter

Man with Muscular Dystrophy Finishes Boston Marathon

39-year-old took 20 hours

The last person to finish the Boston Marathon did so just after 4 a.m. on Tuesday, nearly 20 hours after beginning the race, the Boston Globe reports

Venezuelan Maickel Melamed, who has muscular dystrophy, battled torrential downpours and high winds for the last few miles. Melamed’s form of muscular dystrophy severely impairs his movement.

Melamed finished the race in front of a throng of cheering supporters. The Boston Athletic Association will present him with a medal, Melina Schuler, a spokesperson from Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s office, told the Boston Globe

Melamed has participated in marathons in New York, Chicago, Berlin, and Tokyo. He said Boston is special to him because it’s where his parents took him for treatment as a child.


Court Grants Legal Rights to Two Chimps

Two chimps used in biomedical experiments have been granted habeas corpus, which means they are recognized as legal persons.     Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Court Grants Legal Rights to Two Chimps

Human-style relief extended to animals

Justice Barbara Jaffe, in Manhattan Supreme Court, extended an order to show cause on Monday to two primates, implying they could be entitled to the same rights that are granted to a human being seeking relief from unlawful or inhuman confinement. In a three-page order, Jaffe ordered Stony Brook University to provide legally sufficient reason for confining chimpanzees Hercules and Leo as subjects for medical experiments. If it fails to do so at a hearing scheduled for May 6, the chimps may be set free.

Animal rights activists have greeted the order as heartening news. Given the high level of intelligence and emotional complexity recognized in chimpanzees, many advocates have argued that chimps deserve, just like human beings, to be free from indefinite confinement, and that the law should reflect that. Many hope Jaffe’s decision will affect the status and rights of hundreds of other primates living in confinement in the United States.

Though the order is unprecedented, the Nonhuman Rights Project, which filed a habeas corpus petition on behalf of the chimps in March, explicitly distinguishes it from a recognition of the two chimps as “legal persons” in a press release published Monday on the group’s website. On Tuesday afternoon, another clarification posted on the NRP website states that the words “habeas corpus” had been crossed out and struck out from the title, so that it now simply reads “Order to Show Cause.”