The Weekly Stoke: Marathon tips, Utah BASE jumping deaths, interviewing Chris Davenport and why a Grand Canyon theme park is a bad idea

Zion National Park, Utah. (Wikipedia Commons photo)

Zion National Park, Utah. (Wikipedia Commons photo)

Man, it hit 81 degree here yesterday. So I guess winter really is over. Time to get out there! But first, a collection of links for the Weekly Stoke!

Got a spring marathon or half coming up? Here is a good list of common mistakes to avoid, as well as solutions.

Speaking of things to be careful about, this post has links from bloggers who describe some of their more notable errors they made in the outdoors, and what they learned from it.

There has been a spate of BASE jumping deaths in the desert towers of Utah.

The Adventure Journal posted this op-ed about plans to build a theme park at the Grand Canyon, and I have to agree.

And finally, there is this piece about a conversation with big mountain skier Chris Davenport.

The Weekly Stoke: Road life in a pickup, health benefits of ultras, controversy at Alta, and how to pick up girls at the climbing gym

One couple's idea of a new home. ( photo)

One couple’s idea of a new home. ( photo)

We’ve got a jam-packed edition of the Weekly Stoke this week, so let’s not waste time and get down to it…

A Vancouver couple ditched their downtown condo in favor of a pickup with a campertop and put their life on the road. Here are some of their thoughts on why they did it and what they’ve experienced.

Ultramarathoner and blogger Ashley Walsh takes on the issue of health benefits that come with ultra-length races and training. You might be surprised by her take.

Speaking of ultra training and health, these runners give you some of their tips for recovery.

And then there’s this story about running and suffering through “the death race.”

Alta ski resort in Utah is getting sued by snowboarders who are contesting its skiers-only policy.

Brendan Leonard creates a chart on how to appeal to girls at the climbing gym.

And finally, some information about how being outside in a natural setting trumps being outside in more man-made places.

Have a great weekend!

The Weekly Stoke: Top mountaineering posts of 2013, skiing in North Korea, a frigid marathon and a Texan skier’s reaction to legalized pot

Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. (Wikipedia commons photo)

Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. (Wikipedia commons photo)

Hopefully everyone is out of the deep freeze and is avoiding the bug that’s been going around. I’m one-for-two on that count, but on the mend. Anyway, Here’s a good collection of links I think you’ll find interesting from the world of the outdoors. Let’s get on with the Weekly Stoke!

The good folks at In Ice Axe We Trust put together their top 10 (more like 13) mountaineering  trip reports for 2013, and there are some good ones in there. If you’re a regular reader of Proactiveoutside, you might recognize one of those posts…

North Korea’s construction of a ski resort is more than just an attempt to boost tourism, though I have to wonder how much demand there is for North Korean powder. It may be a middle finger directed toward European and other ski lift manufacturers who refused to help build the site, this post posits.

What’s the coldest marathon you’ve ever run? Probably not as cold as this guy’s. Hint: It was run in Russia.

The survivor of a plane crash in Hawaii managed to record the entire event, and part of that includes what is probably going to be the selfie of the year.

And finally, we go back to the slopes where a rich Texas ski tourist says he’ll take his business elsewhere is he sees or hears too much “pot” stuff at Colorado ski resorts. Note to rich Texan ski guy: I don’t think you’ll be missed.

The Weekly Stoke: Surviving an avalanche, how to spot a bad partner, father-son adventuring and a new outdoorsy book


We’re just a few days away from Christmas, and my guess is a lot of you have some time off to spend with family or just relax. My hope is that you’ll find some time to ski, board, snowshoe, hike, climb, run, bike, race or whatever it is you do outside while you’re off. Use your time to the fullest!

All that said, here’s an abbreviated version of the Weekly Stoke…

Not long ago, a video started making the rounds about a backcountry skier who triggered an avalanche in Utah. The slide partially buried her, despite her avy airbags deploying. That skier, Amie Engerbretson, tells her story, and does so in a detailed and humble way.

That said, stuff happens. But are there steps you can take to make sure you’re not out with bad skiing or mountaineering partners? This list shows some of the red flags you need to be looking for.

Want to see a great trip report? And the ultimate outdoor father-son adventure? Read this one from Summitpost. Beats Disneyland any day.

Finally, if you’re looking for a Christmas gift for that outdoorsy, road-trip-loving friend or family member, read this excerpt from Brendan Leonard’s new book. The guy can write, and he’s led a pretty interesting life on the road.

Have a great weekend, and Merry Christmas!

The Weekly Stoke: Best running surfaces, “Fight Club,” exploring remote places and a ski moment one guy would like to forget


It’s race week for me, so I’ve been a little bit preoccupied in my thinking and such. Foremost on my mind: Get outside and do something. Hopefully you’re doing just that. But if you’re stuck inside for the time being and have some time to kill, check out the goodies on this edition of the Weekly Stoke:

Are you having Achilles pain? Could be a case of your glutes not doing their job.

What’s the best running surface? The answer in this link might surprise you.

I love this idea. Via the Adventure Journal, a couple is exploring the most remote places in each of the nation’s 50 states.

Brendan Leonard takes a look back at one of the great films of the ’90s, “Fight Club,” and what it means to him 14 years after its release.

This is a couple of weeks old, but it’s awesome: a photo gallery of finish line moments from the Twin Cities Marathon in Minneapolis. Pure web gold here, folks.

Finally, check out this video. It takes a awhile to get going, but when it’s done you’ll be glad you’re not this guy.

The Weekly Stoke: Lost in the mountains, climate change, tips for ski season and Alex Honnold climbing in Yosemite

Flying over Antarctica. (Wikipedia Commons photo)

Flying over Antarctica. (Wikipedia Commons photo)

A whole lot of ground to cover this week, so let’s not waste time. Enter the Weekly Stoke!

Some sobering news again this week from the high country as an Ohio man goes missing somewhere near Colorado’s Mount Harvard. This, plus another search (sorry, don’t have a link on that one) further south in the Sangre de Cristo range. Both involved solo hikers. Having just done a solo, the weight of these stories is not lost on me.

Climate change deniers are making some noise about a report showing growth in polar ice, but a recent study shows that the reasons behind Antarctic ice shelf growth is not the result in a leveling off of warming temperatures. That, and the arctic ice pack is still shrinking.

This report reveals how Americans prefer their exercise: Solo and brief.

Here are some tips to get you ready for the upcoming ski season.

And just for fun, who doesn’t like a video of Alex Honnold doing what he does best? Have a look.

Alex Honnold in Yosemite: National Parks Epic Challenge from National Park Foundation on Vimeo.

The Weekly Stoke: Scary hikes, more from the Leadville 100, treadmills and an amazing ski video


Labor Day weekend is here! It’s the annual last fling of the summer, and I hope you all have an awesome time planned. I’ll be working, or training, or both. But no matter. Here’s some reading material for you before you head out for your holiday weekend adventures…

Here’s a really interesting photo gallery of 20 terrifying hikes.

There is a lawsuit over an ice climbing accident that could have major ramifications on businesses specializing in guiding climbs and other outdoor adventures. Via Outside magazine.

This blogger has a really cool post featuring behind-the-scenes photo from this summer’s Leadville 100 trail race. Excellent, candid photos.

The treadmill is a go-to tool for a lot of runners, or a standby backup when the weather does not cooperate. But this article explains how the physics of treadmill running differs greatly from outdoor running, and the side effects aren’t the best.

And finally, a really cool movie trailer to get you stoked for ski season. Enjoy it, and have an awesome weekend!

The Weekly Stoke: Tales from the road, an avalanche report, cycling in schools and aerial glacier footage

( image)

( image)

We’re on time with the Weekly Stoke this time! With sweet links to boot. All of them are good reads with food for thought and discussion. Here’s what I found this week that caught my interest:

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center released its official report on an avalanche that killed five people last weekend near Loveland Pass. The technical information is interesting and that narrative of the slide is as detailed as it is heartbreaking. Be careful out there, folks.

Outside Magazine thinks mountain biking might be the next big thing in high school sports.

Want to know what’s ahead of someone who decides to drive across the world? The Adventure Journal does an interview with a guy who, with his wife, is doing just that. Fascinating read.

Speaking of road warriors, this blogger writes about some of her not-so-pleasant encounters while out on the highways. Being a free-spirited, adventurer-driven traveler has its downsides. A good read with a good question from Gina Begin.

In India, bull surfing is a thing. The photos of this are awesome.

And finally, watch this video showing an aerial view of Alaskan glaciers. Simply gorgeous.

PAUSE 4 from PAUSE on Vimeo.

5 killed in Colorado avalanche identified

The sites of Saturday's avalanche near Loveland Pass, Colo. Reports indicate that some blocks of snow were the size of golf carts, and that the avalanche was up to 8 feet deep. ( image)

The site of Saturday’s avalanche near Loveland Pass, Colo. Reports indicate that some blocks of snow were the size of golf carts, and that the avalanche was up to 8 feet deep. ( image)

Some truly horrible news out of Colorado Saturday night, where an avalanche near Loveland Pass killed four snowboarders and one skier.

A report from CBS News says the slide was 200 yards wide and 8 feet deep. CBS identified those killed as 32-year-old Christopher Peters, of Lakewood; 32-year-old Joseph Timlin, of Gypsum; 33-year-old Ryan Novack, of Boulder; 36-year-old Ian Lanphere, of Crested Butte; and 33-year-old Rick Gaukel, of Estes Park. One person survived and was able to dig out to report the incident to authorities.

The Adventure Journal reports that Timlin was the sales manager for a number of snowboard industry brands. Lamphere, a skier, was the owner of Gecko Climbing Skins and the co-founder of Backcountry TV and the Stowe Mountain Film Festival.

A lot of snow had fallen in the area, and the report says the Colorado Avalanche Information Center had warned of risky avalanche conditions.

The avalanche occurred in a backcountry area near the Loveland Ski Area, but was not inside the boundaries of the resort.

Backcountry skiing and snowboarding has become increasingly popular in recent years, mostly because of the promise of no crowds, fresh snow and the added challenge. Not to mention, the appeal of not having to buy increasingly pricey lift tickets.

The Adventure Journal posted this graphic of increasing avalanche deaths from the CAIC:


Improved technology in terms of safety equipment has also given more people the drive to try their hand at backcountry skiing and boarding.

The CBS report notes that all members of the group were wearing avalanche beacons. Other reports note that the group was experienced in the backcountry.

The site of Saturday's avalanche at Loveland Pass. ( image)

The site of Saturday’s avalanche at Loveland Pass. ( image)

The Denver Post has done some thorough reporting on this, noting that it’s the deadliest avalanche to hit Colorado since a 1962 slide killed seven people. The Post also quotes one expert as saying that current conditions — recent snowfall, snowpack instability and high winds — makes it much less like April (when the snowpack tends to consolidate and stabilize) and more like February, when conditions are normally more unstable and dangerous.

The following video gives additional reporting, though they do not ID the victims.

Weekly Stoke: Surviving in a snow cave, avalanche tragedy, lost hikers found and a different kind of bike ride

Something I’ve thought about doing for some time is posting some things in the news that I’ve seen that might interest folks like you and me. So I’m going to set aside a weekly space for some of the stories that caught my attention, and might also stoke yours. Thus is born the Weekly Stoke!

Here goes…

Mount Hood. (Wikipedia Commons photo)

Mount Hood. (Wikipedia Commons photo)

A hiker in Oregon got herself in a bit of trouble on Mount Hood, slipping and falling and injuring her leg. She was able to dig out a snow cave where she rode it out six days before being rescued. Check out the full story and a video here.

A less uplifting story out of Colorado. Some backcountry skiers got caught in a large avalanche, and not all of them survived to tell the tale. An excellent write-up from the Denver Post can be found here.

A day hike in Southern California turned out to be a much more serious ordeal for a group of young hikers this week. This story ends well, however.

And finally, a final tip of the hat to winter on one of the more interesting bike rides you will ever see. Watch the video: