We begin another News Roundup with eulogy, this time for Eric Roner. The exuberant athlete was killed in a sky diving accident just a few days ago. He was a positive face in extreme sports and will be greatly missed. Article here.
It doesn’t happen until March, but you need to buy your tickets for the Alaska Ski Train now. They sell out. Dance in the DJ car, meditate in the quiet car, souse in the ale car. I hear they’ll even have a rolling ski shop this year if you need to upgrade your kit — and it’ll be March so everything will be discounted! More here.
Global warming is always in the news — so we keep it in our ski touring tidings. Last I heard GW was caused by Volkswagen supplying customers with pre-modded diesels optimized for power and fuel economy. Problem is the tricked out engines spew more pollution and are illegal. Yet the question rises, if the bad boy diesels get better fuel mileage, perhaps they expel less CO2 per mile than an emissions-legal engine? The corporate media spin on all this is a sort of collective GASP about how HEINOUS Volkswagen is to do this (it’s actually happened before when GM sold hacked engines, and job-one for millions of diesel truck owners is to “chip” their rig and even tear out exhaust components just as soon as they bring their trucks home from the dealer. Google it.)
At least one infamous talk show host, however, proclaimed something like “Apple should hire the genius geeks who wrote this software!”
Meanwhile, I know people who bought a hacked Volkswagen. Will they return their car to be “upgraded” for less power and more kerosene consumption when it simply does as OEM what diesel truck owners spend hundreds of dollars accomplishing? No way, though they told me they’ll be happy to receive a cash settlement.
I’ll be quite interested in how many people actually bring their Volks in for a recall that’ll make them perform worse. And again, it’s entirely possible that the modded engines actually spew less C02 per mile. So those of you who are conflicted about getting your cars “upgraded,” you might want to find out the facts on exactly how much carbon dioxide you emit now as opposed to what you’ll be emitting as you stutter up that mountain pass with your “legal” engine.
We tried to find the best information source about the Volkswagen emissions squabble. Wiki seems to have the most complete facts, though I still can’t get any solid info about C02 emissions.
More GW: Countries are making agreements to cut emissions, but how much of that will really happen? Perhaps it actually doesn’t matter a whole heckuva lot. No matter what politician oft false promises are made, our planet will warm due to existing gas levels. Despite the media’s fascination with predicting the future, we actually don’t know what the outcomes will be for backcountry skiing or life in general.
But if the outcomes are bad, will we wonder why we didn’t simply climate engineer the problem away? Apparently, it is entirely possible to imitate the effects of a volcano spewing sulfur dioxide by manufacturing and ejecting the same stuff, which would stop GW in its tracks. ANATHEMA! say the rad enviros… but we “engineered” our way into this GW mess, why not engineer our way out instead of fiddling while Rome virtually burns? Your take, dear readers?
An interesting legal jingus is brewing in Colorado. On occasion, skiers are killed by in-bounds avalanches — here in Colorado and elsewhere in the world. In 2012 Christopher Norris died in a small slide at Winter Park resort. His wife is suing the resort.
Our resorts here in the Centennial State are heavily protected from liability by virtue of laws such as our Ski Safety Act, which essentially puts ultimate responsibility for safety on the skier’s individual shoulders, and limits the exposure of resorts to financially damaging torts. While the Act seems on the surface to be a good idea, it’s not exactly an inspiration for resorts to be ultra-careful. But are they careful enough and can the Act be bypassed with a successful legal action? It’s interesting to Google the Ski Safety Act. and check out this brief article about the Norris lawsuit.
It made me sad to find out they identified the human remains recently found stuck in a chimney in Woodland Park, Colorado. Apparently, in 2008 a teenager tried to enter a cabin by climbing down the flue, only to encounter a fireplace insert blocking the way. He couldn’t climb up again and probably died from dehydration. It always amazes me that some of us make it through those years when we did stuff like that and somehow survived. Condolences to the friends and family of Vernon Maddux.
A Colorado life saving note, if you’re here in our state consider attending the annual 1-day pro avy workshop this October 9. CSAW info here.
Lastly, is this punishment for me googling too much? Blimey! ICE MAIDENS of the British Army are training for an unaided crossing of Antarctica. The question is, the skis with blooming 3-pin ski touring bindings shown in their gear layout photo would probably last about a hundred miles of the huge journey before the boot soles crack or the bindings yank out of the skis. Hopefully they’ll figure that out during their first training exercise: “Operation Ice Bambi!” Those Brits, always coining a phrase. More here, if you dare.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.