Bruce Gordon, 49, of Denver, Col., is a long-distance swimmer looking to do what has been done just 19 times before: cross the 26-mile Kaiwi Channel connecting the Hawaiian islands of Oahu and Molokai.
To prepare for his historic crossing, he swam 18.5 miles in Lake Coeur d’Alene, Id., starting at Harrison and landing at Coeur d’Alene Beach. The swim began Friday at 8:20 a.m. and ended at 8:49 p.m. on Friday night. A handful of supporters and surprised beach goers were there to greet him as he stepped out of the water and onto the beach.
“It was a big relief to get out of the water,” Gordon said. “I didn’t really know what was going to happen since I’d never gone that far. I finished without being too tired and I was very lucid, and that surprised me. I’m already anxious to be swimming again.”
The Kaiwi Channel is one of the Oceans Seven: the seven most difficult open water ocean crossings. No individual has ever completed all seven crossings. Huge waves, strong currents, roaming sharks, and stinging jellyfish make the Kaiwi Channel crossing exceptionally dangerous. (more…)
Sorry for any confusion! We want to clarify that our final ranking for awards and the rankings for Checkpoint Tracker and USARA use different sets of criteria.
For the CPT and USARA tracking, which goes by a set format for ranking, the final rankings for points would be as follows: (this is with all 4 person teams ranked ahead of three person, and all CPs being of equal value)
4) Light in Motion
6) Team Florida Xtreme
8) Gung Ho
9) Topo Adventure Sports
10) Team Idaho
11) Team Gear Junkie Yogaslackers (3 person)
12) Team Gramicci (3 person)
13) Train Chicago Studios (3 person) (more…)
The Commons (home of Indaba Coffe and The Book Parlor)
1425 W Broadway Avenue
(2.5 blocks west of the County Courthouse)
On July 1, 2003 Christopher Swain became the first person to swim the entire 1,243 mile length of the Columbia River in the Pacific Northwest. His swim brought stories about the river’s disrupted ecosystems and dislocated peoples to over twenty-thousand North American schoolchildren, and to a worldwide media audience of over one billion people. A group of thirty-plus Northwest filmmakers, led by Andy Norris, followed Swain’s swim, and created a modern history of the Great River of the West. The result was a ninety minute film that one reviewer called, “a heart-wrenching tale of a man and a river.
The film includes stunning pre-inundation footage of Celilo and Kettle Falls, as well as a broad spectrum of interviews with tribal members, agency representatives, fishers, authors, nonprofit leaders, and citizens who trace the natural history and present-day challenges of the Columbia River in their own words. One educator described it this way: “The interviews weren’t just riveting, they made this grown man cry.”
An update and discussion of the breaking news involving water, rivers, and drinking water by Rachael Paschal Osborn, CELP Executive Director
Wednesday, August 10, 2011 6:30 pm
The Commons, 1425 W Broadway Avenue
(2.5 blocks west of the County Courthouse)
We invite you to attend and as you are able to stay for conversation after the films. The program will be begin promptly at 6:30 pm.
Excellent Indaba Coffee will be available (bring your mugs).
In The Story of Stuff, using a quick-paced cartoon format, Annie Leonard, an international sustainability and environmental health expert, tells the history of an item, virtually any item–where its parts came from, the upstream life; where it goes when we are through with it, the downstream life; and what it really costs. Leonard develops the theme further with a specific item in The Story of Bottled Water—where the water comes from, where the used bottles go, what bottled water really costs, and how we were persuaded to buy it through an advertising technique called manufactured demand. These “stories” expose the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world.
Sandpoint, ID – Schweitzer’s 5th annual Huckleberry Festival takes place August 7, 2011. From 8am -4pm tongues will be dyed purple and finger tips stained violet as festival goers devour huckleberry pancakes and embark on huckleberry hikes. Sunday’s festival will also debut the grand opening of the new sluice box named Cranky Jennings Mining Company.
This day-long event kicks off at 8am with a delicious huckleberry pancake breakfast. Plenty more activities will be available including; arts and crafts, vendors with huckleberry treats, live music by the Huckleberry Jam Band, Jimbo the Clown, a pie eating contest and t-shirt tie dying.
“As a new mom I’m excited to see the festival through my son’s eyes. This is my family’s favorite festival thanks to the tasty treats and the wide variety of kid activities,” said Dani Demmons, Schweitzer’s Activities Manager. “We’re really excited about the new sluice box too. The kids are going to love it”. (more…)
The natural beauty and sense of adventure found at Red Rock Canyon, outside of Las Vegas, NV, is in danger of forever being diminished by the “Gypsum Reclamation Concept Plan,” (GRCP) a development plan atop a former 2,500 acre gypsum mine known as Blue Diamond Hill. Act now to conserve the climbing environment at Red Rocks!
The GRCP is a high density multi-use plan to construct a small city for approximately 22,000 people, complete with 7,200 multi-family residences, education facilities, retail stores, and related amenities that will forever diminish the natural beauty and sense of adventure at Red Rocks. The proposed location, Blue Diamond Hill, is clearly visible from all major formations at Red Rocks.
On Wednesday, August 17, 2011 at 9:00 am, the Clark County Commissioners meet to approve or deny the massive development proposal. Your input is required to help save Red Rock Canyon.
The most important things climbers can do are submit comments opposing the plan and attend the meeting on August 17th at the Clark County Government Center, Commission Chambers, 500 S. Grand Central Parkway, Las Vegas, NV 89155 (702-455-4431). Let the commissioners know how important it is to preserve the rural nature of Red Rock Canyon.
Blake Sommers may only be 19 years old, but he’s already becoming a semi-advanced rock climber after two and a half years, since a buddy introduced him to the sport. His secret: time. Time to go climbing two to three times a week, either at Deep Creek in Riverside State Park or Dishman Hills during the summer, or at Wild Walls climbing gym during the winter.
Aside from getting him outside, Blake enjoys that rock climbing is about “overcoming something so hard, celebrating for a few seconds, and then moving on to another challenge,” he says. “It’s so fun and is an easy way to work out, versus going to the gym and lifting weights over and over.”
Last summer, he worked diligently—three hours a day, 3-4 days a week—to master a 70-foot climbing route at Deep Creek with a difficulty rating of 5.12b. “I understood what moves I had to do; it was about finding the strength to do [them],” he says. “It’s about finding a way to make the hard move possible and go from there.”
Blake’s climbing goal this season is to finish that route and then attempt a few more 5.12 routes, which he describes as “the bottom end of advanced.” To put the Deep Creek route’s difficulty in perspective, a rating of 5.0 is the easiest climb and 5.15 is the hardest climb in world, he says.
His all-time favorite place to climb is Smith Rock in Oregon, which is a state park about 20 minutes outside of Bend. “It’s kind of the mecca of climbing,” he says. “It feels like you could climb there every day for a month and a half and still not complete anything.”
Blake spent two weeks at Smith Rock with a friend last summer. “It’s tough to climb there in the heat of summer. My climbing shoes started to melt once—I looked down and my shoe left a little black smear. So you have to climb in the morning or late in the day,” he says.
Blake enjoys introducing people to the sport. He takes friends to Q’Emiln Riverside Park in Post Falls for their first attempts, and he has volunteered as a trip leader for Peak 7 Adventures—taking groups of 9-10 youth to climb at Minnehaha. And when he’s not climbing, he likes to whitewater kayak, backpack and ride his dirt bike.
Here is the rock climbing gear that Blake uses.
HARNASS: Black Diamond Momentum, which he describes as “cheap and fairly comfy.”
BELAY DEVICES: Petzl ATC, Petzl ATC XP (has features for multi-pitch and an autolocking feature), and Trango Cinch.
ROPE & ROPE BAG: New England Apex 10.5mm (60m) and Notorious Dirt Bag.
HELMET: He doesn’t wear a helmet for sport climbing, but says he would wear one for “multi-pitch stuff.” And he’s worn one a few times when he’s lead climbing; however, he doesn’t personally own one. “At Deep Creek, most falls are into air,” he says, rather than against the rock wall. “I’ve not hesitated at all to put a helmet on when the risk of falling is greater.”
CHALK & CHALK BAG: Joshua Tree Herbal Chalk (cinnamon scent) and Evolv chalk bag.
CARABINERS: He uses three different brands—Omega Pacific Dirt Bag (“They’re cheap and they work well, but they’re kind of heavy,” he says), Mad Rock and Alpine Draw.
CLIMBING SHOES: La Sportiva Miura VS, which he says is best for the type of “aggressive climbing” that he does at Deep Creek.
BACKPACK: Mountain Hardware Splitter Pack. He says it “makes an unorganized person like myself very organized” because of its built-in tarp, gear loops and many pockets.
CLOTHING: “Climbing specific clothes are a great way for REI to sell products,” Blake says. He’s not interested in climbing fashion; rather, if something dries quick and is stretchy, he’ll consider wearing it. He says, “When it’s cold, I wear Carhartts® [pants]. It saves my legs from getting destroyed and they last forever. During the summer, my outfit consists of my shoes and prAna® shorts. [No shirt.] During springtime, when it’s still cold, I’ll wear synthetic pants with a gusseted crotch.” He never wears jeans and a cotton t-shirt.
MISCELLANOUS: Petzl Tibloc (semi-mechanical ascending device for the rope); Mammut Dyneema 8-foot loop for making an anchor (“It’s thin but extremely strong,” he says).
Just bought my $30 annual Washington State Parks Discovery Pass today. Now I won’t have to pay $10 every time I visit Riverside State Park.
What you say? We shouldn’t have to pay to use state parks? Well, did you:
- Vote for any Eyman initiative that dramatically reduced state revenue?
- Vote against the soda and candy tax?
- Vote for a politician promising to go to Olympia to slash “wasteful spending”?
Unfortunately one person’s “wasteful spending” is another’s “essential service.” Today State Parks are being treated as “wasteful spending” and the solution is a fee that charges you and I the same amount as Bill Gates every time we enter a state park. But, honestly, I don’t see a better alternative. Despite what you may hear, Washington State per capita spending is at its lowest level since 1986. Meanwhile the basic costs of park maintenance including fuel and raw materials continues to go up, while state park employees are furloughed and laid off. If that’s not the definition of a revenue problem I don’t know what is. There really is no way to fix this situation without overhauling our state tax structure. Until then we have a fee that unduly impacts low-income park users that live near urban area state parks like Riverside.
For now, I will gladly pay this fee, especially if it helps us avoid the fate of other state park systems. In Minnesota state parks are a political football. Iowa is trying to rely on all-volunteer maintenance. Oklahoma is closing 7 state parks. California is shuttering 70. And in Florida state parks are going through monthly policy flip-flop. First the idea was to close one third of all parks. Then salvation was going to come from adding a massive new development of private RV camping. Now Florida is quietly privatizing big chunks of its park system, including attractions such as Weeki Wachee Springs—which is funny since this park was taken over by the state just three years ago after mismanagement by a private concessionaire.
State Parks still remain a sensible place for public money according to the National Association of State Park Directors which reports that all 50 state park systems cost less than $2.3 billion in total to manage and operate, but generate $20 billion in economic impact. I’ll invest in that.
JON SNYDER, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
P.S. Go to issuu.com and search “Out There Monthly” to see the online browser version of OTM.