The driver of an SUV who relentlessly honked at and harassed two road cyclists outside Boulder, Colorado, last fall isn’t going to get off easy. James Ernst had negotiated a deal with Boulder County prosecutors to plead guilty to two counts of harassment and two counts of improper use of a horn, but Boulder County Judge Noel Blum said he would not accept the deal, that the victims had to be notified first and agree to accept the plea arrangement. To recap: Two cyclists recorded a video of Ernst driving his SUV behind them while wailing on his horn. The men put the video online, garnering lots of attention and the Colorado State Patrol tracked down Ernst and busted him for six misdemeanors. Ernst, for his part, claims that the cyclists were on a road “too narrow” for cyclists, with a double line he somehow believed he couldn’t cross, despite video evidence that shows miles of passing room. Via Boulder Daily Camera.
You just have to be sober and you get away with murder every time behind the wheel. Don’t you dare have a beer then be the guy not cutting people off, dogging and weaving through traffic, running people off the road! Just neglect to wear sunglasses and plow through the pile of kids as you yell at your cell phone while your tunnel vision is completely off your surroundings.
Three separate pairs of climbers are preparing to attempt aggressive new routes on Mt. Everest this spring. Success on any one of these attempts would be a major development in Everest’s climbing history, particularly if they succeed in pure alpine style, without supplemental oxygen. Ueli Steck (Switzerland) and Simone Moro (Italy) will try a new route from the south. Moro has climbed Everest several times and has done three first winter ascents of three 8,000-meter peaks. Steck, best known for his speed climbs in the Alps and hard technical routes in the Himalaya, also has climbed Everest. Also attempting Everest from the Nepali side will be the powerful Kazakh-Russian pair of Denis Urubko and Alexey Bolotov, who, with various other partners and teams, have done some of the hardest new routes in the Himalaya and Karakoram. The two men will try a line on the steep southwest face. Meanwhile, a pair of Russians, Gleb Sokolov and Alexander Kirikov, are planning to attempt a new route on Everest’s daunting Kangshung Face, to the right of the two existing routes on the peak’s east side. Via Climbing.
Yuri Danilochkin of Belarus catches an edge on the first turn and flies off-course at the FIS World Cup championships in Schladming, Austria. Sure, he’s going fast, it could have been ugly. But the good news is that he walked away and continued to compete that day. No one was more relieved than his mom. Skip to about :57 to see her real-time reaction. Perhaps ski racing is trying to be the next reality show soap opera.
Enjoy the most honest, and I would argue, the best take on the whole Lance-Armstrong-Oprah debacle. Bill Burr is right. Everyone made money, everyone cheated, lots of money was raised to fight cancer, and as far as Armstrong: “The guy was a sociopath on a bicycle, alright? As far as I’m concerned, we got off easy. If that guy was working for a corporation he probably would have been pouring stuff in the water supply, doing god knows what, just keep him on the bike.”
It’s probably temporary, but a guerrilla trail network in the Croatan National Forest has been shuttered to mountain bikers. And although you probably think of Pisgah as home to North Carolina singletrack these trails are hard by the Intercoastal Waterway. According to the Forest Service it’s a problem because building the trails may have disturbed both an ancient African-American cemetery and a Tuscarora Indian settlement from the 1500s. The Forest Service will inspect the trail system and promises some resolution in the next few months. Via Sun Journal.
Every week another study tells you how to lose weight. This one is interesting for what it didn’t find. The study, conducted on 72 middle-aged women, divided them into three groups: one set worked out twice a week, another four times a week, and a third six times a week. What researchers expected was that those working out the most might lose the most weight and become the strongest aerobically and muscularly. Instead, all of the women gained almost exactly the same amounts of endurance as well as strength, but the women who worked out four times a week actually burned the most calories. The reason? Working out too often, the researchers say, sucks up important leisure time, and leisure time also tends to burn more calories among the physically fit. The upshot isn’t that exercise addicts have to do less, but that if you’re working out for endurance- or strength maintenance, less is indeed more. Via New York Times.
Luca Joel Koller was riding in Switzerland when 30 seconds into his run he found himself facing a rather steep rock crevasse he was unable to avoid. He plunges in, lands on his feet, and manages to get his board off and use it to help him climb back to safety. This is one of those cases where things could have gone much worse. The fall comes at :30, and you’ll see him make his way out over the rest of the video. It’s not going to win any cinematic awards, but it’s better than watching him hang upside-down in the crevasse until his GoPro battery runs out.
New Mexico’s senatorial contingent, Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, want the 89,000 Valles Caldera National Reserve to become a national park. New Mexicans have seen this movie before, though. In 2010 their state’s senators also pushed for converting the land, north of Albuquerque, toward national park status but it never got to a vote. Presently the land’s in a bit of limbo. It was purchased by the feds for $100 million in 2000 but is co-managed by a presidential-appointed trust and a working ranch. You can hike, fish, ski, and hunt in the Caldera, but there are more restrictions than would be in place in national park. Another motive: Existing protections aren’t strict enough for the area’s ancient pueblo artifacts that would gain stronger management under the NPS. Via Albeuquerque Journal.
With conditions as cold as negative 76 degrees (a meat locker’s not as cold as negative 76 degrees), you can understand why the Poles, the Italian-French squad, and the Hungarian-American team, all trying for the first winter ascent of 26,660-foot Nanga-Parbat, are bailing. It couldn’t have helped that the Hungarian-Americans were going for it without bottled oxygen or that the mountain’s been shredded by epic snows in addition to the bone-crushing cold. More disconcerting is that French snowboarder Joel Wischnewski, who started his three-day summit bid last week at this time, hasn’t been heard from for days. Hope is that the cold has only gotten to his satellite phone and not to him. Via The Adventure Blog.
Backcountry.com Athlete Renan Ozturk joined Xavier de Le Rue on Mission Antarctic, a North Face and Swatch- sponsored venture to the seventh continent. After braving the Drake Passage on their little sailboat out ofom Ushuia, skiing stuff this crazy probably seems easy. I’d like to know how they got the external shots of the boat in heavy seas, perhaps running aboard their dinghy. Anyway, the full-length video’s not out until Fall 2013. Looking forward to some more of these episodes.
Lake Whillans is a 30-square-mile body of water that sits on the edge of the Ross Ice shelf in West Antarctica. But it also sits under 800 meters of ice, so scientists, including John Priscu from Montana State University, had to devise a way to drill through the ice without also contaminating the liquid water underneath. They found a way using a water-heated drill and also managed to retrieve about 30 liters of water, as well as several cores of sediment from the lake bottom and although they’re still awaiting gene sequencing they know that the samples contain bacteria — life formed in an environment entirely free of photosynthesis. What that means is that on Jupiter or Saturn’s frozen moons there might also be life that formed through a totally different path of evolution — and possibly life far more complex and strange than scientists previously thought possible. Via Nature.