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Nordic ski boom in Central Oregon

BEND, Ore. — Mike Schindler assumed it would take a couple weeks to sell out his seasonlong nordic ski gear rental fleet.

But the co-owner at Bend’s Sunnyside Sports sold out in less than 8 hours one day in early November.

“We made it reasonable pricing and sent out an email,” Schindler said. “It was probably 100-plus setups. We had ...Read more

Chancey Bush/ The Gazette/The Colorado Springs Gazette/TNS

Beauty, pain shape life of John Fielder, Colorado's famous nature photographer

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — It’s not like John Fielder to stay put. And yet here he’s been since March, when the pandemic forced him and everyone else to stay put. Here he’s been at his Summit County home, jumping from one Zoom call to the next, promoting his new book, showing photos to virtual audiences and praising his beloved state as ...Read more

TNS

Climate change, human activity might risk Rocky Mountains’ ptarmigan population

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Conservation biologists at Colorado Parks and Wildlife are concerned about the future of the southern white-tailed ptarmigan, a species of bird native to the Rocky Mountains.

Ptarmigans are considered sensitive wildlife of greatest conservation need. The small birds, weighing less than 1 pound, live year-round at 9,...Read more

TNS

After COVID-19 shuttered her business and stifled her music, nature photography provided a creative outlet

SPOKANE, Wash. — Nearly every morning for the past six months, Angela Marie has woken before dawn, picked up a camera and bounded outside.

For the amateur nature photographer, the cockcrow routine has provided a creative foundation on which to cling during the COVID-19 pandemic. And it has led to some stunning nature photography, made all the...Read more

TNS

Escape the confines of your home and hit the snowy trails in Atlas' ultralight Helium-MTN snowshoes

Haven’t you spent enough time inside this year? Don’t let the cold temperatures dissuade you from having fun outside this winter. With a pair of snowshoes, you can explore all kinds of territory, from your neighborhood park to one-of-a-kind destinations.

Snowshoeing’s a great sport that just about anyone of any age can do — and once ...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

Discovered butterfly tag in Mexico represents monarchs' tale of survival

Their existence threatened, monarch butterflies didn't receive the protection hoped for under the Endangered Species List in a recent announcement. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service said Dec. 15 that while a listing was warranted, there were "higher priority" species in need.

While the news no doubt disappointed many supporters of monarchs, a ...Read more

Skating the Boundary Waters: 'Wild ice' had locals dropping everything

DULUTH, Minn. — For a few glorious days earlier this month, ice skaters in northern Minnesota could see to the bottoms of lakes near the Boundary Waters while gliding on their glassy surfaces.

Some lifelong Cook County (Minn.) residents say Mother Nature treated them to their best-ever experiences skating on "wild ice," which is formed ...Read more

9 things to know about ice safety

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Come winter, Colorado has many lakes and rivers that start to freeze over, presenting a beautiful, but potentially deadly situation.

Here's what you need to know about ice safety:

1. Know what ice depth can hold your weight

While ice can pose a number of risks, one of the most dangerous scenarios occurs when a ...Read more

Megan Burbank/Seattle Times/TNS

6 great cross-country ski areas near Seattle

SEATTLE — Whether you want to perfect your skating on the challenging trails at Cabin Creek or hone your classic technique on the valley floor of the Methow, Washington state is a fantastic place to cross-country ski, with a ton of Nordic ski networks and centers offering groomed trails right off the highway, equipment rentals and lessons, ski...Read more

TNS

Swiftwick's new line of performance socks pays homage to America's National Parks

Anyone who’s spent much time on the trail knows that socks make a big difference. Go cheap and your feet will pay for it. Swiftwick has made a name for itself with its line of high-performance socks that keep your feet dry by wicking away unwanted moisture. Its Vision line is the perfect choice for hiking, biking, or running, with a medium ...Read more

Ryan Brennecke/The Bulletin/TNS

Central Oregon used to be home to several ski areas now considered lost

BEND, Ore. — Decades ago, there were multiple community-run ski areas in Central Oregon. After Mt. Bachelor opened in 1958, those spots were slowly shuttered and began to fade away.

Steve Stenkamp, a retired Bend firefighter and avid skier of more than 50 years turned skiing historian, has been on the hunt to find Oregon’s abandoned slopes....Read more

Makenzie Whittle: Tree hunting makes for a perfect family outing

BEND, Ore. — The woods smell sweeter in the winter. Maybe it’s the cold, the stillness or maybe because one of the quintessential scents of the season waft from every evergreen.

Normally, I avoid cold-weather activities but this time of year, yet I relish in the trip to the forest to select the perfect Christmas tree with my family.

It’s...Read more

Sean Pavone/Dreamstime/TNS

The shocking cost of a weeklong family ski trip to Colorado in 2020

Planning a ski trip to Colorado? Here’s a look at how much it might cost a family of four to visit a popular Colorado resort for a full week from Saturday to Sunday.

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The Family

Obviously, every skiing experience varies. This breakdown is designed to look at the generic ski trip for an out-of-state family of four, visiting Colorado...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

Central Oregon Avalanche Center looks to expand

BEND, Ore. — A hefty early season snowpack in the Central Oregon Cascades has many skiers and snowboarders eager to explore the backcountry this winter.

And due to the COVID-19 pandemic and increased parking restrictions at ski resorts like Mt. Bachelor, more and more folks are expected to seek the solitude, freedom and fresh powder that the ...Read more

Elizabeth Flores/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS

Challenges of social distancing on trails revealed in study

MINNEAPOLIS — As the mercury rose late morning last Wednesday on an unseasonably mild December day, so, too, did the traffic on Mark Sather Trail, a popular public path with sweeping views of White Bear Lake.

Dog walkers, solo walkers, power walkers, runners, the occasional bicyclist — all made their way at various speeds in the warming ...Read more

Handout/TNS/TNS

Patagonia goes P.U.R.E. with Nano Puff jacket

For outdoor folks, Patagonia’s Nano Puff jacket is instantly recognizable. You may not even recognize that it’s from Patagonia, but the iconic quilted pattern pops up on just about any trail once the weather turns cold. It has a slim design while still offering plenty of warmth, whether you’re out hiking or doing errands around town. It’...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

As monarch butterflies flutter toward extinction, Fish and Wildlife Service opts not to protect

SPOKANE, Wash. — Despite being perilously close to extinction, monarch butterflies will not receive federal protection because 161 other species are a higher priority, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Tuesday.

“We conducted an intensive, thorough review using a rigorous, transparent science-based process and found that the ...Read more

Spencer McKee/Colorado Springs Gazette/TNS

Helinox Ground Chair: The perfect place to sit during outdoor adventures

Packable, durable, and comfortable, the Helinox Ground Chair is the perfect seat to bring along for outdoor adventures. It’s easy to throw in most gear bags (or attach it via a carabiner) and provides a convenient spot to sit, whether around a campfire or on a mountain summit.

The chair consists of two parts: the seat fabric and a collapsible...Read more

Mark Mirko/Hartford Courant/TNS

Connecticut man saw opportunity to run across America and raise $40,000 for Foodshare. He recently completed a three-month journey.

HARTFORD, Conn. — Like many Americans, Shan Riggs lost his job when the pandemic hit.

But he turned it into an opportunity.

An ultramarathoner, he’d always wanted to run across the country and now he had time. He had volunteered at Foodshare events at Rentschler Field and saw the need.

Riggs, 41, started running Sept. 1 in San Francisco. ...Read more

Erika Schultz/Seattle Times/TNS

What will it take to keep Washington’s ski areas open through this pandemic winter?

SEATTLE — At Northwest ski areas amid a global pandemic, tailgating has become the new après-ski. After a day skiing at Mount Baker, Jessica Henson found herself in a parking lot surrounded by skiers and snowboarders grabbing lunch at their cars, some more elaborately than others. “(L)ots of people have insanely creative car setups,” she ...Read more

 

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