Study suggests higher
elevations warming faster
JACKSON, WYO. – Study of a glacier
in the Wind River Range suggests that global warming may be
occurring at a faster rate at higher elevations. In the study,
scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey drilled into the
core of a receding glacier at an elevation of 13,000 feet on
Wyoming’s tallest mountain, Fremont Peak. While there
are ample temperature records at lower elevations from the last
40 years, there has been no weather station above treeline,
in the alpine zone, for comparable measurements.
The core samples from the glacier
showed that average alpine temperatures have risen more than
6 degrees in the last 40 years, an increase far greater than
those seen at lower elevations, reported the Jackson Hole News
(Oct. 9-15). Other studies have found that temperatures have
increased two to three degrees Celsius in the Alps since the
early 1960s, a magnitude of change also detected by studies
in Central Asia and Alaska.
The USGS study did not address the
size of glaciers, but it’s common knowledge that they
have been shrinking. Climbers in the Tetons notice that ice
gullies have become slimy rock chutes. And a joke circulates
that the National Park Service is looking for a new name for
Glacier National Park. The findings are reported in an article
entitled “Ice-Core Evidence of Rapid Air Temperature Increases
Since 1960 in Alpine Areas of the Wind River Range, Wyoming,
U.S.A.” Copies are available free from the U.S. Geological
Survey, 2329 West Orton Circle, Salt Lake City, Utah, 84119.
E-mail requests for the report should be sent to email@example.com.
about drugs, sex and coming of age
TELLURIDE – Telluride made the transition
from a mining town to a tourism-based town in the 1970s. Recently,
there was a reunion for survivors of that era, and some shared
their memories in videotaped interviews conducted on behalf
of the local library’s Oral History Collection.
Looking back, The Telluride Watch (Oct.
4-7) describes Telluride then as a place of excess and experiments,
upheaval and cultural change, with all of those extremes more
visible because of Telluride’s smallness.
“The mountains were really big and
the town was really small. An alcohol-and-mining based male
culture was the visible culture to me,” recalls one person
who arrived in the early 1970s. “I loved that everything
was old. The buildings were deteriorating. The streets were
not paved. I rode my horse down what is now San Juan Avenue
– in other people’s yards. I loved it. It was my
fantasy,” recalled another early arrival.
Telluride was both primitive and wonderful.
For produce, the lone grocery store in December offered only
carrots, lettuce and cabbage. However, it also had freshly cut
beef loin that was as cheap as hamburger. The new and young
residents sometimes made only $35 a week, and some could recall
living in shacks so dilapidated they looked through cracks in
the bathroom walls while bathing.
Not least, they recalled their hair. Remembers one man, “I
was essentially eyeballs, surrounded by hair.” They recalled
run-ins with the town marshal, who despised hippies and drugs.
Drugs were rampant. The punch at one Halloween party, which
was held at the elementary school, was spiked with LSD. “We
were profoundly out of control,” said one. Said another
woman: “There were no parameters. There were a lot of
people who didn’t live very long.”
Some recalled strings of suicides. They
recalled taking over town government, expanding the bureaucracy,
then trying to figure out how to pay for it. They talked of
a cocaine party where local cops raided the evidence locker
to keep the party going. They talked about an illicit romance
unwittingly consummated over the local public radio station.
They talked about the exhilaration of skiing that bonded them
and the arrival of money. Some saw Joe Zoline, the ski area
developer, as a hero for transforming the dying town into a
place of vibrancy. Others lamented where that vibrancy eventually
“Somewhere along the line Telluride
became another place to make money – to rape and pillage
the land and rip off our friends and have no conscience about
it,” recalled one man.
“First cocaine took down a lot of
our friends, and then greed,” said another.
Then came the somewhat unsettling influx
of part-time residents, the second-home owners. The distinction
between locals and nonlocals seems blurred. All in all, said
one of those survivors, Jim Burleigh, Telluride was a great
place in the 1970s to be young and – in hindsight –
privileged. But, he added, the air and water quality is better
now, as is the public school, the food, and even the culture.
“For better or worse, the culture
has been extremely feminized, which, in my mind, is better,”
Duo camp three nights to
get Loveland’s first tracks
EISENHOWER TUNNEL – Two snowboard
riders from Breckenridge, “Trailer” Tom Miller and
Nate “Dogggg” Nadler, camped for three nights in
order to claim the first chair at Loveland, the first ski area
in North America to open and (presumably) stay open.
For bragging rights, the latter distinction
is a fine one. In mid-September, new Silverton Mountain Ski
Area, also in Colorado, cranked up its lone lift in order to
claim first tracks in the ski industry for this winter. After
that first flurry of storms, however, Indian summer arrived,
and Silverton’s snowpack has receded. Like other ski areas
without snowmaking, Silverton is entirely at the whim of storms.
Already blessed with a high elevation of
10,600 to nearly 13,000 feet, Loveland has a snowmaking system
that allowed it this year to open Oct. 17 with a mile-long run
covered by 10 to 20 inches of snow. That snowmaking is supervised
by a trio of year-round snowmakers from New Zealand. In the
days preceding the opening, they were making snow 19 hours a
day, reported the Summit Daily News (Oct. 17).
Ski areas insist that opening early is
entirely about money, either lift-ticket revenues or drumming
up interest and reservations for the season ahead. For snowboarders
Miller and Nadler, first tracks is a habit. For many years Loveland’s
first-tracks went to retired pilot Elmer Mulkin. But even before
he died at age 77, the two snowboarders from Breckenridge had
begun camping out in order to two-up him.
For Miller, it wasn’t much of an
off-season, though. He said he was snowboarding on Oregon’s
Mount Hood until well into September.
Married council members attacked by campaign
AVON – Debbie Buckley was elected
to the Avon Town Council in 1998, and two years later her husband
and business partner, Peter Buckley, also was elected. Now,
the idea of having couples on the Town Council is being attacked
by a former town councilman, Rick Cuny.
Cuny organized a group that published
an ad in the Vail Daily. The ad depicts a man and woman lying
in bed. “Honey, you’re not going to cancel my vote,
are you?” The woman says, “No Dear!” Under
the cartoon is the caption: “Do you really want 33 percent
of your votes coming from one bedroom?” Debbie Buckley
says she is, as a woman, insulted by the ad. “It implies
that a woman is going to vote for whatever her husband does,”
she told the Vail Daily (Oct. 17). “This is 2002; this
isn’t the 1950s. Most women I know are pretty independent.”
Voting records substantiate her claim.
In the 13 times this year when the council didn’t vote
unanimously, the Buckleys canceled each other seven times. Peter
Buckley says “people more familiar with each other are
more likely to argue openly than people who don’t know
each other and are trying to be polite.” The Vail Daily
reporter who covers those meetings agrees.
Cuny, the former councilman, is being
called a gutter-dweller. He says that doesn’t bother him.
He’s probably right. He owns a liquor store, Beaver Liquors,
located at the base of Beaver Creek. For years he has had radio
advertising campaigns featuring Wally and the Beav sound-alikes,
with their dialogue always diving into that vast pond of sexual
innuendo possible with such a name.