Ear to the ground

“It’s the Durango diet. I lost 12 pounds in a week.”

-Local woman commenting on a side-benefit of a recent bout with giardiasis

Riding for the planet

A local company is taking advantage of its summer vacation to get a little greener. Venture Snowboards, a snowboard manufacturer based in Bayfield, is now the newest member of the grassroots environmental group 1% For The Planet.

Launched in 2001 by Yvon Chouinard, 1% For The Planet is an alliance of businesses committed to leveraging their resources to create a healthier planet. Members donate at least 1 percent of their annual net revenues to environmental organizations worldwide. Together, these businesses have generated more than $5 million in contributions to environmental causes. 

The decision was a natural for Venture’s owners, Klemens and Lisa Branner. Since founding the company in 1999, the husband and wife team have pursued a dual mission: to handcraft superior performance snowboards while minimizing environmental impact.  “As snowboarders and outdoors people, we feel compelled to help protect the wild places that inspire us,” says Lisa.  “It’s always been a defining part of who we are and how we do business.”

Venture has also instituted a number of “green” practices.  The company uses only sustainably grown and harvested hardwoods for its cores, offers cloth topsheet options (including organic cotton and hemp), and recycles waste generated by the production process. The company also converted its entire operation to wind power in 2004, a first for the snow sports industry.  For more information about Venture, visit www.venturesnow boards.com.

The Battle of the Animas

Local businesses are currently squaring off for dominion over Durango’s main waterway. The 5th annual Battle of the Animas takes place Thurs., June 1. The event, hosted by Mild to Wild, pits local businesses against each other in a head-to-head paddle boat race down the Animas River. 

The start is Le Monde style, with all boats leaving the shore of the 32nd St. put in at the same time. The teams of six will face a greater challenge this year as in years past, with the race, which used to begin behind Nautre’s Oasis, doubling in length.

“Rather than a sprint, the teams will be tested since the race will be twice as long last year,” said Alex Mickel, of Mild to Wild. “There may be some different strategies involved in negotiating the river, especially through Smelter.”

The boats will hit the water at 2:30 p.m., and the race is expected to end at approximately an hour later at Santa Rita Park. Last years’ winner, Serious Texas Barbecue, looks to retain the traveling trophy as the fastest boat in town, and 99.7 The Point will be giving rapid-by-rapid analysis of the race.