Revelstoke not aiming to be Whistler

REVELSTOKE, B.C. – Mountain towns are deathly afraid of growing up to become like … well, in Colorado, the usual citations are Aspen and Vail, although Steamboat, Summit County and even Crested Butte crop up. Smaller don’t want to become bigger.

In British Columbia, between Banff and Whistler, Revelstoke is shaking the dust off its blue-collar boots as it primps itself for the big league of mountain resorts. In an editorial, theTimes Review insists that the future can be guided. But in his ruminations about burying a 100-year time capsule, editor David Rooney sounds less sanguine.

“Will it still be a friendly, rural community of people who work hard and who love their mountains and forests intensely? Or will it have evolved into something like Banff or Whistler — brittle and largely artificial communities that focus on parting tourists from their dollars.”

In Jackson Hole, Paul Cook sees little to like in the changes of the last 30 years. A neo-environmentalism prevails, he says, that is mostly intent on elevating property values. The result is a more stratified community, with various groups having little interaction. “So now we have created a ‘critical rich people habitat’ where rich people are a dime a dozen,” he writes in theJackson Hole News&Guide. Good hired hands, he adds, are hard to find.

And from the Eagle Valley comes this note: “Vail looks like Dubai with all the cranes. What happened to the little mountain town I moved to on Nov. 13, 1970?”

Site believed oldest in Hemisphere

KREMMLING – Reporter Will Bublitz parked himself this summer at an archaeological site along the Colorado River, volunteering to sift through the dirt for two days to see what it held.

In a way, he found very little – a few dozen flakes of rock, not even a full projectile point, which is what most people call an arrowhead.

Just the same, he was plenty awed. “Holding that first tiny stone flake up to the light, it struck me that I was probably the first human to have seen this object in more than 12,000 years,” he writes in theSky-Hi News. Looking across the ages, he wondered about that prior person’s dreams, loves and hates, and more generally what his life was like.

It was a nomadic one, say archaeologists from the University of Wyoming, and this site near Kremmling – which is equidistant from Steamboat Springs, Winter Park and Breckenridge – was rare in that it was used for several weeks.

The occupation 10,000 to 12,000 years ago occurred soon after the last major ice age ended. The people, called the Folsom, were the earliest confirmed in the Western Hemisphere (although speculation abounds of much older arrivals). Evidence of the Folsom people is rare altogether, and even more rare in mountainous areas.

Some of the larger animals of the ice age, called Pleistocene megafauna, still were around at this time. Among them was a species of bison that was 15 percent larger than bison today. Some of the stones at the site manufactured into weapons and tools came from a nearby quarry, but other types of rock came from near Castle Rock and Salida, both in Colorado, and the Green River Valley of Wyoming and Utah.

Implants, thin air equal side effects

FRISCO – Did you know that women who have breast implants sometimes have uncomfortable sensations accompanied by swishing sounds in their chests when visiting higher elevations?

That was the discovery some years ago by Jim Bachman, a physician since 1981 in Frisco. In addition to delivering babies and other ministrations expected of a small-town doctor, he avidly studied effects of the thinner air found at 9,000 to 10,000 feet in elevation.

“Patients complained about the implants sloshing much like your potato chip bag,” Dr. Bachman told theSummit Daily News. Pressurized implants, he explained, expand with a decrease in air pressure, similar to shampoo bottles. He was the first to report on that phenomenon

Bachman also coined a new word while studying high-altitude medicine: bilanders. These are the people who live part-time at low elevations, particularly sea level, and part time at high elevations. Blood-pressure of these bilanders fluctuates up and down as they travel back and forth, he discovered.

Presidential candidates in Park City

PARK CITY, Utah – Presidential candidates are getting to be a regular thing at Park City: Republican contender Mitt Romney

owns a home there, and Rudy Giuliani was scheduled this week to press the flesh and solicit donations. One party activist predicted Mr. Giuliani would bank $500,000. Democrat Barack Obama was also scheduled to visit, saysThe Park Record.

Ryan and Trista’s baby raised green

VAIL – Avid television viewers in 2002 watched as former professional football player Ryan Sutter, then a firefighter in Vail, met and wooed Trista Rehn on “The Bachelorette.” They married publicly in 2003, again on national television, and settled in the Eagle Valley.

Mr. Sutter, it turns out, is very much into environmental preservation. Although still a firefighter, he has become certified to construct LEED buildings and lately demonstrated some of his knowledge for a television program called “The Eco Zone Project.” He also writes a column about environmental matters for theVail Daily, and capably so.

Now, the couple have had a child, Maxwell Alston Sutter, and he is growing up in a “green” crib, reports theVail Daily. The Sutters enlisted the help of a consultant to make sure the wee one isn’t unduly influenced by toxic chemicals in the house.

Thompson was like teen-age girl

ASPEN – Anita Thompson has a book out about her late husband, the writer Hunter Thompson. She tellsThe Aspen Times that the book is in response to the hundreds and hundreds of letters she received after his death in 2005. “They looked at Hunter’s lifestyle as a primary factor in his work, and I just wanted to correct that.”

She began working for Thompson in 1999 and married him in 2003, helping him produce his final book,Kingdom of Fear.

In her preface, she writes that being married to Thompson was like “living with a teen-age girl trapped in the body of an elderly dope fiend. … Hunter had the energy, the vitality and the curiosity of a young girl (and the) depth of wisdom … that came with his age and experience.”

Aspen says no to bottled water

ASPEN – Aspen is acutely aware of its fish-bowl status, especially now that it has suggested, through its Canary Initiative, how the rest of the world should live.

The Canary Initiative is Aspen’s global-warming plan that seeks to rein in greenhouse gas emissions.

But walking that talk isn’t particularly easy. For example, the City Council recently held an all-day retreat in one of the buildings promoted as among the Roaring Fork Valley’s most environmentally friendly. The food service, however, was not.

For example, saysThe Aspen Times, there were paper cups from Starbucks, bottled water from the South Pacific, and bottled fruit juices from Massachusetts. “If we are going to be environmental stewards, we are going to have to think a little deeper,” said Councilman J.E. DeVilbiss. “The irony is that as environmental stewards, we are renting a space that serves Fiji water bottles, and I don’t think that’s appropriate,” said City Councilman Jack Johnson.

One possible rule: all food must come from within 500 miles for city functions. That will certainly quash the shrimp bowl.

Rafting trip deaths raise questions

BUENA VISTA – Five whitewater boaters have died this year in Colorado, all after spills on the Arkansas River between Leadville and Salida. Although whitewater deaths are not unusual, the total is high enough to draw the interest ofThe Denver Post, which raises the question of whether commercial rafters screen their customers sufficiently.

“I think a lot of these deaths are really preventable,” former guide Kit Davidson, of Gunnison, told the newspaper. “It’s a tough call on how to make the tourists understand the power of the river and respect it without insulting them by telling them they are not allowed to go.”

The suggestion is that some commercial passengers are physically unfit, and others do not seem to take the mental challenge seriously.

Until the mid-1980s, Colorado’s whitewater industry was unregulated. After a string of drownings, the Colorado River Outfitters persuaded the state Legislature to establish minimum training and other safety standards, to give the public more confidence.

— compiled by Allen Best


In this week's issue...

July 18, 2024
Rebuilding Craig

Agreement helps carve a path forward for town long dependent on coal

July 11, 2024
Reining it in

Amid rise in complaints, City embarks on renewed campaign to educate dog owners

July 11, 2024
Rolling retro

Vintage bikes get their day to shine with upcoming swap and sale