Ear to the ground

“He’s about 90 percent sure it was Ben Affleck.”

-A local woman relating how her husband was hit and injured by an unknown downhill mountain biker in Crested Butte. Affleck happened to be in Colorado at the same time.

 Geography of personality

You know the type. The paranoid Idahoan. The neurotic New Yorker. The mellow Coloradoan.

A recent study is now giving weight to these regional stereotypes. Based on more than 600,000 questionnaires, a team at the University of Cambridge in England has mapped personality traits for each state in the United States.

Lead researcher Peter Jason Rentfrow looked at each state based on five criteria – extroversion, agreeablenees, conscientiousness, neuroticism and openness.

Colorado ranked tops in openness – as in “open to new ideas” – a trait common to states that lean Democrat in elections. The local state was ranked as mildly extroverted because of “close ties with community and family.” Local residents also earned high marks for being agreeable and conscientious. The study noted that Coloradoans tend to be “dutiful, and self-disciplined, perhaps stretching back to pioneer traditions.”

The one department where Colorado earned a zero score was in “neuroticism.” On the flip side, the high-stress states include New York and New Jersey along with West Virginia and Mississippi. Surprisingly, Colorado’s neighbor to the north also ranked high in the Type A department. In fact, Wyoming and Colorado exhibited nearly opposite traits across the board.

More information on the study along with an interactive map can be found at the Wall Street Journal at www.wsj.com.

Dirtbags, sandbags and choss

Locating the best crack in the region is now easier than ever. The latest rock climbing guide to the Durango area was released last week. After being out of print for three years, the fourth edition of Durango Sandstone has finally hit the shelves at climbing stores throughout the region.

Durango Sandstone – Dirtbags, Sandbags and Choss features new maps, graphics and route descriptions and includes the spectacular, newly established routes north of Lemon Reservoir. Many new routes on the Hermosa Cliffs have also been added along with updates for the traditional sandstone crag, East Animas. As hinted in the subtitle – dirtbags, sandbags and choss – the guidebook is peppered with bits of editorial sarcasm, as were the previous three editions.

Get your copy while they last. The book has been long overdue for local climbers and the nomadic climbing community is taking increasing notice of the Durango scene.




In this week's issue...

January 25, 2024
Bagging it

State plastic bag ban is in full effect, but enforcement varies

January 26, 2024
Paper chase

The Sneer is back – and no we’re not talking about Billy Idol’s comeback tour.

January 11, 2024
High and dry

New state climate report projects continued warming, declining streamflows