Spooked bear smacks worker

VAIL – Justin Young now has quite a story to tell. The 25-year-old was working on a construction job at a house in Vail when he saw a bear that he estimated to weigh 400 pounds. Caught by surprise, the bear reacted defensively, hitting Young on the side of the head and the body. Young fell down, and was smacked again before he lost consciousness.

Young told theVail Daily that co-workers might have suspected a tall-tale to conceal a stumble down stairs had it not been for all the bear hair on him. He was left with an exceedingly black eye, some scratches on his arm that kind of look like the bear claws you see on aspen trees, and assorted other bruises and scratches.

As for the bear, his days may be numbered. As per Colorado policy when a bear physically attacks a person, state wildlife officials set out to corner and kill the bear.

Randy Hampton, a spokesman for the Colorado Division of Wildlife, said bears attack or charge people several times per year. There were three such cases of physical injury to people in the Aspen area last year.

But Hampton also said that people will more likely be attacked by a neighbor’s dog than a bear.

BBQ challenge requires composting

FRISCO – The Colorado Barbecue Challenge has been held in Frisco since 1993, but this year will have something new. The town will require all vendors to do without plastic utensils, plastic bowls and plates, Styrofoam, and plastic beer cups.

Those items and others can’t be recycled in Summit County. Instead, vendors must offer knives, forks, plates and cups that can either be recycled or composted.

The Summit Daily News explains that the current requirements have been five years in the making. The municipal government in 2005 began tackling waste at smaller events sponsored by the town. Then, the town began offering reduced registration fees for events that voluntarily adopted waste-reduction strategies. This year going green has become mandatory.

Getting it all right has not been easy. Last year, for example, participants mistook the composting bin for a trash container. Steps have been taken to prevent such recurrences.

Organizers tell theDaily News that the mandate hasn’t dampened enthusiastic for the Barbecue Challenge. This year has a waiting list of 20 teams who want to get in on the ribbing.

Vail couple gets Everest footnote

 EDWARDS –Brandon and Kristine Chalk have become the youngest American couple to summit Everest. He is 32,

and she is 31. They have now climbed the highest peaks on three of the world’s seven continents, and they hope to climb all seven.

Money, though, is an issue. It cost $50,0000 for the Everest trip, which they paid through cash presents from their wedding last October, as well as fund-raisers, sponsorships and savings.

Brandon told theVail Daily that they almost didn’t go. “But who knows if you’ll ever have the chance to do it again.”

Of course, it wasn’t easy. The climb tested not only their motivation and endurance, but also their relationship. “If we can survive this in our first year of marriage, then we can survive anything,” Kristine said.

She also noted that the climb wasn’t all of their own will-power. She credited the local Sherpa people who work as guides and porters. “Without the Sherpas, you couldn’t do it,” she said.

Tiny ranches command high sums

JACKSON, Wyo. – Two ranch parcels that together total 102 acres will be sold at a live auction in mid-July – provided that the minimum bids of $15 million are received.The Jackson Hole News&Guidesays that the asking price just a year ago was $47.4 million.

Why the big drop? Laura Brady, vice president of marketing for Concierge Auctions, told the newspaper that the seller was “not distressed and made a business decision to sell it this way.”

The property includes a 10,000-square-foot main residence described as “castle-like” in promotional material, with materials imported from Europe used throughout its construction.

Reservoir spill first time in decade

GRANBY – The drought of the early 21st century may have ended in northern Colorado. The year started off dry, but it was a wet, cool spring, and the reservoirs in Colorado have filled. At Granby Reservoir, located along the spine of the Continental Divide between Winter Park and Rocky Mountain National Park, water officials expected to open the dam’s spillway and release into the Colorado River. The last time the reservoir was full enough to warrant a spill was in 2000, officials tell theSky Hi Daily News.

Marmot social structure explained

BRECKENRIDGE – The shrill whistles of marmots may all sound the same, but they’re not. So says Dan Blumstein, a biologist from the University of California at Los Angeles. He tells theSummit Daily News that marmots have different personalities, and they respond to threats in

different ways. Those different perceptions are revealed in the alarm calls of the animals.

Some marmots worry a lot, and respond to perceived threats accordingly. Others tend to be more laid back. And the marmots themselves learn to differentiate.

Blumstein tells theDaily News that having a diversity of behavior in a species helps it adapt to changes in the environment, such as when a predator population grows. He also notes that this is not unlike how people tend to behave differently in cities vs. rural areas.

Nature of extreme sports dissected

BANFF, Alberta – TheRocky Mountain Outlook recently reported on a panel discussion held in Banff, where panelists agreed that, by definition, extreme sports entail risks.

Will Gadd, an extreme ice climber and X Games gold medalist, says he has counted more than 30 friends who have been lost to extreme pursuits over the years. He said those endeavors are indeed fun, but also risky.

Kyle McLaughlin, an emergency room physician, said he was concerned that the term “extreme sports” has been sensationalized. He pointed to ESPN and the X Games as examples. “There is a counter-culture ambiance with this term,” he said.

Should those engaged in risky activities be reined in? “Why do we think we can lay moral blame on people for being irrational?”

Aspen museum exhibits mid-1970s

ASPEN – The Wheeler/Stallard Museum in Aspen now has an exhibit devoted to Aspen in the mid-1970s.

“Think crimes of fashion, public nudity and a freewheeling party town where anything went and everyone played on a softball team,” explainsThe Aspen Times.

One part of the exhibit documents what theTimes described as the “not-exactly-accredited Aspen State Teachers College,” which offered classes in Advanced Hustling 401, Sub-Letting 104, and Drinking 205.

“It was irreverent. That was a big part of what we wanted to talk about. There was such a sense of fun,” said curator Lisa Hancock.

Whistler venue to be best in West

WHISTLER, B.C. – Whistler’s Olympic Plaza, where race winners were celebrated, is to become what municipal officials say will be the most advanced outdoor performance venue west of Toronto.” The pavilion is to have two stages and a roof large enough to accommodate 650 people sitting or 3,000 people standing. The budget for the artwork alone has been budgeted fat $2 million, notesPiqueNewsmagazine.

– Allen Best




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