THEM ON US: 3.5.14

By on March 4, 2014

JACKSON, WYO – Weekend warrior to track Cathedral Group
George Hein has been putting in the time on the slopes every weekend this year like a lot of us. But unlike a lot of us he is using that time, and a whole bunch more, at Mountain Athlete to prepare himself for a ski of the Cathedral Group peaks.

Hein has hooked up with The North Face for his descent. He’s been training with Kit DesLauriers, who knows a thing or two about carving her way down a peak. The North Face will be video chronicling Hein’s quest. YouTube the first installment with those keywords.

Hein has lived in the valley for the past 10 years.

Sick snowpack
Word is traveling fast through the usual channels about the spectacular February had by area resorts. Grand Targhee is buried and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is also piling up record totals.

We caught news items in newspapers from as far away as the Eastern seaboard.

Snowpack in Rendezvous Bowl has reached 10 feet (121 inches) and counting. That’s the highest total for March 1 since the epic 1997-98 season. River runners take note: It’s going to be a wild spring.

Grand ol’ Park
Grand Teton National Park enjoyed a quiet celebration of its anniversary on February 26. President Calvin Coolidge signed the bill that created Grand Teton National Park on this day in 1929, setting aside a 96,000-acre tract of land that became the core of GTNP.
Indian Country carried the news complete with the obligatory shot of the John Moulton Barn.

Meanwhile, state lawmakers were doing their part to make sure park officials had a present to open for the occasion. They moved forward a bill that would allow for some type of compensation or land swap concerning the school property parcels held within the park.

And finally, we thoroughly enjoyed the story in the national parks traveler about a 4-year-old boy who began a campground tradition in Grand Teton.

Max Ozbolt’s infamous diary can still be found at Signal Mountain’s campsite No. 75. Young Ozbolt left a journal there some years ago encouraging campers to jot down their experiences at the campsite.

In 2010, Ozbolt’s grandfather Richard Hirsch donated a box to keep the journal in and it has been there ever since, gathering stories daily. Park Rangers installed the bear box at site No. 75 with Ozbolt’s spiral-bound journal inside. The box holds a note from the Park encouraging visitors to jot something down.

UW piper well traveled
The Miami Herald ran a nice piece on Wyoming professor of music Rod Garnett. Like so many Wyomingites, Garnett learned native Moldova folk songs on flute at an early age. It’s a passion that paid off a few years ago when the musician brought his pan flute to the small country in 2010-11 on a Fulbright scholarship.

“I’ve never gone as an expert in anything; I go to learn,” Garnett told the Laramie Boomerang originally. “Most college professors go as performers, and I was respected because of my age and experience, but I was just starting. They were so good. They kind of tested me to see if I could play.”

Garnett spent 10 months in the former Soviet Union. At UW he teaches ethnomusicology — a combination of anthropology and music performance.

Black skies over Wyoming
What a black eye (or black lung?) for Wyoming. A recent Washington Post Business story carried the disappointing news: “Turns out the worst state for carbon dioxide emissions per person isn’t smoggy California or bustling New York, but a place famous for its big, clear skies: Wyoming.”

Wyoming produces almost 40 percent of the nation’s coal. Burning coal generates electricity, which produces large amounts of CO2. And we’re taking the blame.

Wyoming just received EPA approval to regulate greenhouse gasses. The war on coal has not sat well with Gov. Matt Mead who, through his spokesperson Renny MacKay, acknowledged “We do have a responsibility to always do things better. The coal industry has to be profitable if it’s going to invest in the research and development of new technologies.”

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