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Families turn out in force for Biathlon

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Family and competition came together Saturday during the Pigeon Creek Biathlon.

The annual event that features a combined course of a 5K road run and a 5K cross country skiing had the most ever participants this year, including a number of family members.

Zeeland's Les Kloosterman and Sarah Schoettle formed one of the family relay teams. Kloosterman, 75, completed the 5K cross country skiing and his granddaughter Schoettle, 21, finished the 5K run. more...

 

 



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Ice strands Harsens Islanders

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HARSENS ISLAND — David Wells got an unexpected day off from his classes at Algonac High School Tuesday when ice floes 4 feet high and a mile wide blocked auto ferries from making trips on the St. Clair River to his home on Harsens Island.

Being marooned with his younger sisters and grandmother “is kind of depressing,” the 15-year-old sophomore said, because his parents, Bob and Lisa White, are away from him, stranded on the mainland in St. Clair County.

The family hopes to reunite today, or Thursday, if a U.S. Coast Guard ice-breaking tugboat can forge a path for the car ferries.

“I miss the children. It’s causing a lot of stress,” said Lisa White, who rented a room with her husband at the Colony Motel in Clay Township.

Above-freezing temperatures and an overnight rain Tuesday sheared the ice on the river into impassable floes.

The floes clogged the waterway that 1,000 residents in the winter and about 5,000 in the summer use to get to and from the 9-mile-long island at the tip of Lake St. Clair.   more...

 



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Boyne Highlands: great skiing at every level

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HARBOR SPRINGS -- Since it opened in 1964, Boyne Highlands has been setting the bar pretty high for itself. Sometimes it's been overshadowed by its older companion resort, Boyne Mountain 25 miles to the south, but Boyne Highlands has been the one to deliver a Sun Valley-esque experience in the Midwest.

What Boyne Highlands sells is luxury, often at an affordable price, the centerpiece being the 161-room Bavarian-themed Main Lodge. Fronted by an outdoor swimming pool kept at 100 degrees, a 70-person hot tub and a free ski valet service, the lodge's rooms are not only modern, they are just steps from the slopes.

There are plenty of other places to stay, from the ivy-blanketed Bartley House to the Alpine Village condos. And you don't have to break the bank: Midweek lift-lodging packages (one night lodging, lift ticket and breakfast) begin at $93 per person for double occupancy. A weekend deal including lodging, meals and lift tickets starts at $289 per person. There are five-day packages as well (for as low as $470 per person).   more...

 



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Safety rules when ice fishing

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The recent days of freezing temperatures have brought on the first fishable ice to be found across most of Indiana. From Lake Michigan, to Shakamak Lake, shallow ponds and lakes and the bay areas of larger reservoirs are producing ice and fishing opportunities.

The number one point of concern now, and any time, when winter fishing is ice safety. Although two inches of clear ice has been reported to be safe for the weight of a single angler, I prefer the old ice fisherman’s saying, “Give me four or more.” If I have four inches of good ice under me, it just makes for a better time.

If it is not safe for two anglers to stand side-by-side, I don’t consider it safe enough to fish. I would much rather spend my time concentrating on the fish and not worrying about the safety under my feet or another angler getting too close for comfort.   more...




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Everest Climbers to Shoot Footage for Hollywood Movie

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January 21, 2004 Director Stephen Daldry is collaborating with Universal Studios and the British production company Working Title Films on a new Hollywood film about the notorious May 1996 disaster on Everest, in which eight people died on the mountain in a single day.

Daldry is best known for his 2003 Academy Award-winning drama, The Hours, starring Nicole Kidman. He also directed the 2000 blockbuster Billy Elliot.

The new Everest film will depict the deadly expedition that was the subject of Jon Krakauer's 1996 award-winning Outside feature story, "
Into Thin Air," which subsequently became a worldwide best-selling book. The network television film, Into Thin Air: Death on Everest, also debuted in 1997 and is available on video. more...

 



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See Tongass National Forest Before They Saw It

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January 30, 2004 Alaska's Tongass National Forest, at 16.8 million acres, is the nation’s largest and only intact temperate rainforest…for now. Last December, amidst the holiday hubbub, the Bush Administration announced the exemption of the wilderness from roadless protection enacted just before Clinton left office. On January 29, the exemption became official.

"The roadless rule was enacted because of the overwhelming public concern to protect our last wild lands," says Sierra Club’s Alaska spokesperson Betsey Goll.

Initially, the exemption allows for roads and logging in 300,000 previously roadless acres.

This latest battle for the Tongass dates back to 1997 when the USDA released the "Tongass Land Management Plan Revision," a report detailing the environmental impact of several plans to extract resources from the forest. The revision, and its potential adverse effects on the ecosystem, led the Clinton Administration to institute a ban on road building in wilderness areas.   more...



Nav and Harbors  SNOW  

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Riding endless trails in the snow

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MUNISING -- Ask Rick Grandowicz why he and his dad drive 800 miles round-trip every weekend to the Upper Peninsula, and he will look at you as if you had just dropped in from Mars.

"Snow!" said Grandowicz, who lives in the Monroe County town of Petersburg. "They have it in the UP, and we usually don't. We usually come to Munising, because it's right in the heart of the snow country, and the trails go everywhere. We normally ride 150, 175 miles a day, and we can do that here and never ride the same trail twice."

Grandowicz's 68-year-old father, Richard Sr., said the superb suspension system on his new SkiDoo machine "makes it so much easier to ride than the old ones that it's like the difference between a Model A Ford and a new car. You can ride all day and still feel great. I love it, and I hope to keep this up for a long time yet."  more...

 



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Christmas is coming for snowcross snowmobiles

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Cmobile_map.jpgHRISTMAS -- Whether they admit it or not, it's rare for two snowmobilers to get on the same trail without at least one of them trying to find out if his machine is faster than the other.

Now the Christmas Motor Sports Park in the central Upper Peninsula offers riders a chance to find out how fast they are on a racetrack.

Kevin Kolbus, who owns Kolbus Motors in this Alger County community, started the track a few years ago as a place to race dirt bikes. It seemed only natural to add snowcross snowmobile racing in the winter.   more...

 



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A Canadian mushing trip to remember

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SOUTH RIVER, Ontario -- Ryan Smith is only 13, but he knew he was creating a long-lasting memory when he went dogsledding on the border of Algonquin Provincial Park.

"It was an awesome experience I will enjoy looking back on and sharing with my grandchildren," said Smith, an eighth-grader at Derby Middle School in Birmingham.

Smith accompanied eight other Boy Scouts from Birmingham Troop 1034 and five fathers on a two-day, 50-mile dogsledding expedition in northern Ontario. The excursion included an overnight stay in two prospector tents with wood-burning stoves, sheltered from steady snowfall and subzero temperatures. more...

GOING TO THE DOGS

Chocpaw Expeditions is in South River, Ontario, near Algonquin Provincial Park, a three-hour drive north of Toronto. Rates range from about $120 (U.S.) for one day of dogsledding to $940 for seven days of mushing and six nights in prospector tents, which are large and heated and have a plywood base. Meals are included, and clients are encouraged to help cook. For more information, call 705-386-0344 or go online to http://www.chocpaw.com.



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Playing it safe on the sled

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CADILLAC - If it snows, they will come. From around Michigan and beyond, snowmobilers have come to the winter haven known as Cadillac.

Trails, roads and lakes are all busy with these winter warriors so people should remember to be safe during the heart of the season.

"There is nothing that handles winter weather as much as a snowmobile, the technology has changed so much," said Jim Perrin of the Cadillac Winter Warriors. "Anybody that sees a snowmobile going 60 or 70 mph and says 'that's not safe,' they have no idea."

Perrin is a firm believer of the handling, power and braking ability of a sled being the keys to safety. With that, it is extremely important to keep the machine in top working order, he said.

"Having a sled checked out to make sure everything is working with good control is important," Perrin said. "Worn out carbides can't steer good in the corner."   more...


 



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Weather means big business in snow sports

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ImageSHELBY TOWNSHIP — Gerry Cashman enjoys running at Stony Creek Metropark, but recent snowfalls made that impractical. So Cashman improvised.

He dug out his skis and headed to the Stony Creek trails for cross-country skiing.

“It’s pretty peaceful out here,” Cashman, 57, of Shelby Township, said last week while at the park.

He’s not the only one making the best of the snow. Across Metro Detroit, people are having fun with the very snow that aggravates them at times by slowing traffic and blocking their driveways.

The snow, though less than normal by this point, is drawing increasingly more people to Mt. Brighton, a ski slope in Brighton.

“Yes. We’re having a good season,” said the manager, Deanie Fernandez. “A lot of it is perception. When they look outside and see snow, they think skiing.”   more...

 



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Turn Tricks

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Skiing/snowboardingRamp up your winter repertoire with new skiing and snowboarding skillz, brought to you by the pros who know.


We're sitting in a packed bar at the Breckenridge Brewing Company on a recent afternoon watching ski porn over pints of Avalanche Ale. On the screen, top winter athletes carve pristine lines across acres of fresh pow, catching air off 40-foot cliffs in true fusion style. Every few minutes the bar erupts with a chorus of disbelieving epithets. With sick new tricks being invented everyday, looking sexy on the slope has never been easier. But how do you pull off big hucks without biting it in front of your adoring fans? Not to worry, we've enlisted the advice of some of winter's hottest athletes, as well as visual cues from TGR's new flick, High Life, to help you up your ski-cool quotient. Here's a crash course:   more...


 



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Break the Ice

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outdoor adventure imageHYDRATION? You've got it dialed, or so you think. You've acquired a few floppy reservoirs for your fair-weather adventures, but take your fluid pack along on a ski tour and you'll soon be reminded of a cold, hard fact: Water solidifies below 32 degrees—and when it does, hoses clog and bite valves freeze shut. And without a ready supply of the wet stuff, your powder-day plunder will quickly run dry.

As a result, athletes have spent years jury-rigging: Some wrap their drinking hoses with pipe insulation, others snake them down sleeves, and an enterprising few duct-tape hand warmers to their reservoirs.   more...

 



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Cold as Ice!

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 The 2004 DN World Campionships are under way in Lake Balaton, Hungary. Results, updates and some great pictures can be seen here.  more...

 



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Icebreakers working overtime in cold

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QUEBEC CITY - The extreme cold that has gripped the province over the past couple of weeks has made life difficult for many, including those who patrol the St. Lawrence River on Coast Guard icebreakers.
Lots of work in Quebec City area

Lots of work in Quebec City area

The Coast Guard said the number of calls for help from ships trying to make it through the St. Lawrence is up this year, as ice on the river gets up to two metres thick. Denis Coulombe has spent the last 28 days patrolling the St. Lawrence and Saguenay rivers, and said that this week has been the hardest.  more...









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