Combs Spouts Off

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Posts Tagged ‘mountains’

Michael Yon’s Moonshine on Ama Dablam

Posted by Richard on November 24, 2010

Over the last five years or so, Michael Yon has not only proven himself today's pre-eminent war correspondent, he's also developed into one of our finest photographers. His dispatches from Iraq showed that he has a natural eye for composition, and gave us some memorable war images.

Recently, Yon posted one of the most stunning mountain photos I've ever seen. Take a look. And don't forget, Yon is an independent journalist who relies on donations and sales of books and photos to finance his work. Let's keep him out there doing the wonderful job he's been doing. 

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Get high to lose weight?

Posted by Richard on February 25, 2010

Sounds counter-intuitive, doesn't it? I mean, what about those infamous munchies? Oh, wait — they're talking about altitude! German researchers say that living at higher altitudes seems to increase metabolism, decrease appetite, and lower blood pressure:

Florian Lippl and colleagues at Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich studied the effect of living in high altitudes for one week on the body weight of 20 obese males, while no other change was made to their exercise routine or food availability.

At the end of the week, their body weight, food intake, and diastolic blood pressure had been significantly lowered, effects that were still present four weeks after returning from high altitude.

The low levels of oxygen present at high altitudes could be responsible for an observed increase in leptin, a hormone thought to suppress appetite, though the causes of this need to be further studied, the researchers say.

The lasting weight reduction seen at high altitudes is primarily due to an increased metabolism and decreased food intake, though the reasons behind these changes remain unclear and may be a temporary effect of the body acclimatizing to new surroundings. 

This was a small, short-term study, so clearly there's more to learn. But the effect may not be so temporary. For some time, Colorado has had the lowest obesity rate in the nation and is the only state with a rate below 20%. Sure, there are significant lifestyle differences between the average Coloradan and Mississippian. But the altitude may be a factor. 

Either way, here's my advice: You'll be thinner and healthier if you decide that life's a mountain, not a beach.

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Ski season is here

Posted by Richard on October 7, 2009

On the last day of summer, amidst unusually cold weather and an early natural snowfall, Loveland Ski Area fired up its snowmaking machinery. Tomorrow morning, it opens for the season:

"We took advantage of the cold temperatures and got an early start making snow this year. Those extra days paid off and we are opening a week earlier than last season," Snowmaking and Trail Maintenance Manager Eric Johnstone said in a prepared statement. "Now we can move some equipment to other trails and try to open more terrain as quickly as possible."

Loveland will open with an 18-inch base on the opening day run, which includes three trails totaling over a mile in length.

Arapahoe Basin, which usually competes with Loveland to open first, said snowmaking is going well there and will open on Friday at 9 a.m.

It's the earliest opening in 40 years, and it follows one of the coolest summers on record (both in Colorado and nationally), with numerous low temperature records and mountain snows in late July. But that won't stop the global warming zealots from continuing to predict that Colorado's ski industry is doomed.

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Summer snow

Posted by Richard on September 22, 2006

Summer isn’t officially over until this evening, but for all intents and purposes, it ended decisively yesterday in the Colorado mountains, with lows in the teens and heavy snow. Many places had over a foot of accumulation by this morning, and the northern mountains are expecting another foot or two before the storm clears out Saturday. Travel in the high country was — and is — problematic:

Blowing snow and icy roads in the high country forced the overnight closure of part of Interstate 70 Thursday into Friday, stranding some travelers with forecasts calling for up to 16 inches of snow through Friday night in the Rocky Mountains.

The highway reopened to traffic just before 6 a.m. on Friday morning.

Eastbound I-70 was closed from Vail to Georgetown late Thursday, although officials began letting drivers who were stuck at Silverthorne between the two cities continue traveling. Westbound traffic was being allowed to travel past Georgetown in stages, said Ryan Drake of the Colorado Department of Transportation.

A winter storm warning was issued through 6 a.m. Saturday for areas including Rabbit Ears Pass, Breckenridge, Rocky Mountain National Park and the Eisenhower Tunnel on I-70 that passes underneath the Continental Divide.

The winter-like driving conditions sent many drivers hunting for rooms Thursday night.

This Colorado weather report is provided as a public service to all you Texas skiers. They’re making snow at the resorts, Mother Nature is helping out in a big way, and there’s already talk about what a great early season it’s going to be — it’s time to start planning your first ski trip.

Skier-snowman at Keystone
Skier-snowman at Keystone Resort. See more snow pix at CBS4Denver.

 

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Tough guys cry on Mt. Everest

Posted by Richard on May 25, 2006

I’m a sucker for Everest stories, but I almost missed the story of the Everest Peace Project expedition. From Ynet News:

Israeli mountain climber Dudu Yifrah of the “Everest Climb for Peace” expedition conquered the mountain from its Tibetan side at exactly 6:51 a.m. local time last Thursday after a grueling final climb of seven hours in -45 degrees weather.

Micha Yaniv, the second Israeli on the team, arrived two hours later.

Upon reaching the summit, Yifrah, a 32-year-old farmer from Kfar Shamai, proceeded to plant Israeli and Palestinian flags, thus keeping his promise to fellow mountain climber Ali Bushnaq, a Palestinian water engineer who currently resides in Abu Dhabi, who collapsed on the way to the top and was forced to wait for the others at 7000 meters (23,000 feet).

Bushnaq broke into tears when he heard of Yifrah’s gesture.

“Now he is my brother,” he said. 

The UAE-based Gulfnews.com has a whole special section on the Everest expedition, with lots more about Ali Bushnaq and his teammates:

Climbing with Israelis, Ali admits it was "a little bit weird" at first, but past the stereotyping, he saw only real people who share his passion for climbing. "We even have the same taste in coffee!" he says.

Israeli mountain climber David Yifrah, for instance, saved the life of another climber suffering from cerebral and pulmonary edema. "I know him better now," he says.

Ali and his team mates – including one Buddhist and two Christian Americans, a Christian South African, a Hindu from India, and an atheist from New Zealand – have already scaled Kilimanjaro and Mount Shasta in California to prepare for Everest.

And no, they won’t be at each other’s throats. "We get along and we work together. We are doing what we enjoy – climbing. We hope to show the world that peace is possible and everyone can get along," he says.

I learned of the story — and stole the title — from Lisa Goldman. Lisa reported that the second Israeli climber, Micha Yaniv, began to cry when he learned that Ali had to turn back, and confessed:

I have a huge soft spot for tough guys who know how to cry.

Damn, Lisa — you’re bringing tears to my eyes. 😉

Israelis and Palestinian on Everest
L to R: Dudu Yifrach, Ali Bushnaq and Micha Yaniv

UPDATE: Oops, I forgot — the pointer to Lisa’s post came from Blogs with a Face, where I was confirming the addition of my lovely visage to the growing collage of bloggers’ faces/symbols/logos (best viewed in IE; there are some page layout issues in Firefox).
 

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