Blog Archive


It’s the Winter of Backcountry. Here’s How to Start Safely.

Just an hour from Seattle lies Snoqualmie Pass, home to several ski areas and vast backcountry skiing terrain. The ski tour to Pineapple Pass is a classic for its quality terrain and gorgeous setting. Starting from the parking lot of the Alpental Ski Area, you ski up following the South Fork of the Snoqualmie River into Pineapple Basin. The basin is ringed by the thousand-foot walls of Bryant Peak, Hemlock Peak and the Tooth. It is a spectacular landscape.

After skinning up Pineapple Pass (the upper section can be wind loaded and avalanche-prone), there are views to the south of the massive profile of Mount Rainier. The scenery is rewarding enough, but another highlight awaits on the 1,800-vertical foot ski descent back the way that you came. “The ski touring is moderate but the terrain is spectacular,” said Mr. Volken. There are many options for expanding the tour to venture

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  • November 27, 2020

Local residents find ways to stay active, connected as COVID-19 winter approaches | Tri-state News

GALENA, Ill. — After switching on the music, Emily Painter checked her computer to make sure all the dancers attending the class virtually could hear the song and see her as she started to move.

Every song had different moves and a new tempo, but each was designed to ensure the dancers — either participating remotely or in person — could follow along during the morning workout.

“It’s been frustrating at times,” said Painter. “We started out with doing it from my hallways with plug-in speakers, and now, we have a Bluetooth speaker. What’s interesting is (people) keep coming back.”

In March, Painter moved her twice-weekly dance exercise class at Galena Art & Recreation Center to an all-virtual format using Zoom after the facility shut down to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Now that the center has reopened, about four of the members attend in person to shimmy to

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  • November 22, 2020

Wilderness Rescuers Brace for a Rough Covid-19 Winter

This story originally appeared in High Country News and is part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

Every winter, volunteers from Seattle Mountain Rescue are dispatched to the sites of dozens of harrowing incidents: They rescue backcountry skiers buried in avalanches, help injured hikers descend slick trails—and once, they even removed the wreckage of a single-engine plane from a mountainside. Volunteers must tackle steep, avalanche-prone mountain terrain, carrying the requisite gear to ward off hypothermia. Once on the scene, they rig anchors and ropes to carry out rescues, a time-intensive project that often lasts until after dark. “I can’t think of a time I didn’t come out in a headlamp during a winter mission,” said Cheri Higman, chairperson of the organization.

And this winter may be harder than usual, thanks to Covid-19. Owing to the pandemic, outdoor recreation skyrocketed this summer, and that trend is projected to continue into the winter.

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  • November 21, 2020

Africa gets first UK travel corridors as ‘winter safari’ destinations of Rwanda and Namibia are opened up

Africa is to get its first quarantine-free travel corridors from the UK opening up the prospect of winter safari holidays in Namibia and Rwanda once national lockdown ends.  

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced the two countries will have quarantine lifted from Saturday at 4am, along with other winter sun destinations Israel, Sri Lanka, Uruguay, the US Virgin Islands, St Eustatius and Saba and the North Mariana Islands.  

The whole of Africa has been subject to the UK’s 14-day quarantine since it was first imposed in early June despite many countries in the continent having some of the lowest Covid rates in the world.  

Ministers are understood to have been reluctant because of concerns that low levels of testing could be masking the true extent of the disease.  

However, travel industry chiefs and stars including South African born England cricketer Kevin Pietersen claimed the refusal to lift quarantine was potentially discriminatory.  

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  • November 20, 2020

Winter motor vehicle rules on White River National forest begin Monday

Snowmobilers ride at Vail Pass in February 2020.
Photo by Liz Copan / Summit Daily archives

The White River National Forest’s winter motor vehicle use season begins Monday, Nov. 23.

Per U.S. Forest Service rules, all wheeled vehicles — including bikes — are limited to plowed routes or designated routes open through special order.

Winter motor vehicle use maps identify routes and areas designated for “over the snow” motor vehicle travel, such as snowmobiles. The maps are free and available at all ranger districts or online.

The Vail Pass Winter Recreation Area will not begin fee collections until grooming starts Saturday, Nov. 28. Day passes are $10 and season passes are $65.

For more information about winter travel in the White River National Forest, visit

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Now more than ever, your financial support is critical to help us

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  • November 20, 2020

Winter Session to Be Completely Virtual

The fall semester moved most classes online, but the winter session will be completely virtual. Although the winter session will have an expanded course roster, it will not offer students any in-person options.

Many Cornell students and professors plan to continue their academic work through winter session classes, but will have to do so in a virtual setting. Because of this, facilitators will expand the number of classes held and adapt pre-existing programs to the online format. 

Ann Morse, the executive director of communications and marketing at the School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions, said all classes will occur within one session from Jan. 4 to Jan. 23.

Recurring courses that have been popular in the past, according to Morse, include PLBIO 2400: Green World, Blue Planet, HD 2600: Introduction to Personality and ILRST 2100: Introductory Statistics.

Visiting students must register for winter courses by Dec. 7. Continuing Cornell

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  • November 17, 2020

As pandemic rages, this winter could be worst in years for homelessness in Greater Cincinnati

CINCINNATI — They’re holding cardboard signs at intersections, making camp under bridge approaches and curling up in doorways to sleep.

A growing number of people are homeless and unsheltered in Greater Cincinnati, and advocates and service providers are worried the coronavirus pandemic could make this winter the most difficult in recent memory for hundreds of the region’s most vulnerable residents.

“It has been years since we had someone freeze to death on the streets of Cincinnati when there was not a shelter bed available for them,” said Kevin Finn, CEO of the nonprofit Strategies to End Homelessness. “But this year we’re potentially looking at a reality where people are on the street because they cannot access a shelter bed.”

Homeless shelters have reduced capacity to allow for social distancing between the people who sleep there. Some also are keeping space empty for people who are homeless and need to quarantine,

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  • November 12, 2020

What’ s New and How to Safely Enjoy North Lake Tahoe This Winter

New and familiar experiences in North Lake Tahoe have been bolstered by significant investments designed to ensure the health and safety for residents and visitors.

NORTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (PRWEB) November 11, 2020

The resilient businesses and communities that make up the North Lake Tahoe region are prepared to welcome visitors this winter with a variety of outdoor activities that provide an opportunity to take a deep breath, spread out and reconnect with nature. New and familiar experiences have been bolstered by significant investments designed to ensure health and safety. To help slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep businesses open, face coverings are required, and responsible recreation and leave no trace ethics are strongly encouraged. Guests are also asked to maintain physical distance from others while at Tahoe area ski resorts, businesses, on trails, public lands and other recreational areas.

“Despite the challenges the world has faced over the

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  • November 11, 2020

Restaurants go seasonal with winter shutdowns during pandemic

Congressional inaction on COVID-19 relief combined with rising coronavirus cases is prompting more restaurants to close up shop for the winter and go into hibernation until warmer weather returns.

Many restaurant owners, faced with the prospect of daily financial losses, are choosing to lay off employees until spring when customers can sit outside in settings where the risk of spreading the coronavirus is minimized.

The job losses are adding economic pain to an industry already hard hit by the pandemic, raising concerns about whether many of these restaurants will be able to reopen next year without government assistance.

“Shutting down a restaurant temporarily is never going to be a perfect or elegant solution, there is still going to be workers or suppliers that rely on that restaurant’s operations that are going to be left short. No restaurant owner is excited to announce they are shutting down for the winter,” said

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  • November 11, 2020

Planning to ski or snowboard at Bogus Basin this winter? Buy your lift tickets in advance

Due to the pandemic, the mountain recreation area is limiting the number of lift tickets sold each day.

BOISE, Idaho — Bogus Basin is preparing for a ski season in high demand while operating at a shrunken capacity. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the mountain recreation area will operate at a maximum capacity of 60%. On peak days, season pass holders will have priority on the mountain. For those looking for day passes, it is first-come, first-served. 

Bogus Basin has never sold day lift passes online before, and because of the new change, officials are worried people will not be aware when the mountain exceeds capacity.

“This an ever-changing environment so never say never, but we feel pretty good that if you have a Bogus Basin season pass, for any particular day, you can come up,” said Bogus Basin General Manager Brad Wilson. “We do have concerns that people (who

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  • November 11, 2020