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June 27, 2013
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Mountain Town Roundup: Climbing pioneers, bluegrass festivals, bikeways & snobby Stowe

Climbing pioneers discuss early ascents of the Diamond on Longs Peak

BOULDER — The hallowed walls of Neptune Mountaineering reverberated with history over the weekend as the pioneers of Colorado climbing gathered to share, celebrate and detail the earliest technical ascents of Rocky Mountain National Park's Longs Peak.

"This is America's premier rock wall. This one is really the crown of the Rockies," said event organizer Stephen Grossman, who is gathering images, artifacts and stories from climbing's vanguard for his nonprofit North American Climbing History Archives.

Climbing's greatest generation — the adventurous heroes who revealed new possibilities that stretched beyond stone walls — was well-represented Friday night at Boulder's institution of climbing. The indelible characters who sparked Colorado's climbing scene — opening previously unfathomable opportunities for generations in their wake — detailed their earliest exploits with a humor and humility that has outlived their climbing prowess.

"I feel very humbled up here today, because everything we did was so old-fashioned and so easy compared to what they are doing today," said Dave Rearick, who in 1960, at age 27, joined Bob Kamps in the historic first ascent of the Diamond on Longs Peak."_blank">

Plastic bag fee to be decided by council

T he Durango City Council appears likely to approve a 10-cent fee on disposable plastic and paper bags at the supermarket checkout with the first vote tentatively scheduled for its regular meeting July 16.

The other option was to put it to a referendum, but the majority of councilors were convinced enough public support for the fee exists to go ahead and settle the issue.

“I?m ready,” Councilor Dean Brookie said Tuesday during a study session.

Of the five-member council, only Councilor Keith Brant opposes the fee, which is intended to reduce litter and promote reusable bags. The fee likely would go into effect in early 2014.

Brant thought it better to the let the voters decide a contentious issue."_blank">

Caution urged on Yampa River as commercial tubing season starts in Steamboat Springs

— Steamboat Springs resident John Fielding and his son will tell you that the 700 cubic feet per second mark that signifies the start of commercial tubing season on the Yampa River doesn’t mean a mild, lazy river float.

On Thursday, the Fieldings’ canoe sprang a leak and overturned.

“We got sideways and were tossed out of the canoe. Even though we were wearing life jackets, we both found it very hard to swim. I thought there was a real possibility of drowning,” Fielding said.

The Fieldings’ abandoned canoe is wrapped around a boulder across from 12th Street. It serves as a warning to residents and visitors that floating the Yampa should be treated with a bit more caution than a trip to Water World.

“That powerful current can be very dangerous,” Fielding said."_blank">

Crowds packed the park for 40th annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival

With a major anniversary to celebrate, a lineup of jam bands and bluegrass legends and clear skies all weekend, the 40th Annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival saw record attendance, record beer consumption and an enthusiastic crowd of music lovers in Town Park.

During the festival’s debriefing meeting Tuesday morning, officials from Planet Bluegrass and the Town of Telluride said that considering the sizeable crowds and hot weather, the 2013 festival functioned smoothly.

“From my perspective it was really successful,” said Stephanie Jaquet, director of Parks and Recreation.

According to numbers from the Planet Bluegrass box office, 11,882 festivarians filled Town Park on Thursday, 11,998 people showed up on Friday, 12,061 on Saturday and 12,027 on Sunday. These numbers were up significantly from the 2012 festival, which was also sold out.

Planet Bluegrass attributed the high numbers to the anniversary this year and a growing momentum behind the festival. Four-day passes sold out in a record-shattering three and a half hours when they went on sale to the general public in December — before a single act was announced."_blank">

Taos police report: Both drivers in fatal wreck were impaired

An exhaustive accident reconstruction by the town of Taos Police Department submitted to prosecutors earlier this month suggested both drivers in a fatal vehicle collision March 23 were impaired.

Gareth Harrold was charged with homicide by vehicle, great bodily injury with a vehicle and an aggravated count of driving while intoxicated after police said he crashed his Subaru Forester into a Chevrolet Monte Carlo driven by Peter Mondragón at the intersection of Camino de la Merced and Salazar Road around 8 p.m.

Anthony Gutiérrez, who was riding with Mondragón, was pronounced dead at a local hospital shortly after the collision.

Investigators were unclear, however, if Mondragón stopped at a stop sign before entering the intersection. The Chevrolet was traveling at about 14 mph when struck by the Subaru, the report said."_blank">

America’s Most Beautiful Bikeway’ dedicated

A bike path encircling Lake Tahoe is still years away, but bicycle advocates and Lake Tahoe Basin agency staff gathered this week to celebrate the latest step toward completion of “America’s Most Beautiful Bikeway.”

The one-mile, approximately $2 million, segment of bike path between Kahle Drive and Elks Point Road opened to the public in October, but was dedicated Thursday. The path is the latest development in an effort to connect the state lines with a more than 30-mile bike path running along the Nevada side of the lake.

Being able to circumnavigate the entire lake safely on a bike path is the ultimate dream for many bicylists, bike advocate and America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride organizer Curtis Fong said Thursday.

“We are all moving in a positive direction to realize this dream,” Fong said.

He relayed some of the dangers faced by road bikers at Lake Tahoe. Prior to a previous America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride, when Fong expected a law enforcement officer to give a overview of the rules of the road, the officer instead questioned the sanity of the participants and said “I hope to god nobody gets killed today,” Fong said."_blank">

Vail eliminates 42 jobs at Canyons

Vail Resorts has consolidated a number of staff positions this week as part of its takeover of the management of Canyons Resort.According to Vail spokesperson Kelly Ladyga, 42 positions out of a total workforce of 1,800 at Canyons Resort have been eliminated.

In an email to The Park Record, Ladyga stated, "The loss of jobs, no matter how small the number of people impacted, is always difficult and is not something that we take lightly."

She emphasized that most of the resort's other employees would be retained and will officially become Vail Resorts employees on July 1.

Ladyga explained that the changes were implemented to "create alignment with our other mountain resorts and entities to ensure operating efficiencies moving forward.""_blank">

Stowe crowned as Vermont’s top snob

Congratulations Stowe — you’ve been pronounced the snobbiest town in Vermont.

On Friday, Lamoille County’s tiny tourist town took home top honors in an online tournament from NoseupVT, a mysterious Tumblr account.

In the end, it wasn’t even close. Like Richard Nixon stomping out George McGovern in the 1972 presidential race, Stowe quashed rival Middlebury in the final round of the tournament by a margin of 73 percent to 27 percent.

Noseup kicked off the tongue-in-cheek showdown May 15. The contest pitted 32 Vermont towns against each other in a March Madness-style bout billed as an “an epic battle of self-assessed superiority.”

Reactions from longtime locals and tourists walking Stowe’s Main Street this week were mixed."_blank">

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The Summit Daily Updated Jun 27, 2013 04:31PM Published Jul 1, 2013 03:15PM Copyright 2013 The Summit Daily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.