Summit Up 3-7-11: A little polar bear, a little Mardi Gras, all Summit County |

Summit Up 3-7-11: A little polar bear, a little Mardi Gras, all Summit County


Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only column that’s contemplating polar bears, Mardi Gras and the possibility of the Summit Daily’s snow reporter ironically getting buried at her own desk.

Yup, we’re about as all over the place as those schizophrenic roads from the other day – maybe a side effect of all that roadway craziness.

Anyway, it’s true. Our snow reporter has but a mere pane of glass between her and a mound of snow that towers taller than the snow sculpture blocks in Breckenridge a few weeks back.

They say it’s better than having it all on the roof, but when we have to write a story about a mini avalanche burying one of our own, we’ll see about that.

Can you imagine? Search and rescue called to an in-town event.

“What was the last place she was seen?”

“Well, we’re not quite sure. We were busy listening to the scanner and laying out pages. It all happened so suddenly.”

“Was she wearing a beacon?”

“Why would she be wearing a beacon?”

Meanwhile, there’s a hole large enough to allow her to keep typing away, cranking out work that the editor sees pop up on his own screen. And the clicking sound allows search and rescue folks to locate her precise location to probe – ouch, that hurt! – and dig her out.


Which brings us in no way, other than the commonality of a plethora of snow,

to polar bears.

There’s a team of scientists in London who are getting ready for a much vaster version of the above as they aim to head to the Arctic winter. They’re going to set up an ice base on floating sea ice on the edge of the Arctic Ocean in Canada. Meanwhile, a team of explorers will wander the frozen Arctic wilderness.

Sounds exciting!

Maybe living on floating ice is like living on a cloud… but somehow, we doubt it.

They say something about frostbite, hypothermia, dehydration, treacherous ice conditions, hazardous weather and visits from inquisitive polar bears as risks.


Polar bears as risks? We thought they were so cute and cuddly and white and playful.

I guess they are bears, after all. They say they have everything from “bear bangers,” which are loud bright flares, to personal attack alarms and a trip-wire fence around the camp – and they have a large husky as a watchdog!

But still, we think the wildlife aspect would be the best part. Everything else sounds really hairy and icky – we get enough of that type of stuff here in Summit County.

Oh, we never told you what these Catlin Arctic Survey guys are doing up there.

They’re from the UK, U.S. and Canada and they’re gathering data on the increased amount of fresh water in the Arctic and the thermohaline circulation – whatever that is. There’s also something about ocean acidification going on up there… we’re not too sure about that one either.

Anyway, check out to find out more.


And so, Tuesday is “Fat Tuesday,” and we’ve been enjoying the festivities both on the TV, in our talk with friends and at the ski resorts.

Steamboat kicked off its party on Friday at the base with a fun band and bright beads, and Winter Park lifties were donning Mardi Gras colors over the weekend.

Good times and lots of smiles!

There’s another community event going on this week on Wednesday at Summit High School. A-Basin snow safety director Leif Borgeson recently passed away atop the Highlands Bowl over in Aspen. Borgeson was a longtime county resident and a fixture up there at “The Legend.” There will be a spaghetti dinner fundraiser for the Borgeson family. Get a great meal for only $10 as all the proceeds will be going directly to the Leif Borgeson Memorial Fund. Check out the Community Note on the left for additional information.


We hope you’re getting ready to have some fun of your own this week – to celebrate Mardi Gras or not – and in the meantime, Happy Monday!

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