Olympians Break the Age Barrier, National Toboggan Championships Return and More Stories to Start Your Week

From the inspiring to the tragic, here’s GearJunkie’s weekly roundup of the week’s exploration and adventure news. Here’s what you missed this week and a few things to look forward to.

Talk about a crazy week at the Winter Olympics. Here are some nuggets to know.

First, Swiss skier Beat Feuz (35) set a new precedent on February 7 by skiing the fastest downhill race ever – clocked at over 68 mph on average. His winning performance in 1:42.69 beat the time of silver medalist, France’s Johan Clarey, by a tenth of a second.

Clarey’s downhill skiing the performance was historic in itself – at 41, he is now the oldest medalist in the 5-year event. The previous record was set in 2014 by American Bode Millerthen 36 years old.

Snowboarding great and three-time Olympic gold medalist Shaun White has ended his fifth and final Olympics February 10. The Flying Tomato took fourth place in the half-pipe, its specialty.

But despite narrowly missing out on the podium, White sounded optimistic and said he was looking forward to life after the competition snowboard. Looks like he’s going to start chasing after Beijing — January marked the launch of his new snowboard gear and apparel brand, white space.

On February 13, Americans Lindsey Jacobellis (36) and Nick Baumgartner (40) won gold in their Olympic debut in mixed snowboard cross.. Oly’s veteran pair (it’s Jacobellis’ fourth and Baumgartner’s fifth) were the oldest team in the event. “Coming here and playing like we did being the two older competitors is pretty cool,” Baumgartner told reporters.

The win was Team USA’s fifth gold medal and Jacobelli’s second at this year’s Winter Games; the snowboarder took first place in women’s snowboard cross on February 9.

In sobering news, bad weather in Patagonia has thwarted efforts to recover the body of mountaineer Corrado ‘Korra’ Pesce. Pesce, an extremely accomplished climber and mountaineer, perished last month in an avalanche on the north face of Cerro Torre.

The other climbers Matteo Della Bordella, Matteo De Zaiacomo and David Bacci christened their newly established route on Cerro Torre ‘Brothers In Arms’, in honor of Pesce.

The US National Toboggan Championships returned to Camden, Maine, after last year’s COVID break – the first of its decades long run. Now in its 31st edition, this year sled the competition attracted 400 teams of two to four people and a nationwide fan base. The objective of the race is simple: teams must slide down a 440-foot toboggan to a frozen pond at the base of a hill. The fastest team wins.

Find out more and view the results at camdensnowbowl.com.

In 2021, Emily Ford and her trusty sled dog Diggins blazed a new trail for BIPOC women covering the entire 1,200 miles Ice Age Trail in winter. And they’re back this year, on skis. On February 11, the expeditious duo departed from Crane Lake, Minnesota for a 200-mile ski/skijor trek along the Minnesota-Ontario border, Web Explorers reports. This year’s tour will end in Grand Portage, near Lake Superior, and Ford will arrive there within 30 days.

To follow @emilyontrail to follow their journey.

Ford and Diggins from Duluth, Minnesota on their historic Ice Age Trail winter hike in 2021; (pictured Duluth News)

U.S. District Attorney Judge Jeffrey S. White has ruled to restore Endangered Species Act protections for the gray wolf February 10. These protections had been lifted by the US Fish and Wildlife Service under orders from the Trump administration in 2020, reports the Washington Post. By revoking the protections, “the Service avoids analyzing these wolves by concluding, with little explanation or analysis, that wolves outside of core populations are not necessary for species recovery,” White wrote. in his 26 page decision.

The decision comes after 20 wolves were poached by hunters in Montana just outside the Yellowstone National Park boundary. However, it does not apply to wolf populations north of the Rocky Mountains.

mexican gray wolves
Endangered wolf killed in Arizona, officials offer $12,000 reward for tips

In early January, officials confirmed that an endangered Mexican gray wolf had been found dead in northern Arizona. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service later issued a reward for advice leading to an arrest while investigating the case. Read more…

An aerial image of two widely cast fishing nets has won the Save Our Seas Foundation Marine Conservation accolade to this year Underwater Photographer of the Year price. The photo, taken in Vietnam by 34-year-old native Thien Nguyen Ngoc, serves as a “stark visual reminder of human reach and control over the surrounding habitat and its devastating effect on the natural balance”, said the awarding judge, Peter Rowlands. .

“Photography is a very powerful tool for me and photographers like me to convey a message of conservation to the world because the language of photography is universal,” Ngoc said as he accepted the award.

Eddie Bauer is calling on all outdoor-oriented LGBTQIA+ filmmakers to apply for his second annual “One Outside” Film Grant. In 2021, the program, which aims to amplify the work created by members of underrepresented communities, awarded grants to BIPOC filmmakers.

This year, Eddie Bauer will be offering up to six grants of $10,000 to “One Outside” applicants who identify as LGBTQIA+. Applications are open until March 17, 2022. Learn more and apply at eddiebauer.com/campaign/one-outside-film-grant.

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