Loveland hosts Valentine’s Day wedding
Once again, Loveland Ski Area is the place to be on Valentine’s Day, especially if you’ve got marriage on your mind. Billed as the world’s highest mass wedding, more than 100 couples will participate in a mountaintop ceremony for couples exchanging and renewing their wedding vows.”What began 13 years ago as a small gathering with only a few participants has grown into a major event attracting couples from around the nation who seek an incredibly unique wedding experience. It’s quite a spectacle to see 200 people skiing and riding down the mountain in tuxedos and wedding dresses,” said events and promotions manager John Sellers.The event is open to those who wish to marry and for couples renewing their wedding vows. Participants may register on-line at http://www.skiloveland.com/wedding or by calling (303) 571-5580 ext. 141. Registration is free and couples wishing to be legally wed must have a marriage license. Participants must be at least 18 years old and be able to ski or snowboard down the hill after the ceremony.Keystone opens teaching arenaKeystone officials say they are rethinking ski and ride instruction by setting aside part of the mountain solely for intermediate and advanced intermediate teaching. The Campus is located on the Jackwhacker Trail and features 1,640 vertical feet of terrain, from steep bumps to groomed intermediate terrain.”The Keystone University Campus creates the optimal learning environment by eliminating the No. 1 barrier to learning, fear of oncoming traffic,” said ski school director Chris Heidebrecht. “Intermediate and advanced skiers and riders are able to learn and practice more skills, in less time, at their own pace, more confidently, on their on trail.”All ski and ride school classes will have access to the terrain, which is closed to the general skiing public. To learn more about all of the innovative programs of Keystone University or to enroll, go to http://www.keystoneresort.com, or go to the Ski and Ride School at the Mountain House base area, River Run Village, or the newest location on the Summit of Dercum Mountain.Ride the Ski Trainfor GoldThe second annual Train for Gold event, hosted by the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team Foundation, is set to roll from Denver to Winter Park Friday, Feb. 27.Participants will ride the historic Ski Train alongside an impressive group of professional skiers and snowboarders. Train for Gold, benefiting future Olympic athletes, will allow 400 recreational skiers and riders to spend a day at Winter Park with USSA athletes or alumni, including such icons as downhill champion Doug Powell, World medalist Doug Lewis, two-time Olympian Jimmy Huega and more.A $300 gift entitles donors to a round-trip ticket on the Ski Train, food and beverage throughout the day, and the chance to ski and ride with current and past USSA Team athletes, many of whom are Colorado residents, including 1976 Olympic medalist Cindy Nelson and two-time Paralympic gold medalist Mary Riddell.The Ski Train departs Feb. 27 from Denver’s Union Station at 7:15 a.m. and arrive in Winter Park at approximately 9:30 a.m. After a day on the slopes, the train will depart Winter Park at 4:15 p.m.In addition to individual tickets, sponsorships are available at the Presenting, Gold, Silver and Bronze levels. For more information on tickets or sponsorship, call (800) 974-2226 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.CDOW sues Aspen landownersThe Aspen Daily News reports that the Colorado Division of Wildlife is suing 10 different businesses and individuals over access to a parcel of federal land. According to the Daily News, the parcel is critical during the hunting season.The lawsuit charges that the landowners are locking a gate on a Garfield County road, thereby preventing CDOW officers and the public from reaching the BLM land. CDOW claims in the lawsuit that the road has been open to the public for more than 20 years and that the landowners “had actual or implied knowledge of said use by the public and DOW personnel and made no objection to such use.” Such use for 20 consecutive years or more without objection is a “public highway” as defined by law, the suit insists, according to the Daily News.Name change forSan Juan peak?Federal officials are considering a request to change the name of Sheep Mountain, a peak near Telluride in the San Juan Mountains, the Telluride Daily Planet reports. The request was submitted to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names on behalf of a retired Air Force veteran with ties to the area who is seeking to honor soldiers Killed In Action and Missing In Action in the course of American wars. The proposed name Kiamia is the acronym for the two phrases.According to the Daily Planet, there are 38 mountains in Colorado named Sheep, with the one rising to the south of Telluride carrying that name on federal maps as far back as 1897. The Utes, who lived in the area for thousands of years before settlement by Europeans, also called the 13,243-foot peak Big Sheep Mountain.The peak became the focal point for a controversy over logging in 1988 and an ad hoc group of residents who fought the logging plan named itself the Sheep Mountain Alliance. Some locals now have an emotional attachment to the name, according to the Daily Planet. In a letter to the feds, a county commissioner suggested the new name be applied to one of Colorado’s many unnamed peaks.Gunnison flows appealedThe Colorado Water Conservation Board has decided to appeal a water ruling in favor of Gunnison’s claim to significant instream flow rights for a whitewater kayak park in the Gunnison River, the Crested Butte News reports. Local interests claimed up to half the river’s flows on a seasonal basis to establish a world-class whitewater venue.The CWCB argued in water court that the whitewater park should not be granted water rights because those rights might block future attempts to divert Gunnison Basin water to the Front Range. It will now present those same arguments to the Colorado Supreme Court.According to an attorney who argued the case for Gunnison, the CWCB is also concerned that the whitewater park’s instream flow rights would allow water from the Gunnison River to drain out of the state.The Supreme Court’s ruling in the case may set the framework for how the CWCB addresses future claims for recreational instream flows based on a state law passed in 2001, according to the News. Previous cases on similar issues were decided before that law was passed.Snowmobilers rescued from Grand County reservoirGrand County’s Sky-Hi News reports that rescuers pulled two men and a woman from the freezing waters of Shadow Mountain Reservoir Feb. 2 after they drove snowmobiles into open waters of the reservoir. One of the survivors spent several days in a Denver hospital being treated for severe hypothermia, according to the Sky-Hi News.According to a press release from the Grand County Sheriff’s Office, the accident occurred when three people riding on two snowmobiles ventured onto the ice-covered surface of the reservoir. The snowmobile driven by 33-year-old Amy Marsh of Pine, Colo. reportedly drove into the open water of the reservoir and sank.One of Marsh’s male companions then drove his snowmobile to the edge of the ice in an attempt to rescue her, but his machine also broke through the ice and sank. The man was able to crawl out of the water on his own. The second male companion also tried a rescue by pushing a ladder out to Marsh, but he too broke through and was still in the water when rescuers reached the scene.Grand County looks at biomass energyWith huge swaths of lodgepoles killed by mountain pine beetles, Grand County is considering participation in a pilot bio-energy program that could help reduce the amount of forest wildfire fuel, the Sky-Hi News reports.Local officials are warning that the current crop of beetle-killed trees could overwhelm the area’s disposal resources unless they find new ways to deal with the dead trees. Generating energy with the wood is one possible solution.One challenge, according to the Sky-Hi News, is showing lenders there is a sustainable amount of fuel available. Forest Service studies only span the short-term, so investors may be leery of committing resources to such a scheme.Randonnee rally returns to ColoradoSki mountaineers with a competitive streak are gearing up for their annual race series, coming Feb. 14 to Crested Butte before moving on to other venues across the West. The finals are set for March 28 at Jackson Hole.This year the Rally Series is being run by the United States Ski Mountaineering Association (USSMA), a non-profit organization established to help grow the sport of ski mountaineering. Modeled after the popular races in Europe, a randonnee rally starts on foot, with the competitors running to clip into their skis, which may or may not already have skins on them. The athlete is required to wear a beacon and carry a pack that includes a shovel, probe and his or her own food and water. There is no support along the course.More race and registration information for upcoming events is online at: http://www.life-link.com, or call Claire Desgouttes at (800) 443-8620, ext. 104, or Claire@life-link.com.Utah land deal pannedA deal between the U.S. Department of Interior and the State of Utah to open up favored backcountry recreation areas for energy development and road-building is illegal, according to the General Accounting Office, the investigative arm of Congress. The agreement could have allowed state officials to build roads through national parks, wildlife refuges and wilderness areas, according to a press release from Congressman Mark Udall.”The point of the Utah (agreement) is to end-run Congress and to cut out the public, and that’s why in 1997 Congress prohibited Interior from establishing regulations to settle R.S. 2477 claims. From the beginning, I’ve said that the Bush administration is off-course on this issue and that they are steering straight into a legal morass. The GAO opinions confirm that.” compiled by Bob Berwyn
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