Issue 81

Editor’s Note: Dirty Power

Editor’s Note: Dirty Power

Energy reform is the solution to climate change If you are paying attention to the climate change discussion lately, you’ve probably noticed that things have gotten quite hysterical. In the last year it’s become clear to most of us that the time for discussion is over, and the time for meaningful action has arrived. Despite what a few stubborn holdouts are saying, the scenario is way closer to “worst case” than most of us thought five years ago. Unfortunately this problem will not be solved by changing light bulbs, adding weather stripping to our windows or buying fuel-efficient vehicles. We need sweeping reforms at the policy level. Specifically we need to address the elephant in the room: electricity. In California, approximately 70% of the electricity we buy from PG&E and Southern California Edison is derived from fossil fuels. This dirty power accounts for the vast majority of our annual carbon...
Honnold and Allfrey’s El Cap: Seven Routes in Seven Days

Honnold and Allfrey’s El Cap: Seven Routes in Seven Days

They made history when they did it in June, and it may never be done again By Kristin Conard Alex looking ripped and moving fast while free climbing on Zodiac. Photo: Gabriel Mange Driving past El Cap meadow in June, we saw a group of ripped, shirtless guys walking towards the river. I recognized one of them. I punched my friend in the arm. “It’s him,” I whispered, “It’s Honnold.” We had happened upon Alex Honnold and Dave Allfrey in the wild after they’d finished their epic exploit of climbing seven full routes on El Capitan in seven consecutive days. And there they were. Gods among men just strolling through the meadow. While I didn’t chase them down (must respect boundaries), I did get them each on the phone to talk about their epic adventure and the shape of Yosemite climbing to come. Climbers Ammon McNeely and Ivo Ninov first...
Committed to the Core

Committed to the Core

Patagonia athlete Barry Blanchard describes a life of risk in The Calling By Matt Niswonger Traversing the Tent Arête on the Cassin Ridge of Mount McKinley, Alaska, 1982. Photo: Kevin Doyle Every generation a group of climbers comes along that redefines what’s possible in the mountains. For example, the golden age of Yosemite climbing from about 1958 to 1970 ushered in the modern big wall era. Today climbers  around the world agree that Warren Harding, Yvon Chouinard, Royal Robbins, Chuck Pratt and others established California as the center of the climbing world in the 1960s. The question is, if Yosemite in the 1960s was a golden age for a generation of climbers, where and when did the next golden age occur? There is a growing consensus that the Canadian Rockies were the setting for the next revolution, and climbers like Jeff Lowe, Chris Jones, Barry Blanchard, Mark Twight and Dave...
Ready, Set, Race!

Ready, Set, Race!

Cyclo-cross season takes center stage By Karen Kefauver Keith DeFiebre founder and race director of CCCX race series. Photo: contributed If you like stomping through puddles, racing up short, steep hills, running through deep sandpits and leaping over knee-high hurdles—all while riding or carrying your bike—then cyclo-cross may be the sport for you. Part mountain biking, part road cycling, cyclo-cross races last one hour, maximum, but deliver a lung-busting, leg-churning workout. Plus, during cyclo-cross races, the more rain, snow, ice and mud, the better. “I love the intensity of the sport,” said professional racer Christine Vardaros, 45, who has  raced over 25 world cups and three world championships for the U.S. “I especially love the feeling when I nail all the technical sections, whether it be nailing that perfect line through ankle-deep mud or sand, or executing perfect dismounts and remounts while on the rivet,” said Vardaros, a former Bay...
The Evolution of Organic Beer

The Evolution of Organic Beer

Visionary brewers make high integrity beer a reality By Derrick Peterman Organic beer is a relative newcomer to the organic food movement. The first certified organic beer was brewed in 1999 by Eel River Brewing located just south of Eureka, CA. Over the next fifteen years, organic beer transformed from a curiosity to a movement itself within the larger American craft brewing revolution. Along the way, organic beer has become a real option for beer drinkers seeking beer for both health and environmental reasons due to its improved availability, price competitiveness, and yes, flavor. Early Experiences Influence Organic Brewers For Bison Brewing’s Daniel Del Grande, observing the destruction of duck habitats in California’s Central Valley due to farming irrigation in the 1980’s motivated him to seek organic alternatives. Selenium was accumulating in the soil and food chain causing deformity in duck embryos. “Beginning with these experiences, I studied examples of...
JT Holmes &  Speed Riding

JT Holmes & Speed Riding

Warren Miller’s new film features the thrilling mix of paragliding and freeskiing By Jennifer Rothman Photo courtesy of Warren Miller Have you ever looked up at a massive, snowy mountain face that appeared to have the perfect run but was off limits due to one or more vertical cliffs interrupting your dream line? Legendary Tahoe freeskier and Warren Miller athlete JT Holmes brings a unique solution to the problem of cliffs on a big mountain line: speed riding. Congratulations on your segment in Warren Miller Entertainment’s next film, No Turning Back, in which you and Ulei Kestenholz share your speed riding adventures in Switzerland. How would you describe speed riding to the layperson and how has it has developed as a sport over the last few years? Speed riding is the ideal way of combining skiing and flying. One can transition from sliding on snow and gliding through the air...
Out on a Limb

Out on a Limb

The joy of climbing trees By Leonie Sherman Climbing trees doesn’t just give you practice, it lifts your spirits. Photo: Bill LeBon Climbers hate Santa Cruz. Sure, we love the rolling meadows, the beaches, and the abundant microbreweries, but the gentle climate, organic food and natural beauty can’t quite compensate for the complete and utter lack of climbable rock. Our closest crag, Castle Rock State Park, is a 45 minute drive. So we frequent the best climbing gym in the state, where we socialize and follow tape and forget the exhilaration that inspired us to pull harder in the first place. Until one day, out for a hike, the climber looks up. And a whole world reveals itself in the trees. Climbing the majestic redwoods, sprawling oaks and stately Douglas firs of the temperate coastal rainforest offers challenge, adventure and reward with no carbon footprint. For those afflicted with the...
Liquid Imagery: Matt Archbold

Liquid Imagery: Matt Archbold

By Nelly When I was a grom, we all looked up to Archy. He was the most exciting surfer to watch. He gave the system the finger and rocked long hair and tatoos. He had  muscle cars before he even had a drivers license. Matt was at the forefront of the air revolution. Over the years I’ve been on a lot of trips with Archy, all of them classic and funny. When I was a grom, we all looked up to Archy. He was the most exciting surfer to watch. He gave the system the finger and rocked long hair and tatoos. He had  muscle cars before he even had a drivers license. Matt was at the forefront of the air revolution. Over the years I’ve been on a lot of trips with Archy, all of them classic and funny. Matt Archbold, photo by Nelly/SPL Hometown: San Clemente            Stance: Regular          ...
A Beer Worth Earning: People’s Porter

A Beer Worth Earning: People’s Porter

Sana Cruz Mountain Brewing: People’s Porter One of the first organic beers I ever tried remains one of my favorites.  It’s The People’s Porter from Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing (SCMB). This beer started as a homebrew between brewer Emily Thomas of SCMB  and Tom Perrozi behind the brewery. It turned out to be such a hit that SCMB decided to add it to its regular line-up. It’s brewed with cold pressed organic coffee which really shines through its roasted malt and smoky character. A little vanilla is added to round all those great flavors. Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing’s tap room with its earthy, quirky interior on the West Side of Santa Cruz has long been a place road cyclists and mountain bikers have congregated at the end of their rides to refuel with a pint or two.  There will soon be more room to accommodate the increasing crowd of bikers,...
Ear to the Ground

Ear to the Ground

Outdoor News and Notes for the California Region Oct/Nov 2014 issue Ecology Action wins EPiC sustainability award The EPiC program (Environmental Partnership Campaign) is ASJ’s way to highlight the exemplary work of some California non-profits. We are proud to announce that our first featured EPiC recipient is Ecology Action. Headquartered in Santa Cruz, Ecology Action was launched on Earth Day in 1970 as an all-volunteer, unmanned recycling donation depot for bottles and cans. Forty years later, they’ve become one of California’s thought-leaders with regard to sustainability and driving behavior change in water conservation, energy management, and alternative transportation. Over the past four decades, Ecology Action had the staying power that some well-intentioned non-profits lacked. The organization has persevered through the conservative backlash of the ‘80s—where the state froze over half a million dollars of their grant contracts—and the recession of 2007-2009. Even in the face of these setbacks, Ecology Action’s...
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