Outdoor News and Notes for the California Region
Jill Kintner sweeps gravity disciplines at MTB championships
Red Bull / Norco Bicycles pro rider Jill Kintner came out on top at the 2015 USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships at Mammoth Mountain in July, taking first place in all three gravity races: dual slalom, downhill and enduro. Kintner’s fellow champions include Chloe Woodruff (cross country and short track pro women) Aaron Gwin (downhill pro men), Mitch Ropelato (enduro pro men), Luca Cometti (dual slalom pro men), Howard Grotts (cross country pro men), and Russell Finsterwald (short track pro men). For the first time in five years, the same venue hosted all mountain bike disciplines during a single event. Mammoth Senior Vice President and Race Director Bill Cockcroft says, “We were thrilled to hold the championships here at Mammot, and are ecstatic with how well the event went. Everyone I talked to was very complimentary of the event. We’re on board for July 12-17 next year and are looking forward to producing an even better event. We hope everyone will now join us for the Kamikaze Bike Games September 24-27!” View the full USA Cycling MTB National Championships results at usacycling.org/2015/mountain-bike-nationals.
Mizuno funds Fleet Feet Monterey VetFit program
Sports equipment and athletic wear company Mizuno has awarded a grant through Fleet Feet, Inc.’s FITlanthropy grant program for the continuation of Fleet Feet Sports Monterey’s VetFit program. VetFit provides a comprehensive running and walking training program to homeless veterans in transition in Monterey County. The grant will assist in the development of a sustainable VetFit program through collaboration with the local Veteran’s Administration office and the development of internships with partners at the California State University of Monterey Bay and the JFK Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program. The VetFit program seeks to offer sessions four times a year with a culmination race for the homeless veterans in transition in Monterey. Fleet Feet Santa Cruz/Monterey owners Russ and Tina Coillot are passionate about recognizing the sacrifice and service of our countries veterans and are committed to serving these individuals in whatever unique and impactful ways they can through the opportunities that Fleet Feet affords. Learn more at fleetfeetaptos.com.
El Niño expected to be biggest since 1997
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that the El Niño conditions that began in March of this year are expected to remain throughout this coming winter, and claim it could be one of the strongest on record. This is good news for California, desperate for an end to its four-year drought. El Niño occurs when the Pacific Ocean becomes warmer than usual, releasing heat which changes wind directions and the jet stream. This in turn feeds thunderstorms above, creating increased rainfall. Although past El Niños – most recently last year – have fizzled out, chances this year are very good for conditions similar to the 1997-1998 record-breaking El Niño event. Could this end California’s drought? California State Climatologist Michael Anderson reports that this is possible if the state receives 150 percent or more above average rainfall, filling the California’s largest reservoirs. Plus the rainy season would have to start around Thanksgiving, with storms cold enough to significantly build up Sierra snowpack in order for melting spring snow to continue filling reservoirs.
Lake Tahoe Water Trail offers paddling adventures
The Lake Tahoe Water Trail is a 72-mile water route along the shoreline segmented into seven day trips, including more than 50 public launch and landing sites or “trailheads,” paddle route itineraries, and navigation tools. Whether you’re looking to access waterfront attractions, historic sites, bird watching sanctuaries, picnics on the beach or a lakeside bistro, you’ll find it along the Water Trail. As the only paddling source for Lake Tahoe, the website and Water Trail maps include paddle routes to match your ability levels, paddle shops, water safety and aquatic invasive species prevention tips. Maps are free to download and include details about parking, on-site facilities and amenities, as well as public beach access to nearby hiking trails, restaurants, shopping, historic sites, lodging and campgrounds. The Water Trail helps paddlers understand the interconnected relationship between man and nature, and how to safely navigate and protect Lake Tahoe’s pristine watershed. Learn more at laketahoewatertrail.org. Can’t get enough of the lake? Check out our article Dream Paddle by Laura Norman for a 9-day itinerary and photo gallery.
Yosemite Hospitality takes over Yosemite contract from Delaware North
The National Park Service has selected Yosemite Hospitality, a subsidiary of Aramark, to receive the new primary concession contract for providing visitor services in Yosemite National Park. The 15-year contract – the largest single concession contract in the NPS – is begins March 1, 2016, and include accommodations, food and beverage operations, retail and fuel sales, bike and raft rentals, and a variety of other recreational activities. Delaware North has operated under the existing contract since 1993, recently completing a well-received upgrade to the furnishings in all rooms at Yosemite Lodge. They operated and maintained two of the park’s National Historic Landmarks and major visitor attractions, The Ahwahnee and the Wawona Hotel, completing numerous upgrades to these facilities over the course of their contract, as well.
Graeagle’s Chalet View Lodge welcomes dogs
There’s nothing better than heading up into the mountains for some quality time with a four-legged best friend, and the Chalet View Lodge is the best base camp for any traveler and his/her canine companion. The Chalet View Lodge in the High Sierra abuts thousands of acres of Forest Service land just waiting to be explored, dotted by alpine lakes and close to the Feather River. When a furry guest arrive, they’re treated with a dog biscuit at the front desk, and plenty of fun places to explore on the property. But how about nine holes of golf with your pup? With the Chalet View Lodge Golf Course, visitors can work on their stroke and walk their dog at the same time. More than half of the Chalet View Lodge’s rooms are pet friendly, with fresh bowls of water on the property. Pets can join their companions for dining on the terrace or on the lawn, and a variety of pet supplies are available. Learn more at chaletviewlodge.com.
Osprey Packs founder awarded with “OutDoor Oscar”
The founder of Osprey Packs, Mike Pfotenhauer, was recently named OutDoor’s Celebrity of the Year for 2015. Pfotenhauer is the tenth person to be recognized for his/her special contribution to the outdoor industry by this award, referred to as the “Outdoor Oscar.” Pfotenhauer was honored for the AntiGravity 3D suspended mesh back system with fully ventilated hip belt, which retailers at 2014’s OutDoor show acclaimed as the most significant invention of the year. As a young entrepreneur in Santa Cruz, Pfotenhauer opened a retail shop in the front of his rented house where backpackers and travelers – drawn by word of mouth – came to get measured for the custom-fitted, made-to-order packs. Each was constructed by Pfotenhauer himself over the course of several days. To these avid travelers, the legendary packs were worth the wait. Since Osprey – originally Santa Cruz Recreational Packs – was founded in 1974, every single product design bearing the Osprey name has passed through the hands of owner and founder Mike Pfotenhauer, undergoing relentless scrutiny.