Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Joshua Tree National Park to Support Climb Smart 2011 and 75th Anniversary Celebration

Here's a press release the Climb Smart Festival at Joshua Tree:

JOSHUA TREE, Calif. - July 20, 2011 - Joshua Tree National Park and nonprofit group Friends of Joshua Tree (FOJT) invite climbers of all skill levels and fans of Joshua Tree National Park to 'Save the Date' for the 2011 Climb Smart Festival, to be held October 21-23, 2011 in Joshua Tree, Calif. This year's event celebrates the 75th anniversary of Joshua Tree National Park and kicks off the climbing season with fun, education, service and support for key services around the Park.  Event registration available at

The 2011 Climb Smart festival, including climbing clinics, camping, park projects, multimedia and athlete presentations, vendor fair and more, is the perfect event for kicking off the climbing season, connecting with kindred spirits and giving back to the park.  Presenting sponsors are Black Diamond, prAna, adidas Outdoor, Evolve Sports, Sterling Ropes, Joshua Tree National Park and Adventure 16.

Clinics for all abilities will be led by American Mountain Guide Association (AMGA) accredited guides from Wilderness Outings, Uprising and Vertical Adventures as well as top sponsored and legendary climbers of yore.

During the Climb Smart festival, climbers and park supporters will also have the opportunity to learn about and shape Park policy as the Park's long term General Management Plan goes under review this year.  Park policy toward climbing nationwide is heavily influenced by Joshua Tree, one of the world-renowned climbing destinations in the United States. 

A one-time fee, $105 ($85 early bird), will give attendees an all-access pass to the weekend event's festival, clinics, camping and fun at the new festival location, Joshua Tree Lake Campground. To register for Climb Smart 2011, register at

About Friends of Joshua Tree
Friends of Joshua Tree ( is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the historical tradition of climbing in Joshua Tree National Park. Friends of Joshua Tree advocates, communicates, and encourages ethical and environmentally sound climbing practices, and works to shape park policy on climbing and climbing-related issues. Toward that end, Friends of Joshua Tree acts as the liaison between the climbing community and the National Park service. 

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Bike Share for Greener Cities

After reading about the cool bike share program in Minnesota, I had to find more.  What a great idea.  Save $, reduce the number of cars on the road, reduce pollution, get in shape.  Take the bus to the museum, pick up a bike there for the ride home!  Cool.

There are programs in  D.C., Capital Bikeshare, as well as DenverSan Antonio, Nashville, and, coming in 2012,  New York.

Check out the Bike Sharing Blog for more info on bike share programs around the world. And read this NY Times article about successful programs across Europe.

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Nice Ride Minnesota Celebrates 1-Year Anniversary

Think back one-year. Nice Ride launched its 65-station system in downtown Minneapolis. People wondered about who would ride the bikes, whether vandalism or accidents would undermine the program in a U.S. city, and how the pricing system would work for Minnesotans. A year later, we're proud to answer those questions and report on the success of the program.
Who will ride the bikes? Everybody.
More than 100,000 trips were taken on Nice Ride bikes in just five operational months in 2010. Since we put the stations back on the streets in early April 2011, more than 37,000 trips have been taken. And the pace is heating up. Almost 3,000 trips were taken last week-end alone. Last year, riders were people between the ages of 16-75, from all over the United States and even from several foreign countries! Most of last year's trips were taken by 24-hour subscribers but usage has shifted. Our subscriber base has more than doubled from 1,300 in December 2010 to 3,200 today. That means more people are incorporating Nice Ride into their everyday lives - to shop, to get to work, to meet friends for a meal, and to get to great destinations in the Twin Cities. 
Click to continue reading ....

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Friday, June 10, 2011

Safety Tips From the National Parks Service

Here's some hiking safety information from the National Parks Service:

Wilderness Hiking Safety Tips
Park visitors need to accept wilderness on its own unique terms. Proper preparedness and hazard awareness can prevent hiking injuries.
Be prepared
Wear sturdy boots that are broken in and are comfortable and know how they respond to wet slippery surfaces. Get in trail shape before the trip--fatigue often leads to injuries. Traveling with at least one hiking companion adds to your safety margin.
Wear pants, wind or rain pants, and a long sleeve shirt during more hazardous hiking conditions, such as after a rain The extra clothing can reduce the degree of any injuries from a fall.
A hiking pole or walking stick can be very helpful in maintaining your balance in hazardous conditions. Stay aware of your surroundings, and preplan your approach to more hazardous areas.
Extra weight wears you down and reduces your agility over uneven terrain. Pack as light as possible. Leave the extras behind.
And aware
Anything wet (from dew, rain, frost, snow) can be a hazard and even more so if it's on a slope - water bars, tree roots, bare rock, stepping stones, tree branches, loose pebbles/fine rocky soils, muddy ground, board walks. A moose with a calf; bulls in rut, and Yellow jacket nests in the ground near the trail can also be hazards while hiking.
Know how to hike avoid hazards
Step over water bars, logs, or tree roots rather than on them. These surfaces are often slippery, and your feet may slide sideways, especially on a slope.
Board walks can be very slippery when wet. Slow your pace, keep your steps shorter, and your weight over your feet. (Do not slide into your step.) When stepping on stepping stones, keep your weight centered over your step to avoid sliding or slipping.
When faced with barren rock on a slope, you may find there is a better option just off to the side where people have traveled. Look for it.
Think ahead of time what you'll do if you start to slide or fall so you are prepared for it. If falling, do not try to catch yourself; try to avoid landing on your hands, elbows or knees. Landing on the side of your body is much safer. If you start to slide, sometimes you can stop the slide, (with a hiking pole, or hanging on to a tree). If the slope is such where you know you are going to slide, lowering your center of gravity, by sitting down and sliding on your feet or bottom, is safer. If sliding while standing up keep your weight over your feet and bend your knees--do not lean back or forward while sliding.
If you come upon moose, don’t get too close. Give them enough distance. Use binoculars or zoom lens to get a closer look. Watch for Yellow Jacket nests in the ground near the trail, and make sure you carry an emergency sting kit if you are allergic to bees.
And how to avoid becoming fatigued
Fatigue slows your awareness and preparedness to hike safely. Avoid fatigue by following these guidelines: Stay hydrated - drink plenty of water, even on cool, wet days.Ensure adequate calorie intake - don't wait until you feel hungry. Take more frequent rest brakes, but not so long you begin to stiffen up. Stay warm. Becoming cold reduces your awareness. Watch out for other members of your party getting fatigued and take appropriate action and care.
Your wilderness experience can have a happy ending if you stay aware and come prepared. (Source: National Parks Service, click for link.) 

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Leave No Trace in Your Backyard

Boulder, CO - April 1, 2011 - The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics has introduced a new series of Backyard Sessions, designed to support communities increase Leave No Trace programs on the ground as well as environmental stewardship efforts. The free Sessions comprise of fun, social and educational events conducted around the country through 2011, with the goal of inspiring communities to learn more about and incorporate Leave No Trace on their public lands, in their schools, outdoor clubs, youth organizations, and more. Click to continue reading.

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JOBY Updates GorillaMobile Ori and Yogi with Hands-Free Camera Features for iPad 2

JOBY Updates GorillaMobile Ori and Yogi with Hands-Free Camera Features for iPad 2

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Check Out the Mountain Khakis Blog

Enter to win a pair of Mountain Khakis pants.  Click here for details.  

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