Tag Archives: high hopes

Update from The Push to the South Pole

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On January 17, 2012, for the first time in history, Grant Korgan, an adaptive athlete with a spinal cord injury, will literally “push” himself 100 miles (or 250,00o pushes) across the frozen landscape and his limits to the most inhospitable place on the planet – the South Pole.

The group is currently on track and battling the cold and extreme conditions. With temperatures in the 30-45º below zero range, cold injuries are the biggest concern. Since Grant’s circulation is limited below his knees, the group is carefully monitoring the temperature of his toes. Listen to this recent satellite phone call in which Grant discusses the extremes and what happened when the temperature of his toes dipped 9º below freezing. Click on the photo below to listen.

Grant Korgan, click on image to hear audio

Sounds like the conditions are pretty gnarly–no animals exist this close to the South Pole, the groups members must either be moving or inside the tent in order to avoid serious injury due to the cold temperatures. These guys are are real deal and Grant Korgan is inspiring.

You can help “push” the expedition along by donating to the High-Five Foundation and The Push campaign. Help Grant High-Five at the South Pole. Buy him a “push“.

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What Happened to La Nina?

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Forrest getting a little early powder this season

Up here in the PNW, the winter started off with a bang. Aha, we all cried, raising our fists in the air in salutation to Mother Nature/Ullr/La Nina. Winter’s back, we smiled into our the collars of our jackets and prepared for the onslaught. We patrollers chortled and thanked our lucky stars for glorious weather pattern bringing storm after storm our way.

Then something changed. A blocking high-pressure set up off the coast, thumbing her nose at our powder dreams, bringing bluebird days, but no new snow.

Not to say the groomers haven’t been great. They have. Crystal Mountain has some of the best coverage in the lower 48–very few rocks showing on the pistes, chaulky dry snow on north-facing slopes and fast groomers.

But when you’re promised another banner year, well, it’s easy to get a little impatient. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised at the lack of skiers and riders these past weeks. Maybe everyone is using this non-powder time to finish their holiday shopping, attend Christmas parties and otherwise tick items off their to-do list. But even a groomer day is better than not skiing, in my opinion.

The real question is: when is it going to snow? A few flakes are falling now, as I write, so that’s a start. And next week the Euro models show a trough coming through with the chance for more snow. But the real story is La Nina.

Where is she?

The meteorologists at NOAA haven’t given up on this winter’s hostess, and neither have I. Here’s a quote from their Climate Prediction Center:
EVEN THOUGH THE CURRENT LA NINA IS NOT
THAT CONSISTENT WITH HISTORICAL COMPOSITES, IT IS KNOWN THAT THE MAIN IMPACTS OF LA NINA WINTERS ARE FELT LATER IN THE SEASON (JANUARY-MARCH), WITH LATE
DECEMBER INTO JANUARY THE MOST LIKELY PERIOD TO BE IN TRANSITION.

Which means, our hostess is a little late. Take a look at the outlook maps to the right. The temperature prediction should continue to be below normal in the PNW, and more importantly, the precipitation looks to be above normal around here.

What does that spell? Say it with me now people. “Powder!”

So go on and get your holiday shopping finished. Say hello to the family, put in your required appearances now. We’ll continue to rip the groomers and dip our fingers into the bowl of peanuts while glancing periodically at our watches wondering when the guest of honor will arrive.

She’ll come. We just have to be patient.

And if she’s anything like her sister from last season, we’ll be ringing in the New Year with powder in our teeth.

And that, Ladies and Gentlemen is the best Christmas gift a girl could ask for.

Snow in the forecast?

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This photo was taken at 2:30pm today. We have high hopes for this storm. Oh please Ullr, bring us some snow!

The winds are increasing and the clouds are lowering. Let's hope this storm isn't just hype.