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Subject: Skiing

by Trace Williams If you have had your ear to the ground in the running world over the past two or three years, you have probably noticed that more and more elite level, as well as local athletes, are using human-powered skiing during the winter months to access otherwise off-limits terrain. Conversely, if you have had your ear to the skin track, you will have probably noticed that most skiers make a natural transition to mountain runners. There are a lot of reas..
"Let’s go to the Sierras and ski the Mendenhall Couloir and Bloody Couloir!” “Quick trip out to ski Shasta?” A few years ago, if you had made these statements to me, I would have laughed loudly, confident that you were sarcastic. While these objectives aren’t cutting edge, they are all fairly big lines; steep descents that come with enough avalanche danger that they can’t be taken lightly. Each is the type of descent any skier who has spent time in unforgiv..
We’ve decided to let you in on a little secret. A secret known only to skimo racers, parapalegics, high-school physics teachers and the rare students who retain knowledge after the test. The secret is a simple machine known as the Inclined Plane, shown below.     Like all machines, the Inclined Plane provides a mechanical advantage. In this case, the advantage is defined by the ratio of an object’s weight (Fm) divided by the force ne..
Words for Snow - 10/21/2013
It is often said that Eskimos have dozens or even hundreds of words for snow.  Linguists laugh and say this is just a myth started by anthropologist Franz Boas, who didn’t understand an advanced word-formation technique known as polysynthesis.  Modern anthropologist Igor Krupnik is fighting back, however, counting at least 53 meaningfully distinct words for snow in the Inuit dialect spoken within the Nunavik region of Canada. While we prefer to remain o..
People often associate lightweight ski mountaineering gear with superhuman athletes wearing skin suits. While indeed such equipment is required to ascend the podium at your local skimo race, it turns out that the same gear benefits normal humans even more. To prove it, let's take a look at the numbers. It has been shown that 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of increased foot weight roughly translates into a 1% increase in V02, a measure of the oxygen volume your body consu..
Uphill Skiing - 7/22/2013
You know an activity is catching on when the Wall Street Journal writes about it. Especially a winter activity that is practiced nowhere near Wall St. Specifically I am talking about skinning uphill at a ski resort, in most cases with the intention of skiing back down. Indeed, anecdotal evidence would support the case that the activity is seeing rising participation numbers. I know I certainly engage in it more now than I did while frequenting the Downer som..
Short Version: They are equivalent. Long Version: Keep reading. The person or persons who make something popular often end up with the naming rights to that something. This is not an obscure legal process, but rather is one controlled by evolutionary linguistics. Say something often enough to enough people, and the name will stick. So it is with the case of randonnee racing. Randonnée is a French term for ski touring. And the French, similar to other Europe..

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