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    Sunday, March 8, 2009

    Running of the blogs

    Sitting down to write a blogpost following an absolutely gorgeous weekend is never easy. The mind easily starts to wander and becomes distracted - thinking of high mountain ridges, grassy glades, and twisting singletrack. Sadly, for me these indeed are just daydreams as I pound out most of my training mileage in Suburbia. Living vicariously through others is a skill so let's see what is going on in the wider world of adventure!

    While northern Virginia was digging out from under snow and ice others putting down some mileage in the rain. The Napa Valley Marathon sounds like a particularly appealing race. I like wine, running, and nice weather; this year's edition seems to have had only two of three ingredients! The views were obviously gorgeous and it sounds like the schwag was excellent as well.

    It seems some folks are thriving on the icy conditions in their locales. I highly recommend this story about climbing waterfall ice in Norway. Ice is definitely a precarious medium upon which to practice your craft. The transitory nature of ice is what makes it so perfectly suited to artistic expression through climbing. The sense of being "out-there" on the sharp end is definitely an exercise is sensory awareness!

    Speaking of being out-there; the BHP Billiton Rock and Ice Ultra is an ultra distance snowshoe and xc ski race held annually in March in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. It looks like an excellent event of the hard sort. Silly me - here I am just dreaming of doing the famous "Birkebeiner" one day!

    Good news for aspiring US climbing guides the Union Internationale des Associations D'Alpinisme (UIAA) has certified the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) Single Pitch Instructor Course as compatible with their high standards. Although it is the only internationally endorsed AMGA program it is a step in the right direction for the US guiding community. The US-based climbing community does not have a strong reputation abroad because of the loose standards applied to the guiding business. The AMGA was started in large part to address this disparity.

    I have a soft spot in my heart for bike touring. Recently I found an excellent website about a group of intrepid explorers based in South Korea. They are riding an epic tour from China to Ireland in order to raise money for the charity Kiva, which is a micro-finance institution for developing countries. The trip looks like it would be an excellent event with a good purpose!

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