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gear

By Deb Stanley, Examiner.com

Thousands of people come from around the country each year to climb Colorado’s 14ers. A “14er” is a peak above 14,000 feet.

Depending on who you ask, you’ll be told there are 52, 53, 54, maybe 56 14ers in Colorado. 14ers.org recognizes 54 peaks. 14ers.com counts 53. 14ers.com Web site says to be officially ranked as 14er, “the peak must rise at least 300 feet above the saddle that connects it to the nearest 14er peak.”

So what do you need to climb a 14er? The two main categories would be fitness and gear.

Let’s talk about fitness first. While some people fly in from New York, Washington D.C., New Orleans and many other places and climb a 14er the next day, you should give yourself at least a couple days to get acclimated to the elevation in Colorado. Consider a hike at 10,000 feet in Rocky Mountain National Park or in Colorado’s high country to see how you feel. If you get a headache or nausea, it is time to descend. And while you may run 5K’s at sea level, hiking at 14,000 feet is very different.

Now let’s talk about gear. You’ll see people climbing 14ers in shorts, a cotton t-shirt, a hoodie and a single bottom of water. Bad idea. Cotton absorbs water and doesn’t dry quickly. Storms are a normal day on a mountain, you don’t want to be soaking wet and cold. The temperature is also a lot colder at 14,000 feet than your hotel room in Denver. 14ers.org has a good gear list  that includes rugged boots for the rocks and possible ice and snow, and extra food and water since 14er hikes typically take longer than expected. Here’s another gear list from 14er.com that includes a list of cold weather gear. Think you won’t see ice or snow since it’s summer? There was more than 6 inches of snow in places on Grays & Torreys the first weekend in August in 2009.

Maybe the best advice is to remember is there is no such thing as a easy 14er. The Summit County Rescue group says in just one week in July 2009 they were called out four times. Rescue teams say that’s because people read Quandary is one of Colorado’s easiest 14ers and underestimate how difficult it will be.

When you’re ready to climb, here are two good Web sites with information about climbing the 14er peaks: 14ers.org peak’s page & 14ers.com peaks page. Want to bag two 14ers in one hike? Try Grays & Torreys.

RANDOM POSTS

The city of Steamboat Springs and the Urban Renewal Authority Advisory Committee (URAAC) will host an open house today from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Torian Plum's Creekside Room to update the community on improvements planned for the Apres Ski Way and Village Drive intersection.

Paul Moreau, professional engineer with Drexel Barrell & Co., will be presenting the schematic design of the proposed intersection realignment. The city will also be presenting URAAC's plan to install certain transitional improvements to assist pedestrian and vehicular flows through the intersection this winter ahead of possible construction activities in mid-2016.

“We specifically invited the neighboring businesses and property owners, but we really hope that more members of the public will be curious enough to come too,” said Danny Paul, engineer with the city's Public Works Department, in a news release.

“The realignment of this intersection has been talked about for some time, and the Urban Renewal Authority Advisory Committee is excited to partner with the city on initiating the design process to bring it to life,” URAAC project manager Ralph Walton added.

Grant process open to human service 501c3s

The human service funding from Routt County and the city of Steamboat Springs process is now open with grants due by 5 p.m. Oct. 16, 2015. Routt County United Way manages the process and is using the online software, Community Force, to accept applications. Any human service, 501c3 organization is eligible to apply at routtcountyunitedwaygrants.communityforce.com. Contact Kate Nowak at 970-879-5605 or [email protected] for more information.

New preschool programs available this fall

The city of Steamboat Springs Parks and Community Services Department is offering a fall preschool program for children 2 ½ to 5 who are potty trained. The program includes a 13-week Pee Wees session from 9 to 11:30 a.m. on Tuesdays and a 12-week Pee Wees session from 9 to 11:30 a.m. on Thursdays. The program begins Sept. 15 and ends Dec. 17.

Parents can register their child for the entire 12- or 13-week session at a discounted rate, or for individual days at a standard rate. The program will be held at the Igloo, adjacent to the Howelsen Ice Arena.

Visit steamboatsprings.net/recreation to register online or call 970-879-4300 to speak with a staff member.

Steamboat Springs grad obtains her Ph.D.

Elizabeth Handing, daughter of Larry and Anita Handing of Steamboat Springs, obtained her doctorate of philosophy degree in aging studies and gerontology from the University of South Florida on Aug. 8.

Elizabeth graduated from Steamboat Springs High School in 2007. She obtained her bachelor of science degree in psychology and neuroscience from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 2010. Elizabeth is presently teaching at USF as a post-doctoral scholar in the aging studies department. Her research has resulted in journal publications on nutritional components and cognitive aging, midlife alcohol intake and risk of dementia and lifestyle factors related to cognitive functioning in older adults. She presented her research findings at the annual conferences of the Gerontological Society of America and the American Psychological Association.

Yampa Market looking for new vendors and groups

Friends of Gateway Yampa are looking for artisans, garden and farm vendors, along with any other community groups interested in having a spot at the new Yampa Market on Sept. 19 located in the town of Yampa. Registration cost is $10. Contact [email protected] for information.

DKC Fine Art Gallery hosts photography exhibit

DKC Fine Art Gallery in Steamboat Springs, 1025 Lincoln Ave., is hosting “Visions of a Vanishing Race,” an exhibition of gold tone photographs of Native Americans by Edward Curtis. The exhibit will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday during the month of September.

Dancing with the Stars seeking choreographers

Northwest Rocky Mountain CASA is seeking male and female choreographers willing to donate their time for the upcoming fundraiser, Dancing with the Stars, which will take place Jan. 29, 2016. For more information or to volunteer, contact Sue Fegelein at 970-819-6233 or [email protected]

Food boxes available for low-income seniors

Commodities Supplemental Food Program boxes are designed to supplement the diets of low-income seniors 60 and older. The boxes, distributed monthly by LIFT-UP of Routt County to area seniors, contain a variety of nonperishable food items and cheese. If you or someone you know may benefit from this program, call the LIFT-UP Food Bank at 970-870-8804 for additional information.

Area specific cycling information now available

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is upgrading its Statewide Bicycle and Scenic Byways map, giving local governments an opportunity to provide cycling information specific to their area.

Initially, bicyclists could go online and review and select state routes to ride throughout Colorado based on shoulder width and traffic volumes. It also included a search capability for lodging, bike shops, restaurants and other areas of interest. Now, local jurisdictions can add similar cycling information to the site.

“This upgrade is adding another complete dimension to the map,” CDOT's Bicycle/Pedestrian and Byways Manager Betsy Jacobsen said. “Users will be able to zoom in and find much more detailed information than was originally available. It will also allow local jurisdictions to update their information as they make physical changes to existing facilities.”

Local agencies can access the site and request to be a “trail editor.” Once approved, they can upload their GIS files showing their local trails, routes, bike lanes, etc. Trail editors must be associated with a government agency to be approved.

To access the map, visit dtdapps.coloradodot.info/bike.

Newspaper is accepting letters of interest

The Steamboat Pilot & Today is accepting letters of interest from readers who would like to serve as community representatives on the newspaper's Editorial Board.

Individuals selected for the board will be asked to serve a four-month term beginning the first of September.

The Editorial Board includes two community representatives and four members of the newspaper staff.

Publisher Suzanne Schlicht, Editor Lisa Schlichtman, Assistant Editor Jim Patterson and veteran reporter Tom Ross serve as the board's newspaper representatives. Outgoing community representatives on the board are Geoffrey Petis and Tami Havener.

The Editorial Board formulates the Our View opinions expressed on the ViewPoints page of the newspaper on Wednesdays and Sundays. The Editorial Board meets at 10:30 a.m. Thursdays at the newspaper offices, 1901 Curve Plaza.

Readers interested in serving on the Editorial Board should email a letter and resume to Schlichtman at [email protected] or send it to the Steamboat Pilot & Today, P.O. Box 774827, Steamboat Springs, CO 80477. Letters also may be dropped off at the Pilot & Today office at 1901 Curve Plaza. Call Schlichtman at 970-871-4221 with questions.

Forest service maps now available via smartphone

Nearly 700 digital U.S. Forest Service maps now can be accessed via a smartphone by downloading the PDF Maps Mobile App, which is available for free from iTunes and the Android Play Store, according to a news release.

Through the app, users can purchase and download maps that are stored on their devices and can use the maps based on their location when GPS is available. The maps also allow users to measure distance and area, find coordinates, open a current view in Google Maps, plot place marks, add notes, enter data and add photos, according to a news release.

Farm storage facility loans available through USDA

The USDA Colorado Farm Service Agency has Farm Storage Facility Loans available to area farmers and ranchers.

The Farm Service Agency offers low-interest loans to grain producers to build new or upgrade existing storage facilities and permanent drying and handling equipment. Loan opportunities include, but are not limited to:

• New conventional-type cribs or bins, oxygen-limiting and other upright silo-type structures and flat-type storage structures designed for whole grain storage.

• Perforated floors, safety equipment, quality improvement equipment, electrical equipment and concrete components considered essential for a fully functional storage facility.

Farm storage facility loans must be approved prior to site preparation, equipment purchase or construction and must be secured by a promissory note and security agreement. The new maximum principal loan amount is $500,000. Participants are required to provide a down payment of 15 percent, with CCC providing a loan for the remaining 85 percent of the net cost of the eligible storage facility and permanent drying and handling equipment.

Additional security is required for poured-cement open-bunker silos, renewable biomass facilities, cold storage facilities, hay barns and for all loans exceeding $50,000. New loan terms of seven, 10 or 12 years are available depending on the amount of the loan. Interest rates for each term rate may be different and are based on the rate that CCC borrows from the Treasury Department.

For more information, stop by the local FSA office or visit fsa.usda.gov.

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