India’s Rewa solar PV plant begins operation FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renewables Now:The 750 MW Rewa solar park in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh has started producing electricity last week, Madhya Pradesh Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd (MPUVNL) announced.Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Ltd (RUMSL), the implementation agency for the project, is a joint venture between state-owned MPUVNL and Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI). It will also be the operator of the photovoltaic (PV) complex, whose output will be sold to local discoms and the Delhi Metro operator.Under a deal signed in April, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) will buy power from the solar park at a tariff of around USD 0.044 (EUR 0.037) per kWh, which will be escalating gradually. To be more exact, DMRC will purchase 24% of the generated electricity so it could meet up to 90% of the Delhi Metro’s daytime power requirement, while state power distribution firms (discoms) will get 76%.Mahindra Renewables, ACME Solar and Solenergie Power each won contracts to build 250 MW portions of the Rewa solar park back in 2017. The project got financing from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Clean Technology Fund.The complex, touted as one of the largest solar parks at a single location globally, is expected to help offset around 1.54 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions annually.More: Power generation starts at 750 MW solar park in India
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Billings Gazette:Republican legislators are taking another run at bailing out Colstrip Power Plant, capping some costs, but still obligating NorthWestern Energy customers to a 30-year repayment plan of the utility’s $407 million Colstrip investment.The new legislation, SB 331, which was introduced Wednesday, comes after Billings Sen. Tom Richmond announced that he’ll abandon his previous attempt to save at least a portion of the four-unit coal-fired power plant. The earlier proposal allowed NorthWestern Energy to buy a larger share of the troubled Colstrip Power Plant and then pass all future costs onto its customers.The power plant is owned by Pennsylvania-based Talen Energy, South Dakota-headquartered NorthWestern and four regulated utilities based in either Oregon or Washington. Concerned about climate change, both states are pressing their utilities to pull the plug on coal power. NorthWestern indicates it has a chance pick up a bigger Colstrip share for the token price of $1.The new bill, sponsored by Richmond, would prevent NorthWestern from billing its customers for more than $40 million in operating costs accumulated over five consecutive years. Richmond’s plan still binds customers to a 30-year Colstrip payment plan, in order to guarantee NorthWestern a full return on the $407 million it has already paid for 30 percent ownership of Colstrip Unit 4. Those payments would continue even after Colstrip shut down, which is unusual. Typically, customers cannot be charged for a power plant that doesn’t supply them energy. Richmond’s bill would change that.The Montana Consumer Counsel, the office created by the state constitution to defend the interests of the customers of monopoly utilities, has been outspoken about the potential customer harm NorthWestern’s $1 deal might do. The counsel typically advocates for the lowest cost power available, discouraging utilities like NorthWestern from making business decisions that drive up customer bills.More: Montana GOP again tries to save Colstrip with revised bill Montana Republicans introduce revised bill to save Colstrip coal plant
Editorial: Transparency needed in Trans Mountain Pipeline analysis FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Business in Vancouver:Clarity is key to unravelling complex energy industry issues in Canada. Too bad it’s in such short supply.That deficit is pushing the latest energy hot button in B.C.: the high price of gasoline in Metro Vancouver. As chronicled recently in Business in Vancouver (“How B.C. Could Deflate Its Gas Bubble”– issue 1537; April 16–22), that price spike is being driven by a combination of factors, one of which is tied to Trans Mountain pipeline expansion delays.However, complex problems don’t fit well into political sloganeering and calls to arms from anti-fossil-fuel forces. The Trans Mountain factor also won’t play well in Victoria, where the BC NDP government is doing its best to derail the multibillion-dollar project – efforts that have earned it enemy status with the new Alberta government.Clarity over complicated issues can help B.C. avoid a needless battle with Alberta. For example, gasoline consumers need to know that Trans Mountain will reduce supply constraints that are contributing to record high gas prices.The federal government also owes taxpayers, now on the hook for Trans Mountain, more financial clarity about the project. The Parliamentary Budget Officer’s analysis in January noted that Ottawa’s $4.4 billion purchase of the pipeline and its expansion project in August 2018 was at the high end of its estimated value range. Delays in completing the project will further erode its resale value for Canadian taxpayers and add to B.C.’s energy supply squeeze.A recent Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis(IEEFA) report also pointed out that measuring Trans Mountain’s success or failure will be difficult unless there is transparency around the federal government’s financing of the project, its operational costs and where its revenue is going. There might be questions over how objective the American IEEFA is when it comes to fossil fuel development, but far more questions need to be raised over the transparency issues its report documents.More: Editorial: Clear up government clarity deficit
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享OffshoreWind.biz:New Jersey has opened the application window for [the] state’s second solicitation of offshore wind capacity. This second solicitation seeks to award between 1,200 MW and 2,400 MW of offshore wind energy, potentially tripling the state’s committed capacity from 1,100 MW to 3,500 MW.The application window opened on 10 September and will close on 10 December 10, 2020. The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) anticipates awarding the resulting offshore wind projects in June 2021.“Developing New Jersey’s offshore wind industry will bring thousands of good-paying jobs and millions of dollars in economic development to our state to aid our economic recovery from COVID-19,” said New Jersey’s Governor Phil Murphy. “This second solicitation not only reinforces our commitment to fighting climate change and achieving 100 percent clean energy by 2050, but it secures New Jersey’s foothold as a national leader in the growing U.S. offshore wind industry.”In addition to the solicitation, NJBPU approved the final New Jersey Offshore Wind Strategic Plan, the State’s roadmap for achieving 7,500 MW of offshore wind energy by 2035. The plan was developed by Ramboll U.S. Corporation through a public stakeholder process.In 2019, NJBPU made an award from its first offshore wind solicitation to Ørsted’s 1,100 MW Ocean Wind project, the largest single-project award in the country. The project, which will be built 15 miles off the coast of Atlantic City and is expected to commence operations in 2024, will generate an estimated USD 1.17 billion in economic benefits for New Jersey and create 15,000 jobs over the 20-year life of the project.On track with Governor Murphy’s proposed solicitation schedule, NJBPU will vote in 2022 to open a third solicitation for offshore wind of at least 1,200 MW. Solicitations will open every two years until 2028.[Adnan Durakovic]More: New Jersey opens 2.4 GW offshore wind solicitation New Jersey opens bidding for up to 2,400MW of additional offshore wind capacity
For the next 8 weeks we will be giving away lift passes to Wintergreen Resort!Each week we will give away 2 weekday lift passes (valid Monday-Friday) to one lucky individual, so 16 in total over 8 weeks.This week is now over, which means week 2 of lift passes is now live!Rules and Regulations: Package must be redeemed within 1 year of winning date. Entries must be received by mail or through the www.blueridgeoutdoors.com contest sign-up page by 12:00 Midnight EST on January 11th, 2013. One entry per person. One winner per household. Sweepstakes open only to legal residents of the 48 contiguous United States and the District of Columbia, who are 18 years of age or older. Void wherever prohibited by law. Families and employees of Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and participating sponsors are not eligible. No liability is assumed for lost, late, incomplete, inaccurate, non-delivered or misdirected mail, or misdirected e-mail, garbled, mistranscribed, faulty or incomplete telephone transmissions, for technical hardware or software failures of any kind, lost or unavailable network connection, or failed, incomplete or delayed computer transmission or any human error which may occur in the receipt of processing of the entries in this Sweepstakes. By entering the sweepstakes, entrants agree that Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and Wintergreen Resort reserve the right to contact entrants multiple times with special information and offers. Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine reserves the right, at their sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who tampers with the entry process and to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Sweepstakes. Winners agree that Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and participating sponsors, their subsidiaries, affiliates, agents and promotion agencies shall not be liable for injuries or losses of any kind resulting from acceptance of or use of prizes. No substitutions or redemption of cash, or transfer of prize permitted. Any taxes associated with winning any of the prizes detailed below will be paid by the winner. Winners agree to allow sponsors to use their name and pictures for purposes of promotion. Sponsors reserve the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value. All Federal, State and local laws and regulations apply. Selection of winner will be chosen at random at the Blue Ridge Outdoors office on or before March 1st, 6:00 PM EST 2013. Winners will be contacted by the information they provided in the contest sign-up field and have 7 days to claim their prize before another winner will be picked. Odds of winning will be determined by the total number of eligible entries received.
This is footage from Mulholland Highway outside Los Angeles is pretty horrific, but luckily both cyclists escaped with only minor injuries according to the YouTube description. The description also states the motorcyclist “hit his foot and stood the bike up causing the bike to go wide,” although that is hard to tell in the video; it looks like he smoothly comes out of the turn and plows into the cyclists without even noticing them. As the Adventure-Journal pointed out, when the clip was posted to Deadspin, the comment section blew up with people saying ugly things about cyclists in the vein of “hooray, hit them all. Bonus points.” and the like. Those comments are disgusting, as both these cyclists could have been seriously injured or killed by this negligence, but also serves as an example of how great the divide is between respect for road cyclists and those who would rather see them run over by a motorcycle or car than share the road just a little bit.Your comments are welcome below.
Timberline Four Seasons Resort is opening for its 27th ski season on Friday, December 12, 2014.Come on over to West Virginia and get your snow legs under you!On Saturday enjoy live music as Gary Rowan will perform at the Timbers Pub and Fireside Grill Friday at 9:00 p.m.They have the longest trail south of Vermont — two miles long, and an average of 240 inches of snow over the last two ski seasons in the Allegheny Mountains of Davis, West Virginia. The resort also has the highest average vertical south of Vermont. They have the most consistent and diverse slopes — 39 altogether — south of Vermont, including two terrain parks. The resort says they have the region’s best teaching area, and the best glade skiing in this part of the world. Timberline is located two and a half to three hours from Northern Virginia.From ski school to racing programs to four-season activities, Timberline has it all. Click here for deals on lodging for the holidays.
Plan this summer’s adventures with our guide to the best rivers in the Southeast. Grab your kayak, canoe, SUP, raft, or inflatable kayak and get wet on these scenic stretches of river.CLASS IShenandoah River, Va.For a scenic float down a cool river, head to Shenandoah. The beauty here is the perfect antidote for a long week cooped up in a cubicle.The South Fork of the Shenandoah treats the novice paddler to riffles and waves, with plenty of pools to work on the forward stroke and simply enjoy the views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The nine-mile stretch starts at Inskeep Landing and ends at Foster’s Landing. The river is wide and, in the summer, can become quite shallow. If it hasn’t rained recently, consider floating down the river in a tube instead of a canoe.The river is chock full of bass, sunfish, and catfish, so bring a fishing pole and remember that Virginia requires a fishing license.Fun fact: Legend has it that a few miles from the Shenandoah River near Harper’s Ferry, there’s a cave once used by Confederate troops to hide from the Union cavalry during the Civil War.When to go: For higher water, go during spring flows. The summer is perfect for tubing.Shuttle: Put-in at Inskeep Landing, located off Route 684 on the left bank of the river downstream of the bridge. Ample parking is available. Takeout is approximately nine miles farther down off Route 684 on the left bank of the river.Beware: If using Inskeep as a takeout from a float originating upstream, there is a mandatory portage around a low-head dam. Also keep in mind that other than the designated access points operated by Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fishers, the banks of the rivers are private property.Best Beer Nearby: Jack Brown’s in nearby Harrisonburg, Virginia has close to 100 different beers. The burger joint also dishes up fried Oreos for dessert. Bras hang from the chandeliers, and a deer head donning scuba gear rounds out the décor.Best of the Rest For those whose kayaks haven’t seen much action all winter, these stretches provide the perfect opportunity to brush up on paddling skills. For a great wilderness float, head to the Greenbrier River in West Virginia. The Greenbrier is also a great fishing river with ample riverside campsites.North Carolina offers ample runs perfect for the beginner paddler. The Roanoke River is a three-mile stretch that’s mostly flat with one Class II rapid, aptly named “The Rapid.” For a step up, the Tuckaseegee River’s pool-drop rapids provide beginners with loads of recovery time between rapids. The South Toe can’t be beat for a splashy ride through sparkling emerald water. Originally named the “Estatoe River” after a beautiful Native American maiden, the river’s name has since been shortened to simply “Toe.” The Yadkin River boasts a 165-mile long canoe trail with thirty-eight different access sites. After a good rain, the Davidson River is a scenic paddle with Class I and II rapids, but be on the lookout for trees. On the hottest summer days, grab a bikini or board shorts and head to Deep Creek in Bryson City for some of the South’s best tubing. Put-in options abound, and the higher the put-in, the more adventurous the ride.CLASS IINantahala River, N.C.On any given summer day, a parade of rafts, kayaks, and canoes float down the river. Recently, more stand up paddleboards have been added to the mix. And there’s been at least one spotting of an inflatable pool.The Nantahala, the classic Southeastern run for beginner paddlers, is within the Nantahala National Forest and near Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The stretch of river contains over twenty named rapids. Right after putting in, paddlers are put to the test with a Class II+ rapid, Patton’s Run, and the fitting climax is Nantahala Falls, just above the take-out.The Nantahala is one of the most rafted rivers in the country. The scenery provides reason enough for most to want to enjoy the river. The entire run is roadside, but from the hull of a kayak the road is difficult to discern. Instead, paddlers are treated to views of the tree-covered ridges of the Nantahala Gorge. Tulip poplar, sycamore, and beech trees line the river.Besides the scenery, the Nantahala is a good training run. Relatively safe, plenty of opportunities to play, and dependable releases make the river a sure bet. The river is so playable that the 2013 Freestyle World Championships were held on the Nantahala.Fun fact: The word “Nantahala” comes from a Cherokee word meaning “midday sun.” The sun doesn’t reach deep in the gorge until noon time. The lack of sun, coupled with the forty-five degree dam-released water, means that paddlers need to dress warmly even in the summer.When to go: The Nantahala usually runs seven days a week.Shuttle: Park at the Nantahala Outdoor Center and catch a shuttle to the put-in for a small feel. Shuttles run hourly from April through October. For those wanting to add a jog to the day, some paddlers forge a path along the railroad tracks and riverside to the put-in.Beware: Just downstream of the take-out is Lower Nantahala Falls, a Class V rapid. The sharp blasted rocks make this a rapid in which paddlers don’t ever want to be upside down, so unless you’re up for the challenge, make sure not to miss the takeout.Best Beer Nearby: Head to Nantahala Brewing Company in Bryson City to celebrate a fun day on the river. The local brewery’s craft brews include Noon Day IPA, App Trail Extra Pale Ale, Bryson City Brown, Dirty Girl Blonde, and Up River Amber.Best of the RestThere’s no shortage of quality class II runs. In West Virginia, the North Fork South Branch of the Potomac treats paddlers to fantastic views of the North Fork Mountains and Spruce Mountain. Farther south in the state, the Bluestone River offers paddlers a protected unspoiled river, surrounded by the lush, temperate rain forest. At times the river flows through a rugged gorge and the rapids range from Class II to Class III.Virginia paddlers don’t have to go far to practice their strokes. The Dan River provides paddlers with a creek-like feel. Paddlers looking to challenge themselves can put-in higher for a few Class III rapids. Otherwise, paddlers should put-in at the parking lot below the first bridge. The James River, a 2.5-mile run with a few Class III rapids, flows right through Richmond. This means that those who live and work in the city don’t have to travel far to paddle. They do, however, have to contend with urban hazards like low-head dams and rebar. Another Virginia favorite is Charlottesville’s Rivanna River, protected as a Virginia State Scenic River. For solid Class II paddlers ready for more whitewater adventure, the Motts-Run-to-Fredericksburg section of the Rappahannock River offers almost five miles of Class II+ rapids.Tennessee favorites include the Watauga and Obed Rivers. The upper section of the Red Roof Run on the Watauga above the dam is easy Class II with plenty of time in between rapids. Below the dam, the nature of the run drastically changes to technical and continuous Class IV rapids. The Obed River located in the Cumberland Plateau flows some 400 feet deep through a sandstone gorge. No commercial outfitters run the river, so paddlers have the gorgeous scenery to themselves. Class II paddlers will enjoy putting-in at Potters Ford and paddling to Obed Junction where Daddy Creek flows into the river.Beginner North Carolina paddlers should check out the Little Tennessee, the Oconaluftee, and the French Broad. The free-flowing Little Tennessee River ends with a bang when the Class III rapid is in play (only after a good rain). The Oconaluftee is a short 3.2-mile run with one Class III rapid, “Elbow,” so named because the cleanest line resembles the zig-zag of a bent elbow. Proficient Class II paddlers should consider the Barnard to Stackhouse section of the French Broad, where the wide river provides paddlers with easier lines to negotiate some of the Class III rapids.The Cartecay River in Northern Georgia, provides paddlers and tubers a chance to stay cool in the heat of summer. The river flows through Ellijay, Ga.Vote for your favorite river on our listCLASS IIILower New River, W.Va. The New River gorge provides reason enough for West Virginia to claim “Wild and Wonderful” as the state motto. The rugged nature of this free-flowing river, with its boisterous rapids walled in by tall tree-lined canyons, completely immerses paddlers in the moment. As the river winds way through the wooded canyon nearly 1,000-feet deep, the leisurely pools between rapids provide paddlers a brief respite from the action.At summertime levels when the river runs at negative levels, the lower New River Gorge is the perfect run for the eager intermediate paddler. The seven mile stretch of river from Thurmond to Fayetteville Station contains dozens of mostly Class III rapids.The New River is a big-volume, wide river that can be run at many levels. The New River is free-flowing, which means spring often brings the highest water levels and by late summertime, the levels drop, resulting in smaller rapids. At levels above two feet, intermediate paddlers will want to be with experienced paddlers who know the lines well, especially for the Kenneys, a series of three rapids, and Double Z. Paddlers without big water paddling skills should stay off the river above six feet, when the swims become longer and both the number and size of eddies decrease.Fun fact: The name “New River” is actually a misnomer—it’s the oldest river in North America. It’s also one of only a handful of large rivers in the world that flows from south to north.When to go: The season is April through October. The highest water levels and wildest rides occur in spring.Shuttle: The take-out is at Fayetteville Station. From Fayetteville, take Route 19 to WV 82 down to the river. To get to the put-in, take Route 19 to Main Street in Fayetteville. Drive through town and take a left at the fork in the road just past the convenience store. Follow signs to Cunard. A local paddle shop, ACE Adventure Gear, offers a free Wednesday night shuttle service. Meet at Fayette Station at 5 p.m. ready to load gear and boats onto the bus. The bus drops paddlers off at the put-in. The free shuttle is a great way to meet local paddling partners.Beware: Some rapids contain hazardous undercut rocks.Best Beer Nearby: Pies & Pints Pizzeria off Main Street in Fayetteville offers a great selection of beer, along with, you guessed it, some great pizza.Best of the RestFrom Pennsylvania to Georgia, the region provides abundant paddling opportunities for the intermediate paddler. The Lower Yough in Pennsylvania, considered one of the busiest sections of whitewater in the East, flows through Ohiopyle State Park. The nearby Savage River provides five miles of continuous Class III whitewater within the Savage River State Park. Paddlers who catch one of the dam releases boat past some of the last remaining old-growth forests in Maryland. The Savage River was also the site of the 1989 Kayaking World Championships.Besides the New River, West Virginia boasts the Cranberry, a classic creek run through wilderness terrain. With plenty of Class III+ ledges and boulder gardens to navigate, paddlers should have a combat roll before paddling the Cranberry. For paddlers who enjoy eddy-hopping, the Williams provides paddlers plenty of chances to move from eddy to eddy as they paddle down the narrow creek.North Carolina paddlers flock to the Pigeon River. Interstate 40 provides easy access to this mostly roadside run, although from the seat of a kayak, a boater sees only the surrounding Cherokee National Forest. Another favorite southeast river that straddles the North Carolina/Tennessee border is the Ocoee. The Middle Ocoee is perfect for the advanced intermediate. The put-in, at the base of the dam, give paddlers little chance to warm-up before tackling the first rapid, which is a long and continuous Class III+ rapid named “Grumpies.” The rest of the run is full of roller-coaster-like big waves.Tennessee’s Big South Fork is big water fun well worth a drive to the Cumberland Plateau. Winding through the rugged cliff lined gorge gives this run a real wilderness adventure tone.Head to North Georgia to paddle the Chattooga, made famous by the movie Deliverance. The movie opened in 1972. Roughly 800 paddlers used the river in 1971. By 1973, 21,000 boaters logged river time on the Chattooga. Section III of the Chattooga provides the intermediate paddler with Class II and III rapids. Midway down, class-V Bull Sluice juices things up a bit. Bull Sluice is easy to portage.CLASS IVUpper Youghioghny River, Md. The combination of predictable summer releases, continuous and technical rapids, and easy shuttle logistics make the Upper Youghiogheny a paddling gem. Locals refer to the ten-mile stretch of river from Sang Run to Friendsville as the “Upper Yough” (hint, it sounds like “Yock”).The paddle begins with two miles of flattish water, perfect for taking in the scenery. Designated as Maryland’s only Wild and Scenic River, dense green forests border the water’s edge. The banks are abundant with ferns, honeysuckle, rhododendrum, blooming tiger lilies and shockingly bright red cardinal flowers during various times of the summer.The character of the river changes at mile two. Class III rapids known as the warm-ups replace the flat water. If this section leaves you gripped, you might want to consider hiking back to the put-in before the real action starts.Next, the aptly named “miracle mile” starts, starting with a rapid named “Bastard” and ending with “National Falls.” The river drops over 120 feet during this mile and there’s little break in the action. The intensity of the rapids doesn’t stop until mile seven, when the river resumes a gentle nature with mostly Class I and II rapids.Fun fact: Friendsville is named after its first European settler John Friend, who came to the area before the Revolutionary War. Many of John Friend’s descendants live in Garrett County today.When to go: Class IV paddlers should wait until water levels reach summertime release levels of under two feet. Any higher, and the river gets really pushy. Summertime releases are scheduled for Fridays, Saturdays, and Mondays. Sometimes mid-week releases happen, so catch one if you can.Shuttle: The Upper Yough runs right through the town of Friendsville, and the take-out is on river left after the bridge. The put-in is at Sang Run, a public Maryland State access field. Note that American Whitewater signed an agreement with the state of Maryland to manage the Sang Run access. Paddlers’ donations keep the port-a-potties clean and the grass mowed, so please be generous.Beware: Posters displayed all over town read: “Please remember the following activities are offensive and illegal: changing clothes in public view, blocking traffic with boats or bodies, and drinking alcoholic beverages in public. Citations will be issued.” Respect the locals. No nudity or beer drinking in public.Best Beer Nearby: Nearby Mountain State Brewing Company offers the perfect atmosphere for celebrating a great day on the river. Nestled between picturesque rolling hills, the outdoor seating offers prime sunset viewing. The brewery serves its own beer, along with a big selection of pizza and wraps. The brewery also frequently features live music.Best of the RestClass IV paddlers can pick between low-volume creek-styled runs or big water rivers in some of the most scenic areas of the Blue Ridge. West Virginia’s Cheat Canyon is spring paddling at its finest. The mighty Cheat Canyon remains the largest free-flowing watershed east of the Mississippi and contains ten miles of action-packed rapids.Every April, paddlers come to the Webster Wildwater Weekend River Festival to race or participate in organized river trips on the Elk River in West Virginia.Paddlers in Tennessee can be picky—there are many choice Class IV runs throughout the state. The Nolichucky runs through the deepest gorge in the East and gets started right away with several Class IV rapids within the first few miles.In North Carolina, favorite Class IV runs include the Cheoah, Wilson Creek, and nearby Harper’s Creek. The Cheoah River’s emerald green hued water starts off as Class III and culminates with big Class IV rapids. Be sure to catch one of the fifteen scheduled release days. The California-style rock-slab characterizes Wilson Creek, providing advanced intermediate paddlers with plenty of boof practice. Nearby Harper’s Creek features a massive waterfall in the middle of the run, Harper Creek Falls, that can be hiked and hucked. Many opt to paddle the whole stretch for fun Class III and IV rapids and epic views of the Blue Ridge.In North Georgia, Section 4 of the Chattooga allows paddlers plenty of warm-up rapids before tackling the more challenging Five Falls section. At Five Falls, paddlers will want to be sure to set safety.CLASS VLinville Gorge, N.C. For one of the most difficult stretches of whitewater in the Eastern U.S., head to Linville Gorge. After a recent rain, the river charges some twenty miles from Linville Falls to Lake James. The river carved a path through the rocks of Appalachia, creating a gorge thousands of feet deep. Linville Gorge is located between the towns of Boone and Morgantown. Over the years, Linville has been dubbed the “Grand Canyon of the East.” The river is at once magical and technical, legendary and demanding, breathtaking and mysterious.Committing to paddle Linville requires having impeccable paddling skills and being in the zone on a given day. The river is known for its hundreds of rapids, characterized by their continuous, long, and technically demanding nature. A capsize or swim could potentially be catastrophic.Linville provides paddlers with one horizon line after another. Paddlers don’t have the option of letting their guard down, even in the easier rapids. Sieves and undercut rocks define the river. Huge boulders often punctuate the rapids, and water tends to flow under, instead of around, these boulders. Paddlers tackling Linville must assume they will have no way out due to the remoteness of the run.If the rapids don’t take a paddler’s breath away, the gorgeous surroundings will. The 11,000-acre Linville Gorge Wilderness Area designation protects both the river and its banks.Fun fact: The area surrounding Linville was used for filming scenes from The Last of the Mohicans.When to go: The best runs are after a recent rainfall. Linville is a free-flowing river.Shuttle: Although Linville is only 45 minutes from Asheville on Interstate 40, plan for the shuttle to take time. There are many options for alternative put-in and takeouts. Most take-out options require a strenuous hike straight uphill that takes most paddlers an hour.Beware: Shuttle vehicles should have decent clearing and four-wheel drive. The river is hair-raising Class V and should only be attempted by expert paddlers.Best Beer Nearby: Linville is a true wilderness run. The best bet for beer is whatever’s in the truck at the takeout. Pack your cooler accordingly.Best of the RestAny Class V paddler who’s been to Tucker County in West Virginia will sing the praises of the East Fork of the Blackwater River for stacking up continuous, technical Class V rapids. Adding to the intrigue is the dark hue of the water, so colored because of the leaching of tannins from decaying hemlocks and red spruce that occurs upstream in the slower moving tributaries.Another favorite is the Russell Fork, located between Haysi, Va., and Elkhorn City, Ky., and celebrated for its sheer beauty. The Lord of the Fork Race is the annual extreme Class V downriver race held there every October.North Carolina contenders for best Class V runs include the rivers of the Southern Blue Ridge Escarpment that seemingly tumble off the edge of the world—the Horsepasture, Toxaway, and Whitewater Rivers. The long, granite slides often get compared to California paddling. For an adrenaline-inducing serious creek run, put-in at the base of 250-foot Cullasaja Falls and paddle the several Class V/V+ rapids. If you can catch one of the eight scheduled releases, the Cascades of Nantahala is a roadside Class V with rapids with fear-inducing names like “Horns of God” and “Junkyard.” Another classic worth catching is the East Fork of the Pigeon, which can only be accessed from the Blue Ridge Parkway. The pristine water and clean boulder drops make it well worth the effort.While not one of the most demanding rivers, West Virginia’s Upper Gauley draws paddlers from all over the world. Every fall, the Gauley River hosts the biggest whitewater party. Gauley Fest is held each year in mid-September.
In a recent interview, I stumbled over a question.What advice do you have for others who want to leave their office job? I bumbled out some answer about leaving stacks of paper behind and getting outside. Later, I turned the question over in my head, going round and round on how I should have answered the question, which is maybe why I am a writer instead of a public speaker – I need to time to process my thoughts before they are fit for public consumption.If I had it all over to do again, would have responded something like this:When I quit my ho-hum office job, I had this jump-and-the-net-will-appear attitude, believing that the freaked out moment of flying through the air would be brief and soon followed by a soft landing.In reality, leaving the 9-5 grind has been stressful. Instead of working during a confined block of time, I’m working around the clock. There is no paycheck. I’ve second-guessed my decision dozens of times. I’m plagued with self-doubt and constantly wonder – What if it doesn’t work out?The thing is, taking a leap of faith is more like jumping off a dock than off a cliff. The water is refreshingly cold and a bit of a shock to the system, but you feel energized and swim with a determined stroke toward an island that sounds like paradise, only it’s too far away to actually see. You tell yourself how once you get there you’ll lead your dream life.You continue to swim hard until you get winded. You tread water, turning around you realize that the land you left behind is out of sight. You turn forward, squinting into the horizon, but still can’t see the island. Not a soul around, you are alone in the middle of the sea. A panicky fear fills you and you take wild gulps of air before realizing your only option is to keep swimming. You put your head down and plod along, all the while your mind a battlefield of self-doubt, wondering if you’ll ever make it.I’m still in the middle of the daunting swim, with no land in sight in either direction. I launched a Kickstarter campaign and have raised nearly two-thirds of the money necessary to launch a sailing journey for my four-year-old son where we’ll serve local communities as environmental stewards. I’ve dreamed about taking my child sailing before I even knew for sure I would one day have kids. The month of sailing will provide plenty of material for my writing career.With only a little over a week to go, failure looms over me like an ever-present storm cloud. I have no set plan for how or where the money to fill the gap will come from and so I just keep doing the next thing and the next thing after that.Along the way, I’ve learned something about trust, patience, and faith. The most unexpected hands have reached out to me. I’ve met people during the last few weeks who have guided me in new directions. There are days when I regret leaving behind my comfortable, familiar life. I just keep doing the next thing to move my Kickstarter forward even on those days, especially on those days.I remind myself that I decided to chase a meaningful life over avoiding discomfort. It’s the reason I’m work hard on a project that I have no guarantees will succeed. It’s why I’m telling a story that leaves me feeling vulnerable and exposed. It’s why I moved my son and I from a two-bedroom bungalow into a glorified studio.I disclose my own journey as a disclaimer about my qualifications to give advice at all, but I can share what I told myself several times a day before I mustered up the courage to leave my office job.Life consists of moments. It’s up to us to make those moments matter. Figure out what creates meaning in your life and trust yourself to make it happen. Make the leap, warrior, for there will be new horizons you can only experience by moving forward.With a little more than a week to go, we could use our help to make sure we leave the docks this January. Please check out our Kickstarter and consider backing us.
When it comes to major motion pictures 2015 was a great year for the outdoors. From a feel-good comedy based on the classic account of a failed Appalachian Trail thru-hike to the intense retelling of a 19th century mountain man’s near death endeavors in the wilds of Montana, the year saw the release of several big screen flicks that represent outdoor culture in one form or another. Here are four outdoor-themed feature films—either available in theaters, via streaming, or on DVD—that you should watch as soon as possible.1. The Revenant Combine six episodes of Survivorman, replace Les Stroud with a forlorned father played by Leonardo DiCaprio, put two savantes behind the camera, travel to pre-westward expansion Montana, then ramp up the intensity tenfold, and you’ve got the “The Revenant”. An embellished retelling of mountain man Hugh Glass’s improbable survival story, the film is being called the grittiest Hollywood Western ever made, as much for the production process as for the actual film. While the Revenant’s plot leaves something to be desire, its aesthetics, symbolism, viscerality, and depth make it the most epic adventure to hit theaters in a year chocked full of outdoorsy flicks.Mexican director Alejandro Innaritu drove his crew to dangerous lengths throughout a year-long shoot. He reportedly subjected Leonardo Dicaprio to icy rivers, -30 degree temperatures, meager diets, and big bites of horse liver, despite the actors vegetarianism. Along with legendary cinematographer Emmanuel Luzbeki, Innaritu trudged the cameras deep into the Canadian and Argentinian wilderness in search of raw nature, virgin snow, and just the right kind of natural light. The resulting imagery is absolutely stunning.The heart of the film lies in Glass’s journey, which is not so much a self-rescue but a pilgrimage. Glass does not even truly want to survive; he solely desires to avenge his beloved son’s death. Through intense suffering he realizes the futility of revenge. Love rather than wrath attributes to his survival, as visions of his deceased wife and son sustain him. Hollywood Westerns unavoidably ignite bitter historical and xenophobic debates, yet the soul of this film transcends those well-worn talking points and cuts directly into our humanity – that is a beautiful thing.The Revenant is in theaters only at the moment, but the following three films can be enjoyed from the comfort of your couch via online streaming or DVD. 2. Meru: Legendary climber Conrad Anker has starred in several climbing documentaries, including “The Wildest Dream”, in which he searches for explorer George Mallory’s remains. Meru rises above these former films, as married couple Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi tackle Anker’s obsession with the world’s most formidable peaks.3. Everest: So, Jon Krakeur, author of Thin Air, did not like the film. Still, the book and the movie convey the central theme that mother nature is a cruel mistress, not to be taken lightly, even when tourism bucks and major magazine coverage are on the line.4. A Walk in the Woods: In 1998 Bill Bryson wrote a hilarious memoir of his attempts to hike the Appalachian Trail with a slovenly childhood friend. Seventeen years later Robert Redford and Nick Nolte hit the trail in one big misadventure of a film. Redford stars as Bryson and Nolte as his inept sidekick.[divider]More from bluridgoutdoors.com[/divider]