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Mountain News: Ski town folks drink more, eat less

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"It's not a rule to say that every year we're seeing bears denning later here," he said.

Staying in touch no matter where you are

ASPEN, Colo. — Electronic technology continues to find its way into the backcountry, as witnessed by an article in the Aspen Daily News about five local skiers who got caught in inclement weather while skiing to a backcountry hut.

En route to the hut, they encountered a large avalanche that spooked them. Returning toward Aspen, they found more evidence of avalanches. That did it. They decided to dig a snow cave and hunker down for the night as temperatures dropped and winds picked up.

One of the skiers had a next-generation personal locator beacon. By using a satellite signal that can be connected via Bluetooth to a smartphone, the beacon allows the user to exchange text messages with an emergency communications center run by a monitoring company. He apparently summoned help.

That company contacted the Aspen-Pitkin County Commissioners Center. There were some problems, but emergency crews dispatched several snowmobiles to retrieve the group, which was discovered by rescuers at 3,400 metres (11,000 feet) in elevation.

Heavens, how did we survive before we had gizmos to signal our presence in every wayward place?

Big time-share project moves ahead at Breck

BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. — The real estate thaw continues in Breckenridge, as evident in plans for new construction. The Summit Daily News reports that a five-storey base-area lodge has been approved, and construction is expected to start this summer, with sales to begin in the autumn of 2014. Included in the project of Breckenridge Grand Vacations will be 75 time-share units. Also included in the building, in addition to the usual spa, cafe and so forth, will be multiple movie theaters.

Woman charged in case of heroin death

AVON, Colo. — A 24-year-old woman has been accused of negligent homicide in the death last month of a man who overdosed on heroin and other drugs. Roommates of Matthew Williamson of Avon called authorities in February to report he was not breathing. The district attorney in the Vail-Breckenridge area says that Kaile Leigh Wilson has been charged with drug distribution, reckless death and criminally negligent homicide.

The Vail Daily goes on to report that prosecutors say that a more lethal strain of heroin has been circulating in the Vail-Breckenridge area. As such, prosecutors also want to make dealers aware of the "very serious consequences that they will face if caught distributing this within our district."

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