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Times explores hybrid sport of sleds, skiers

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Cold night for trio

TELLURIDE, Colo. — A trio of snowboarders attempted to snowshoe from Telluride across 13,114-foot Imogene Pass and down to Ouray. They started late, were ill prepared and knew very little about the route, which is plagued by avalanche potential. To top things off, they encountered a howling storm, the effect being "like needles going into our faces and our lungs," the lone female in the group later said.

All’s well that ends well, even if they did get a public scolding from rescuers in the pages of the Telluride Daily Planet. The three survived by wisely turning back at the pass, seeking refuge in an old powder cache, a concrete bulwark, at the long-abandoned Tomboy Mine. If not for that, there was some speculation they may not have made it, as they had no spare clothes or sleeping bags.

"Our whole bodies were shaking and convulsing," said the woman who, unlike her male companions, was actually glad to see rescuers the next morning.

"The ground team located the unprepared and ungrateful trio and assisted in their egress," said the press release from the search and rescue team.

Interest grows in biomass

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. — Interest in building a wood-fired biomass plant continues to grow in the resort communities from Vail to Grand Lake that are plagued by beetle-killed forests.

Summit County has the most active plans. Current planning aims to put a biomass plant on line as early as the winter of 2007-08. The plant being considered would be located near Frisco, where a variety of county offices, as well as a new hospital and medical campus, are located. The thinking, explains the Summit Daily News, is that the heat produced by the burned wood could be used to heat the various buildings.

Pollution emitted from the two 30-foot smoke stacks is a concern, although the county’s special projects manager, Steve Hill, said the two-boiler project being proposed would emit slightly more particulate matter than two 2,000-square-foot homes heated by old-fashioned wood-burning stoves.

A consultant, Howard Gebhart of Air Resources Specialists Inc., further explains that national air quality standards allow a maximum of 150 micrograms of particles per cubic metre. The biomass plant can be "reasonably" expected to produce an average 13 micrograms per cubic metre, 26 in the worst-case scenario.