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Daring heli-sling rescue



BANFF, Alberta - Two mountain climbers were plucked off a mountain in Yoho National Park in what the Rocky Mountain Outlook says is believed to be the highest helicopter sling rescue in the history of the national parks of the Canadian Rockies.

The elevation was 3,567-meters, or 11,700 feet. But that wasn't the hard part, said Steve Holeczi. "It's not so much the altitude, but there's strong winds up high, and for (pilot Lance Cooper) to be able to pinpoint the location and put me on a very narrow ridge is not easy."

The two climbers had climbed the South Tower of Mount Goodsir, one of the highest peaks in British Columbia, then bivouacked. The pair had intended to traverse the Goodsir peaks, but found they were unable to go back down what they had climbed, nor could they find anchors for rappels. At that point they used a satellite beacon called a SPOT to summon rescuers.

Local food movement in the news

BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. - The local-food movement is all over the news in mountain towns of the West, even those with short, short summers.

In Breckenridge, elevation 2,900-metres, several parties are working together to create a community garden. "The Breckenridge community has said it's important to them," said Kim DiLallo-Dykstra, spokeswoman for the town government.

Fourteen kilometres away at Frisco, a celebration of local food-growing is being held this week, reports the Summit Daily News . The community already has a garden with 40 outdoor plots, where lettuce, peas, broccoli and other cool-weather crops are grown. A greenhouse provides a suitable climate for zucchini, basil, tomatoes and other vegetables that demand warmer temperatures than ordinarily found at 9,000 feet.

Also at about 2,700-metres in elevation, the dude ranch called Devil's Thumb Ranch, located near Winter Park, has a strong focus on regional food sourcing. Evan Treadwill, the new executive chef, most recently was in California, where he started his career during the first regional "farm to table" movement 20 years ago. Finding local meats is somewhat easier than other foods, he tells the Sky-Hi News . That said, leafy-green spinach found a few miles away at Granby meets part of the bill.

And from Ketchum, Idaho, comes news about a new business model, in which a variety of producers deliver goods to the Ketchum-Sun Valley area. The model creates a critical mass, explains the Idaho Mountain Express , for producers of local, or at least regional, produce, meat and other products.

"This way, you can get this super-healthy, super-fresh and super-local food in front of more people," said Lynea Newcomer, general manager of Idaho's Bounty. But while she does concede at least a slight mark-up of costs, she does not believe the mark-up to be 30 per cent that was reported in the Express .

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