This week on Ear to the Ground, we began with a quick hit of news from the panelists, then moved on to sharing the dreams we have for adventure and travel once the pandemic is over. 

Tune in on clubhouse in the Adventure Club Fridays at 4:30 MST to be part of the conversation.

News: 

Grant Alexander:
If you own a Pieps DSP Beacon, there has been a recall on the product after a man died because he was buried in an avalanche and his beacon suddenly turned off. So, if you have one, call your local ski shop where you bought it and get it replaced. 

Grant also interviewed Sasha DiGiulian last week and this week is interviewing mountaineering legend Omar Samra. Check out Grant’s Clubhouse Room “Campfire Conversations” to be part of the conversation.

Elise Bernal:
Check out Elise’s Clubhouse Club “ShredSpace.” They’re doing a ton of awesome stuff. 

Lynsey Dyer:
Just started her own Clubhouse Club “Unicorns in the Wild.” She’s excited to have conversations with people from all different backgrounds to share stories and eventually solve the world’s problems. As an athlete, Lynsey is finding it difficult to do her job in the outdoors. Intense temperature changes, storms like tornadoes, and other natural challenges are making it more dangerous and difficult for outdoor athletes to do their job and produce the way they’re supposed to.

Chris Davenport:
Also an outdoor athlete, this season in particular is red-light conditions. It makes the job difficult, but he’s been adapting by spending more time as a guide for clients. Also, its better than nothing seeing as how most countries don’t have any skiing whatsoever. 

Mark Sullivan: Lots of stuff happening in snow sports right now. Free ride world championship, snowboard world championships, slalom championships, check out winners, favorites, and highlights here: https://olympics.nbcsports.com/2021/02/09/alpine-skiing-world-championships-tv-schedule/

Mark Sullivan:
Bringing back action sports and culture event: check it out here http://actionsportsculture.com/

SIMA (Surf Industry Manufacturers Association) is putting out a bunch of content with some big name people, check it out here: https://sima.com

Rebecca Rusch:
Just finished the Iditarod trail fully self-supported under her own power on a bike. Took 5 days and 8 hours but the conditions were great. This was her third time completing the course. She says this one was unique because she didn’t listen to any music or anything, just totally focused on the moment. There is a film about her experience last year called Distant Dharma check that and her other films out here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEcSgFufU8xoUI_3XWZZGMw

Kyrsten Stone:
March 13 was “A Day For Jake” in honor of the founder of Burton. It’s a global celebration of life to have as much fun as possible outside. Follow #rightonjake to see what people were up to.

Stanitra Robinson: Has a full book coming soon. Her first book “Speak your way to success” is an amazon best seller. You can check out an interview with Stanitra here: https://anchor.fm/michael-merritt4/episodes/BORN-TO-SUCCEED-Michael-Merritt-LIVE-with-Stanitra-Robinson–Founder-SPRINGING-SCALES-Reptiles-and-Education-ej3r4u

Jay Hart:
Audrey Lambidakis, a photographer, used her stimulus check to set up a foundation for surfers and other outdoor athletes dealing with concussions. Check out her work here: https://healingbrainwaves.org/our-mission

Also, for people that want to climb Half Dome- there is a lottery system closing at the end of the month, so go here to cement your place: https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/hdpermits.htm

TRAVEL DREAMS:

Our panelists have a lot of dreams, but because of the pandemic, a lot of those dreams are starting to align. ROAM Founder and creator of the room Chris Jerard put it well when he said “I just want to get in my van with my kids and go.” For him, that meant returning to his native New Hampshire and hugging his parents, whom he hasn’t seen in person in over a year now. This sentiment echoed with many panelists. The effects of the pandemic have hit the outdoor community hard. We are a people that live to move, and visa versa. The limitations and restrictions on travel, for many of the panelists and audience members, isn’t just an inconvenience, it’s a complete obstruction to their way of life. For those with kids, those kids are growing up. Children are learning to walk, saying their first words, and extended families are losing that time and those moments with their children. 

Another topic heard a lot is Travel. Climber Brandon Ellis, professional skier Chris Davenport, and a few others mentioned the ideas of getting to go to Japan, Mount Denali, Brazil, or even just going to the ocean. It speaks to the kind of community we have in the room. It’s not just about people, or pictures, or what you do in a place, but the place itself has power. For many, especially our panelists and audience, the mountains, like Denali, or the oceans, are a place of peace, a way to realign yourself. There’s a certain feeling of power that comes with looking out into an ocean, catching a wave, and riding it into the sand. Or waking up before the sun, climbing to the top of a freezing cold mountain, and looking out onto this giant planet. These places emit a mysterious form of power. As humans, we are consumed with emails, phone calls, calendar appointments, meetings, and a million other things. But when you’re riding a wave, or perched at the top of a peak, those responsibilities seem so small, so unimportant. That stress that we feel loosens its grip. And for a moment, we reset, we reacknowledge ourselves, our priorities, and our lives. For many of us, who love to explore, that reset button is essential, I think we all look forward to finally getting the freedom to go out and chase it down the first chance we can. 

CoFounder of ROAM, Andy Patrick, put his sentiments into a poem, “A Piece of the Wild Things” by Wendell Berry, that resonated in a big way with many of the audience members who are longing to be able to travel, to explore, and to be welcomed back into the outdoors once the pandemic is over. The poem goes:

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

One thing that stood out in this room was the absolute support. Grant Alexander talked about how his dream is planning a few trips once the pandemic is over, and issued an invitation to the room for those that are interested. Sojitra talked about how she was sponsoring a kid in Uganda, and was excited to go and potentially share her profession and passion working with reptiles to the youth. When Carl Heer talked about his dream to run an Iron Man next year, multiple people called out saying that if he needed help with recovery or a training partner, they would be there anytime. Continuously, panelists and audience alike say that this room feels like home, and it’s true, but it’s not the room so much as it is the people. Come to clubhouse, tune in Friday at 4:30 MST, and be part of this amazing community that makes up Ear to the Ground.