Snowshoemag.com News Bytes: June 21, 2004

Although Snowshoe Magazine is a periodical providing original content, we also view the industry as one that stirs some news. Here are some great newsworthy notes that require your attention (each month we will try to provide three notes):

*Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts opened its first mountain resort in Canada, at the base of Blackcomb Mountain in Whistler, British Columbia, site of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. The new 242-room retreat is located in the heart of the largest ski area in North America, just minutes from the slopes, year-round outdoor adventures, fine dining, shopping and nightlife.

Couples, families and business travelers can now experience the service, comfort and luxury of a Four Seasons Resort in the heart of Whistler,” said Wolf Hengst, president worldwide hotel operations, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. “Most people probably know Whistler as a ski destination, but this time of year is truly magical in the mountains, with the wildflowers growing in the valleys and the picturesque lakes – a dramatic setting for the wide array of summertime activities that Whistler has to offer.”

Swimming, canoeing, white water rafting, fishing, mountain biking, hiking and golf are just some of the diversions that make Whistler a popular summer getaway. In the winter, the annual snowfall averages nine meters, so guests of Four Seasons will find a paradise of skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, dogsledding, sleigh rides and more. The area boasts 3,307 hectares of skiable terrain, 33 lifts and more than 200 trails. Guests need only speak to the Concierge to plan an outdoor adventure, no matter what the season.

**Thousands of Special Olympics athletes are happy today, after exceeding their personal bests during the 2004 State Summer Games recently. This annual event for Special Olympics Michigan included nearly 5,000 Michigan athletes, coaches and volunteers on Central Michigan University campus.

Special Olympics Michigan supports 12,400 athletes in 22 different sports through eight statewide events and hundreds of local events throughout the year. Sports such as swimming, figure skating, downhill and cross-country skiing, basketball, softball, bowling, and even lesser known sports such as snowshoeing and poly hockey are provided to athletes for free.

State Summer Games information and donations to Special Olympics can be coordinated through the Web site at http://www.somi.org , via phone at 800-644-6404, or by mail to Special Olympics Michigan c/o Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan 48859.

***The best teams from five continents, qualifying through the overall ranking of the X-adventure Raid Series 2004, will compete in a non-stop, long distance raid lasting five to seven days.

A technically demanding and physically punishing race, including a variety of disciplines, brings together the best athletes in the world. On June 11-13, part of the race took place in Bend, Ore., and contestants were slated for a day snowshoeing.

It all began at on Saturday morning when 45 of the world’s top multi-sports teams, clad in warm weather gear and toting snowshoes and crampons, streaked into the early morning light and a 15km trek up the steep, snow bound slopes of Mount Bachelor. At the head of the charge, Josh Smulin, a local athlete incorporated at the last minute into team Les Arcs-Quechua (Fra), was about to get his first taste of the X-adventure Raid Series with one of the world’s top teams.

Team Salomon Suisse (Che) immediately showed their class by finishing almost 10 minutes ahead of the nearest rival Spie The North Face (Fra). But the fast and slippery downhill portion was treacherous to John Jacoby of Montrail-Revo (USA), who wiped out completely on the hard packed snow. Unable to brake, he picked up speed and suffered extensive ice burns to his hands and legs but was still able to continue racing.

For more on the X-adventure Raid Series, visit http://www.raidseries.com.

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Ryan Anderson