South Carolina Utility Expects Customers Will Pay $2.2 Billion for Company’s Abandoned Nuclear Project

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Charleston Post and Courier:South Carolina Electric & Gas isn’t sure when it will move forward with a plan to charge customers for its scuttled nuclear construction project, but executives made clear to investors that the power company would do so eventually.Kevin Marsh, the chief executive of SCE&G parent SCANA Corp., told Wall Street analysts Wednesday that the utility “didn’t draw any lines in the sand” with lawmakers about how long it would wait before moving to formally ditch its effort to expand the V.C. Summer power plant.Marsh’s comments came the day after SCE&G decided it would hold off on asking state regulators for permission to charge ratepayers $2.2 billion for the project. Its customers have already paid about $1.4 billion for two half-built reactors near Columbia.The decision to delay its request came as SCE&G was facing rising pressure from lawmakers who vowed to investigate the failed project and said the company was moving too fast. By pulling its request, the company essentially bought the Legislature time to decide what to do about the reactors.“We want to give them time to complete their process. We have discussed that there would be a time in the future that we would need to refile,” Marsh told analysts. “We didn’t draw any lines in the sand. We didn’t want to get out in front of them.”SCE&G initially filed its plans to charge customers for the project two weeks ago, shortly after announcing it was walking away from the reactors. Regulators only had six months to consider the proposal, meaning lawmakers would have little time to work when they reconvened in January.The General Assembly will start to look into the project next week when a pair of committees meets to hold their first hearings on the demise of the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station expansion. Lawmakers have formed two special panels devoted to the project, and a separate regulatory committee is looking into it, too.Still, it’s not clear that Wall Street expects much to change when SCE&G files its request to raise electricity rates again. SCANA’s stock closed essentially unchanged Wednesday, suggesting that investors didn’t see any new risks on the horizon, even if a long review was on the way.More: SCE&G will ask to charge customers for abandoned nuclear project, but it’s not sure when South Carolina Utility Expects Customers Will Pay $2.2 Billion for Company’s Abandoned Nuclear Projectlast_img read more

The Beginnings of Economic Transition in Appalachia

first_imgThe Beginnings of Economic Transition in Appalachia FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Public Radio International:Solar Holler is partnering with a non-profit called the Coalfield Development Corporation. They own the building. Beyond solar jobs, Coalfield Development is teaching former coal workers skills like woodworking and farming.Apprentices with Coalfield Development work 33 hours, spend six hours a week at a community college, and three hours engaged in “life-skills mentorship.” Nearly 90 people have entered the program. The name — Coalfield Development — is a nod to the region’s past and future.“Coal is more than just an employment base here in Appalachia, it’s central to our identity. And that lets you know a sense of our pain the last few years,” says Brandon Dennison, Coalfield Development’s CEO. “No one industry can replace coal, nor should it. We need to diversify and have lots of different business opportunities.”Half of Coalfield Development’s funding, nearly $2 million, comes from a federal program called the Appalachian Regional Commission. It was created by an act of Congress in 1965, after urging by President John F. Kennedy and then President Lyndon Johnson, to combat the region’s high levels of poverty.The Trump Administration now wants to defund it. Dennison says that worries him “a lot.”“If we lost our Appalachian Regional Commission funding, we would have to basically cut our scale of impact in half.”The mayor of Huntington, Steve Williams, was more blunt about the possibile defunding of the Appalachian Regional Commission: “Well, it’s stupid.”Williams is a Democrat and is running for Congress next year.Proponents of the Appalachian Regional Commission say it’s helped dramatically cut rural poverty, improve regional healthcare and education.Opponents say it’s a waste of taxpayer money. President Trump’s budget calls for the elimination of “unnecessary federal funding,” citing a 1996 government study casting doubt on the Commission’s effectiveness. President Ronald Reagan also tried to defund it repeatedly.Williams says pulling the plug on the Appalachian Regional Commission would send a clear message: “That says to me that they’re giving up on this area.”For now, Congress has voted to extend the program’s funding through the end of the year.Dan Conant, the founder of Solar Holler, stays clear of politics. He’s interested in market economics. And at the end of the day, he thinks he’s betting on a winner.Conant says, “Within a week of cutting the ribbon on our very first project, we got so much interest around the state that we outstripped the capacity of everybody who knew how to install solar in West Virginia at that point.”Conant says he’s currently backed up on 16 projects. And Solar Holler needs trained workers to get things moving along.More: After generations working in coal, young West Virginians are finding jobs in solarlast_img read more

First South Korean insurance company announces plans to exit coal finance market

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Korea Herald:Three South Korean financial institutions ‒ DB Insurance, Korean Teachers’ Credit Union and Public Officials Benefit Association ‒ said Tuesday they have decided to stop coal project financing in order to support global efforts to tackle climate change.The move by the [financial institutions], who have a combined $73 billion assets under management (AUM), comes after two local public pension funds ‒ Korea’s Teachers’ Pension and Government Employees Pension Service, with $22 billion AUM ‒ made a similar announcement last year.“The exit from coal projects is a basic move, yet the most practical and powerful way for a financial institution (FI) to support measures to tackle fine-dust pollution and climate change,” the firms said in a joint declaration during a ceremony in Seoul. “It is also the most sustainable way to provide financial services to our customers, policyholders and pensioners. We will cooperate with other public and private FIs to lay the ground for phasing out coal project financing and increase investments in renewable energy.”DB Insurance, with $31 billion AUM, became the first private [financial institution] in Korea to join the environmental movement.Korea has been facing growing calls from the international community, including the World Wide Fund for Nature and Greenpeace, to stop financing coal projects, which are considered the main culprit for fine-dust pollution that causes around 800,000 deaths per year. The nation is the second-largest investor in the global coal financing market.Over the last decade, around $9.2 billion of Korea’s public funds have been invested in the construction of coal power plants in seven countries, according to Greenpeace. Among them, Export-Import Bank of Korea and Korea Development Bank financed $5.2 billion and $270 million, respectively. [Shin Ji-hye]More: Korean FIs with $73b AUM end support to coal projects First South Korean insurance company announces plans to exit coal finance marketlast_img read more

Energy major Iberdrola aiming for ‘virtually zero emissions’ in Europe by 2030

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Iberdrola SA will have “virtually zero emissions” in Europe by 2030 and will be emissions neutral globally by 2050, Chairman and CEO Ignacio Galán said at the COP25 climate change summit in Madrid on Dec. 11.Discussing the company’s strategy to support the transition to a low-carbon economy, which he said began 20 years ago, Galán reiterated the need to act immediately against the threat of climate change.“The energy transition is feasible. We have the necessary technology at an affordable cost, but we have little time. The time for action is now,” he said.Iberdrola’s emissions are currently a quarter that of its European competitors, the company said, having invested over $100 billion since 2001 in new renewable energy, smart grids and efficient storage, according to a Dec. 11 news release. The company plans to continue to allocate more than $10 billion each year to these activities.Galán added that Iberdrola sees the transition towards a green economy as an opportunity for an industrial renaissance, job creation and general wellbeing. [Maryam Adeeb]More ($): Iberdrola targets ‘virtually’ zero emissions in Europe by 2030 Energy major Iberdrola aiming for ‘virtually zero emissions’ in Europe by 2030last_img read more

California city approves coal export ban from Levin-Richmond Terminal

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Salt Lake Tribune:A Bay Area city that has been a key export gateway for Utah mines has approved a ban on the storage and handling of coal, potentially severing a vital link to the global marketplace for a commodity that is rapidly losing domestic customers.In a unanimous vote Tuesday and despite fierce resistance from industry and labor unions, the Richmond City Council OK’d a measure that allows a three-year phaseout for the city’s one coal handler, the Levin-Richmond Terminal, where about 1 million tons of Utah coal is transferred each year from rail to Japan-bound vessels.“I guess we are going to litigate,” said Jim Holland, the terminal’s vice president for facilities, equipment and environment. He contends that the ban will put the terminal out of business, costing at least 60 mostly high-paying union jobs. Also threatening to sue is Utah’s largest coal producer, Wolverine Fuels, which announced its intentions in a letter to the council before a Dec. 3 hearing on the coal prohibition.Public health and environmental advocates applauded Richmond’s adoption of a coal ban, which had been in the works for more than a year and was spurred by residents’ complaints about coal dust allegedly coating homes, yards and streets.“Richmond communities are already overburdened by pollution from the I-80 and I-580 corridors, the Chevron refinery and other industrial polluters,” said Julia Walsh, a professor of health at the nearby University of California in Berkeley. “Cutting out this source of deadly particulate matter in the form of coal dust means fewer trips to the hospital, fewer kids with asthma, and longer life spans for many residents.”[Brian Maffly]More: Big setback for Utah mines as Bay Area port city bans coal California city approves coal export ban from Levin-Richmond Terminallast_img read more

Canaan Valley, West Virginia

first_imgIf any place in Appalachia can still make you feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere, it’s West Virginia’s Canaan Valley. Development is limited. Light pollution is minimal. Backcountry is everywhere.START HEREThe unimposing Whitegrass Ski Touring Center ( is the home for cross-country skiing in the rugged region of the Mountain State. With over 150 inches of annual snowfall, Whitegrass has 45 groomed trails that cover over 50 kilometers. The cross-country exploration is endless, extending into Canaan Valley State Park, the secluded Dolly Sods Wilderness, and the vast expanse of the Monongahela National Forest.REMOTE RESORTSIf resort-style skiing is more your speed, Canaan can accommodate. Don’t expect the prototypical Disney-fied village resorts of the West. The state park ( features nearly 100 acres of downhill action with 39 trails and three lifts—as well as 30 kilometers of groomed snowshoe and cross-country trails. Down the road at Timberline (, you can tackle five steep double-black diamonds and some of the only true glade skiing in the South.For more resort information, check out Canaan Valley Resorts at EATSWhitegrass owner Chip Chase serves up delicious locally-grown food and homemade beer in his café. You can also head into Davis and check out the new Hellbender Burritos ( Try the namesake, which features shrimp in spicy garlic buffalo sauce and bleu cheese.last_img read more

Video Clips: A Bear goes Longboarding in a Wingsuit?

first_imgTake a load off and have a look at these Clips of the Week.First, hit the road with Kyle Chin as he free-rides downhill to Slow Motion by Third Eye BlindThen, check out this bear who realizes too late that he’s not on the platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo playerFinally, “Grind the Crack” with Jeb Corliss in this classic adrenaline laced video.last_img

Five Ways to Embrace Your Inner Boater Chick

first_imgEmbrace your inner boater chick by following these five simple rules.Women and men are different on and off the river. That’s more than okay; it’s awesome. Here are five paddling moments and ways to embrace your inner boater chick.1. Guys will offer to carry your boatSometimes let them. Some women want total independence as paddlers. They fear a guy offers to carry her boat because he thinks she needs him. He doesn’t think he’s taking your independence, though, just your boat.I’m not saying let them to placate their masculinity; I’m saying let them because sometimes the boat is just damn heavy (anyone got a Wavesport Recon or Blackly Option?). You don’t need to carry a heavy boat to prove you’re tough to your friend; he’s already turned around and left.I sucked it up one day during a steep portage in the south Sierras. A buddy had run the rapid and, while the others were scouting, he got out of his boat, ran back to me, and offered to carry my canoe. Carrying it myself would have held up the team on an already long 17-mile run. So I said sure. Boating is a team sport; friends want to paddle with you because they believe you’re competent (and maybe even fun). They will not deny your throw rope when they’re swimming in a nasty hole because at some point they helped carry your boat.2. You may have flashbacks, which “hold you back”You and a buddy get worked in the same rapid one day. The next day he fires it up and runs a clean line while you watch from shore as you portage. Be careful here, or you could fall into a self-defeating trap. Though a team sport, paddling is an individual passion. What goals you set are independent of others’ goals, so don’t worry how fast someone else advances. The only one who feels “held back” is you. Your friends—guys and gals alike—are stoked to paddle with you on the water. Those who don’t? That’s more about their character than your skill.3. Guys will hit on youYou are a butterfly among moths … many many moths. Our rarity in paddling gives us what economists call scarcity value, where an item’s price is based on its relatively low supply. One of my buddies adds to that idea what he calls river scale: a woman who in normal circumstances might be a two or three in attractiveness becomes a six or seven when she’s a paddler. Don’t get indignant, ladies; you give the dude a once over, too. We can just afford to be picky.4. You can say noMore than likely you will date a paddler at least once in your river life. A boater boyfriend may have even introduced you to the sport you love today. More than likely you will also get a major beatdown on a river above your ability because said paddling boyfriend encouraged you to run it.The boyfriend isn’t malicious. He just really believes in you. He was stoked you hit your first combat roll or dry-hair Class IV run, and he wants to be part of your progression to the next level. Often in his own excitement he can fail to realize you want more time on the water before stepping up. That’s cool; just tell him.5. Have a ladies weekendpaddler2My confidence and skill thrived during my first all-women whitewater trip, and I learned many women share the same experience.The achievement goal theory can explain this experience. People are either ego-oriented learners—measuring success based on how performance compared to others—or task-oriented learners—measuring success based on some pre-determined standard. Paddling fosters ego-oriented learning. An instructor typically moves to the next lesson once he sees people grasped the concept, unintentionally encouraging people to progress at the same speed. Those who learn by task-orientation may struggle, physically or mentally. Guess which learners men and women are.People reach their full potential when learning in the best environment for their learning style. So similar learners, i.e. most women, tend to learn best from other women. Better learning begets greater confidence and more fun. Book a cabin, load your gear and beer/wine into the car, pick up your girlfriends and hit the river.Men and women are different. Men and women’s views differ about the river’s risks and challenges and how we approach them. We encourage our teammates differently. That’s part of the fun of being a boater chick. Go out and embrace it.Meet fellow female paddlers through Girls at Play or at the Boater Chick Festival.last_img read more

BRO ATHLETES: Chris Harnish Competes at 2016 Off-Road Nationals

first_imgThis year marked a big change in my race program from past years. To begin with, a confluence of events meant that I had no races on my schedule from late October to the beginning of the season. As the saying goes, “life gets in the way”; new baby, lots of work and travel time, illness, race schedules that conflict with all of the above…This meant that my number one goal for the 2016 season, USAT off-road nationals, would be my first race of the season, and that race would be very early in the season. I also decided to dust off the time trial bike and try my hand at long course duathlon nationals, less than 2 weeks later, and more than 30 hrs of driving. All this meant that I would need a very targeted approach to the season, but also a bit of luck, which seemed be lacking in late March.Fall preparation leads to a bumpy springAs I said, my last race had been late October, which was the Iron Cross XIII. While I had planned to do a couple trail running races or an early triathlon, without a clear plan, a new baby at home, and several illnesses from January to April, those races never materialized. Fortunately, I made great use of my Zwift account and some key workouts to reverse two bouts of the flu to miraculously get back on track at the beginning of April; seriously, in late March I had contemplated bagging the whole nationals trip because of an utter lack of progress. Fortunately, I set-up an extremely effective training structure and seemed to bounce ever higher in April.Arkadelphia, AR, home of the 2016 USAT Off-road nationals…and little elseWith all my training behind me, I packed up the car and headed to southern AR on a 12½ hr drive to Arkadelphia’s Iron Mountain trail system at Degray Lake. Unlike many races, however, I opted for 4 days in a hotel, rather than camping; what a wise decision that turned out to be! With the race scheduled for Sunday, May 1st, I gave myself a solid 3 days to preview the courses and relax. After a hot, dry ride on Thursday, the weather flipped, dropping buckets of rain over the next 48 hrs. This left the course a sloppy mess, but more significantly, it forced the race promoter to move the entire transition area 5 miles across the lake, set-up a new (longer swim course), and a new run course that tested both body and mind at 8.6 miles. Due to the new transition set-up, the MTB also required an additional 2.5 miles of road riding to get on and off the course, which stretched that leg from 19.5 to 24 miles. Together, this dramatically altered my finish time by more than 45 min (i.e., 2:45 to 3:30), and was further completed by the fact that not even the race director knew the actual length of the run until the event was over.• I have to give props to DLT Events for their ability to adapt to the changing conditions and pull off what was one of the best managed events I’ve raced at, EVEN WITH ALL THE WEATHER ISSUES. Seriously, they did in less the 24 hrs what many races can’t do with months of preparation. And while I was cursing them in that run to perdition, the event was solid! Also kudo’s to the park system. Arkadelphia itself has little to offer, but Degray Lake is a gem, and the trails are fantastic!Home sweet home?ShowtimeWith the new venue location not coming until almost 10 pm, and an early morning ahead, I was pretty wound up. Fortunately, I banked some quality sleep, so I was up and ready come morning. Transition was an easy in/out, so set-up was a snap, which left me plenty of time to don my wet-suit and get a decent warm-up in the relatively cold 68 d lake waters; DAMN, I hate cold water! I had spent a good deal of prep time in my wetsuit, and I felt good about my swim prospects, but a bad start, crowded pack, and some cold choppy water resulted in a largely mediocre swim, at best, and some very cold, stiff legs.With the swim behind me, I set out onto a long road section, trying to find the sensations on the bike that would help me pull back time already lost. Once on the trails, I found the conditions to be considerably different than my pre-ride, but not nearly as bad as one might expect for 8 in of rain. The early single track featured a variety of technical and power sections where I was able to move up several spots before loosing my front wheel in a turn. Back up quickly, I continued to wind my way down the single track a good mile before realizing that my bars had been knocked out of alignment. I hadn’t noticed any handling issues, and having just passed a handful of riders, I opted to leave them as is, though I’m unclear if they had any real impact.JUst a bit of rainHeading into the final half of the MTB course I had made up several places, so I opted for a more conservative approach the rest of the way. For starters, I tend to leave a lot out on the bike, making the run more difficult, and the bike was already going to be at least 20 min longer than is typical for an XTerra championship. As fate would have it, the run was much longer than anyone anticipated, so my conservation definitely paid off later.USAT OFFRD runEntering into T2, I spotted only about a dozen bikes and leaving T2 I heard someone shout 13th, so I new a top was feasible, but I had a lot of ground to make up. True to my advice from my XTerra series, I focused on a fast turn-over to build a good early rhythm, while keeping my HR about 10 bpm below my typical Xterra run pace HR (~170). I quickly realized I was on a great run because my first two mile-paces were about 7 min despite covering a very hilly first mile, and slippery technical second mile. Moreover, I felt comfortable and I had already picked up four runners before being caught by just one. However, none of us knew just how long the run was, so I kept my pace steady, even walking a couple short steep hills; the word was that the course was 7-7 ½ miles, rather than the usual 6 miles…oh how wrong that turned out to be!As the run dragged on and fatigue really started to set in, my mind began to wander more. I really began to get frustrated until I refocused, remembering my late teammate Isaiah Adams, who had just lost his battle with cancer weeks earlier. Isaiah came to mind then because he’s the guy that helped get me through my first Milk Ras in 2000, after I threw my back out just days before. Isaiah never let anything drag him down which made him such a great teammate. Moreover, my pace had remained pretty steady, despite the challenging terrain. As I crossed over the road, however, I had already passed the 10k point in the run, with no end in sight. Fortunately, a mile more of twisty single track dropped us back out on the main road, which meant the finish was just over a mile to go; and man that is one hilly mile! I kept my focus all the way to the finish, passing one more person and coming in for what was the 3rd fastest run of the day and 9th overall, not to mention 3rd in AG.PIC 2EpilogueAfter nearly 8 months of preparation with a single-minded goal of a top-10 overall and podium in the 40+, I have to say that I am impressed with how things turned out despite the set backs. It only re-emphasized to me how important setting goals are, but also, the importance the off-season and a consistent training plan are, as well. I firmly believe that staying the course even when things went pear shaped really helped me overcome those obstacles, and that persistence on race day kept me focused on the prize!After I wrapped up the awards, I headed to Knoxville for a coaching clinic at the University of Tennessee on Monday. From there, I drove back to Ferrum College Tuesday, with a short stop off at Warriors Path State Park. I now had to refocus on USAT’s long course duathalon nationals on May 14th.PodiumUSAT Off-Road Nationals by the numbers:65o at the start with a water temp of 68o.Special thanks to Marvin at for providing me with the great action shots from the race.Swim: ~1800 m and 824 kcalMTB: ~24 miles, 221 W (NP) @ 152 bpm AvHR; 1310 kJRun: 8.6 miles, ~7:30 min/mile @ 167 AvHR and Avg cadence of 176 spmTotal time: ~3:32You can find the entire Strava file here.~3000 kcals burnedRace fuel included:2 L of Matcha Green Tea + Lemons Skratch Labs exercise hydration mix2 Honey Stinger Blueberry Buzz bars2 Gu Espresso Love gels from Aid Station 1 helped too!BROAthleteBannerAd-1last_img read more

Gear On The Go: June 2018 | Live Outside And Play

first_imgThere is one way for this tour to be a reality, our sponsors! Sending a thank you shout out to our title sponsor Nite Ize, and all of our other awesome sponsors that make this happen: Crazy Creek, National Geographic, Sea to Summit, Mountain House, Lowe Alpine, Old Town, Leki, HydraPak, UCO Gear and Wenzel. If you like the gear that keeps us groovin’ click here to enter for a chance to win our Grand Gear Giveaway! The Road Team has returned to Colorado with a bang! Last month we pointed the van west and couldn’t be happier to reunite with dry air, freezing snow-melt streams, and familiar faces. It’s been a dry spring, and mud season was rather short this year. We’ve been doing rain dances and hiking the high alpine trails we wouldn’t normally be able to. Our fingers are crossed that the solar shower will hold up, the van tires will grip the dirt roads, and our gaiters will withstand post-holing through snow-covered high altitude trails. It’s time for Gear On The Go: July 2018. NiteIze Wraptor Rotating Smartphone Bar MountThere are so many mountain biking navigation apps on the market, it’s tempting to take a break and pull your phone out to check progress. With 360 degree rotation and a secure mount even on bumpy trails, the Wraptor keeps the fun going without the stops. This hands-free handlebar mount fits standard and plus-sized phones, with or without a case, as well as most handlebar sizes. We use it to find our way to coffee shops whenever we’re in a new town and to track our mileage when we’re cruising singletrack in the backcountry. The simplicity of the product is why we like it so much. You can easily rotate your phone from portrait to landscape should the need arise. We often set our phone to timelapse and get a fun summary of our day’s ride from the view of our handlebars. It secures to your bike without the use of any tools so you can switch it from bike to shopping cart to scooter. As with most NiteIze products, you can use the Wraptor for more than just it’s intended use. It was designed to securely mount your smartphone to your bike, however, you’ll be surprised at how many ways this little thing can come in handy… We’ve even seen it used to secure a phone to a stroller.Sea To Summit: Ultralight HammockThis isn’t just one of the lightest hammocks that we’ve ever used, it’s one of the lightest hammocks on the planet. When talking about gear weight, sometimes it’s hard to visualize how much something actually weighs. Last year, we made a video to show you just how light this hammock is. You can watch that video here! At just 5.4 ounces (regular size) and made from monofilament nylon fabric this hammock isn’t just light, it’s also quite strong and breathable. Like the other hammocks in the Sea To Summit lin, this one comes with a built-in water-resistant stuff sack. For the light-weight through hikers out there – you can also purchase a 15D Ultra-Sil trap and bug net to complete your backcountry setup. What we love the most about this hammock is how well it breaths. Who doesn’t love swinging in a hammock on a summer day feeling the breeze through the material? It’s even better when you don’t end up with swamp back from laying in it too long.Ocean Kayak: Malibu PedalThis pedal kayak leaves your hands free for high fives, pointing at wildlife, and fishing. Let your feet do the work (by powering the surprisingly smooth pedal driver), while you sit back in the adjustable chair and fish, look through binoculars, or just relax. We love this new take on a recreational kayak. The Malibu Pedal actually just won a 2018 Peak Gear Award from Elevation Outdoors Magazine! What makes this kayak obviously different is that you won’t be using a paddle. The new Pedal driver system allows you to pedal almost effortlessly through the water. The best part about this boat is how simple everything is. Attaching the Pedal Driver and adjusting the seat? No time. Learning how to steer without using a paddle? No Time. For us, this is the most comfortable and relaxing way to spend time on the water. The Malibu Pedal has 3 cup holders and extra room for your camping gear and pup (or child). You won’t be flipping or rolling in the kayak, but just in case there is a waterproof click and seal hatch under the seat.National Geographic Maps: Local Trails MapsObviously, we travel a lot. It’s part of the gig. The catch is, we don’t really get to spend a lot of time in each area that we go to. This can be problematic when we’re not familiar with a place and we want to make the most of our brief stint wherever it is that we are. The first thing we do is try to get a lay of the land. Where are the majority of trails situated? Where is there camping/public land? Where are the major bodies of water? Lucky for us, and all of you, National Geographic Maps has us covered. They have just released a new line of maps that are centred around specific towns. They are designed to give you information that only a local would know so you can hit the ground running and make the most of your time. The “Local Trails” line of maps is a combination of standard trail maps on the front and helpful selection of trail recommendations on the back. These recommendations vary from easy 1 mile hikes to very strenuous days hike. Each recommendation has detailed specs on length and elevation as well as a detailed elevation profile to help you track the peaks and valleys you’ll be travelling through. At a 1/2 inch = 1 mile scale you can be sure that each detail is shown for whatever trail you chose. Perhaps our favorite feature is that they show a difficulty rating for each trail segment, not just for each trail. This allows you to really know what you’re in for as you adventure into the backcountry.last_img read more