International Energy Agency Acknowledges Momentum in Wind and Solar

first_imgInternational Energy Agency Acknowledges Momentum in Wind and Solar FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg News:Renewable forms of energy such as wind and solar are likely to grab a bigger share of the market in the coming decades, generating more electricity than coal by 2040.That’s the conclusion of the International Energy Agency’s annual look into supply and demand, according to a report released on Tuesday in Paris. It estimates renewables will reap about two-thirds of $11.3 trillion in investment likely to flow to power plants over the period.The findings show cleaner forms of energy will increasingly become one of the cheapest ways nations can add electricity generators as the cost of wind and solar farms continues to plunge. The scale of the additional capacity is about the same as adding another China and India to the system today and will leave renewables supplying a quarter of the world’s of global generation by the end of the organization’s forecast horizon.“We have been seeing tremendous reductions for solar, for wind, for batteries,” said Laura Cozzi, deputy head of energy economics at the IEA. “That’s what’s going to keep happening more and more going forward. We are seeing growing electrification happening throughout the energy sector.”Electricity drew more investment than fossil fuel supply last year for the first time, marking a pivot to a future with more industry and buildings running on power instead of fuels. This trend is expected to accelerate to 40 percent of the growth in the final consumption of energy to 2040. That’s similar to the role that oil has played in the energy system over the past 25 years, the IEA said.last_img read more

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Rooftop solar proves its worth in Australian heat wave

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:The Australian Energy Market Operator has pulled out all the stops for a second day running, as extreme heat combined with coal power outages pushed the grid to the edge of its limits in South Australia and Victoria.But there is a good news story to come out of this heatwave, too, says The Australia Institute’s Richie Merzian: the success of Australia’s huge solar PV resource in shaving peak demand.“Extreme heat leads to peak demand – it’s not news. But it also leads to peak solar generation – and that’s when the grid needs it most,” Merzian told RE. “On Wednesday, you had rooftop solar shaving peak demand by over 2700MW – more than an entire fully functioning, fully operational Liddell power plant.” “If you’re able to take over 2000MW off peak demand, that’s the difference between potential blackouts,” he said. “And it’s coming at a crucial time, when our system really benefits.”And the uptake of battery storage to complement all the behind-the-meter solar – BNEF has predicted that Australian households will install 70,000 new home batteries this year alone – will extend that benefit further into the evening. And that extending peak shaving will be crucial, Merzian says, as heatwaves become more extreme, with overnight lows hovering around the 30°C mark.More: Grid held together by solar, load management, as coal fails in heat Rooftop solar proves its worth in Australian heat wavelast_img read more

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Spain’s Iberdrola moving forward with $2.7 billion, 496MW wind farm off the French coast

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Recharge:Spain’s Iberdrola has taken a final investment decision to develop the long-awaited €2.4bn ($2.72bn) Saint-Brieuc wind farm after acquiring 100% ownership of Ailes Marines – the company developing, constructing and operating the project off the French coast.The move comes after the French ministry of economy granted Iberdrola, which previously owned 70% of the consortium’s capital, the go-ahead to acquire the remaining 30% from its two partners, developer RES and finance group Caisse des Depots et Consignations.“The Saint-Brieuc project is now ready to get started on construction. All agreements are in place, the funding is secured, and contracts are signed,” said Jonathan Cole, Iberdrola’s global managing director for offshore wind, who told Recharge the 496MW wind farm will begin operations in 2023.Located around 16km off the coast of Brittany, the wind farm will be equipped with 62 Siemens Gamesa 8MW turbines, installed in a 75 square km area. Siemens Gamesa signed agreements last December to build a new turbine and blades factory on a 36-hectare site in the port of Le Havre. The facility, scheduled to start construction in mid-2020 with commissioning at the end of 2021, will be used to supply the Saint-Brieuc, Dieppe-Le Treport, and Yeu-Noirmoutier offshore wind projects.Offshore construction work is scheduled to begin with the installation of foundation piles in 2021, and to be completed in 2023 with turbines installation and the project being made fully operational.[Christopher Hopson]More: Iberdrola to build $2.7bn Saint-Brieuc offshore wind farm in France after taking full control Spain’s Iberdrola moving forward with $2.7 billion, 496MW wind farm off the French coastlast_img read more

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NextEra outlines plans to convert two Gulf Power coal units to gas

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):NextEra Energy Inc. said it plans to combine its flagship utility Florida Power & Light Co. with recently acquired Gulf Power Co. into a single electric operating system starting in 2022.The two utilities would be integrated after the North Florida Resiliency Connection project, a 176-mile, 161-kV transmission line connecting Gulf Power’s service territory in the Florida panhandle with FPL’s customers in the state’s northeast, comes online, the subsidiaries said in a joint April 2 filing on their 10-year site plan with the Florida Public Service Commission.According to the site plan, the NextEra units will focus on decarbonizing Gulf Power’s generation fleet through several changes, including solar additions and converting two coal-fired units to natural gas “that will significantly improve its emission profile.”“As a result, after accounting for these planned changes to generating units in both FPL’s and Gulf’s areas, the clean energy percentage for the larger integrated FPL and Gulf utility system is projected to climb to approximately 99%” by 2029, the utilities said.Gulf Power owns one coal plant outright, the 924-MW Crist plant in Florida’s Escambia County, and shares ownership in two other plants with utility affiliates of its former parent company, Southern Co.[Ellen Meyers]More ($): NextEra resource plan links FPL, Gulf Power, uses single name NextEra outlines plans to convert two Gulf Power coal units to gaslast_img read more

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Renewable energy tops coal, nuclear for second spot in U.S. electricity market in Q2 2020

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Renewable generation further increased in the second quarter compared to the prior year, surpassing coal and nuclear generation and becoming the second-largest provider of U.S. electric generation during the period.Utility-scale generation net of hydroelectric pumped storage fell 4.4% year over year in April through June to 932.4 million MWh, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s latest “Electric Power Monthly” released Aug. 25.Gas-fired generation climbed 3.2% versus the prior-year period to 367.6 million MWh in the second quarter, accounting for 39.4% of the net total. Coal-fired generation declined 27.5% to 152.5 million MWh to account for 16.4% of the nation’s electricity. Nuclear generation slipped 2.9% to 190.7 million MWh.Over the same period, renewable output climbed 5.3% to 211.6 million MWh, increasing the share of renewables to 22.7% compared to 20.6% in the prior year. Wind and solar generation grew 11.7% and 23.5%, respectively.For June, utility-scale generation inched 0.5% higher year over year to 353.4 million MWh. Gas-fired generation climbed 4.6% to 143.2 million MWh, while coal-fired generation declined 16.7% year over year to 65.5 million MWh. Nuclear output was down 2.3% during the same period to 67.2 million MWh. Renewable generation rose 16.2% to 74.0 million MWh as conventional hydro, wind and solar output increased.Power-sector coal stockpiles fell by 3.6 million tons during the month, below the 10-year average draw of 6.0 million tons. During the prior 10 years, June stockpile fluctuations versus the prior month have ranged from a draw of 10.3 million tons to a build of 1.8 million tons. The EIA estimates that the June stockpile level of 150.7 million tons translates to 126 days of burn and 104 days of burn, respectively, for bituminous and sub-bituminous coal, 61.1% and 49.0% above the five-year averages for the month.[Krizka Danielle Del Rosario]More ($): U.S. renewable generation retains lead over coal in Q2’20 Renewable energy tops coal, nuclear for second spot in U.S. electricity market in Q2 2020last_img read more

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Top 40: Running

first_img1. La Sportiva Vertical KLa Sportiva is billing the Vertical K as a “mountain runner,” a lightweight trail racer that is far more flexible than anything the company has produced in the past. The shoe has La Sportiva’s Morphodynamic technology, a combination of super absorbant midsole and super sticky outsole that’s very light, yet somehow, surprisingly plush. Also noteworthy is the one piece upper with no tongue. All in, the shoe weighs 6.5 ounces, which would probably make it the lightest shoe in your closet. Look for it next spring.$115; sportiva.com2. Scarpa Blitz BoaMinimalists need not read any further. This is the most cushioned trail runner Scarpa makes with a tri-density EVA midsole for plenty of shock absorption. It has a host of green features too (the shoe uses a lot of recycled materials) but the real story is the Blitz Boa System, the anti-lace lacing system. Crank the dial and the wires tighten uniformly across the top of the foot. If you’re not particular about your lacing pattern, you’ll love the simple efficiency of the Boa. If you like to micro-tune your laces, as many hard-core runners do, you may not dig the tension system. The shoes are plenty snug and our tester liked not having to stop mid-run to retie his shoes.$115; scarpa.com 3. Brooks PureGritBrooks worked with Scott Jurek to develop this minimalist trail runner that has a one piece outsole with a concave shape, which “splays out to provide a more balanced lay-down,” according to Brooks. There’s a decent amount of cushioning in the midsole and a 4mm heel to forefoot drop, so these aren’t ultra-minimalist runners, more of a compromise for runners looking for minimalist mobility but traditional comfort.  The shoe is topped off with a mesh and foam upper that hugs the foot. 8.9 ounces.$100; brooksrunning.com 17. Luna Original Running SandalInspired by the huarache sandals worn by the long-distance running Tarahumara Indians of Mexico’s Copper Canyon, Luna brings runners as close to barefoot as possible without simply going shoeless. The Luna Original features a lightweight neoprene Vibram sole for ground grip and an optional leather footbed that’s recommended to absorb moisture. You can also choose between leather and elastic laces; the latter has a more secure fit.$60; lunasandals.com16. Stem Survival OriginsDoes the world need another minimalist shoe? That remains to be seen. But our anti-minimalist tester fell in love with these kicks immediately, testing them out in increasingly demanding situations, from a day in the gym, to a road run, to an ultra-technical run in the Smokies. Stem uses an air-injected rubber for their super-grippy six-millimeter-thick sole that handled the rockiest terrain our tester could throw at them. The shoes weigh in at just over 6 ounces, and are as flexible as a contortionist.$89.99; stemfootwear.com15. Inov-8 Road X 233You want to dip your toes into the minimalist world, but you still want something that looks like a shoe. Then you want the Inov-8 Road X 233, the perfect transition shoe for runners seeking minimalist efficiency on the road. Weighing in at a scant 8 ounces, the Road X floats on your feet, enabling a quick turnover and smooth stride. Yet it can handle pavement pounding better than other minimalist offerings.$105; inov-8.comlast_img read more

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Bartram Trail Guide

first_imgThe Trail Less Traveled, A Bartram Trail GuideThere’s a long trail that hits some of the South’s best ridge-top views. Nope, it’s not the A.T. It’s the B.T.The Bartram Trail, a work in progress that runs for 110 miles through some of the loneliest and underrated terrain in North Georgia and Southwest North Carolina. “You’ll get a lot of solitude on this trail,” says Denise Davis, a Franklin-based ultra runner who trains on the Bartram and was the first to run it from end to end. “I can count on one hand the number of hikers I’ve seen on this trail over the years.”start hereMost backpackers choose to hike the trail north, starting on the Chattooga River in Georgia, and tackling the toughest terrain in North Carolina after they have their trail legs under them. Forget the speed record (see below). The terrain is predominantly rocky and steep, so plan on a solid 10 days to take on the entire Bartram. Look for yellow blazes, diamonds in Georgia, rectangles in North Carolina.trail highlightsSouthern Terminus: Russell Bridge, over the Chattooga River, on Hwy. 28. In Georgia, the Bartram runs north through the Chattahoochee National Forest for 37 miles.Ga. 0.9: Dick’s Creek Falls. A 60-foot plunge into the Chattooga River.Ga. 19.8: Martin Creek Falls, a two-tiered 35-foot falls.Ga. 22: Pinnacle Knob side trail. Take the short, but steep side trail to Pinnacle Knob, a rocky outcropping with views stretching into North Carolina.Ga. 33: Rabun Bald is Georgia’s second highest peak at 4,696 feet. A CCC-era observation tower at the top offers 360-degree views. From the top of the bald, it’s four miles to the northern terminus, a hike that crosses 15 bridges on its way to the Ga./N.C. border, where the North Carolina Bartram Trail begins.Ga. 37/N.C. 0: Georgia/North Carolina border.N.C. 3.5: Osage Overlook. After crossing Highway 106, begin the monstrous 1,000-foot ascent of Scaly Mountain (4,804 feet) in 1.4 miles.N.C. 5.5: Scaly Mountain. Peak out on Scaly Mountain and enjoy the long range views of Blue Valley.N.C. 11: Jones Knob. Take the short side trail to Jones Knob, 4,622 feet, with views back toward Scaly Mountain.N.C. 12.6: Whiterock Mountain. Follow the side trail for Whiterock Mountain for a year-round view of the rugged terrain to the south and west. You’ll also bag views as you navigate the ridgeline via the Bartram heading north.N.C. 15: Wolf Rock, elevation 4,450, another big view in the Fishhawk Mountain Range.N.C. 16.3: Random, abandoned school bus.N.C. 20: Begin the 14-mile road walk between Buckeye Branch Road trailhead and Wallace Branch Trailhead.N.C. 44: Wayah Bald. The trail high point, at 5,385 feet. A stone observation tower will get you even higher and provide a view of Franklin. You’ll cross the A.T. for the first time on the bald too (see Loop It).  Enjoy the view, because you’ve got a brutal 7.5-mile descent down to Nantahala Lake with some sections so steep, you’ll need to use your hands for purchase.N.C. 52: Nantahala Lake. You’ll skirt the edge of the highest lake in North Carolina (3,013 feet) during a half-mile road walk. You can also restock on gas-station food at Bateman’s Lakeside store.N.C. 69: Winding Stairs. Begin the tough 3,000-foot climb over 5 miles from the Nantahala River up to the summit of Cheoah Bald.N.C. 72: Bartram Falls. You’ll climb next to and through Ledbetter Creek, passing several small waterfalls on your way, including the two-tiered Bartram Falls.N.C. Northern Terminus: Cheoah Bald, 5,062 feet. The grassy bald has a 360-degree view that includes the deep and dramatic Nantahala Gorge.trail town: franklin, n.c.Cherokee used to call the area of Franklin, “Nikwasi,” or “the center of activity,” thanks to the region’s importance in tribal mythology. Today, most people enjoy Franklin because it is the exact opposite of the center of activity. The Bartram runs through the heart of Franklin, making this small outpost (population 4,000) the perfect basecamp, or restocking point, for this under-appreciated long trail.You can get a large pepperoni at Main Street Pizzeria (828-349-0979) for around $10. Outdoor 76 (outdoor76.com) has all the gear you could possibly need to make the second half of your Bartram thru-hike more comfortable than the first half.bartram trail maploop itWe all dream of a major thru-hike like tackling the 110-mile Bartram, but logistical snafu’s, jobs, life…can get in the way. If you’re relegated to weekend-warrior status, have no worry. There are a few shorter loop options that use intersecting trails to give you the Bartram experience in a fraction of the time.Cheoah-Wayah Loop: Heading north, the Bartram Trail meets the Appalachian Trail at Wayah Bald and again 30 miles later on top of Cheoah Bald. You can park at Wayah Bald and do a 50-mile loop by hiking north on the Bartram to Cheoah and heading south on the A.T. back to Wayah. You’ll bag big views from the tops of both balds, see Bartram Falls on the steep climb up Cheoah, and cruise along a series of 5,000-foot peaks while ridgehopping the A.T. back to your car. Bonus: You’ll pass through Wesser, home to the Nantahala Outdoor Center on the A.T. leg of the trip.best day hikeJones Gap to Whiterock Mountain, 4.5 miles, round tripYou’ll hike through the heart of the Fishhawk Mountains and bag the best vista in the Southern Appalachians, according to guide Burt Kornegay. “The overlook from Whiterock Mountain sits on top of a sheer rock wall. It’s like being on the prow of the Titanic, but you’re 2,000 feet above the ground,” Kornegay says.fastest on the bartram 31:55 – Time (hours: minutes) that Matt Kirk ran the 110-mile Bartram in 2011.3,000 – Number of calories Kirk consumed in the first 30 miles of trail between Cheoah and Wayah Balds, arguably the toughest portion of the trail.Dozens – Estimated number of “naps” Kirk succumbed to while pushing through the Georgia portion of the trail.the last piece of the puzzle The Bartram Trail Society is currently building trail that will cut the current 14-mile road walk in half. A privately owned inholding within the Nantahala National Forest had kept the trail club from building the trail decades ago, but Burt Kornegay discovered that no owner had claimed the 13-acre parcel of land in 150 years. Twenty years ago, Kornegay filed a quick claim on the deed, then sold the land to the Bartram Trail Society for $1. The club recently handed the land over to the Forest Service and is now building trail.“There are probably other parcels of land in the South that have gone unclaimed and nobody knows about them,” Kornegay says.william who? William Bartram was a botanist and explorer best known for walking approximately 2,400 miles over eight southern states between 1773 and 1776. He was looking for plants and probably discovered more new species in the biologically diverse Southeast than anyone else of his time. He also managed to document the Cherokee and wild landscape of the Southern Appalachians with a sense of respect and humanity that was unheard of for his time. Bartram may not be a household name today, but in the late 1700s, he enjoyed celebrity status, thanks in large part to his book, Travels, which documented his five-year exploration of the Southeast.“This is one of the great American adventures,” says Burt Kornegay. “His book was one of the most widely published and most popular travel narratives of its time.”last_img read more

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Help! How Do I Find Paddling Partners?

first_imgDear Mountain Mama,I just took a week-long whitewater kayaking course and I’m addicted! During the course I learned so many skills that I want to practice. As much as I’d like to, I can’t afford to keep taking lessons.How do I find paddling partners?Yours,Just Learning——————————————————Dear Just Learning,Welcome to the amazing community of river folks. Fortunately for you, Just Learning, kayakers are generous with their time and happy to help beginners.Some of the best ways to meet paddling partners at your level is from the courses you take. Swap contact information and make paddling plans. Also, ask your local kayak shop for the name of kayaking clubs in your area. Start attending club meetings. Often more experienced paddlers host clinics for beginners. Intermediate boaters sometimes offer to safety boat on trips intended for paddlers who are just getting started. If kayaking clubs aren’t an option in your area, kayaking forums on websites like www.boatertalk.com are a good way to connect with other boaters.Another good option is to go to the take out of a popular run. Your chances of finding someone else to kayak with are higher on weekend days. Go early in the morning, bring a good book in case you have to wait a while, and drive a useful shuttle vehicle. If you’re car is loaded with camping gear or can’t shuttle other boats, you’re not helping your chances that others will want to boat with you.Just Learning, do your part to create good kayaking karma. That means practicing your roll so others don’t have to constantly chase down you and your gear. Be gracious for any help and tips that other boaters give to you. Buying the bear, ice cream, or gas will go a long way to make a good impression in the boating community.Here’s to a summer of paddling and new friends!Yours,Mountain Mamalast_img read more

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Ski Patrol Essentials

first_imgBrent and Megan Easton know snow. The couple lives in Canaan Valley and have been members of Timberline’s ski patrol for more than seven years, skiing telemark gear through 12-hour days in a variety of conditions.“In Canaan Valley, it’ll be pow one week, rain the next and then snow again,” says Brent Easton, who logs 20 to 30 hours a week keeping skiers safe on some of the Mid-Atlantic’s most aggressive terrain.“The snow is really good here, but it’s also really cold,” he adds. Timberline is known for steep fall line skiing, with plenty of trees and bumps, as well as some killer side-country opportunities.“Ski patrol at Timberline is the best job,” says Megan, who’s also an E.R. nurse. “I’d just be skiing all day anyway, so you might as well get paid for it, and work with a really fun crew.”We asked the tele-couple to detail their favorite pieces of gear, from the layers that keep them warm during Canaan Valley’s notoriously cold winters to the skis that perform all over the mountain.NO. 1 Icelantic Vanguard | OraclesBrent: We just switched over to these skis last season. They’re sweet skis that are hand-crafted in Denver with really cool graphics. Megan: They’re great all over the mountain in all kinds of conditions, from powder to ice. $799 for vanguards, $699 for Oracles; icelanticskis.comIcelanticvanguards_FIXNO. 2 Swix Split MittMegan: It’s like a lobster mitt, with two fingers in one hole and two fingers in the other hole. This is what I wear on those really cold days. They’re insulated, but with a tough outer shell. $45; swixsport.comNO. 3 Patagonia Thermal Weight Zip HoodieBrent: The name doesn’t do this thing justice. It’s like a base layer with a built in balaclava. I wear this thing every single day I’m on the mountain. The hood fits well under your helmet and comes all the way up to your nose. It’s key. $119; patagonia.comPatagoniaThermal_FIXNO. 4 Smith Gage HelmetMegan: We both wear Smith helmets. The Gage is inexpensive, lightweight and very warm. Brent: I really would rather just go hat and goggles, but after seeing people all busted up, wearing a helmet makes good sense. $80; smithoptics.comGage_Helmet_Oxblood_RipCity_FIXNO. 5 Patagonia Down SweaterMegan: This goes on between that zip hoodie and a Gore-Tex shell. It can get really cold in Canaan Valley, but if I have this thing on, I never get chilly. I’ve had it for several years and the down is still good. $299; patagonia.comPatagoniaDownSweater_FIXNO. 6 STIO Flannel Shirt“I always wear a flannel shirt, because it’s classy,” Brent Easton told us, and we couldn’t agree more. The flannel really ties the ensemble together. BRO editors have always had a love affair with flannel. Here’s our current flannel obsession: Stio Buckhorn Bonded Flannel Shirt. It’s a bit pricey for a flannel, but it’s insulated with super soft microfleece, so it might be the warmest flannel out there. $165; stio.comF15_M_Buckhorn_Flannel_Dresden_Blue_FIXEDITOR’S PICK Urban Armor Navigator SMARTPHONE caseYour smartphone needs to be as rugged and adventurous as you. Urban Armor’s Navigator composite military-grade armor shell ensures that your phone will survive your next outing (even if you don’t). Yet it’s featherweight and provides easy access to your screen and ports. $35UAG_FIXlast_img read more

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Man Down

first_imgInjuries are bound to happen when you do stupid shit in the woods. Huck your bike off of dirt jumps long enough, or ski ice through the trees long enough, and you’re bound to make a mistake sooner or later and come out with something broken or dislocated. It’s the nature of the beast. It happens. But knowing the inevitability of injury doesn’t make that injury any less frustrating or disappointing. A good buddy of mine is currently recovering from surgery because he dislocated his shoulder one too many times in the pursuit of adventure.I’d like to say he was injured during a brave first ascent of an ice climbing route, but alas, he fell while skiing with his kids. I saw the whole thing unfold in front of me. He was going roughly 2mph on flat ground, caught an edge and fell. I pointed and laughed the way you’re supposed to point and laugh at your friends when they fall, but when he popped back up, his arm was dangling from its socket. Apparently, these things happen when you get older. Shoulders just dislocate on impact. His shoulder was messed up enough to require surgery, which demanded eight solid weeks of total rest. This sucks for him, but I’d argue that it sucks more for me. He’s my go-to ski and bike partner. Who am I going to play with for the next two months? He gets to spend several weeks drinking beer and watching super hero movies, while I’m stuck skiing and biking solo. Who’s the real victim here?man down franco donohueThere was a two-week gap between his shoulder dislocation and the surgery, so he wanted to do one last road ride before he went under the knife. We picked a chilly, but sunny Saturday to ride a 22-mile loop up and over Elk Mountain, our favorite road route close to town. A small group of us rode slowly, like a funeral procession up the blacktop. We joked about bringing a pistol and putting him down for good once we reached the summit of the climb, the way they used to put race horses down if they broke a leg. We had beers at a bar at the end of the ride, and argued about politics and super heroes the way we always do. It was fun, but kind of sad, like an Irish wake. We’ve had a couple of Whiskey Wednesdays without him since his fall, and those nights have also taken a slightly morbid tone, with us pausing for a moment of silence in the parking lot and tipping a bit of our whiskey out for him. Traditionally, you drink Jameson at a wake, but considering we live in the South (and he’s not Irish) I’ve been going with Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye instead. It’s a stellar, spicy rye made in Virginia that feels appropriate for the solemn, but still awesome weekly ski sessions. We make a point to send him pictures of us shredding the local hill and having a blast, and then laugh in unison as we think of him sitting on his couch, all doped up on Percocet. Because that’s what you do when you have a Man Down.[divider]More from BlueRidgeOutdoors.com[/divider]last_img read more

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