FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:EDF Energy, part of French utility EDF, will cease power generation at its Cottam coal-fired power plant in Nottinghamshire, Britain, on Sept. 30, as it will no longer be economically viable to run, the company said on Thursday.The 2-gigawatt (GW) plant has been running for more than 50 years, but was designed to operate for 30 when it was built.“Today’s decision reflects the challenging market conditions over the last few years and the context of the drive to decarbonise electricity generation,” [EDF] said in a statement.EDF Energy operates the Cottam and the 2-GW West Burton A coal power stations in north Nottinghamshire.West Burton A has power capacity agreements in place for three of its four units until the end of Sept. 2021, which pay energy suppliers to ensure there is enough electricity generation capacity to meet peak demand. “EDF Energy is committed to honouring these agreements and will review the future of that station beyond that date,” the company said.More: EDF Energy to end power generation at Cottam coal plant in Britain EDF Energy to close one of its last coal plants in U.K.
Declining price of Indonesian coal could be bad news for U.S. exporters FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Jakarta Post:The Indonesian coal price reference (HBA) has continued to decline this month due to shrinking market demand to US$ 81.86 per ton, or a month-to-month (mtm) decrease of 7.86 percent.Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Ministry spokesperson Agung Pribadi said that East and West Asian countries, especially China and India, were currently limiting their Indonesian coal imports.The Indonesian Coal Mining Association (APBI) estimated last year that Indonesia’s annual coal exports to China was around 110 to 120 million tons for a market share of 25 percent, making China its biggest coal importer.The energy ministry had observed a declining trend in Indonesia’s coal price since October 2018, when coal was $100.89 per ton. It then fell to $97.90 per ton in November and $92.51 per ton in December. The negative trend continued this year, dropping to $92.41 per ton in January, $91.8 per ton in February, $90.57 per ton in March and then to $88.85 per ton in April.The government has targeted a national coal production similar to the actual output in 2018 of 485 million tons, of which 25 percent was for domestic market obligation (DMO).More: Indonesia coal price dips nearly 8% on dwindling demand
Renewable generation in Germany outpaces coal and nuclear combined in first half of 2019 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Independent:Renewable sources of energy produced more electricity than coal and nuclear power combined for the first time in Germany, according to new figures.Solar, wind, biomass and hydroelectric power generation accounted for 47.3 per cent of the country’s electricity production in the first six months of 2019, while 43.4 per cent came from coal-fired and nuclear power plants.Around 15 per cent less carbon dioxide was produced than in the same period last year, according to figures published by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) in July.Black coal use fell by 30 per cent compared to the first half of 2018, and lignite – a coal-like substance formed from peat – fell by 20 per cent. However, over the same period, electricity production by natural gas rose by 10 per cent.Professor Bruno Burger, of the Fraunhofer ISE, said the drop in coal use was the result of a market-driven “fuel switch” from coal to gas. He attributed the switch to low gas prices combined with a rise in the cost of carbon dioxide allowances in the EU Emissions Trading System.Renewables accounted for 40 per cent of Germany’s electricity consumption in 2018, according to government figures.More: Renewable energy providing more electricity than coal and nuclear power combined in Germany
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享New York Times:Usually it’s the world’s major oil-producing countries that step in when a big drop in prices roils the oil market. But these are not normal times.On Friday, a day after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers led by Russia are set to hold their own meeting, representatives of the Group of 20 wealthy nations are expected to hold a virtual conference to try to stem the recent plunge in energy prices.The volatile oil markets of recent weeks threaten to bankrupt energy companies across the world, causing enormous job losses and threatening financial institutions that have backed the industry.The pandemic has played a critical role in this drama, but there is also a lot of jockeying among the three oil superpowers: Saudi Arabia and Russia, two longtime petro-rivals, and the United States, whose rising prominence as an oil exporter has disrupted the industry.It is far from clear that the G20 meeting will calm volatile markets. The fact that the meeting is occurring, though, may signal the beginning of a very different approach that could be a first step in restoring confidence.“A lot of countries, including those with strong free-market beliefs and credentials, seem to be coming over to the view that the global oil business needs to be managed to an extent, at least from time to time,” said Bhushan Bahree, an executive director at IHS Markit, a research firm.[Stanley Reed, Clifford Krauss, Andrew E. Kramer and Ben Hubbard]More: Oil Markets Are a Mess. Can World Leaders Straighten Them Out? An existential moment for oil companies around the world
Illustration by Wade MickleyChina is not only one of the worst human rights offenders in the world, but its leaders are also just as horrible toward the environment.A boycott would be an effective way to send a message to the Chinese government from countries like ours, who will be the source of billions of dollars worth of tourism and commercial profit.—W. Loy, Richmond, Va.—————The Chinese Government is not only severely repressive toward its own citizens, but it is also incredibly apathetic to human rights. The Darfur genocide is being funded directly by the Chinese government’s purchases of oil from Sudan. Over 400,000 Darfuris have been murdered, yet China is continuing to fund the paramilitary regime’s atrocities for economic gain. I cannot shut my ears to the oppressed, and I will not take part in anything glorifying China and its government until they remove their funding of mass murder. Then perhaps we can celebrate their achievements for humanity.—Drew Miller, Johns Island, S.C.—————The only reason I support a boycott of the opening ceremonies is in order to bring attention to the freeing of Tibet. If we truly want to free Tibet, now is the time to press the Chinese government. I don’t believe the extra attention to the boycotting of the Olympic Games or ceremonies will actually free Tibet, but the attention will give viewers worldwide a better idea of what Tibetans have had to endure for way too long.—Brian R. Davenport, Charleston, S.C.—————There are times when human rights trump the importance of large-scale sports sponsored by global corporations. The Olympics has already been taken away from the athletes and turned into a platform for commercialism. The issue of freedom for peaceful Tibet has greater moral weight than does participating in a spectacle that has already been politicized by China. However, each athlete has the personal freedom to decide what is right.—Freeman Allan, Crozet, Va.—————Words mean nothing to the Chinese government. Only actions that express our willingness to place our values of democracy and freedom of expression ahead of our desire for personal success or profit will send a message to China that their actions will have real consequences. Who wants to watch a sanitized, government-edited version of the Olympics anyway?—Thomas Schaad, Arlington, Va.—————The Olympics are not supposed to be political. If the U.S. government, other governments, or other groups have a concern about China, they should voice it directly to them rather than through an international celebration of sport.—Mark Wenger, Williamsburg, Va.—————We shouldn’t boycott anything. The spirit of the Olympics is to put aside those differences and celebrate our citizens and their abilities.—Danielle Cain, Charleston, S.C.—————The Olympic movement was founded on peaceful celebration among nations. Dragging politics into this arena is disgusting to me. I hate to see athletes used as pawns in some political game. Let sport be sport; let politics be politics.—Mike McCall, Hudson, N.C.—————The games are about the athletes and the sport…not the place the people go to compete in the sport. How do China’s politics and our view of them ruin the sprinter that has trained hard or the diver that just made the team? Don’t let our politics ruin our athletes’ dreams of gold!—Matt Marcus, Atlanta, Ga.—————You can’t punish those who have worked all of their life to achieve the goal of being Olympic athletes because of the abuses of the country sponsoring the games. We did that when the games were in Russia, and what did it change?—Joe McAlister, Greer, S.C.—————The U.S. needs to quit meddling in foreign affairs that don’t directly affect us. I think the world is a little sick of us playing global cop when it suits us.I don’t think we should turn a blind eye to China’s human rights violations by any means, but an Olympic boycott is over the top. To insult China on the world stage would have terrible consequences in terms of future relations with the emerging superpower.—Frank Palmieri, Charlotte, N.C.—————Our government singlehandedly destroyed the hopes and dreams of our athletes in 1980 with the boycott of the Moscow Olympics. Even something as simple as boycotting just the opening ceremonies could backfire on our kids. I want us to stay out of the fray.—Joan Haney, Dingmans Ferry, Pa.ONLINE RESULTS: 55% NO | 45% YES
EarthTalk®E – The Environmental MagazineDear EarthTalk: What exactly is the federal government’s Recreational Trails Program and is it true that it’s on the chopping block? — Randy Caldwell, Lyme, NHThe Recreational Trails Program (RTP) is a federal assistance program that helps states pay for the development and maintenance of recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both non-motorized and motorized recreational trail uses. The Congressionally mandated program was in jeopardy due to budget cuts, but its backers in Congress announced this past July that RTP would be retained to the tune of $85 million per year as part of the new surface transportation agreement law called MAP-21. Minnesota Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar was instrumental in the retention of RTP by introducing it as an amendment to MAP-21 as a stand-alone program with its own dedicated funding.Overall, MAP-21 allocates $105 billion for fiscal years 2013 and 2014 to improve safety, reduce traffic congestion, maintain infrastructure and improve the overall efficiency of highway transportation. RTP is one of several provisions of MAP-21 that bolster transit, bike and pedestrian programs across the country.Funding for the RTP portion of MAP-21 comes from a portion of the motor fuel excise tax collected across the country from non-highway recreational fuel use in snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, off-highway motorcycles and off-highway light trucks, and comes out of the Federal Highway Trust Fund. Half of the RTP funds are distributed equally among all 50 states, and half are distributed in proportion to the estimated amount of non-highway recreational fuel use in each state. Individual states are responsible for administering their own RTP monies and soliciting and selecting qualifying projects.That said, the use of RTP funding is restricted to maintenance and restoration of existing trails, development and rehabilitation of trailside and trailhead facilities and trail linkages, purchase and lease of trail construction and maintenance equipment, construction of new trails, acquisition of easements or property for trails, and assessment of trail conditions for accessibility and maintenance. RTP funding may not go toward property condemnation (eminent domain), construction of new trails for motorized use on federally managed public lands or for facilitating motorized access on otherwise non-motorized trails.States must allocate 30 percent of their RTP funding for motorized trail use, 30 percent for non-motorized use, and the remaining 40 percent for so-called “diverse” (motorized and non-motorized) trail use. Projects may satisfy two categories at the same time, giving states some flexibility in how to allocate their share of the RTP pie. States can use up to five percent of their funds to disseminate related publications and operate educational programs to promote safety and environmental protection related to trails.Trail lovers across the country are thrilled that Congress extended RTP, which began in 2005 with a $60 million allocation and was increased each of the following years until it plateaued at $85 million in 2009. The continuation of the $85 million allocation was also good news to those who feared that if it wasn’t cut entirely it would be scaled back significantly. With new funding for the next two years, Americans can look forward to the creation of many new trails and continued maintenance of existing ones.CONTACTS: RTP info, www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recreational_trails/index.cfm; American Trails overview of RTP funding, www.americantrails.org/rtp.EarthTalk® is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E – The Environmental Magazine ( www.emagazine.com). Send questions to: [email protected] Subscribe: www.emagazine.com/subscribe. Free Trial Issue: www.emagazine.com/trial.
Check out these outdoor sports festivals to mix a little recreation with your music:Dominion RiverrockMay 17-19Richmond, Va.dominionriverrock.comBasics: A full weekend of adventure sports action takes place on the banks of the James River in downtown Richmond. From central grounds on Brown’s Island, you can run, ride, paddle, and climb in a variety of comps and races, while live tunes are blaring in the background and big crowds are browsing gear booths from the outdoors industry’s best.Bands: After long days of play, dance to the expansive instrumental funk of Soulive, the gritty guitar licks of New Orleans’ Cajun rock ace Anders Osborne, and the classic reggae of Toots and the Maytals.Set Break Escape: You’re here to indulge in as much adventure as possible. Friday features a 5K mud run and the start of the two-day Boulder Bash, while Saturday is stacked with the James River Scramble 10K Trail Run, the Urban Assault Mountain Bike Race, an adventure race, and kayak and stand-up paddleboard races for paddlers. Sunday includes a climbing speed comp, a short track bike race, and much more.FIVE MORE…Trail DaysMay 17-19Damascus, Va.Do hikers know how to party? You’ll believe it when you see it at this longstanding celebration of the Appalachian Trail. Thru-hikers reunite to trade trail stories, march in a parade, get goofy in a talent show, soak each other with water guns, check out a variety of gear booths, and sip a little moonshine. It all goes down in Trail Town, U.S.A., where you can access the A.T., Iron Mountain Trail, and the family-friendly Virginia Creeper.traildays.usVirginia Mountain Bike FestivalMay 24-27Stokesville, Va.This fest brings together regional fat tire freaks for a long weekend of hang time at the Stokesville Campground in the George Washington National Forest. During the day there is plenty of epic riding for all levels, including stints on the legendary Southern Traverse, Reddish Knob, and the North River Gorge Trail. At night, you’ll rest your legs over hot meals and cold beers by the campfire.mtntouring.comMountain Sports FestivalMay 24-26Asheville, N.C.This mini Olympics-style fest brings together a series of competitions around Asheville—this year highlighted by trail and road running races, a triathlon, cyclocross, disc golf, ultimate Frisbee, and dodge ball. There’s also plenty of action for kids. Plus, a central area at Carrier Park has gear booths and tunes from regional musicians.mountainsportsfestival.comRiver RocksOctober TBDChattanooga, Tenn.This 10-day fest celebrates the abundance of outdoor opportunities in and around Chattanooga with a range of events, including trail running, mountain biking, and paddling races, climbing compass, a range of outdoor clinics, guided hikes, and mellow beginner-friendly activities. Plus, there’s plenty of family friendly fun by the river, including live music.riverrockschattanooga.com Go Outside FestivalOctober 18-20Roanoke, Va.With main festival grounds located along the Roanoke River at the River’s Edge Sports Complex, the event branches off to include some of the most adventurous terrain in the surrounding valley. In addition to live tunes and local beer, there are guided hikes and bike rides, as well as trail running and cyclocross races, ultimate Frisbee, and paddling in the Roanoke River Gorge.roanokegofest.comCheck out the rest of our Outdoor Festival Guide!
The Students’ Point-of-ViewHow has the outdoor program at Montreat helped you grow over the course of your attendance? Daniel Harmon: The Outdoor Education (OE) program has helped me grow by forcing me to become the leader I knew I could be, but was afraid to turn into. Through the constant class content and required leading of small groups, I have found the courage to accept that I am a person that can not only handle leadership, but also make a difference in the lives of those I lead.Jamie Sullivan: Since being enrolled at Montreat College as an Outdoor Education and Outdoor Ministry major I have been particularly challenged to develop my teaching and leading skills. I have not only had the chance to learn the philosophies but also been able to go out into the community and practice them. Montreat College has many partnerships with local schools and camp programs in the area which provides us as students a chance to practice our newfound skills on others in a safe environment. This has been particularly helpful as me as I can receive feedback and adapt my skills and philosophy before I take on a full time role after graduation.Kara Smith: This program has helped me grow spiritually first and foremost. I’ve had the opportunity to grow in my faith drastically and it’s because my professors are great leaders in that aspect and always incorporate faith and learning. Second, my ability to be an effective teacher is where I’ve also grown a lot. From needs assessment to preparing and implementing lessons I feel confident in my teaching skills. Nestled in the mountains of western North Carolina, Montreat College is at the base of some of the Southeast’s most iconic adventures. But location aside, the outdoor education curriculum at the college is top-notch. As one of the final two schools representing in the Championship round of our Top Adventure College Tournament, we spoke with Dr. Brad Daniel, Chair of the Outdoor Education Department at Montreat, and a few of his students to get a better idea about what the college has to offer the adventurous spirit.What makes Montreat an ideal school for adventurous students?BD: Montreat is a contraction of “mountain retreat” and it is aptly named. Located 13 miles east of Asheville, NC., we are close to four wilderness areas, four N.C. state parks, several rivers that provide great whitewater paddling opportunities, and numerous rockclimbing locations including Linville Gorge. Our campus sits at the beginning of a 14-mile trail/road that ascends to the top of Mount Mitchell, the highest point east of the Mississippi River. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is only an hour away.How long has Montreat had an outdoor program?BD: The outdoor program started in the mid-70s at what was then a junior college known as Montreat-Anderson. The program started as a two year A.S. Degree in Outdoor Recreation and a 20-day Christian-oriented Outward Bound-type wilderness expedition called Discovery. The first Discovery expedition went out in 1976. In 2016 will celebrate our 40th year of wilderness programming, making it one of the longer college-sponsored extended wilderness programs in the United States.What outdoor-related degrees, majors, and minors does Montreat offer?BD: Currently, our students can major in Outdoor Education or Outdoor Ministry at the undergraduate level. Our minors include Outdoor Education, Outdoor Ministry, Leadership, and Adventure-Based Counseling. At the graduate level, we offer a Master of Science in Environmental Education. We also offer a certificate in Wilderness Leadership. Through the coursework students can move towards being certified through the Wilderness Education Association, the Association for Challenge Course Technology, and the state of North Carolina’s Environmental Education Certification Program.
Tomorrow, Boo Ray, native of Western North Carolina and wayward country troubadour, is set to release Sea of Lights, his most recent record, on vinyl.Released digitally last year, Ray has teamed with Kindercore Vinyl, based in Athens, Georgia, for this project. Kindercore is pushing the vinyl technology envelope. with a goal of offering vinyl pressings free of petroleum products within the foreseeable future. Sea of Lights is the very first pressing from Kindercore, and the collaboration between the company and Boo Ray is set to continue, as a series of duet singles is already in the can and ready to be released.I recently chatted with Boo about sharing tape machines with Bob Dylan, tattoos, and working with Kindercore.BRO – You recorded Sea of Lights on the same machine Bob Dylan used to record Nashville Skyline. That’s good company, right?BR – You bet. I believe in the ghost in the machine. My producer and great friend, Noah Shain, got that old Ampex 300 and called me as soon as he had it up and running. These old tape machines are quite the contraptions. They’re all pulleys, levers, and springs, and it takes half an alchemist to really operate one well. It’s just not about the tape machine, though. It’s about the relationship between the engineer/producer has with the tape machine and the entire signal chain. API consoles and Ampex tape machines were apparently made for each other and are a great pairing. These records I’m making with Noah are designed on the front end to be manufactured and listened to on vinyl.BRO – How did you develop a relationship with Kindercore?BR – I’ve been kicking around Athens on and off for years and Kindercore has always been real cutting edge with acts like Maserati and Japancakes. Kindercore and I are Athens townies.BRO – What can you tell me about the duet series you have planned?BR – It’s an A-side/B-side vinyl single collaboration series with other singer/songwriters. So far, the way it’s going down is the A-side is an original song I write with the other singer and the B-side is a cover song we do together. It’s getting interesting. Stylistically, it’s allowing me to do some things a little outside what you’d expect to hear on one of my records. We’ve covered some interesting songs and written songs I am really proud of. So far, I’ve finished collaborations with Elizabeth Cook, Lilly Winwood, Critter Fuqua, Wade Sapp, and Rachel Rowland. We’ve got a few others we’re excited to announce. These singles begin releasing sometime real soon.BRO – We are featuring “Sea of Lights” on this month’s Trail Mix. What’s the story behind the song?BR – That song’s the relief I needed as my life was falling apart just when I got the call from Noah Shain to come to Los Angeles and make a new record. It’s about my ongoing love affair with Los Angeles and the long haul. You know, you just can’t tell what’s around the corner. You never know what worse luck your bad luck saved you from.BRO – I’ve noticed you sport two full sleeves. What was your first tattoo? Any plans for your next?BR – Yeah, I am pretty covered in tattoos. My first couple of big tattoos were from Freddy Negrete and Marcus Kuhn. And, yes, I am scheming on some new ink. Mastering engineer/record producer Pete Lyman and I are fixing to get tattoos at Chris Saint Clark’s Kustom Thrills. I’m an official endorser of Olathe Boot Company and they sent me the stitching design that goes on their boots. I’m going to have the Olathe toe medallion stitching pattern tattooed on the tops of my feet.You can check out all of Boo Ray’s tattoos and tunes from Sea of Lights tonight and tomorrow around Nashville.For more information on Boo Ray, the new record, or when he will be hitting a stage near you, check out his website.And if you want to learn more about the cool things going on at Kindercore Vinyl, surf here.
Zip down the gorge. You’ve probably seen it on a reality show before: people strapping themselves into a harness and zooming across landscapes. Try it yourself at Gravity Zip Lines in Lansing. Guided by the pros, soar across 1.5 miles of Mountain State beauty at 200 feet above the ground. Snowshoe Mountain: Photo Courtesy of West Virginia Tourism Office When they named the Gauley the “Beast of the East,” they weren’t kidding. It’s not for the faint of heart, but if you think you’re ready, there is no better whitewater adventure in the world during Gauley Season. In just 24 miles, you’ll pound through more than 100 rapids in an all-day Gauley Marathon. The Gauley season runs from mid-September to mid-October. In 2018, Governor Jim Justice made Gauley Season an official fifth season in West Virginia. Snowshoe Mountain: Photo Courtesy of West Virginia Tourism Office Nelson Rocks Via Ferrata: Photo Courtesy of West Virginia Tourism Office You can hike on the Appalachian Trail in West Virginia via the footbridge that crosses the Potomac River at Harpers Ferry. While only 4 miles of the Appalachian Trail lie in West Virginia proper, you’ll experience a wide variety of terrain that will prepare you to thru-hike Georgia to Maine. Heavenly vistas and mountain views Gauley: Photo Courtesy of West Virginia Tourism Office Located 13 miles outside of Morgantown, Coopers Rock is one of the West Virginia’s most popular travel destinations. The forest’s trails lead you out to several overlooks that offer beautiful views of the Cheat River Canyon. Go at sunset and watch the sun dip below the mountains and paint the sky deep purple, pink and blue. You’ll never want to leave. Take a trip back to an era when steam-driven locomotives were an essential part of everyday life. Catch a ride on Cass Scenic Railroad State Park’s 4.5-hour train ride to the overlook at Bald Knob, the third highest point in West Virginia. From there, you’ll have plenty of breathtaking views and amazing photos. Spruce Knob: Photo Courtesy of West Virginia Tourism Office At the tip of the Eastern Panhandle where the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers meet, you can capture the famous panoramic view of Harpers Ferry from Maryland Heights, the highest mountain overlooking the historic town. Snowshoe Mountain: Photo Courtesy of West Virginia Tourism Office Spruce Knob in Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area is the highest point in the Mountain State, standing at 4,863 feet above sea level. One thing that’s great about the view from Spruce Knob is how accessible it is. Hike 14 miles from the base to the summit for a longer hike, or just drive to the top. Head up to the parking lot, and it’s just a quick 0.25-mile jaunt to the observation point. Walk just about 1⁄3 of a mile across level terrain on Lindy Point overlook trail in Blackwater Falls State Park for a massive payoff— the view of Blackwater Canyon below you. Whether you’re hiking in the summer or skiing in the winter, surrounded by rock formations and looking over a canyon that seems endless, the overlook at Lindy Point creates an experience that’s filled with the magical, nature-filled solitude that West Virginia is known for. Gravity Zip Lines in Lansing: Photo Courtesy of West Virginia Tourism Office Check out the Thorny Mountain Fire Tower at Seneca State Forest. The 65-foot tower provides 360-degree views of lush forestland. Pictures of the lofty tower as well as the views from its balcony will surely spark comments of curiosity and delight. Nearly 50 state parks and forests. Outdoor adventure of all kinds can be found all over the state, from hiking trails and climbing rocks.Longest single-span steel-arch bridge in the Americas. Just outside Fayetteville, the New River Gorge Bridge stands at almost 900 feet high and nearly ¾ of a mile long.Underground 400-million-year-old ocean. Ultimately shifted by geological forces and driven underground, the Iapetus Ocean lies underneath the breathtaking Appalachian Mountains.World’s first public spa. Opened in Berkeley Springs in 1756 and became one of George Washington’s favorite spots. You can still take a dip in the same healing mineral waters today! Photo Courtesy of West Virginia Tourism Office Every year on June 20th, the Mountain State celebrates a very special day – its birthday! This year West Virginia is turning 156 years old. How much do you know about the east coast’s best-kept secret? If you’re nervous, don’t be. They start small with 500-foot warm up runs, so get your bearings straight before you tackle the longer tracks and increase speed to around 60 miles per hour. The cherry on top is AdrenaLine, the longest zipline on the East Coast. And so much more! Canaan Valley: Photo Courtesy of West Virginia Tourism Office New River Bridge at sunset Scenery Seneca Rocks: Photo Courtesy of West Virginia Tourism Office “Via Ferrata” is Italian for “by way of iron,”’ and the Via Ferrata at NROCKS is a mile-long guided climb with fixed anchors along double-fin rocks in the Appalachian Mountains. Once you start, you are always clipped into a safety system. Just be ready for a short hike before taking on the first of several rock faces. Downhill skiing is one of the most popular winter sports in West Virginia. The Mountain State is packed with some of the best ski resorts in the mid-Atlantic. Snowshoe Mountain Resort is a snowsports mecca, with a summit of 4,848 feet and an average of a whopping 180 inches of snowfall per year! A good place for beginners is Oglebay Resort or night ski at Winterplace. This complex of limestone passages in Organ Cave is huge– more than 45 miles of mapped passages, with an additional 200 “leads” of passages that haven’t been mapped or surveyed yet. It’s the second most extensive commercially tourable cave in the East. For a truly wild, wonderful adventure, venture to NROCKS Outdoor Adventures just down the road from Seneca Rocks in Circleville. While you’re there, climb the Via Ferrata, a unique form of rock climbing perfect if you want something different and exciting— and you don’t need any climbing experience. The New River Gorge Bridge just outside Fayetteville is almost 900 feet high, and nearly 3⁄4 of a mile long– making it the longest single-span steel-arch bridge in the Americas. You can walk under this iconic bridge year-round with Bridge Walk. These guided trips safely secure you to tethers and harnesses, so you can stroll across the catwalk underneath the bridge. West Virginia adventures Photo Courtesy of West Virginia Tourism OfficePhoto Courtesy of West Virginia Tourism Office Join adventure seekers from across the country – and around the world as the Spartan Race returns to West Virginia this year! Held at world-renowned Summit Bechtel Reserve, it’s an event for adventure seekers, friendly competitors, and even kids! Plan your trip to West Virginia and experience our state’s scenic Capital City of Charleston and famous whitewater country found in the southern mountains of West Virginia. Canaan Valley Resort State Park’s Hickory Dining Room offers daily breakfast, lunch and dinner options along with traditional holiday buffets. The dining room’s glass walls present a panoramic view of the valley 3,200 feet above sea level in the Potomac Highlands. Surrounding mountains, including the scenic Bald Knob overlook, extend upward an additional 1,000 feet. Organ Cave: Photo Courtesy of West Virginia Tourism Office A fisherman’s dream, West Virginia is home to arguably the best public lands for fishing. From fly fishing to our famous trout, there’s plenty to reel in from our 20,000+ miles of streams and 100+ fishing lakes. Whether you’re an expert angler or on a family fly fishing trip, Almost Heaven has something for everyone. Spartan Race: Photo Courtesy of West Virginia Tourism Office Gauley: Photo Courtesy of West Virginia Tourism Office West Virginia is home to… When you’re at Snowshoe Mountain everywhere you look is an incredible view whether covered in snow or lush greenery. Snowshoe covers 11,000 acres in the Appalachian Mountain Range and includes the second highest point in the state at 4,848’ elevation so you know you’re about to be treated to some stunning views. From charming views of the Village at Snowshoe to incredible views while your skiing or snowboarding down the mountain there’s never a dull moment at this mountain resort. In the summer, visit Shavers Lake, Snowshoe’s best-kept secret or hit the trails via horseback over 11,000 acres of unspoiled, gorgeous Appalachian wilderness.