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Hercules is in town! No, we don't mean the strongman hero of myth, but rather the winter storm hitting the East Coast this morning, given the name "Hercules" by The Weather Channel. Airlines began canceling flights last night (2,647, according to FlightAware) and the bad news continues through this morning, with FlightAware's Misery Map showing 1,664 cancellations as of 7am EST this morning. Those numbers don't include delays!
Airports like Chicago-O'Hare enjoyed an early onslaught of traveler frustration yesterday evening as those cancellations and delays lit up the Departures board in red and yellow. An Instagram from comedian Deon Cole shows as much, although he has a fun take on the situation: "The airport in Chicago is insane! All this airport is missing is a DJ!"
Active Travel / Colorado Travel / California Travel / Vermont Travel / Snow Travel / Ski Travel / Skiing / → All Tags
We hope you’re enjoying the time change in your area, as we can’t help but smile—we’re kidding—as we see the sunset a whole hour earlier. It definitely feels like winter is just around the corner now more than ever, but at least there’s one thing to which we can look forward and that’s ski season. The cool weather is already just enough to get things open, as resorts, mountains, and the bunny slopes across the country are just starting to do their thing.
Out in Colorado it’s not just the manmade stuff, as a couple resorts have had already had snowfall and are open for business. If you want to brag to your friends that you’ve already hit the slopes this season check out spots like Copper Mountain and Keystone Resort—in Frisco and Keystone, respectively. Other spots out in the Centennial State include Loveland, Wolf Creek, and Arapahoe Basin, so if you’ve been waiting since the spring to get back on the mountain now’s the time to do so.
Just in time for the southern summer, there's an ultimate travel contest for anyone with more stamps in their passport than Facebook friends. Since the Antarctic is no ordinary place, it calls for no ordinary assignment. Air New Zealand and National Geographic have teamed up to find the world's most adventurous traveler to call the South Pole home for a little while, with the goal of bringing environmentalism to the forefront for rest of the world.
As one of the most fragile places on earth, Antarctica is home to not only a lot of ice and penguins, but a handful of research stations to expand knowledge of the frozen continent. The lucky winner of the Air NZ contest will work side-by-side with a few scientists and National Geographic photographer, Jason Edwards at one of these stations. The winner will learn about environmental issues hurting our planet's southern most ice mass and, ultimately, the rest of earth.
Snow Travel / Ski Travel / Skiing / Active Travel / Santiago Travel / Valle Nevado Travel / Snowboarding / Winter Travel / → All Tags
Ahhh, Valle Nevado
It's 90 degrees in New York City and in the Midwest today, and even hotter looking south. Thus, all we can think about are sno-cones, making snow angels, and perhaps a nice hottub dip after snowboarding. Sense a theme? The hottest, muggiest days of summer have us pining for the return of snow.
Of course there are regions of the world experiencing their heaviest powder days right now. It's winter in the southern hemisphere, which means places like South America and Australia/New Zealand are airing out their snowboots for a return to the slopes. Here's three summer snow destinations to consider hitting for summer 2013:
While the US was burning up in the late summer heat last year, we were atop the Andes and snowboarding in a long-sleeve shirt. Valle Nevado boasts 24 miles of runs, the newest in ski lifts and gondolas, a heli-skiing port and ski school, and a beautiful mountaintop village with a range of resorts and more powder than the nearby ski area of Portillo.
If the vertiginous vistas don't get you, the novelty of it will. This isn't the Alps; it's the freakin' Andes and that means different food (and wine!), a welcome laid-back attitude, Spanish and English spoken versus Italian, French and German, and the sense that you've really discovered a secret skiing paradise.
Location: up in the Andes mountains, about an hour-and-a-half's drive up from Santiago. Accessible by rental car, or with weekend packages and car shares out of Santiago.
Price: a day pass for the slopes starts at 29,000 CLP ($58).
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The Sony Action Cam HDR-AS15 with helmet mount, which we used to film the zip line POV below
There are plenty of Point-Of-View movie cameras on the market to choose from and they're truly the bee’s knees when it comes to taking and sharing action shots.
It wasn't all that long ago that travelers were limited to lugging around a bulky camcorder to capture the action-packed moments of a trip, and always from the sidelines. Thanks to constant advances in technology and the drive to decrease camera size as you increase functions, many action cameras now even have built-in WiFi, so you can gloat within minutes on social media.
Obviously we love the thought of POV time-lapse adventures and the like, but here are ten awesome uses of POV cameras while traveling:
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Costa Rica has done an excellent job at branding themselves as the place to head for zip lining, but there are other destinations that can strip up a steel cable and strap willing adventurers on it for a speedy ride. One such place is Park City, Utah where, instead of sending you flying through tropical tree canopies, you instead soar above snowdrifts and through the peaks of towering pines.
The "Zip Tour Adventure" at Park City's Canyons Resort comes in two flavors: one 800' zip line for shaky-kneed first-timers, and one 2,111' zip line for those who want to go all-out.
We'll let you guess which we opted for, though you can just see for yourself in our video below, shot point-of-view style using a Sony ActionCam with helmet harness.
Adventure Travel / Utah Travel / Park City Travel / Sports Travel / Olympics Travel / Bobsledding / Snow Travel / → All Tags
Two questions for you. 1: Have you ever seen the film Cool Runnings? 2: Have you ever wanted to experience 5 g and 80+ mph? We're going to assume that you've answered yes to both because you're awesome, and that is why you need to add bobsledding to your bucket list.
There aren't many places in the world that offer true bobsledding for the regular public, but one spot is right here in the United States, at Park City's Utah Olympic Park. In addition to their Nordic ski jumps and a speed skating oval, there's an Olympic-length bobsled track kept fully functional year-round; though the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics are long over, the track is still very much used for training of the US Olympic teams...and for giving the adventurous one hell of an adrenaline rush with the "Winter Comet Bobsled Ride."
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We learned something very important these last few weeks, as did US travelers hoping to head into or out of the east coast. That lesson learned: never trust a groundhog who magically predicts weather.
After Punxsutawney Phil "declared" an early arrival of spring weather, Mother Nature revolted and dumped even more snow and cold on travel plans. Headlines like the USA Today one above just keep on coming.
Even as we type this, we sit in Amsterdam as it experiences historic levels of cold for late March. It's not supposed to be 32 F with a wind chill of 25 F and 30mph winds. We didn't pack for that!
So when will winter finally take its leave for the year? Even the airline big wigs are wondering the same, as JetBlue's COO Rob Maruster tweeted this morning:
Fact: singer Josh Groban is very popular.
Fact: singer Josh Groban is so popular that his legions of devoted fans are called "Grobanites."
Fact: signer Josh Groban's Grobanites can collectively harness their enthusiasm to make magic happen, like getting a plane cleared for take off in dangerously snowy weather.
Thus: You want to have Josh Groban on your flight if you're trying to get out of New York on a winter day.
So here's what happened. Apparently Groban was all snuggled up in First Class of a Virgin America flight to LA when that blizzard hit the Big Apple. Also onboard? Kesha (and her cat), this dog named "Conan," and comedian Ahm. We'll leave you to guess who of those we followed on Twitter to find about this whole thing.
Anyway. The Virgin America flight was delayed with the weather, and Groban took to tweeting to his fanbase to pass the minutes:
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If you were planning on flying to London yesterday, you're probably scrambling to figure out how to make that happen today as the Nor'easter storm blizzard struck New York City and closed the area airports for nearly 24 hours.
We were one of the lucky onesone of those flights not marked with an angry orange "cancelled" on the departure board. And now here we sit in the 72-degree beauty of Hong Kong after Cathay Pacific flight 831 not only left JFK on time, but even managed to soar for 16 hours without turbulence.
The airports of the East Coast are returning to normal as airplanes return and salt trucks and plows work overtime, so here's hoping no one has to see a board with flight statuses like this again anytime soon.
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Good God in heaven. It's getting worse. 2,792 cancellation this morning have become 4,500 flights canceled since Thursday, with numbers still "likely to grow." As we told you this morning, the New York airports are pretty much shut down, and have now reached more than 1,800 total flights canceled today and another 640 shut down for tomorrow. In Boston Nemo is scoring a perfect 10/10 on the Weather Channel's Winter Impact Index. If you were thinking of traveling to New England in the near future, make other plans.
Also be ready to make other plans if you're traveling to any airports with airlines that have New England hubs. It's not just people trying to get to and from the East Coast any more. It's anyone who was going to pass through, or anyone who needed a plane that's currently there. Houston's already had 100 preemptive cancellations and Miami's up to 90. A "ripple effect," is how we believe the airline industry refers to it. Flightaware's cancellation page is where you want to go to see if you've been personally screwed by Nemo, or whether it's just everyone else in the country.
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Nemo's in town! No, we don't mean the clownfish from the cutesy Disney animated movie, but rather the Nor'easter storm hitting the East Coast this morning, given the name "Nemo" by The Weather Channel. Airlines have already canceled thousands of flights (2,792 according to a 9:30am update by FlightAware) and the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey have already announced that they're not taking it laying down; JFK Airport in particular has 900 tons of salt, 200 tons of sand, plenty of liquid de-icers, trucks, plows, blowers, and staff ready to beat Nemo's butt.
There's all of this focus on New York City and travelers stuck in the Big Apple's airports, which is understandable considering it's the city at the center of the world with major international flight connections, but let's not forget the scores of tired and cranky folks delayed at other airports around the country, trying to make it to and not away from the East Coast as a whole.