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Western States Drama, World-Record Muskie: This Week in Adventure

Clare Gallagher gets a celebratory embrace at the finish of the Western States 100; photo credit: Bryson Malone
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From the inspiring to the tragic, YETI presents ‘This Week in Adventure,’ the top news in the world of exploration and adventure to start your week.

Western States Showdown and Record

Jim Walmsley crushed his own Western States 100 record on Saturday, finishing the grueling course in the California Sierra Nevada in 14 hours, 9 minutes, 28 seconds. The monumental effort broke the course record he set last year by 20 minutes.

Just as exciting as Walmsley’s incredible run was the showdown in the women’s field. A neck-and-neck final 6 miles ultimately put Clare Gallagher over the finish line in 17 hours, 23 minutes, 24 seconds after trading the lead with Brittany Peterson, who finished just 4 minutes behind. “The last 20 miles I was running very scared,” Gallagher said.

Biologists Boat and Release Potential World-Record Muskie

Keith Wiggins-Kegg, a Mille Lacs Band DNR aquaculture biologist, holds a potential record-setting muskie caught during recent electrofishing activities on the lake; photo credit: Mille Lacs Band DNR

Biologists working on Mille Lacs Lake in Minnesota were electroshocking walleyes for research. But what turned up in their boat’s wake was a lot more compelling — a 61.5-inch muskie.

The world record for a hooked muskie, 60.25 inches caught in Hayward, Wisconsin, was set in 1949. The Minnesota state record for muskie is 56.88 inches caught on Pelican Lake in 2016. And the state record for a muskie caught using a fly rod measured 57 inches, caught on Mille Lacs Lake in 2015.

How much did this most recent muskie weigh? We’ll never know. “We didn’t have a large enough scale on board to weigh that big of a fish,” said Carl Klimah, Mille Lacs Band DNR fisheries manager, in a news release.

“A fish like this can weigh between 55 and 75 pounds, but we will never know for sure. We can say that it was huge fish and hope that someone catches it again so we know.”

New Weather Station Above 8,000 Meters

Ever wonder what the weather is like on the roof of the world? Well, now you can check it out for yourself. Recently, on Mount Everest, scientists activated the highest weather stations on the planet. The two weather stations, one installed on The Balcony (8,430 m) and the other on the South Col (7,945 m), provide real-time weather data.

“The Balcony weather station is the first weather station installed at an elevation above 8,000 m, meaning it will also be the first to sample the stratosphere as natural variations in the atmospheric boundaries change over time,” National Geographic said in a statement.

Doctor Who Assaulted 12-Year-Old on Ski Slopes Sentenced to Jail

In one of the stranger ski-related headlines we’ve seen in a while, a New Jersey doctor beat up a 12-year-old in a “ski rage” attack at Mountain Creek resort in Vernon. The assailant will spend 72 hours in jail for the attack.

According to a report in the New York Post, Dr. Samuel Caruthers, 47, of Mountain Lakes, pummelled a 12-year-old boy with a ski pole while the boy was snowboarding. Caruthers reportedly assaulted the boy after he crashed into his 10-year-old son on a bunny slope.

And to make the story even more bizarre, the judge in the case will require Caruthers to serve his time on Valentine’s Day “because it’s when the beatdown took place,” the Post reported.

Man Killed a Back Bear With Hatchet After It Attacked Him

A black bear showing predatory behavior attacked a forest pathologist named Alex Woods in British Columbia. It was the last mistake the bruin would ever make. Read the strange and detailed story from Outside Magazine.

Motorcycle Racer Killed at Pikes Peak Hill Climb

The Pikes Peak Hill Climb is a legendary race up a 14,000-foot mountain in Colorado. And Carlin Dunne was a legend of the race, having won it four times. But on Sunday, he apparently hit a small bump near the summit. His front wheel spun out, causing the fatal crash. It was the seventh death in the race’s 97-year history.

Mark This Podcast: 1st All-Women Expedition to the North Pole

Twenty years ago, 20 amateur explorers answered a newspaper ad to ski from Arctic Canada to the top of the world. They became the first all-women expedition to reach the North Pole. And now, 20 years later, ESPN dives into the endeavor on the “30 For 30” podcast. Learn more about it or listen to the 45-minute tale from Smithsonian Magazine.

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