The drifts are unexpected. There’s easily six feet of snow, piled high in velvety waves, just a few feet shy of the cliffed-out mountain rim. They roll one after the other, like an ocean swell, for as far as I can see into the forest ahead. I assume the trail is somewhere beneath the snow. I lost the blazes a half-mile back, but the ridgeline is so narrow (maybe 10 feet wide), there’s nowhere else for the singletrack to go but forward, beneath the undulating snow. Forward is the only choice I have, too, so I put my cross-country skis back on for the one thousandth time today and ski into the drifts, sinking to my knees under the weight of my backpack.This isn’t how my backcountry ski adventure trip was supposed to go. I was supposed to spend three days backpacking the glorious North Fork Mountain Trail, a 24-mile ridgeline path that hugs the cliffy North Fork Mountain as it splits two forks of the Potomac River in West Virginia. I brought my skis along on a whim, in case I had the chance to drop into nearby Canaan Valley and sample their sublime cross-country specific singletrack. Skiing was supposed to be a distraction, not my main mode of transportation through the wilderness, but a freak spring storm dumped two feet of fresh powder across West Virginia’s Highlands.When I originally drove over the North Fork Mountain, scouting the trail at the beginning of my trip, I took one good look at the icy, snow-covered cliffs and headed straight for Canaan Valley, thinking my notion of a meandering backpacking adventure was completely sunk.I parked my truck in a ski in/ski out campsite with electricity in Canaan Valley State Park and proceeded to spend the day skiing solo along the trickling creeks of the park while listening to The Police on my headphones. I raced half a dozen deer (the deer always won) and only once thought I was entering into a “To Build a Fire” moment because I was completely lost.I could have stayed in Canaan Valley for the remainder of my trip skiing fresh powder and eating chicken wings and drinking bottles of Miller High Life at the state park lounge. It would be a beautiful vacation, but not much of an adventure. So in a moment of hubris, I packed my truck and headed back to North Fork Mountain looking to redeem the original plan. If the trail was covered in snow, then I’d ski it.That’s the beauty of the solo trip, after all. You can do what you want, when you want. I came alone so that I could change my mind on a whim. So I could sandbag it or go full tilt with no one else to consider. So I could ski and eat chicken wings or embark on a backcountry ski adventure with my trusty PBJ’s. Don’t get me wrong—I love a good “bro” trip as much as the next dude, but every once in a while I think it’s important to set forth solo for a few days when you don’t have to compromise, and the only body odor making the tent toxic is your own. Three days in the woods being selfish—what’s not to love?The juxtaposition between the Valley and the knife-edge North Fork Mountain is stark. The snow I skied yesterday in the Valley was like cotton. Soft and pillowy. Up here, along the cliffs, it’s icy and underpinned by a layer of rock. The views are incredible, but the skiing is shit. Most people mountain bike the North Fork. Others backpack it. I know one guy who’s gunning for the trail running speed record. I’ve never heard of anyone skiing it, though, and I can see why.There’s no snow at the northern trailhead when I begin my hike south, so I strap my skis to my backpack and climb the monstrous 2,000-foot vertical slog in my cross country ski boots. The blisters come fast, but as soon as the trail levels out on the ridge, the snow begins to get thicker. Soon, I’m clicking into my skis and kicking slowly beneath a canopy of hardwoods. The snow is patchy for the first few miles, so I’m constantly having to take my skis off, then put them back on, then take them off…My pack weighs roughly 75 pounds even though I’m only going for a 12-mile, overnight jaunt. I blame the obscene number of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and extra pairs of socks I felt compelled to pack.There are occasions of flow. Brief moments when the snow is deep enough and the terrain rolling enough for me to glide down a little hill, then kick-kick to another crest and glide down a little hill and repeat for maybe 100 yards. It’s unexpected and blissful. The kind of flow you get when mountain biking or cross country skiing, but never experience while backpacking. It feels like cheating, and I love it.I don’t bother making a fire when I set up camp six miles into the trail. I clear a square out of the snow big enough for my tent, then scramble to the top of a cliff to watch the sunset while eating three PBJ’s. I’ve never liked camping solo and I’m convinced every sound I hear throughout the night is a yeti. When I wake up, I see tracks surrounding my tent. I’m no Natty Bumppo, but I can tell they’re too small for a yeti. I figure something cute and furry came to visit, lured by the aroma of peanut butter wafting from my pack.The skiing is better as I hit the high point of the trail and find myself in the sea of snowdrifts, sinking to my knees with every step. Then the trail drops elevation through rhodo thickets and the snow gets thin and rocky again. I tell myself this is what I wanted. I eschewed deep powder and groomed trails for something more adventurous and difficult. This is the decision I made. I chose the harder option. This is the problem with traveling solo. Not only is there no one around to take your picture, there’s no one around to blame but yourself.Near the gravel road where I stashed my truck, the ridgeline broadens and the forest turns from rocky rhododendron fields into a canopy of tall pine trees. The grade is mellow and the forest is open without a hint of underbrush. Here, the skiing is good. Actually, it’s great. There’s a foot of untracked powder offering unlimited tree runs. You can make wide arcs through the pines for 100 yards to the bottom of the slope, then kick back up to the top and pick a different, fresh line. I drop my pack at the top of the slope, ready to ski laps until my legs turn to jelly, and look around. There’s no one else around to claim the first tracks. It’s just me and the snow. Not exactly what I expected when I planned this trip, but exactly what I wanted.
Source: Mercer, JLT Employee Benefits, PPF “Holding cashflow generative assets, such as government bonds, credit and private market debt, can help protect pension schemes during an equity shock like the one experienced in January,” he added. “We find that for cashflow-negative schemes with funding gaps to close, equity shocks can be very problematic if the scheme is relying on disinvestment to fund cash outflows.”Tunningley highlighted that hedging opportunities were available for some pension funds regardless of the future path of equity markets.“For those looking at reducing funding level risk, market conditions today look particularly favourable,” he said. “Linker dealing spreads are tight, repo can be accessed readily and cost effectively, meanwhile 10-year swap rates are back to pre-Brexit levels. Whether or not volatility persists in global markets, these are attractive opportunities for UK pension schemes.” DB funding estimates from consultants were less emphatic.JLT Employee Benefits estimated that the combined DB deficit across the private sector fell by 17% during January, from £150bn to £124bn.According to Mercer, the DB schemes attached to FTSE 350 companies were only marginally better funded at the end of January than they were at the start, as the combined deficit shrank from £76bn to £73bn.The FTSE All Share index fell 1.9% in sterling terms in January, and lost 4.1% this month up until 12 February.The yield on UK 10-year gilts rose from 1.19% on 1 January to 1.51% at the end of the month. It has since risen to 1.6%, its highest level since April 2016.How UK DB pension deficits have changed since 2015 The aggregate funding position of UK defined benefit (DB) pension schemes improved in January despite the equity market volatility that hit investors towards the end of the month.Data from the Pension Protection Fund showed the aggregate shortfall across 5,588 schemes halved during the first month of 2018 to £51bn (€57.5bn). Schemes were on aggregate 97% funded, compared to 94% at the end of December.Combined assets fell by 0.9%, but rising government bond yields pushed down liabilities by 3.9%.Andy Tunningley, head of UK strategic clients at BlackRock, said schemes had on aggregate 10% less in equities than five years ago, meaning they were better protected from stock market volatility.
Published on July 1, 2015 at 11:12 pm Contact Paul: email@example.com | @pschweds Syracuse women’s basketball assistant coach Sasha Palmer has been named to the same position at Wisconsin, per a UW release.Palmer is the second assistant on head coach Quentin Hillsman’s staff to leave this offseason. Former assistant coach Kelley Gibson officially took on the same position at Rutgers about two weeks ago.Palmer, a Watertown, Wisconsin native, has been with SU for the past two seasons as the Orange has gone 45-20 with back-to-back trips to the second round of the NCAA tournament.Prior to joining Syracuse, Palmer served as the head coach at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown for six seasons. Comments AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Related Stories Syracuse assistant Kelley Gibson leaves to take same position at Rutgers Facebook Twitter Google+
Asante Kotoko have been paired with Storm Academy in the round of 16 clash of the MTN FA Cup.The Porcupine Warriors will be making the trip to Mpraeso after a a historic trip to Tumu to face Real 24 Hours FC in the previous round of 32.Division One campaigners, Samartex, who eliminated Hearts of Oak on penalties, have been handed another Premier League side Liberty Professionals in a difficult tie in Dansoman.Leagu leaders Wa Alll Stars will host Mighty Royals.Matches will be played from Wednesday 11 May to Sunday 15 May, 2016.MTN FA Cup Round of 16 fixtures: Storm Academy Mpraeso vrs Asante KotokoWa All Stars Vrs Mighty RoyalsRTU vrs Bechem UnitedWa Rockets vrs Asokwa DeportivoElmina Sharks vrs True Democracy Okwahu United vrs HasaacasWAFA SC vrs Emmanuel FCSamartax vrs Liberty Professionals–Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @JoySportsGH. Our hashtag is #JoySports
WASHINGTON – President George W. Bush’s 2007 budget proposes spending more than $2.7 trillion, showering big increases on defense and homeland security and a smattering of other favored programs such as scientific research, education and energy. At the same time, Bush’s blueprint being submitted to Congress today proposes shrinking or eliminating 141 programs while trimming $36 billion from Medicare over the next five years. The plan for the budget year that will begin Oct. 1 lays out a path to achieving two of the president’s chief domestic goals: making his first-term tax cuts permanent – they are set to expire after 2010 – and cutting the deficit in half by 2009, the year Bush will leave office. Details about the plan come from public statements, such as Bush’s State of the Union address last week, and interviews with officials familiar with the budget proposal who spoke on condition of anonymity because they did not want to pre-empt the president’s announcement today. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card The budget’s arrival on Capitol Hill will set off months of intense debate, made even more contentious by congressional elections in November, when Democrats hope to wrest congressional control from the Republicans. While Congress is expected to reshape Bush’s proposals significantly, Republicans voiced support for the blueprint’s objectives. “The American people know that our government’s too big and it spends too much, and they expect Congress to do something about it,” newly elected House Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Senate Budget Committee Chairman Judd Gregg, R-N.H., said that the administration’s proposal to trim Medicare is a “toe in the water” in the effort to get the costs of programs like Social Security and Medicare under control before 78 million baby boomers begin to retire. “The big issue is entitlement reform, and the fact that they are proceeding in that direction is a good thing to hear,” he said. Democrats sought to portray Bush’s budget as an election-year campaign document rather than an honest effort to deal with exploding deficits. The budget proposal’s release comes only weeks before the national debt will hit the current limit of $8.18 trillion, requiring Congress to vote for an increase to keep the government operating. “This budget is just detached from reality,” Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota, the top Democrat on the Senate Budget Committee, said in an interview Sunday. “The debt is exploding, and the president isn’t facing up to it.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!