Your daily outdoor news bulletin for April 23, the day William Shakespeare was born in 1564, much to the chagrin of every 10th grader in America:
Maryland Man Dies in Tough Mudder
A 28-year-old Ellicott City, Md. man died Sunday during a Tough Mudder in Berkley County, W.Va. on Saturday. Avishek Sengupta was treated by staff and medics on site after being pulled from a deep pool in the “Walk the Plank” aquatic obstacle – in which participants jump into water from platforms as high as 15 feet. The event held at Peacemaker National Training Center was particularly difficult for participants, 20 of whom were taken to the City Hospital of Martinsburg with injuries ranging from heart attacks to hypothermia. According to a Tough Mudder spokesperson, Sengupta is the first person to die in an event since the first one in 201o (750,000 participants in 50 events over that time frame). Sengupta’s official cause of death was drowning and was ruled accidental by the medical examiner.
West Virginia is Stressed Out
Of all the lists that West Virginia could land on, this one is a little unexpected. According to a Gallup Poll, the Mountain State is the most stressed state in the Union, narrowly beating out Rhode Island, Kentucky, Utah, and Massachusetts. Actually, none of these states make a whole lot of sense; you would think New York would at least crack the top five, but apparently WV, KY, and UT have been leading the list for the past five years. With all the beauty in WV, with the woods and mountains and rivers, you’d think it would be easy to relive some of that anxiety, but that’s before you factor in mountain top removal mining, fracking, high rates of obesity, and poverty. So there you go. No surprise on the other end of the spectrum, Hawaii is the least stressed state.
Loveland Avalanche Victim Warren Wilson Grad
One of the victims of the worst avalanche accident in Colorado history had ties to Western North Carolina. Rick Gaukel, 33, majored in outdoor leadership at Warren Wilson College and was the department’s outstanding student in 2005 and the MVP of the mountain biking team that same year. Gaukel was part of a group of six skiers and snowboarders caught in the avalanche at Loveland Pass on Saturday, only one survived the slide.