Daily Dirt: Wolf Ridge Burn, Outdoor Records, Roanoke Kayaker Dies, 3D-Printed Kayak

Your daily news update for March 27th, the day the first long-distance telephone call was made in 1884. It’s the Daily Dirt!


Early yesterday morning on March 26 around 1:30a.m., one of the main lodges at Wolf Ridge Ski Resort burned to the ground. Fortunately, the slopes have been closed since mid-March and no one was in the building at the time of the fire. Investigators say the cause of the fire is still unknown.

The burn comes amid a time of turbulence for Wolf Ridge, as the ski resort is in the midst of a lawsuit concerning a proposed deal to sell the property. For more information on the lawsuit, check out this article.


Marathons saw record finishers in 2013, with approximately 541,000 runners completing one of the 1,100 races around the United States. The Running USA’s Annual Marathon Report issued the report, which said completions were up from 487,000 in 2012.

Despite some deterrents and tragedy, including weather and April’s Boston Marathon bombings, runners flocked to marathons, indicating an increased invigoration for the sport. The New York City Marathon had a record year, with 50,266 finishers. This year’s Boston race has expanded to 36,000 runners, leading many to expect 2014 could be the biggest year yet.


Curt Joyce, an avid kayaker and rock climber, died last Tuesday while running the Grand Canyon.

Park rangers said that Joyce was discovered capsized and unresponsive in his kayak Tuesday night near the Lower Whitmore camp in the Grand Canyon. Members of the kayaking group tried to resuscitate Joyce with CPR. They called rescuers with a satellite phone at about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Hailing from Roanoke but currently living in Portland, Joyce was an outdoor enthusiast with an ardent knack for living life fully. Friends and family have described him as someone who worked hard to make time for his passion and love of the outdoors. He is survived by his wife Melissa. A memorial service will be held for Joyce on Saturday, March 29th at 2:00pm at South Roanoke United Methodist Church, 2330 South Jefferson St., Roanoke, VA. The Curt Joyce Memorial Fund has been set in place for those wishing to contribute their support for Joyce’s family.


Last Friday, Colin Phillips of the UK completed 151 bungee jumps in a single day, breaking the Guinness World Record. Talk about a dizzying day of inversions and contortions.

Surpassing the previous record of 105 jumps in a 24-hour period, Phillips completed the feat in just 12 hours. Jumping from a 238-foot crane in Dubai, he had originally aimed to complete 200 jumps but stopped short at 151 due to fatigue.


In the seemingly boundless world of 3D-printing, engineer Jim Smith has debuted the world’s first 3D-printed kayak. The boat took more than 1,000 hours over 42 days to construct, measuring in at 16 feet 8 inches long.

The colorful construction is made of 28 color-coded ABS plastic parts, which are connected by thermoplastic inserts and a small amount of caulk. Check out Smith’s process here.

Places to Go, Things to See: