Friday, February 17, 2017

Save Red Rock!

The American Alpine Institute just received the following email from Save Red Rock:
Dear Friends,

THIS IS URGENT: The time to take action is NOW!
Save Red Rock is fighting to keep Red Rock rural and the critical vote is upon us. Clark County Commissioners will have a public hearing onWednesday, February 22nd at 9:00am and we need you there to tell them to VOTE NO! If Commissioners change the developer’s rural zoned property to allow high density, he proposes to build a city of over 14,000 residents, businesses, and commercial institutions on the mountain just south of the Red Rock Canyon visitor's center.


Clark County Commissioner Hearing
Wednesday, February 22, 2017, 9:00a.m.
500 S. Grand Central Parkway
Las Vegas, NV 89155

Show up and wear red or we will have Save Red Rock t-shirts available. Please take action now because we cannot win this without you.

Join the Movement: 
Share the Email
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram
Join the #12daysofredrock challenge
Tell 5 neighbors/friends to sign the petition to KEEP RED ROCK RURAL.

Call Commissioners:

Email Commissioners:

Tag Commissioners (Twitter):
Commissioner Chis Giunchigliani: @Giunchigliani 
Commissioner Steve Sisolak: @SteveSisolak 
Commissioner Susan Brager: @SusanBrager  
Commissioner Marilyn Kirkpatrick: @MKNVspeaks 
Commissioner MaryBeth Scow: @MaryBethScow 
Commissioner Larry Brown: @larrybrown and @LB4NV
Commissioner Lawrence Weekly: @LawrenceWeekly
Thank You!
for everything you're doing for Red Rock and for putting up with the information overload in the last few days leading up to the meeting as we try to get the word out to all the people who love Red Rock Canyon.  The support has been overwhelming and encouraging. You're the best group of people EVER! Here we go! For the canyon. For our future.

Goofy Goes Rock Climbing

Every now and again, a cartoon character engages in some type of climbing. Here's a funny little piece about Goofy, about Wild Country Friends, quick draws, face climbing and all sorts of shenanigans.

--Jason D. Martin

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 2/16/17


--ABC 6 is reporting that, "a Wyoming man has died after being buried by an eastern Idaho avalanche. According to the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office, at about 11:40 a.m., Thursday, BCSO deputies along with Lincoln County Wyoming Search and Rescue, and a crew from Air Idaho Rescue responded to a report of an injured man caught in an avalanche while riding his snowmobile." To read more, click here.

Leif Whittaker

--AAI guide and company manager Jason Martin will be interviewing Leif Whitaker about his new book, My Old Man and the Mountain on Chuckanut Radio Hour. Leif is the son of Jim Whittaker, the first American to summit Mt. Everest. Leif's book chronicles a climb of Mt. Everest, following his father's footsteps. To read more, click here.


--There has been a major rockfall event on the Whitney Portal Road. To read more, click here.

--Lake Tahoe News is reporting that, "Highway 50 in the Kyburz area will remain closed indefinitely due to multiple mudslides. This means the main route between the South Shore and Placerville is off limits at least as a thoroughfare. It is possible to access some points along the route from each direction. For example, Sierra-at-Tahoe is open. Crews are working on three significant slides in a 12-mile area along the American River Canyon, along with other minor slides." To read more, click here.

Desert Southwest:

--Red Rock Rendezvous is a world-class climbing event. There will be climbing instruction, competitions, slideshows, games and parties. This is one event that just gets better every year. AAI guides will be there to support the event and will be available for guided climbs or instructional programs both before and after the Red Rock Rendezvous. To learn more, click here.


--CBS News is reporting that, "Three backcountry skiers were caught in an avalanche in Colorado’s Garfield County on Tuesday afternoon, CBS Denver reports. One did not survive and one skier escaped and was able to get help. A search for a third skier continues." To read more, click here.

--The Aspen Times is reporting that, "Colorado experienced its fourth skier fatality of the 2016-17 season when 26-year-old Ricardo Cohen died at Breckenridge Ski Resort on Friday, Feb. 10." To read more, click here.

--News Channel 13 is reporting that, "A climber at Garden of the Gods who fell 15 feet had to be rescued on Sunday afternoon.Rescue crews told KRDO NewsChannel 13 that when they arrived, the climber was wedged in between a rock, which he had stopped his fall." To read more, click here.

--The Denver Post is reporting that, "As the outdoor industry leans on Utah, promising to yank the lucrative Outdoor Retailer trade shows out of Salt Lake City if the state’s leaders don’t abandon what industry captains call an “attack on the sanctity of public lands,” Denver is ramping up efforts to establish Colorado as the nation’s public-lands-loving epicenter for all things outdoors." To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--A 46-year old woman was killed after a collision with a snowboarder at Mohawk Mountain in Connecticut. To read about the fatality, click here.
--Matthew Horner, and ice guide on the East Coast, was seriously injured in a fall on February 8th. A Go Fund Me site has been set-up to help with his recovery. To read more and to donate, click here.

--The Times Union is reporting that, "A 58-year-old expert skier was killed after striking several trees on a double black diamond trail on Hunter Mountain Ski Center Wednesday morning, State Police at Catskill said." Hunter Mountain is in New York State. To read more, click here.

--Snow Brains is reporting that, "a 60-year-old German tourist died in a tree well incident in Alberta Canyon while heli-skiing near Revelstoke, B.C. on Friday. The incident happened on the last run of the day yesterday at 2:30pm. When the heli-skiing group got to the bottom of the run, one man was missing. Canadian police report that the guides were able to quickly locate the man who was found face down in a tree well." To read more, click here.

--A snowboarder was killed after ducking the ropes at Killington in Vermont. It appears that he collided with a tree. To read more, click here.

--The Access Fund is reporting that, "New Hampshire climbers and conservation groups are organizing to oppose the construction of a proposed 25,000 square foot hotel in the fragile alpine zone of Mount Washington in the White Mountains of New Hampshire." To read more, click here.

--The Men's Journal is reporting that, "Congress is racing to nullify an Obama-era order (the Bureau of Land Management's "Planning 2.0 rule") that gave hikers, bikers, hunters, fishers, and other outdoor recreation fans an equal voice with drillers, ranchers, loggers, and other industries in how the government manages over 250 million acres of federal lands. The House and Senate are getting rid of the rule under the Congressional Review Act (CRA), which allows members of Congress to vote on "resolutions of disapproval" during the initial 60 days after an agency publishes the new rule. Striking it this way also allows Congress to do it without public input, and it forbids the agency from revisiting or improving the rule in the future. Since the beginning of the year, the GOP majority in Congress has used the CRA to eradicate Obama administration rules barring the dumping of coal waste into streams, sales of guns to people with mental health disorders, methane leaks and flaring by oil and gas drilling operations on public lands, and payments to either the U.S. or foreign governments for the rights to extract oil, natural gas, or minerals." To read more, click here.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A Film for Aging Skiers...

I was just lamenting the fact that I barely ever ski hard these days. I spend a lot of time skiing with my kids inbounds and not as much in the backcountry getting after it. It is with those thoughts that I offer you this very funny ski video...

--Jason D. Martin

Monday, February 13, 2017

Major Rockfall on Whitney Portal Road: Spring Reopening May be Delayed

The US Forest Service has issued a press release concerning access to Mt. Whitney in the Sierra-Nevada mountains:

Substantial snowfall from an atmospheric river event in mid-January has led to a major rock fall on Whitney Portal Road, causing significant damage to an approximately 100-foot stretch of road. This damage may delay the re-opening of the road this spring.

Initial assessments by Inyo County, Cal Trans, and Inyo National Forest indicate that there will be approximately two months of work that include blasting and clearing the rock, and stabilizing and re-building the road bed. Road construction will not begin until after the permitting process is complete.

The road is currently gated just above Hogback Road on Whitney Portal Road to prevent vehicle entrance; however, foot traffic past the gate is not recommended due to the hazardous and potentially unstable conditions surrounding the rock fall.

For now, the area remains under snow and there is no clear estimate of when the removal operations will begin. Continued winter storms as well as the concerns for the stability of the slide area during the spring freeze/thaw cycle make it difficult to predict when this work can safely begin.

The Whitney Portal Road often opens by May 1st, conditions permitting, and that is also the beginning of the Mt. Whitney Lottery for day and overnight hikes. Every effort will be made by all parties involved to have the road open by this date.

While the road is under construction, access to Mt. Whitney is via the Whitney Portal National Recreation Trail (NRT) or from other trailheads such as Kearsarge Pass or Cottonwood Pass. The NRT will close for public safety when blasting is underway.

This winter has brought substantial snow to the Sierra Nevada. Snow should be expected along the trail through early summer and hikers will be required to have technical skill and equipment to access Mt. Whitney in the early season.

Thank you for your patience.

Pro Tip: How to Eat Your Climbing Partner if You're Starving

Backpacker Magazine did a poll recently. They asked their readers if they would be willing to eat their partners in the event of an emergency. A large percentage of those who responded said, yes! Yes! Of course I would eat my partner!!!

So what did Backpacker magazine do about it? What any responsible outdoor magazine would do. They put together a somewhat perverse video on how to eat your partner.

And what did we do about that...? What any responsible guide service blog would do. We reposted the video below for your -- clearly -- perverse viewing pleasure...

I do think it is important to note that the meat in a mountain guide's body is much worse than any other meat...anywhere.

--Jason D. Martin

Friday, February 10, 2017

Ice Climbing: Top Managed Anchors

The American Mountain Guides Association has been working together with Petzl and Outdoor Research to provide instructional videos. In this offering, AMGA Instructor Team Member Patrick Ormond demonstrates two systems that are widely used in top-managed ice climbing...

--Jason D. Martin