Thursday, February 22, 2024

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 2/22/24

Sierra:


--It looks like there will be a film about Warren "Batso" Harding's life. He was on the first team to scale Yosemite's El Capitan.

Colorado and Utah:

--Western Slope Now is reporting that, " A man was rescued after falling over 120 feet while rock climbing in Whitewater on Saturday. MCSO deputies, MCSO Search and Rescue volunteers, Gateway Fire Department, CareFlight and the BLM responded to the scene of the fall in Whitewater, Colorado." To read more, click here.

--Summit Daily is reporting that, "A female skier is dead following “an incident” on the Double Dip trail at Loveland Ski Area on Friday, Feb. 16, around 1:20 p.m. The ski area said in a statement that ski patrol was in the area and responded immediately before the skier was pronounced dead at the scene, according to statements provided to Summit Daily News." To read more, click here.

--SnowBrains is reporting that, "A snowboarder’s quick thinking saved him from a potentially deadly encounter with a mountain lion while riding near Beaver Mountain, Utah, on Sunday, February 5. Charlie Duffy recounted his experience in an Instagram post, describing how he noticed fresh paw prints in the snow before spotting the mountain lion just a few feet behind him. Acting on instinct, Duffy swung his snowboard with full force at the predator, managing to fend it off." To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--East Idaho News is reporting that, "a Colorado man died while skiing at Grand Targhee on Saturday after he fell in a tree well and became trapped. Teton County Coroner Brent Blue identified the man as 67-year-old William Douglas England of Lakewood, Colorado." To read more, click here.

--Climbing is reporting that, "Ahead of the 2024 season, the International Federation of Sport Climbing has released a policy to prevent eating disorders among competition climbers. The policy, developed by scientific experts based on the findings of an International Olympic Committee, marks the first time any international federation has taken an active step to limit the pervasiveness of Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport. Ultimately, it will require athletes to submit to several questionnaires and tests before competing." To read more, click here.

Upcoming American Alpine Institute Programs:

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 2/15/24

Northwest:

--The low snowpack in the PNW this year could have an impact on both hydropower and drinking water. Read more.

Sierra:

--NBC News is reporting that, "A professional rock climber known in the California climbing community was convicted Tuesday of sexually assaulting a woman in Yosemite National Park in 2016, federal prosecutors said. A jury convicted Charles Barrett, 38, of two counts of aggravated sexual abuse and one count of abusive sexual contact, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California said." To read more, click here.

--Gripped is reporting on rockfall closures in Yosemite: "Travel along the popular trail between Happy Isles and the Vernal Fall Footbridge is closed 'until further notice,' park officials have announced. Park authorities said, 'Hikers should follow posted detour signs from the Happy Isles shuttle stop (No. 16) to the stock trail behind the Happy Isles Art & Nature Center.'" To read more, click here.

Desert Southwest:

--KSNV is reporting that, "The Bureau of Land Management announced on Thursday that a new $41 million investment from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will go toward ecosystem restoration. Part of that funding will go toward the Lost Creek boardwalk in Red Rock Canyon." To read more, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

--KSL is reporting that, "A man who was critically injured after he skied off a cliff Monday in backcountry terrain near Snowbasin Resort has died. The resort's ski patrol responded to a report of an unresponsive guest and, upon investigation, discovered the skier had left resort boundaries to access out-of-bound terrain, a statement from Snowbasin Resort says. While in the 'extreme' backcountry terrain, the skier had an accident and re-entered resort boundaries, Snowbasin said." To read more, click here.

--Aspen Times is reporting that, "A backcountry skier was caught, buried, and killed in an avalanche near Crested Butte on Saturday, Feb. 10, according to a preliminary report from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center." To read more, click here.

--SnowBrains is reporting that, "a solo skier was caught, carried, partially buried, and injured in an avalanche in Little Cottonwood Canyon on Sunday, February 11, that threw him 1,500 feet over cliffs in terrain that would almost certainly be dubbed as ‘unsurvivable’. Another ski tourer in a nearby party put himself in harm’s way to go rescue the injured skier, where then a rescue helicopter was dispatched." To read more, click here.

--Ski is reporting that, "Whether you know it or not, when you purchase a season pass or a lift ticket at a ski resort in the United States, you’re entering into a legal contract that essentially releases the ski area from responsibility in all but the most negligent of accidents. A case heading to Colorado’s highest court next week will attempt to hold one of the state’s resorts liable for what it says was a very preventable outcome that left a teenager paralyzed from the waist down." To read more, click here.

--A parcel of private land was recently sold to a private land trust on the edge of Zion National Park, making the Park bigger. Read more.

--SnowBrains is reporting that, "Snowboarder Jake Canter, 20, has been suspended by the U.S. National Team after being arrested on domestic abuse charges. The arrest happened last month during the Winter X Games held in Aspen, Colorado." To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--Adirondack Explorer is reporting on an individual that died of cardiac arrest: "Well-regarded ice climber Jay W. Harrison of Thurman, dubbed the “mayor of Crane Mountain,” died earlier this month in the area of the Warren County peak, which he conquered numerous times." To read more, click here.

--A speed climber forgot to clip into his autobelay and took a fifty-foot fall. The climber is expected to make a full recovery. Read more.

--Candide Thovex dropped this insanity the other day:



--Footwear News is reporting that, "VF Corporation on Tuesday announced that it would carry out a “strategic review” of its brand portfolio, following another disappointing quarter for the shoe and apparel company. Now insiders are speculating that Timberland could be a likely contender for divestiture." To read more, click here.

--The Daily is reporting that, "in Q4 of 2023, sales of the Sorel brand declined 19% to $116 million. Columbia Sportswear Co. CEO Tim Boyle said shifting consumer trends coupled with weather impacted demand and led to the weak sell through." To read more, click here.

--Outdoor Sportswire is reporting that, "the Winter Sports Sustainability Network (WSN), managed by Peak 63 and the Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry (FESI), in collaboration with Snowsports Industries America (SIA) are proud to announce the establishment of a transformative Climate Pact, bringing together prominent ski, snowboard, binding, and boot brands from Europe and the United States in a unified commitment to accelerate climate action within the winter sports industry." To read more, click here.

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 2/8/24

Northwest:

--AAI Guide Eli Spitulnik has created a new variation on two lines on Colfax Peak on Mt. Baker. His line is a combination of Kimchi Suicide Volcano and the Polish Route. The new line goes at WI4+/M5. To see an instagram post about the adventure, click here. Another report can be found, here.

The Dorado Needle in North Cascades National Park.

--Yahoo is reporting that, "Backcountry permit fees are changing at North Cascades National Park this year. Park officials announced in a news release Monday that backcountry camping permits will go from a per permit fee to a per person fee, and that the price is going down. Beginning in March, summer season backcountry permits will cost $10 per person plus a $6 permit fee. Previously, the permits cost $20 apiece." To read more, click here.

--Ski is reporting on a new potential ski resort in British Columbia: "A proposal for a brand-new ski resort outside of Vancouver is the latest one to catch skiers’ attention. The Spuzzum First Nation people announced plans last week to build an 815-skiable-acre resort with a 2,300-foot vertical drop and 11 lifts at full buildout. The South Anderson Resort would have a four-season base village with around 12,000 beds in hotels, condos, houses, an RV park, dining, retail, and 1,200 units of employee housing. The Spuzzum people hope to build and operate the resort to provide career opportunities for its members, and that’s primarily what sets it apart." To read more, click here.

Sierra:

--Here's a report and video from an avalanche near Truckee. 

Desert Southwest:

--SnowBrains is reporting that, "Lee Canyon Ski Area, just outside Las Vegas, Nevada, will remain closed on Tuesday and potentially Wednesday following an inbounds avalanche on Monday afternoon. Initial fears were that four people were missing, but fortunately, the swift action of Lee Canyon’s ski patrol and mountain operations teams ensured all individuals were quickly located and accounted for. One person needed assistance. That person, who was skiing with another person, was released after being treated at the scene." To read more, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

--The Colorado Sun is reporting that, "52-year-old Miami man died Thursday after a “serious incident” on an intermediate trail at Breckenridge Ski Resort. Ski patrol found the man on the resort’s Peak 8 and brought him to a first aid room, resort spokeswoman Sara Lococo said." To read more, click here.

--SnowBrains is reporting that, "after 27 years of ownership, Dream Unlimited Corp. has announced that it will sell Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, Colorado, to Alterra Mountain Company. The deal is expected to close later in 2024, adding Arapahoe Basin to Alterra’s portfolio of destinations in Colorado." To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--Alaska's News Source is reporting that, "a European man heli-skiing in the Chugach Mountains has died from his injuries after being pushed into a band of rocks." To read more, click here.

--SnowBrains is reporting that, "On Sunday afternoon, February 4, Grand Teton National Park (GTNP), Wyoming, rangers requested helicopter assistance from Teton County Search & Rescue (TCSAR) to respond to an injured skier on Prospectors Mountain inside the park. The skier, a 29-year-old local woman, along with four men, were near the top of the Banana Couloir at 10,800 feet when they triggered and were caught by an avalanche. Three in the group were able to self-arrest, while one of the men was carried 500 feet, and the woman was carried by the snow slide approximately 1,500 vertical feet. Neither skier was fully buried; however, the woman sustained serious injuries." To read more, click here.

--So this crazy thing as skied this week at Jackson Hole:



--Gripped is reporting that, "the Ice Climbing World Championships will be held in Edmonton, Alberta, from Feb. 16 to 18, 2024. The event will take place in the city’s downtown close to the Edmonton Oilers hockey arena." To read more, click here.

--RV Pro is reporting that, "The new KOA AI Chatbot is designed to meet and exceed the rapidly evolving expectations of today’s campers and travelers, it said. According to the company’s June KOA Monthly Report, 32% of campers report already using AI for trip planning, with an additional 22% planning to utilize it in the future. In alignment with these trends, KOA’s robust AI Chatbot uses years of camping content, location information and data to be the industry’s most intuitive holistic camping technology." To read more, click here.

--And speaking of RVs. It might be a good time to buy one as RV sales "normalize." 

Thursday, February 1, 2024

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 2/1/24

Northwest:

--SnowBrains is reporting that, "The helicopter crash from Monday, January 22, 2024, in British Columbia has claimed a fourth victim, as one of the four injured succumbed to his injuries. The fourth victim was identified as 35-year-old Lewis Ainsworth from New Zealand. Ainsworth was an experienced heli-ski guide and President of the New Zealand Mountain Guides Association and accredited by the International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations. Ainsworth is survived by his partner, his 10-year-old daughter, and his parents. In a statement, Ainsworth’s family said they were heartbroken by his death. The family thanked those who had been involved in the search and rescue operation and Ainsworth’s medical care over the past week." To read more, click here.

--SnowBrains is reporting that, "On Sunday, January 28, two inbounds avalanches were triggered at Washington state ski resorts. One at Mission Ridge and the other at Stevens Pass." More info can be found, here.

Sierra:

--A knife-wielding man was shot and killed by a police officer after a car chase at Palisades Tahoe last week. To read more, click here.

--A missing woman wasn't actually missing. She had been directed to download on a gondola at Heavenly, only for them to turn off the service. She spent 15-hours in the gondola, while she was reported missing to the Sheriff's department. To read about it, click here.

Desert Southwest:

--Fox 11 is reporting that, "Authorities discovered human skeletal remains near a hiking trail in Joshua Tree on Jan. 25. Park staff said they were led to the remains when park researchers found an unattended backpack along the trail near the Black Rock Area of the park." To read more, click here.

--Here's a disconcerting report coming out of Arizona: "Reports of deceased animals and strange wildlife behavior has Saguaro National Park concerned that rabies may be a possible cause. The park urges visitors who have physical contact with an animal to notify park staff and seek medical attention immediately.   Park staff recently discovered several deceased foxes and have received reports of abnormal animal behavior in foxes and racoons, as well as one reported incident of a bobcat biting a visitor. No carcasses have yet been recovered for testing to determine the cause of illness in these animals." To read more, click here.


Colorado and Utah:

--The Aspen Times is reporting that, "At 11:26 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 27, according to an Aspen Skiing Company press release, a 22-year-old female skier collided with a tree on the Exhibition run at Aspen Highlands." To read more, click here.

--Townlift is reporting that, "On Sunday, Jan. 28, three skiers approached Gobbler’s South Summit from the north. After reaching the summit and skiing down, one skier was caught, carried and partially buried by a 2-4 foot deep, hard slab avalanche that spanned 500 feet wide and 2,000 feet long. The skier involved in the avalanche is reported to be in okay condition following the incident." To read more, click here.

--KUTV is reporting that, "A satellite distress call from a canyoneering group in a remote slot canyon in Garfield County resulted in the Department of Public Safety Aero Bureau hoisting out two people. The call was made on Friday afternoon (1/19/24) to local emergency dispatch. After determining the importance of response time and difficulty, rather than deploying the Garfield County Sheriff's Office ropes rescue team, they called DPS for a hoist." To read more, click here.

--SnowBrains is reporting that, "back in August of last year, Deer Valley Resort announced a monumental expansion that will add 3,700 acres of terrain and 16 new lifts to its world-renowned, ski-only destination located in the Wasatch Mountains in Park City, Utah. This was part of acquiring and integrating the up-and-coming Mayflower Resort into its current operations. The complete project will unfold over the next three seasons, with a significant portion of the new lifts and trails set to open as early as the 2025/26 winter season." To read more, click here.

--Would a "fast pass" to lifts for those who use a bus to access ski resorts in Utah decrease vehicle traffic? One letter to the editor in the Salt Lake Tribune argues for this common sense move. To read the editorial, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--Gripped is reporting that, "32-year-old man died after a backcountry skiing accident on the north face of Mount Temple near Lake Louise in Banff National Park. According to the RCMP, the man was from Saskatchewan and in a group of three." To read more, click here.

--Footwear News is reporting that, "REI is the latest company to announce significant workforce reductions this year. CEO Eric Artz notified employees in a Jan. 25 letter that the outdoor retailer would lay off 357 people across its organization, including 200 corporate employees at its Sumner, Wash. headquarters and 121 in its distribution centers." To read more, click here.

--USA Climbing is opening a training center in Salt Lake City. Local climbing gyms where competitions and training for the organization has historically taken place, are not pleased. To be clear, the article actually says that they are "pissed." To read more, click here.

--Gripped is reporting that ice climbers appear to be falling more throughout North America, and that this is leading to more rescues. Read about it, here.

--The Daily is reporting that, "Outdoor products company Yeti announced Wednesday that it has acquired emerging pack brand Mystery Ranch. Terms of the deal were not disclosed." To read more, click here.

Upcoming American Alpine Institute Programs:

Denali
Climbing in Red Rock Canyon
Mountaineering in Ecuador
Alpine Mountaineering and Technical Leadership

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 1/25/24

Northwest:

--Pique News Magazine is reporting on a fatality at Whistler. It is not clear how the individual died. To read the piece, click here.

Early morning on Mt. Rainier

--Cascadia Daily News is reporting that, "Many visitors to Mount Rainier National Park will need reservations this summer to enter some of the park’s most popular areas. From May 24 through Labor Day, most visitors entering the Nisqually and Stevens Canyon entrances between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. will need to make an online or phone reservation ahead of time. Reservations will also be required at the White River entrance to the Sunrise corridor via state Route 410 from July 3 through Labor Day." To read more, click here.

--There's a new WI 6+ in Squamish. Read about it, here.

Desert Southwest:

--Fox 10 and others are reporting that, "Officials with the Coconino County Sheriff's Office say an investigation is underway following a deadly incident at Arizona Snowbowl. According to a statement, CCSO responded to the ski resort at around 10:56 a.m. on Jan. 22, following a report of a tree strike incident that left a person seriously injured. By the time deputies arrived at the scene, the skier was already declared dead." To read more, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

--The Durango Herald News is reporting that, "A 67-year-old doctor and longtime resident of Ophir died Monday in an avalanche near his hometown, which is nestled in the San Juan Mountains south of Telluride. The San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office identified the person as Peter Harrelson, who for years worked as a family physician, according to multiple websites." To read more, click here.

--Gripped is reporting on the winners of this year's Ouray Ice Festival: "The 29th annual Ouray Ice Festival just took place in Colorado’s small mountain town of Ouray with a record number of donations. The event ran for four days and included clinics, presentations and one of the biggest ice climbing competitions in the world." To read more, click here. And here's a photo compilation of the event!

Notes from All Over:

--Out There Colorado is reporting on an accident at Jackson Hole. "Wyoming's Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center took to social media to recount a scary incident that took place at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort on January 20 and it's one that slopegoers around the world, including those in Colorado, can learn from. The post covered a recent incident in which a skier ducked a rope at Jackson Hole, entering closed terrain. This closed terrain was particularly dangerous, located at about 7,500 feet of elevation and featuring a lot of fresh powder stacked on a layer of weak and rotten snow measured at only about a foot deep two weeks prior. As those with experience in reading snow will know, this type of layering can be a recipe for disaster, as the lower, weaker layer can be prone to breaking at the weight of the fresh snow, resulting in an avalanche." To read more, click here.

--USA Today is reporting that, "First responders in Vermont rescued 23 skiers and snowboarders from the backcountry after they were reported missing amid a blast of arctic air that dropped temperatures into the single digits, authorities said." To read more, click here.

--Vail resorts is reporting that, "to-date skier visits were down 16.2% compared to the prior year season-to-date period." To read more, click here.

Upcoming American Alpine Institute Programs:

Denali
Climbing in Red Rock Canyon
Mountaineering in Ecuador
Winter Mountaineering and Ice Climbing in the Sierra
Winter Mountaineering and Ice Climbing in Ouray
Avalanche Programs in Washington

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 1/18/24

Northwest:


--Gripped is reporting that, "before the current cold snap hit the Canadian Rockies with -40C temps that snapped huge pillars off ice climbs at Johnston Canyon, a new steep mixed route was climbed in Field. Found left of the famous ice climb Super Bock, Greg Barrett and Raphael Slawinski made the first ascent of Rasputin Roof." To read more, click here.

Mt. Shuksan in the North Cascades

Sierra:

--Last Wednesday there was a tragic inbounds avalanche incident that resulted in a fatality at Palisades Tahoe. It's being reported that there was a second inbounds avalanche on Thursday. To read more, click here.

--From the Los Angeles Times: "Dangling from a thin rope thousands of feet above Yosemite Valley last October, Zuko Carrasco could feel his arms tremble. A paraplegic who had lost the use of his legs eight years earlier in a bizarre accident — a trust fall gone awry — he had spent a week ascending El Capitan, the world’s most famous big wall rock climb, one tiny pull-up at a time." To read more, click here.

--Bears keep showing up at ski resorts in the Sierra.


Colorado and Utah:

--On January 15th, SnowBrains reported that, "US-40 Berthoud Pass in Colorado remains closed today after an avalanche buried 10 cars around 11:20 am on January 14, 2024. The closure is in both directions between Robins Roost and Henderson Mine Road, just south of Winter Park. No injuries were reported, and all vehicles and passengers caught in the avalanche were safely rescued." To read more, click here.

--Traveling with ski and snowboard gear is tough. It sounds like Vail Resorts has a plan to decrease the cost of rentals for those who join the Epic Gear program. Read more.

--Aspen Daily News is reporting that, "Aspen Skiing Co. is trying to enlist its instructors to help ferret out 'underground teachers' who are leading their clients across the slopes of the four local ski areas. SkiCo Vice President of Mountain Sales and School Jonathan Ballou sent an email to instructors on Tuesday urging them to be vigilant about looking for rogue teachers and report them to a ski school 'research team.'" To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--Cowboy State Daily is reporting that, "A 41-year-old Alpine man was killed Sunday morning after he was buried in a massive avalanche in Prater Canyon in the Salt River Range, midway between Alpine and Afton, Wyoming. The victim in Sunday morning’s avalanche in Prater Canyon has been identified by the Lincoln County Coroner’s Office as David Rice of Alpine. Rice moved to Alpine recently after spending years in Jackson. He opened a music store there, which he sold recently before relocating." To read more, click here.

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 1/11/24

Northwest:

--When the snow finally flew, people at Whistler were upset. Not at the snow, but at the lift lines. Read more, here.

Wolverines in Canada's Rogers Pass

--Cascadia Daily News is reporting that, "Wolverines — highly vulnerable to climate change — are among several species that are up for reclassification as endangered, threatened or sensitive in Washington state. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is actively seeking information from the public to inform species status reports for wolverine and island marble butterfly, as well as two types of bird: Mount Rainier white-tailed ptarmigan and burrowing owl." To read more, click here.

Sierra:

--There was an inbounds avalanche yesterday at Palisades Tahoe. This resulted in a fatality. Info will trickle out as an investigation takes place. To learn more, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

--The Denver Gazette is reporting on a friend to the Institute, Caroline Gleich. "Professional ski mountaineer and climate activist Caroline Gleich announced Monday on her Instagram account she is running for the United States Senate. The seat is currently being held by Sen. Mitt Romney, the former presidential candidate, who is vacating the seat and not looking for reelection in 2024. Gleich is looking to take the seat Romney has held since 2019." This will be a tough seat to win for a Democrat. To read more, click here.

--Summit Daily is reporting that, "The Summit County Sheriff’s Office says it has identified the snow biker involved in a hit-and-run collision on Jan. 2 that injured two visitors at Keystone Resort." To read more, click here.

--If you want to hike up Angels Landing in Zion, you need a permit obtained through a lottery. But you can walk down after climbing without one.

--Unofficial Networks reposted a tough video to watch of a person hitting a tree in A-Basin. He appears fine in the end, but it's a good reminder to wear a helmet.

--From Colorado comes the news that there is a new nonprofit, Climb Avy Aware (CAA), dedicated to avalanche safety for ice climbers. CAA’s mission is to encourage ice climbers to get educated about avalanche danger in the backcountry, and know the terrain they are climbing in. As part of that, CAA is working to rate the state's most popular climbs under the new 5-point Avalanche Terrain Exposure Scale (ATES) for Waterfall Ice Climbing. The ATES is a classification system for assessing and communicating the degree of avalanche exposure in a given area. ATES ratings allow climbers to make informed route choices and avoid avalanche danger on days when the avalanche forecast warrants extra caution. CAA is also recommending that climbers consider carrying companion rescue gear in avy terrain—and know how to use it.” You can check CAA out at www.climbavyaware.org.

For more information, please contact:
Dara Miles
Founder, Climb Avy Aware
A Colorado 501(c)(3) Nonprofit
713-410-5289

Notes from All Over:

--This video breaks down what they believe to be the ten most challenging ski resorts in North America. Check it out.


--Climbing is reporting on some controversy around USA Climbing's transgender athlete rules and regulations: "On Tuesday, September 26, 2023, USA Climbing released its Transgender Athlete Participation policy. The policy centers around testosterone restrictions for transgender females, wherein eligibility is contingent upon the athlete maintaining lower testosterone levels for at least 12 months preceding competition." Criticism is likely to result in some changes to this. Read more.

--Speaking of competition climbing, several climbers are speaking out about eating disorders. They'd like the organization that oversees Olympic climbing to do something about it. To read more, click here.

--It shouldn't be that much of a surprise, but cannabis does increase the enjoyment you may feel in a workout, but doesn't increase your performance. For more, click here.

Upcoming American Alpine Institute Programs:

Denali
Climbing in Red Rock Canyon
Mountaineering in Ecuador
Winter Mountaineering and Ice Climbing in the Sierra
Winter Mountaineering and Ice Climbing in Ouray
Avalanche Programs in Washington