Thursday, September 2, 2010

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 9/2/10

--This week the American Alpine Institute was honored by the men's interest website Made Man as one of the five top climbing schools in America. To read the article, click here.

--The American Alpine Institute is currently running a climbing photography contest. The winner will get a $200 credit to use in our equipment shop or on a course, in addition to seeing the winning photo on the cover of our 2011 catalog. To learn more, click here.


--The official search for missing 35-year-old hiker Tyler Wright has ended without success, but the family’s search continues. The 35-year-old Vancouver hiker went missing on what was supposed to have been a six-day, solo hike from north of Squamish to Coquitlam on Aug. 10. Throughout a 12-day search and rescue mission RCMP called “one of B.C.’s largest,” evidence was found of his journey. But SAR and Provincial Emergency Program managers along with RCMP decided to suspend the mission yesterday evening after the final day revealed no trace of Wright. To read more, click here.

--A Bend woman who was knocked unconscious but survived a 70-foot fall from a trail at Smith Rock was the focus of a four-hour rescue, and was in good condition Thursday at a Redmond hospital, officials said.Deschutes County 911 got a call around 7:10 p.m. Wednesday that a climber had fallen from a trail on the east side of Smith Rock State Park, said sheriff’s Sgt. Scott Shelton. To read more, click here.

--Investigators recovered two bodies on Mount Hood and Friday morning, the medical examiner confirmed that they were Anthony Vietti and his climbing companion, Katie Nolan. Many of the same expert climbers who searched for the pair last year were among those who recovered the bodies on Thursday. They said it was a very emotional day for all of them. The bodies were found at the 9,700-level of Reid Headwall and it appeared that the two climbers had fallen down a steep slope. Climbers at the scene Thursday said the two were still roped together and located only about two feet apart. To read more, click here.

--A Snohomish man accidentally shot himself in his left buttock Saturday when he put a handgun in his back pocket. Darrel Elam, 52, was preparing to go hiking on Blewett Pass and had moved his 40-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun from its holster to his back pocket to see if that position would be more comfortable for walking, said Jerry Moore, chief of administration for the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office. The gun discharged and shot down his left buttock and left leg, coming to rest just above his knee. To read more, click here.

A Climber on a classic Index Aid Route
Photo by Alasdair Turner

--The Washington Climbers Coalition has purchased one of the state's most-famous rock climbing venues, the Lower Town Wall in Index. Matt Perkins, secretary of the coalition, said the climbing group purchased the wall for $115,000 from a private landowner, Patricia Murphy. The group is trying to raise $300,000 for other additions to the wall, including parking, bathrooms and a walkway over railroad tracks. "Climbers have been working for more than 15 years to buy the Lower Town Wall," said Darryl Cramer, a WCC board member and guidebook author who has climbed the wall for nearly 30 years. "We've pulled it off and ensured that the Lower Town Wall will remain open to climbing forever." To read more, click here.


--Well known climber, BASE jumper and extremely friendly guy, Ammon McNeely was tazered for BASE jumping in Yosemite. It appears that he finished his jump, landed safely and then was tazed on the back of the neck by rangers who did not identify themselves. Ammon was released the following day. To see aFacebook page about this, click here. To see the Supertopo thread, click here. To hear a radio interview with Ammon about the incident, click here. He talks about the tazor incident at approximately the 17 minute mark. Ammon has consistently been one of the best athletes to work with at the annual Red Rock Rendezvous which AAI helps to support.

--With information obtained from a joint investigation with the Forest Service and the Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office, Yosemite National Park rangers raided a large marijuana cultivation site in El Portal early on the morning of August 24th and seized 3,657 plants. The site was on land in both Yosemite National Park and the Sierra National Forest. The park worked with Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office deputies and detectives, an officer from Mariposa County Probation, and park rangers from Point Reyes National Seashore. The total estimated worth of the seized marijuana is $14.6 million. To read more, click here.

Desert Southwest:

--Fire crews have fully contained the three-day old Keys Fire that burned 110 acres in the Joshua Tree National Park. Park officials announced the containment Sunday. Many crews had been sent back to their home stations while a few remained to check for hot spots, Park officials said. The fire began about 2:30 p.m. Thursday, when lightning struck the ground igniting trees and dry brush near Keys View, a busy park viewpoint at the 5,000 foot elevation, said Pat Pilcher, Park Ranger. To read more, click here.

--A wildfire is currently burning in Zion National Park. The Subway Fire, now estimated at 77 acres, is located on a plateau between Russell Gulch and Wildcat Canyon, approximately 5 miles south of Lava Point, in the northern portion of the park. At this time the fire is not posing any threats to park resources or adjoining private lands or structures. The wildfire was started by lightning on August 18 and has shown little activity until yesterday’s gusty winds caused the fire to make a run to the northeast. A sizeable column of smoke could be seen some distance from the park. To read more, click here.


Oh Eun-Sun

--The government of Nepal Friday came out strongly in support of an embattled South Korean, whose claim to be the first woman to have tamed all the 14 highest peaks in the world is now being doubted by her own country's top climbing body. After enduring a similar dispute in April, 44-year-old Oh Eun-Sun Friday faced the resurrection of the same doubts about her feat with the Korean Alpine Federation doubting whether she had really reached the top of Mt Kangchenjunga in 2009, her 10th scalp in an extraordinary climbing career started in 1997. To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--Benjamin Russell Hebb loved music, fine teas and cooking — but he loved nothing more than rock climbing. Hebb died doing just that, after a fall from a ledge on Longs Peak. Rangers in Rocky Mountain National Park witnessed Hebb's 800-foot fall about 8 a.m. Friday. He was climbing the North Chimney Route from Broadway Ledge to Mills Glacier. To read more, click here.

--After 21 years buried under ice and snow at the foot of the Snow Dome in the Canadian Rockies, the body of American William Holland was found this month perfectly preserved in his full climbing gear, spiked boots on his feet and rope slung over his shoulder. Holland went missing after an ascent of Slipstream, a classic ice line. Apparently the climber was on the summit and probing around for a descent route when a cornice he was standing on collapsed. To read more, click here.

--The wife of a Calgary scientist seriously injured in a 60-foot fall while climbing near Banff is crediting his partner with saving the man from further harm. Jonathan Lytton, a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Calgary, was climbing Saturday on Cascade Mountain in Banff National Park with colleague Don Welsh, an associate professor of physiology and pharmacology at U of C, when Lytton fell around noon. To read more, click here.

--Jenn Fields at the Colorado Daily has an interesting and fun outlook on outdoor adventure sports. She regularly writes comically about outdoor issues with your significant other. On Tuesday, she wrote an extremely entertaining article on crying in the outdoors. In other words, it's the moment that a person has a complete meltdown, and in yet other words, it's the moment that guys will never speak of again. And the moment that hardcore women know it's not a good idea to bring up, lest they undermine their significant other's manhood. To read the article, click here.

--Bruce Miller and Chris Weidner spent nine days on Longs Peak on the Diamond face between July 27 and August 26, establishing a 5.12 new free route that has yet to be named. To read more, click here.

--The Boulder County sheriff's department and area SWAT teams will get help from the Colorado National Guard to remove marijuana plants and dismantle a suspected illegal growing operation in the mountains north of Boulder. Two National Guard helicopters will haul the marijuana Wednesday from two sites found near the town of Raymond. Authorities say the plants and equipment used to grow them will be destroyed. To read more, click here.

--Engineers in France have started work to drain an immense lake that has built up under an Alpine glacier on Mont Blanc, an attempt to prevent a repeat of a flood that killed 175 people more than 100 years ago. Specialists are drilling into the glacier as part of preparations to slowly pump out the 65,000 cubic meters (2,275,000 cubic feet) of liquid believed trapped beneath the Tete Rousse glacier, the mayor of the Alpine town of Saint-Gervais-les-Bains said Wednesday. The amount of water is equivalent to about 26 Olympic-sized swimming poo To read more, click here.

Mt. Fuji (12,388')

--Municipalities in Yamanashi Prefecture adjacent to Mt. Fuji are considering charging visitors who climb the mountain to help cover the costs of such things as first-aid facilities, mountain toilet maintenance and garbage disposal. More and more people are trekking up Mt. Fuji every year. According to the Yamanashi and Shizuoka prefectural governments, from 2000 to 2006 about 200,000 people climbed Mt. Fuji each year. However, in 2007 the total jumped to 350,000 and in 2008 a whopping 430,000 people trekked up the famous mountain. To read more, click here.

1 comment:

a happy reader said...

Those poor souls who are afraid to take a walk in the woods without a gun should do themselves (and the rest of us) a favour, and stay home with all the doors and windows locked.