Thursday, July 30, 2015

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 7/30/15


--Human remains found over the weekend inside Mount Rainier National Park are believed to be those of a missing 64-year-old hiker who vanished without a trace last summer while walking the Wonderland Trail. The remains were found Sunday by a group that was hiking off-trail at about 6,800 feet above sea level near the Frying Pan Glacier on the east side of the mountain, said park spokesman Kevin Bacher. To read more, click here.
--Here's a nice story about an older couple on the Pacific Crest Trail...

--Kate Rutherford and Jasmin Caton spent several days in Canada's Prucell wilderness and put up a couple of new lines. To read more, click here.

Desert Southwest:

--It's always a good idea to bring along water and watch your step during any trip to Red Rock Canyon. That advice has taken on added significance lately, as federal officials wrestle with a crumbling boardwalk and a faulty water system at the popular National Conservation Area. The Bureau of Land Management was forced to block off roughly a third of the half-mile boardwalk at Red Spring after a visitor fell through the deteriorating wood planks outside Red Rock Canyon's core fee area a few months ago. BLM spokeswoman Kirsten Cannon said the entire boardwalk will be replaced with composite material next summer, but the existing wood could be repaired and the loop reopened before then thanks to a volunteer service project now being organized for National Public Lands Day on Sept. 26. To read more, click here.

--On July 22, the Access Fund, in partnership with public land agencies and five local climbing organizations, purchased the northern section of the Dripping Springs Ranch, Arizona to preserve access to the Homestead’s 12 limestone walls with over 250 routes on the southern slopes of the Mescal Mountains north of Winkleman and the Gila River. To read more, click here.

A Joshua Tree in Joshua Tree National Park

--Joshua Tree’s surreal landscapes and stunning vistas offer a serene escape from urban Southern California. But the national park can’t escape the rampant air pollution that plagues the Coachella Valley and the Los Angeles basin. In a report released Tuesday, the nonprofit National Parks Conservation Association gave Joshua Tree an ‘F’ grade for smog, making it one of four national parks — all in California — that regularly suffer from unhealthy air. Joshua Tree also earned an ‘F’ for climate change impacts, since rising temperaturesthreaten to wipe out the park's iconic trees. To read more, click here.


--Search crews worked to recover the body of a woman who had fallen on Paiute Peak in the Indian Peaks Wilderness on Sunday. The victim is a 44-year-old Denver woman who was with a friend when she slipped and fell while climbing the peak. Sheriff’s deputies and search and rescue personnel were notified of the fallen climber about 8:20 p.m. Sunday after her companion called for help. He told authorities that she fell about 2 p.m. as they were attempting to descend the summit. To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--Dallas oilman Richard “Dick” Bass, a globetrotting adventurer and businessman, died Sunday night at his Dallas home of pulmonary fibrosis. He was 85. His sprawling interests ranged from ranching in Central Texas to coal leases in Alaska and Wyoming, but in business, he was best known as the co-founder and longtime owner of the Snowbird resort in Utah. On April 30, 1985, Bass put his name indelibly in the history books when he reached the summit of Mount Everest. It was the last leg of his Seven Summits challenge and the realization of his dream to be the first man to climb the highest peak on every continent. To read more, click here.

--On Tuesday, July 21, a large boulder dislodged and rolled over the arm of a hiker/climber, causing severe injury to his limb and prompting a helicopter-assisted rescue by Grand Teton National Park rangers. Tucker Zibilich, 26, of Jackson, Wyoming and his partner were on their descent after making a day trek to the Upper Saddle of the Grand Teton, elevation 13,285 feet, when he was injured by the boulder. To read more, click here.

--A North Texas dad claims a climbing gym's negligence may leave his son with a permanent injury — an allegation he is now taking to court. According to Clayton Greenberg, his 7-year-old son, Cope, cracked his elbow at the growth plate in January 2014 when he fell from a slide. To read more, click here.

--Last week, Powder Magazine recognized AAI's Guide Like Liz scholarship winners. This scholarship was built in memory of Liz Daley, an AAI guide and professional splitboard athlete who died in an avalanche last year in South America. To read more, click here.

Chad and Katy's feet before the wedding.
Photo by AAI Guide Alasdair Turner

--As we all know now, AAI Guide Chad Cochran married former AAI Program Coordinator Katy Pfannenstein on the Pika Glacier in Alaska, with AAI guide Mike Pond running the show and AAI guide Alasdair Turner shooting photos. What you might not have known is that the Weather Channel picked up the story and did a segment on it. Check it out, here.

--In a statement posted to his website Friday morning, Scott Jurek issued his first public response to the three summonses he received from Baxter State Park on his final day of breaking the Appalachian Trail thru-hike speed record.  In it, he describes interactions with park rangers that offer a contradictory account to a Facebook post published by the park on July 16. Jurek claims rangers approved the size of his hiking party and allowed them to carry alcohol to the summit; these two matters were the basis of two of the three summonses he received. To read more, click here.

--Researchers and citizens have known for some time that Turkey’s glaciers are shrinking. Now scientists have calculated the losses and found that more than half of the ice cover in this mountainous country has vanished since the 1970s. A team of researchers from Ege University (Turkey) and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center analyzed four decades of Landsat satellite data to document this steady decline. The team, led by Dogukan Dogu Yavasli (Ege), published their results in June 2015 in the journal Remote Sensing of Environment. To read more, click here.

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