--A battle is currently looming in Congress over the sale of a huge swath of America’s public lands in the west—putting millions of acres (and the climbing opportunities they offer) under siege. A group of politicians have written bills proposing that individual states “take back” America’s parks, Bureau of Land Management lands, national forests, wildlife refuges, and open spaces, arguing that these lands and the profits that they generate should belong to the states. In an economically choked state like Nevada, where greater than 80 percent of the state’s land is owned and operated by the federal BLM, this kind of thinking is gaining traction. Imagine how profitable it would be for Nevada to sell off federally protected lands for development? Sadly, that might mean never getting to climb at Red Rocks again. To read more, click here. To sign a petition to stop this, click here.
--One person died and four others were hurt Monday in a partial collapse of the Big 4 Ice Caves near Granite Falls in Snohomish County. The body of the person killed remained under debris overnight while recovery efforts were suspended. In a stroke of irony, shortly before the accident a video was posted on youtube of some individuals barely escaping icefall at the same location on the same day. To see the video, click below. The cave collapses at approximately the 29 second mark. To read more about the accident and the fatality, click here. There are signs, but people seem to ignore them. An 11-year old girl was killed in this extremely accessible area
--On June 27 Joe Sambataro and Jason Schilling climbed a new 11-pitch line on Golden Horn (8,366') in Washington's North Cascades in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. Their route was authored ground up and without bolts or fixed protection. To read more, click here.
--Over 4th of July weekend more than 200 feet of rock fell off of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, erasing part of the famous Yosemite big wall route, the Regular Northwest Face (VI, 5.9 C1, 2,000'). To read more, click here.
--Yosemite National Park is experiencing very high fire danger along with continued hot and dry weather patterns. Due to current and predicted fire conditions and possible active fire behavior, the park implemented Stage 1 Fire Restrictions until further notice. To read more, click here.
--A climbing area at Joshua Tree National Park is open again following the flight of at least two baby hawks that were nesting there. To read more, click here.
Notes from All Over:
--A large boulder struck and seriously injured a climber during a rockfall on July 7, in Grand Teton National Park. Michael Polmear, 27, of Bethesda, Maryland was ascending the Middle Teton near its black dike feature when a boulder — described by his wife, Stephanie, as the size of 5-6 microwave ovens — suddenly rolled down slope toward Polmear and hit his left arm, causing severe injuries. Luckily, Polmear did not sustain additional injuries during the rockfall incident. To read more, click here.