Thursday, December 31, 2015

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 12/31/15

Happy New Year!
from the
Guides and Staff 
of the
American Alpine Institute


--Colin D. Watt says he's lucky to be alive after an avalanche in Whistler swept him into a tree well and buried him in snow Saturday. The experienced snowboarder and two friends ventured into the area under Whistler's Peak to Peak Gondola, which had pristine powder that morning. It was also out of bounds. Watt was caught in an avalanche and pushed 150 feet down the slope and into a tree well. He says it was the worst thing he had ever experienced in his life. To read more, click here.

--American Alpine Institute Guide Like Liz Scholarship applications are due on January, 31, 2016.

--People in Squamish don't screw around. When it snows, they strap on their skis. And when it snows on top of the Stawamus Chief, they also strap on a parachute. Check it out:

--Two new ice climbs have been added to the Peace region of British Columbia. To read more, click here.

Desert Southwest:

--A Spokane climber was killed in Red Rock Canyon on Saturday. It appears that his party of three had completed a climb of Johnny Vegas (5.7, II) and were in the process of rappelling the Solar Slab Gully when 25-year-old Brian William Tracy was killed in a rappelling accident. It has been reported that he fell 80-feet, but there is no info on what lead to the fall. There is limited climbing related information in the media, but here's a news report.

--Red Rock Rendezvous will take place from April 1-3. Join American Alpine Institute guides for three days of fun in the sun just outside of Las Vegas. To read more, click here.

--Maybe it’s too soon to label the nearly 800,000-acre Joshua Tree National Park as crowded – but its popularity continues to grow as the park hit a record two-million visitors mark this week. To read more, click here.

--Zion National Park is getting a new plan to manage the thicker flow of visitors. The National Park Service is planning to develop a new Visitor Use Management Plan, officials said this month. "The VUMP will address visitor and commercial uses, visitor experience and capacity, and resource conservation," Aly Baltrus, Zion's chief of Interpretation and Visitor Services, said in an email to The Spectrum newspaper in St. George. "Through the planning process, the park will gather data and share that information with the public." To read more, click here.


--The new owner of Purgatory is a very hands on individual and is in the process of returning the ski resort to its roots. To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--Stein Eriksen, the man known as the founder of modern skiing and a legendary alpine skier, died at the age of 88 at his home in Park City on Sunday. To read more, click here.

--There have been no new developments in the search for Bart Pickard, the 65-year-old Corvallis man, who has been missing since he was seen at Montana's Lost Trail Powder Mountain a week ago. Ravalli County Search and Rescue called off the search after two days of searching. To read more, click here.

--John Ellison -- the founder of Climbers Against Cancer -- started the organization after his own diagnosis with prostate cancer in 2011. John died from his illness on December 27 at the age of 52. To read more, click here.

--Are "Dude Grades" a thing? In other words, are climbing grades innately sexist? Alan Tonnies Moore, an author for the Moja Gear blog, thinks so. Read his piece, here.

--A real estate investment trust that's selling more than a dozen ski resorts from Maine to California won't meet its deadline of completing the transaction by year's end. CNL Lifestyle Properties, which is based in Orlando, Florida, has sold its senior housing portfolio, a dozen marinas, four attractions, and the Mount Washington Hotel and Bretton Woods ski area in New Hampshire. But it continues to seek buyers for 15 additional ski resorts, remaining attractions and marinas, and says it will update shareholders in the first quarter of the new year. To read more, click here.

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