Thursday, January 28, 2016

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 1/28/16


--Wolf Bauer, a staple of the 20th century climbing and rescue scene in the Pacific Northwest, died this week at the age of 104. Wolf was a leader in the creation of the Mountain Rescue Council. To read more, click here.

--A Bellingham skier’s body was recovered Monday afternoon, Jan. 25, a day after he died in an avalanche on Mount Herman, near the Mt. Baker Ski Area. On Sunday afternoon the man, identified as Mark Panthen, 36, and a friend had been skiing at the 4,200-foot level on the north slope of Herman, a popular backcountry destination just north of Mount Baker when the slide hit. To read more, click here. Mark leaves behind a wife and two children. A memorial fund has been set up to help them out, here.

--Not much info, but a BASE jumper apparently got stuck in the trees in Index. To read more, click here.

Read more here:

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

--AAI Guide and Director of IT and Marketing, Tom Kirby, recently talked to Backcountry Magazine about the Guide Like Liz scholarship. To read the article, click here.


--There is a new opportunity available for guides to access Yosemite National Park. Currently the Park only provides climbing through a concession run by the same large concession holder that oversees food service and busses. This new plan will allow guides from companies like AAI to access the park. Please write in support of this potential change. Here is some information that you might use:

Here is the link to the public announcement. The form to submit comments is here. For a public comment to be valuable, the comments must be individualized and personalized. That means that copying and pasting is not going to work well.

Below are some general talking points that can help you craft a letter. If you would like further information on any of these ideas, is a good resource.

1. The current system does not provide sufficiently diverse opportunities for visitors who would choose to access Yosemite wilderness with a guide.

2. Modern professional mountain guiding helps realize the formal educational public purpose of wilderness-from the skills training we all provide to guide education programs such as the AMGA.

3. As rock climbing and mountaineering are not at capacity in Yosemite wilderness, the plan's analysis of commercial services should reflect that, and should provide for additional diverse opportunities for the guided public.

4. Modern, trained guides are invested, professional stewards of the land and the wilderness resource.

5. Additional rock climbing and mountaineering guiding opportunities should be made available in the form of limited, low-ratio Commercial Use Authorizations (CUAs) that are reasonable for sole proprietors and small businesses to obtain.

6. The highest professional terrain-specific credentials should be considered as selection criteria for obtaining a CUA. These provide the highest quantifiable assessment of guide quality and skill, and serve to enhance visitor safety, resource stewardship, and reduction of social impacts. Those credentials are the AMGA Rock Guide, the AMGA Alpine Guide, and the IFMGA Mountain Guide (certified in rock, alpine, and ski mountaineering).

--Brady Robinson, the executive director of the Access Fund, wrote an excellent opinion letter to the New York Times about the Delaware North Company and it's immoral theft of Yosemite National Park's place names. To read the letter, click here.

--The independently-owned Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe is officially up for sale. Fritz Buser, majority owner of the Reno-area winter resort since 1971, “is looking to sell the resort,” according to a statement issued late Saturday afternoon. To read more, click here.


--The best climbing festival of the year is now accepting registrations. Red Rock Rendezvous will run from April 1-3. Come on out to Vegas and get your climb on! To read more, click here.

--Las Vegas rock climber David Allfrey got a big nod from the American Alpine Club last week, winning the prestigious Robert Hicks Bates Award. The annual award recognizes a young climber who has exhibited exceptional skill and character in the climbing or mountaineering arts, and who has outstanding promise for future accomplishment. To read more, click here.

--A small earthquake hit Joshua Tree National Park on January 24th. There were no reports of damage. To read more, click here.


--After making it through mid-January without an avalanche death, Colorado, the country's notorious leader in such deaths, has recorded its first two deaths just two days apart last week. To read more, click here.

--A skier suspected of throwing a snowboarder off a chairlift Sunday at Aspen Highlands will be charged with a crime “in the near future,” a law enforcement official said Thursday. To read more, click here.

--It shouldn't be that surprising that ski area employees are having a hard time with housing in posh exclusive ski towns.

--The Environment Foundation, an Aspen Skiing Company employee-funded, founded and directed foundation has awarded more than $2.8 million to 469 diverse local environmental projects since its inception in December 1997. Almost 1,800 employees per year contribute to the foundation directly from their paychecks. During the fall 2015 funding cycle, the Environment Foundation Board’s largest grants focused on renewable energy and planning efforts to preserve the heavily impacted Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness areas. Grants to improve the health of the Roaring Fork River, support communities opposed to inappropriate oil and gas development, cultivate future environmental stewards, and ensure popular hiking and biking trails remain in sound condition were also funded. To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--British explorer Henry Worsley set out in November to become the first person to traverse Antarctica solo. After 913 miles and suffering from a stomach infection, he was airlifted to a hospital in Chile on Friday, where he died over the weekend. To read more, click here.

--An avalanche near Big Sky that resulted in a ski patrol member's death was triggered by humans, an investigation shows. On Jan. 19, Darren Johnson, 34, died while assisting the Montana State University Avalanche Research Team in the Cedar Basin area, according to a release from the Yellowstone Club. To read more, click here.

--A 22-year-old skier was caught, partially buried and injured in a large avalanche at Holy Toledo Tuesday afternoon. Officials said the avalanche was on a steep northwest slope about 10,200 ft. in Cardiff in Big Cottonwood Canyon. To read more, click here.

--The editor-and-chief of Alpinist magazine is being recognized at the American Alpine Club dinner for excellence in climbing literature next month. This is a well-deserved award. To read more, click here.

--Professional freeskier Angel Collinson recently took a major fall on an Alaskan peak. In a gut-wrenching video she can be seen tumbling down a guy over a thousand feet. Luckily, she only injured two fingers in the incredible fall. To see a video of the fall, click below. To read more, click here.

--Alpinist, Colin Haley recently completed the the first solo ascent of Torre Egger, a peak considered the most difficult summit of the Torre Group in Patagonia. To read more, click here.

--Motorists in Northern California have been dealing with a new kind of road hazard: Overly aggressive coyotes who may have consumed hallucinogenic mushrooms. Pacific Sun reports that at least two coyotes have been staring down motorists on Highway 1 in Bolinas, a community in Marin County, and striding onto the road. When a driver stops to avoid hitting them, the coyotes usually sniff around the car before running off. To read more, click here.

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