Thursday, February 11, 2016

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 2/11/16


--A woman is safe after being buried by an avalanche north of Pemberton. On Sunday afternoon around 3:40 p.m., Pemberton RCMP received a call about an avalanche north of Pemberton off of the Duffly Lake Highway. There were a number of groups out skiing on February 9th when the avalanche occurred. One woman was fully buried 1.5 metres below the surface for three to five minutes, and three other people were partially buried. To read more, click here.

--There was a serious avalanche incident in the backcountry near Crystal Mountain Ski Area on Saturday. Both skiers survived and were able to self-rescue, but it was a close call. To read more about the incident, click here.

--A regional expert on grizzlies made the case last week for helping the “charismatic and controversial creatures” return to their historical home in the North Cascades. Joe Scott of Conservation Northwest has spent 20 years researching and advocating for grizzly bears, and shared his thoughts about the proposed recovery of grizzlies in nearby mountains with an audience at the North Cascades Basecamp on January 28th. To read more, click here.

--Alpinist, sponsored athlete and writer, Blake Herrington will be putting on a slideshow at Western Washington University to promote his new guidebook on February 24. Click on the announcement above for details.

--The Whistler Blackcomb resort is having a strong ski season so far and is on track to have a record number of visits, according to its parent company's latest financial report. In the three months that ended Dec. 31, it recorded 502,000 skier visits - up 23.3 per cent from the comparable quarter of 2014. By Feb. 8, in the midst of the company's second quarter, it had recorded 1.09 million skier visits. To read more, click here.

--Tim Emmett and Klemen Preml have established a new ice climb at Helmcken Falls in British Columbia—an overhanging, 260-foot WI 12, climbed in a single pitch. They call their new line Interstellar Spice. To read more, click here.


--In-bounds avalanches are rare. Ski patrollers do a lot to manage the avalanche hazards inside ski resorts. That said, occasionally they happen. The following video was posted by a skier named Tyler Karow after he was caught in an in-bounds avalanche at Mammoth Mountain.  Karow was trying to ski Philips on the far side of Paranoids...

--Another route on El Cap has gone free! The Heart Route climbs up the southwest face of El Captan. The route has 12-pitches of 5.11 and nine pitches of 5.13. To read more, click more.

--While temperatures around the Tahoe Basin are forecast to reach close to 15 degrees above average this week — with no precipitation expected — meteorologists and water resource officials say it’s not yet a cause for concern when it comes to the snowpack. To read more, click here.

Desert Southwest: 

--A person died while visiting Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area on Sunday. According to Las Vegas police, the death appears to have been the result of a medical episode. It was not the result of a fall. 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.


--Colorado recorded an avalanche fatality last Tuesday when a snowmobiler stuck in a gully triggered an avalanche on the east side of Wolf Creek Pass. The avalanche was not relatively large, but a lack of shovels and the terrain trap nature of the accident prevented a speedy recovery. To read more, click here.

--A snow bike rider was fatally buried by an avalanche Friday in the Cottonwood Pass area of Chaffee County. To read more, click here.

--Through January, avalanches had killed 21 people this winter in North America, including hikers, climbers and skiers and snowboarders. Snowmobilers—including the 5 killed in British Columbia—account for 12 of the 21 deaths. To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--A 24-year-old woman died over the weekend after hitting a tree at Wisconsin's Cascade Mountain ski hill. To read more, click here.

--A Virginia rock climber pleaded guilty on Monday to killing the climber who was his mentor for 20 years, by hitting the man on the head with a claw hammer. David DiPaolo, 33, will likely be sentenced to 10 to 15 years in prison, in accordance with the plea agreement, the U.S. attorney’s office in Maryland said in a statement on Monday. To read more, click here.

--A person was injured after falling during a climb of a rock face in North Carolina's Linville Gorge area on Saturday afternoon. Ground crews helped the patient near Shortoff Mountain in Burke County until rescue teams could move the climber to a place where a military helicopter was able to land. To read more, click here.

--Black Diamond has issued a recall for some carabiners and some runners. To learn about the carabiner recall, click here. For the runner recall, click here.

--Two ski resorts in Vermont closed last week due to a lack of snow. To read more, click here.

-President Obama announced a proposal last week to fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund for the 2017 budget, along with permanently reauthorizing annual mandatory funding for the program beginning in 2018. To read more, click here.

--So a guy did a really good job on a ski video with his Iphone and nothing else. Check it out below and read more, here.

--It's interesting to note that not all ski fatalities are listed in the different statistics. To read more about this, click here.

--Get the gear. Get the training. Get the forecast. That's the mantra of the industry that's built up around the rising popularity of back country sports — skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling — undertaken outside the groomed boundaries of ski resorts. But while more and more people are venturing out into the backcountry, sales of life-saving avalanche gear are not keeping pace. To read more, click here.

--The Obama administration is requesting $860 million to repair and upgrade our national parks to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. The proposed parks budget -- part of a total Department of the Interior budget request of $13.4 billion -- includes $300 million in mandatory spending and $560 million in discretionary spending for 2017. It would fund restoration and maintenance projects in the parks over the next 10 years. To read more, click here.

A Spanish Skier Claims to have spotted a Yeti in the Pyrenees.
Photo via Twitter

--A skier claims to have proved the existence of the abominable snowman with a shaky three-second video clip filmed on a ski slope in the Pyrenees. The tourist claims his video is conclusive proof that a yeti-like monster exists. The creature was purportedly seen roaming the mountains by a holidaymaker in the ski resort of Formigal in north-eastern Spain. To read more and to see a super shaky video, click here.

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