Thursday, February 25, 2016

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 2/25/16


--A 55-year-old woman died after colliding with a snowboarder at British Columbia's Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. To read more, click here.

--A child recently had a problem on a chairlift at Whistler. Luckily the lift operators moved fast and were able to save the boy hanging from the chair from any serious injury. Check out the video below:

--And speaking of children in ski resorts, another child had a very close call at the Brundage Mountain Ski Resort in Idaho. Winston Goss was skiing between trees with his son Ethan at when the boy lost control and wiped out. Ethan went into a tree well and was immediately buried in snow. Had the boy's father not been there to pull him out, it is unlikely Ethan would have survived. To read more and to see the terrifying GoPro video of the incident, click here.

--The trail to the Big Four Ice Caves, closed since a deadly collapse of the caves in July, is likely to reopen this spring with updated warning signs and a winter’s worth of new snow from which the caves could reform. The U.S. Forest Service is finishing a risk assessment for the ice caves, the most visited hiking destination in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. Thousands of hikers follow the trail every summer to the foot of Big Four Mountain, where packed snow from winter avalanches accumulates and lasts, sheltered in the shade of the mountain. As the weather warms in the spring and summer, meltwater and warm air currents carve caverns into the compressed snow. To read more, click here.

--By tapping his state’s first recreation advisor, Governor Jay Inslee—along with chief executives in Colorado and Utah—has sent Western policymakers a strong message and a challenge: Support the outdoor industry or lose one of your state’s biggest economic engines. When 200 outdoor recreation industry executives, nonprofits, guides, conservation groups, and other stakeholders gathered at the Big Tent Outdoor Recreation Coalition annual rally in Olympia, Washington, on February 3, they had a lot to celebrate. To read more, click here.


--Every year there are a few days in February where the sun lights up Yosemite's Horsetail Falls so that it looks like it's on fire. As the sun goes down, it hits the falls just perfectly. To see a video about this annual event, click below:

Desert Southwest:

--Death Valley National Park, one of the hottest places on Earth, is experiencing a rare occurrence fit for the record books. Despite its inhospitable climate, the below-sea-level basin in Furnace Creek, California -- about 150 miles west of Las Vegas -- is now teeming with millions of blooming wildflowers. To read more and to see photos, click here.

--Two remote former mining sites in Joshua Tree National Park have been closed — indefinitely. The theft of a heavy ore car and other items has resulted in the recent closures. And in recent years, Joshua Tree National Park has had a rash of vandalism forcing the closure of multiple areas. To read more, click here.

--Zion National Park has announced cliff closures to climbers for nesting peregrine falcons. To see the list, 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.


--More details have emerged on the massive avalanche north of Silverton last week that caught two backcountry skiers and shut down Red Mountain Pass but miraculously caused no injuries. To read more, click here.

--Czech climber Lucie Hrozová recently won the women's Ouray Ice Festival Mixed Climbing Competition and then shortly thereafter completed what may be the hardest mixed climb in America. To read more, click here.

--Want to know how much high end ski resorts pay for their land leases? Check out this article.

Notes from All Over:

--A Canmore climber suffered a 30-meter fall on Alberta's Professor Falls on Mt. Rundle this week. To read more, click here.

--A second ice climbing incident took place in Cody Wyoming. To read more, click here.

--A 65-year-old skier was killed after striking several trees at New York's Gore Mountain Ski Area. To read more, click here.

--A 56-year-old man was killed at Utah's Snowbasin Ski Resort. It appears that the man struck a tree and was not wearing a helmet. To read more, click here.

--One man is dead after he skirted a boundary rope, triggering a deadly slide on the backside of Grand Targhee Resort on Sunday afternoon. Another suffered cardiac arrest last week while backcountry skiing just outside of the resort boundary. Neither man perished within the resort. To read more, click here.

--A 39-year-old snowmobiler has died in an avalanche in northern Wyoming. To read more, click here. To read more, click here.

--With few clues to guide them, rescuers suspended their search Friday (Feb. 19) for a 67-year-old skier suspected to have gone missing in Taos Ski Valley during mid-January. To read more, click here.

--An anesthesiologist was arrested on Valentine's Day in an apparent "ski rage incident" involving a 12-year-old boy at New Jersey's Mountain Creek ski area, police said. Samuel G. Caruthers, 44, of Mountain Lakes, punched the boy in the mouth and struck him with the end of a ski pole during the assault at the ski resort on Sunday afternoon during a "ski rage incident," Vernon police Lt. Keith Kimkowski said in a news release. To read more, click here.

--A West Virginia ski lift malfunctioned this week. The malfunction resulted in nine injuries. Articles about the incident don't explain exactly what happened, instead they just say it was a "malfunction." To read more, click here.

--The National Parks are getting star treatment in a new IMAX 3-D film. Learn more, here.

Officials want to ensure that tourists observe the glaciers from a distance, not atop the glaciers themselves, according to a report published on Thursday by Xinhua, the state news agency.

--The American Alpine Institute does not support any specific candidate for president. However, something interesting happened recently. The Bernie Sanders campaign made a campaign video directed at climbers. This is a new precedent and it means that our voices - the voices of climbers and outdoor recreationalists - have value to politicians. And that is a really cool thing. Hopefully we'll see more of this from all of the candidates as this cycle continues. Check out the campaign video below:

--Concerned about the environmental impact of tourists on glaciers, the government of the Xinjiang province of China announced this month that it was banning glacial tourism across the region, which is one-sixth of the Chinese land mass. Many glaciers are found in Xinjiang, and in the Tianshan range in particular, which runs east-west through the middle of the vast region. To read more, click here.

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