Thursday, March 17, 2016

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 3/17/16


--A skier has died at the popular B.C. resort of Whistler Blackcomb.  RCMP say the 32-year-old Whistler resident became separated from her husband in a treed area on Blackcomb Mountain on Tuesday morning. When they found the individual, it appears that she had expired in a tree-well. To read more, click here.

--A Castlegar man is dead following yet another snowmobiling avalanche incident, this one in the Kootenay region.RCMP confirms the local man died on Monday and his body was located on Tuesday. To read more, click here.
--Two climbers were rescued from the North Gully of the Stawamus Chief in Sqaumish, B.C. this week. To read more and to see a video, click here.

--A climber was rescued from Mt. Hood this week after being pinned down by a storm. To read more, click here.

--It got pretty windy in the Cascades last week. Mt. Baker Ski Area reported winds of up to 109 miles per hour! To read more, click here.

--Ever since steam was spotted rising from Mount Baker two decades ago, the volcano has been a focus of geologists in the North Cascades. When Mount Baker erupts, crumbles or both, the Skagit Valley may be in trouble, geologist Dave Tucker said. But the extent of the damage will depend on many factors, including which side of the mountain gives way and which way the wind is blowing. To read more, click here.

A climbing gym staff member texts while a child cries,
suck half-way up the wall.

--A staff member at Funtopia in British Columbia was fired after a parent took a video of a staff member texting while a child hung on the wall for several minutes crying. To read about the incident and the company's response, click here.


--Luke Solum, 43, of Reno died Sunday while skiing near Reno. Authorities have yet to determine the cause. The Washoe County Medical Examiner’s office released the identification Thursday morning. To read more, click here.

--The recent renaming of many of the facilities at Yosemite National Park is drawing considerable criticism from current and former Valley climbers, residents and visitors. To read more, click here.

Desert Southwest:

--On Wednesday, March 9, Eric Michael Klimt died in a fall from Moonlight Buttress (5.12d), a  classic 11-pitch crack climb in Zion National Park, Utah. He was an accomplished climber and teacher. To read more, click here.

--A climber was killed after some kind of "equipment failure" on the Rambo Wall in Utah's Beef Basin Canyon. Information is sparse on this incident and it's not clear what actually failed. 50-year-old Mark Davis died of head trauma after the accident. To read more, click here.

--A climber fell approximately 50 feet Saturday after losing control while descending a 100-foot cliff near St. George, Utah. Emergency responders were dispatched at approximately 1:40 p.m. to the Cougar Cliffs area 6 .miles north of St. George off state Route 18. The extent of the climber's injuries are not known. To read more, click here.

--A mine proposed in Arizona and championed by Senator John McCain would  essentially erase one of the country’s best bouldering spots. This battle to save Oak Flats is being called the biggest threat to climbing access in US history. To read more and to find out what you can do, click here. You may also check out the video below about a bouldering competition and a rally to save Oak Flat:

--A backcountry skier was taken to the hospital Wednesday afternoon after being rescued from an avalanche on Utah’s second highest mountain range, located on the eastern border of the state about 15 miles east of Moab. At approximately 1:30 p.m. last Wednesday, several backcountry skiers were skiing in the Gold Basin – northwest side of Mount Peale – area of the La Sal Mountains when one of the skiers became caught in an avalanche. To read more, click here.

--Graffiti is surging at Joshua Tree, Arches and Zion national parks, and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. At Capitol Reef and Independence Rock, ignorami scrawl their names over 100-year-old pioneer inscriptions. Even 4,000-year-old drawings from the Archaic Period have been scribbled on. To read more, click here.

--It sounds like somebody has been shooting at the Fringe climbing area in Red Rock Canyon. Climbers have reported finding dozens and dozens of gun shells. Shooting is not allowed inside the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. 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.


--Authorities say a 19-year-old man who died Wednesday while skiing at Copper Mountain Resort lost control on an intermediate trail and crashed into a tree. To read more, click here.

--A skier died after losing control during a trip with his daughter at Telluride Ski Resort this week, according to a San Miguel County Sheriff's Office spokesperson.  William Scott Elligott, 49, of Colorado Springs, was skiing in the Gold Hill area with this 20-year-old daughter on Wednesday when he fell to his death, San Miguel County Sheriff's spokeswoman Susan Lilly said. To read more, click here.

--Skier visits are up 6.2 percent for the season and 3.8 percent for January and February for 21 ski resorts across the state, according to Colorado Ski Country USA. To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--Military courts in Pakistan have sentenced 13 militants to death for terrorism-related offences including the 2013 massacre of 10 foreign mountaineers, the army said Tuesday. Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) member Irfan Ullah was sentenced for the attack on the base camp at Nanga Parbat, Pakistan's second highest mountain, which shocked the world and scarred the country's climbing tourism industry. To read more, click here.

--A new study led by Eastern Kentucky University finds rock climbers have a significant economic impact in the Red River Gorge region of southeastern Kentucky. The Red River Gorge region is renowned for its rock climbing areas, which attract climbers from across the country and around the world. The study indicates climbers are a substantial economic force in the Red River Gorge, contributing $3.6 million annually. It also indicates that climber spending directly creates jobs and contributes to the local and state tax base. To read more, click here.

--Mad River Glen in Vermont has closed for the season due to lack of snow. To read more, click here.

--Jackson Hole Mountain Resort will be adding another Gondola. To read more, click here.

--This is a super cool Mt. Everest Tour of the South Col route.

--Canada's Ghost River in Alberta has had an access update. To read more, click here.

--The Access Fund has published a nice piece on what the development of National Monuments means for climbers. To read the article, click here.

--Snowboarding — which scarcely existed 30 years ago and took over ski resorts around the world seemingly overnight, adding 5 million participants in two decades — has tumbled to earth recently. As the sport has been abandoned by participants and advertisers, equipment sales and sponsorship opportunities for athletes have dipped below their peak numbers of five years ago. To read more, click here.

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