Thursday, August 18, 2016

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 8/18/16


--A Portland man fell to his death Saturday at Dry Creek Falls south of Cascade Locks, the second such fatality in Hood River County in August. Rescue workers were on scene Saturday and Sunday, according to Hood River County Sheriff’s deputies. Samuel Shin, 28, was dead at the scene after falling about 50 feet onto rocks, suffering a massive head injury, according to Sgt. Pete Hughes. To read more, click here.

--A 54-year-old hiker died after falling 150 yards on Mount Shasta Thursday. His 16-year-old son was rescued. According to a news release from Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office, the victim's son called 911 around 9:30 a.m. Thursday, reporting that his father, 54-year-old James Sieleman of Iowa, had fallen from the top of Red Banks. That's a geographic feature located approximately 12,800 feet up the steep slope of Mount Shasta. To read more, click here.

--A 51 year old Portland man suffered a broken leg Sunday while climbing in the Dragontail Peak area near Aasgard Pass in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. To read more, click here.

  --Idaho wildlife managers on Monday praised family members who charged a mountain lion and rescued a young girl from the jaws of the animal which was attempting to drag her off for the kill. The four-year-old girl suffered minor injuries from the attack Friday evening near a hot springs in eastern Idaho where dozens of relatives had gathered for a reunion, state wildlife officials said. The young male mountain lion believed to be behind the attack was later tracked and killed by authorities. To read more, click here.

--Whatcom County’s most famous landmark, Mount Baker, celebrates two important anniversaries in August. On Aug. 11, 1911, Joe Galbraith won the first Mount Baker Marathon, a publicity stunt designed by civic boosters who wanted to attract people to the area. And on Aug. 17, 1868 a party lead by Edmund Coleman made the mountain's first ascent. To read more, click here.

Read more here:

--The 5Point Film Festival is coming to Bellingham from August 25-27. In addition to all the films, there will be lots of other events going on around the Festival. Authors Brendon Leonard (Sixty Meters to Anywhere), Ian Nicholson (Washington Pass Supertopo) and Dave Costello (Flying Off Everest) will all be making presentations at the event. AAI will be providing a self-rescue seminar at 1pm on the 27th. And there's a whole lot more! To see everything that's going on, check out the 5Point webpage!

--He's notched more first ascents than any other American mountaineer, wrote the definitive guidebooks to a major North American mountain range, and at age 93, Fred Beckey is still plotting routes — though more slowly and buoyed by a cadre of fiercely protective partners. To read more, click here.


--The body of missing hiker John Lee, a 68-year-old male from Mentone, CA, was spotted by helicopter in Sequoia National Park at the base of the southwest slope of Mt. Whitney (approximately 12,500 feet in elevation) on Sunday, July 24, 2016, at approximately 1:35 p.m. To read more, click here.

Desert Southwest:

--The death of a 56-year-old woman who was hiking in Joshua Tree National Park this weekend has prompted officials to warn visitors about the dangers of heat exposure as temperatures soar across Southern California. To read more, click here.

Mt. Wilson in Red Rock Canyon in the morning sun.

--Gypsum Resources is once again seeking Clark County’s permission to build a village containing thousands of homes atop Blue Diamond Hill. The company, which bought one of the nation’s oldest gypsum mines for $54 million in 2003, last sought to develop a scenic village across approximately 2,100 hilltop acres in 2011. But the effort stalled, and a previous concept plan’s approval expired amid talks of a potential land swap with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Those negotiations ended without a deal in 2014. BLM didn’t want lands affected by mining, which accounts for about 1,800 acres of the property, according to Gypsum Resources. To read more, click here.

--It's not just entertainment on the Las Vegas Strip drawing people to southern Nevada anymore. Outdoor activities like rock climbing are bringing more people to the valley, according to an economic report just released. According to the article, Red Rock Rendezvous alone brings 1 million dollars to the local economy. To read more, click here.

--On July 29, 2016 the Access Fund sent a letter to Congressmen Bishop (R, UT) and Chaffetz (R, UT), co-signed by Outdoor Industry Association and Outdoor Alliance, regarding the Utah Public Lands Initiative bill and the proposed Bears Ears National Monument. Access Fund determined the position through several years of efforts and after the entire Access Fund policy team spent 3 days in Utah meeting with local climbers and elected officials, discussing climbing management with Secretary Jewell and other land managers, and listening to the spectrum of concerns shared by local stakeholders including the Native American community. The letter states that we will continue to participate in the legislative process; however, we are also realistic about the current political landscape and we support the President's use of the Antiquities Act if there are no other options to achieve our vision for public land management in eastern Utah. See letter here. To read more, click here.

--The race is on to win President Barack Obama’s attention as he puts some final touches on his environmental legacy. Conservation groups, American Indian tribes and federal lawmakers are urging his administration to preserve millions of acres as national monuments, including an embattled swath of federal land in northeast Clark County known as Gold Butte. Efforts also are underway in Utah, Arizona and elsewhere to get Obama to flex his presidential authority to set aside land under the 1906 Antiquities Act. To read more, click here.


--A 36-year-old Lakewood man was rescued from the second flatiron near Boulder Tuesday morning after spending the night stranded on the rock. To read more, click here.

--Search and rescue operations are expensive. However, a large percentage of SAR operations are done by volunteers. Those volunteers need equipment and training though. And those things cost money. An editorial in the Denver Post argues that backcountry travelers, both adventure recreationalists and outdoorsmen (hunters and fishers) should purchase a Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue card for $3. Funds from these sales go to support Colorado's SAR community. To read more, click here.

--Telluride ski resort will join the Mountain Collective for the 2016-17 ski season, adding to the growing family of ski areas allied to compete against Vail Resorts’ powerful Epic Pass. To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--Alex Honnold doesn't have the same kind of brain that we do. This seems obvious to most of us who gawk at his free solo feats. But now science says his brain's not the same. To read more, click here.

--There is a lot of excitement about climbing in the Olympics in 2020. But it's likely that the Olympic committee got it wrong. Athletes will have to compete in three events: sport climbing, bouldering, and speed climbing. The problem is that these events each play to specific skill-sets. Most climbers do not have a high level of ability in all three of these skill-sets. To read more, click here.

A 19-year old climber on Trump Tower.

--I'm sure that you're all aware of this by now, but some yahoo climbed Trump Tower last week with suction cups. To read more, click here. AAI staff member, Tom Kirby spoke to somebody at Newsweek about this ascent. Though we haven't found the article yet...

--The Southeast Climbers Coalition and Access Fund are thrilled to announce that Denny Cove, a 685-acre parcel of land in eastern Tennessee, has been acquired and opened to climbing. This acquisition preserves a wild and undeveloped piece of the Fiery Gizzard area in the Southern Cumberland Plateau, and was made possible with critical support of The Land Trust for Tennessee (LTTN) and The Conservation Fund. To read more, click here.

--Are you ready for mechanized vehicles on every wilderness trail in the United States? That’s what you’ll get if a deceptive piece of federal legislation becomes law. Portrayed as a “modest” proposal for mountain bike access, the legislation is a Trojan horse that would throw open all designated wilderness areas to bikes and prevent federal land managers from later excluding them. The “Human-Powered Travel in Wilderness Areas Act” was introduced into Congress by Utah Republican Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee, both known for their efforts to roll back environmental protection. You can read it online. To read more, click here.

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