Thursday, January 26, 2017

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 1/26/17

Northwest: is reporting that, "An Anchorage resident died Saturday morning when she was caught in an avalanche in British Columbia, according to Canadian police. Amy Downing, 32, was the woman who died in the Saturday avalanche, said her brother Jared Downing. Royal Canadian Mounted Police officials in Nelson, B.C., hadn't formally released Downing's name Monday, but described the victim as a 32-year-old woman." To read more, click here.

--The Revelstoke Review has an interesting report on an avalanche that took place in Revelstoke to a dog-walker. The victim -- who survived mostly uninjured -- has a lot of mountain experience, but the avalanche came from a place she didn't consider to be avalanche terrain... To read more, click here. has a report on a group of Utah skiers that survived an avalanche the Selkirks of British Columbia. To read the story, click here.

--The North Cascades National Park is planning several open houses about the possible grizzly bear reintroduction. To read more about this, click here.

--The Seattle Times has published a nice profile on DOT avalanche forecasters for the I-90 corridor. To read the piece, click here.


--Powder Magazine is reporting that, "Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows released a statement early Tuesday that 'a fatal incident occurred at Squaw Valley involving a ski patroller at 8:35 a.m. this morning during avalanche control activities.'" It appears that Joe Zuiches was killed by an explosive while doing avalanche control work. He is survived by a wife and young son. Read more, here. Find a Go Fund Me site for Joe's wife and infant son, here.

--Our guides are reporting a large rockfall over the Whitney Portal road. The road is currently closed and they are hiking/skiing/snowshoeing in and out. Hopefully, when it opens, the Forest Service will clear it right away...

--The Sacramento Bee is reporting that, "Two men posted a picture online of themselves trapped under the snow after an avalanche early Monday morning engulfed their car on Highway 89. The avalanche between Alpine Meadows and Tahoe City caught the car in its path, the California Highway Patrol noted on its traffic incident website." To read more, click here.

Read more here:
Desert Southwest:

--Red Rock Rendezvous is a world-class climbing event. There will be climbing instruction, competitions, slideshows, games and parties. This is one event that just gets better every year. AAI guides will be there to support the event and will be available for guided climbs or instructional programs both before and after the Red Rock Rendezvous. To learn more, click here.

Click to Enlarge

--A massive rock slide came down over the road just north of the Zion Lodge in Zion National Park on Friday. To read more, click here.


--Anonymous sources told Reuters News Service that the Steamboat Ski Area is up for sale. To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--Yahoo News is reporting that, "The number of bodies recovered from the ruins of an Italian hotel buried by an avalanche rose to 24 on Wednesday, local authorities said. Another five people were still unaccounted for, presumed dead, as a result of the January 18 disaster, which saw the Hotel Rigopiano ripped from its foundations by the force of a wall of tree and mud-packed snow hurtling down the hillside into which it was built." To read more, click here.

--Legendary snowboarder Jeremy Jones was in an accident in Utah's backcountry last week. The accident resulted in multiple broken bones and a Life Flight for emergency surgery. This was an extremely expensive flight and there is Go Fund Me site set-up to help Jeremy pay for his flight. To read more and to donate, click here.

--The CEO of Burton Snowboards, Donna Carpenter, funded employee trips to Washington DC last week for the Women's March on Washington. ESPN is reporting that, "Carpenter is taking her commitment to the protest a step further. On Jan. 5, she sent an email to all of Burton's female employees, offering to fund and lodge anyone interested in joining her in D.C. She closed the email by saying, "Thanks for being the most inspiring women in the world to me." To read more, click here.

--On a related note, the Trump Administration shut down all NPS Twitter feeds following a tweet of a photo of two crowds, one at the Obama Inauguration and one at the Trump Inauguration. Twitter was restored a few hours later. To read more, click here.

--And in yet more NPS Twitter news, the Badlands National Park Twitter feed went rogue on Tuesday, before deleting all tweets. The White House has scrubbed all information pertaining to climate change from its website. Somebody from Badlands wasn't having it and began to tweet our climate change facts from the NPS account. Many believe that this was an act of civil disobedience in light of the new objectives of the Trump Administration. To read more, click here.

--The response from NPS employees to what they see is censorship has resulted in the creation of a new off-hours NPS twitter feed: @AltNatParkSer

--In one final piece about how the new administration is affecting the management of public lands, it has been noted that many are concerned about how wildfires will be fought in light of an executive order that has frozen hiring in federal agencies. The Missoulian reports that, "in 2015, the Forest Service hired about 11,000 seasonal workers. At least 6,200 of those were firefighters or had  firefighting-related duties. But many were for positions such as logging sale analysts, trail maintenance workers, and forest rangers." To read more, click here.

--Here's a report on the fatal avalanche that took place in Glacier National Park on January 5th.
From the Petzl Waterfall Ice Study

--Petzl has posted an excellent piece on why ice climbs collapse and what conditions are best to avoid this kind of activity. To read the article, click here.

--SNews has an excellent profile on the mastermind behind last year's OR/GQ spoof. "Last September, Outdoor Research lit up the industry’s collective social media feeds with a spot-on parody of a recent GQ fashion spread. Instead of the original’s images of men climbing at Joshua Tree in $800 sweaters while their female friends looked on, Outdoor Research’s shot-for-shot version showcased three female climbers and their half-naked male cheering squad. Christian Folk, who has been with Outdoor Research for nearly 10 years, was one of the masterminds behind that spoof—which he estimates got “somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 million impressions”—as well as several other grassroots marketing campaigns." To read more, click here.

--So there is a climbing gym in Great Britain with x-rated climbing holds. To read about it, click here...but beware, while some images are blocked out, it's still not really a safe for work post.

--Malia Obama made a secret trekking trip to Bolivia and Peru recently. The New York Times is reporting that, "the Bolivian guides were convinced it was the blonde. It had to be the blonde. American Embassy officials in November had told three brothers who led guided hikes across Bolivia’s majestic Cordillera Real mountain range that they would soon be hosting an important American dignitary. When a group of teenagers and a small band of American bodyguards showed up on Nov. 24, it wasn’t apparent to the guides that it was the president’s elder daughter, Malia Obama, and not a blond companion, who warranted the extraordinary security measures." To read more, click here.

--The Alpine Mountain Ski Area in Pennsylvania is for sale. To read more, click here.

--And finally, there was a conversation on Reddit the other day about drones at the crag. Somebody brought up the idea that a drone could potentially cut a rope. So a guy who likes to film climbing with a drone did a test. He found that it appeared unlikely that it would be an issue. He was able to damage a rope, but it really required him to hold the drone up against it for a long time. See the video below:

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