Thursday, February 23, 2017

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 2/23/17


--A local northwest mountaineer was recently involved in a serious ski accident. Greg Smith hit a hidden tree beneath the powder at Crystal Mountain and suffered a seriously broken leg. A Go-Fund-Me site has been set-up to help him deal with his economic hardship following the accident. To learn more, click here.

--The Recreation Northwest Expo Event will be this on Saturday at the Ferry Terminal in Bellingham. Seventy outdoor exhibitors will be on site and there will be several demos. Check it out, here.

Leif Whittaker

--AAI guide and company manager Jason Martin will be interviewing Leif Whitaker about his new book, My Old Man and the Mountain on Chuckanut Radio Hour. Leif is the son of Jim Whittaker, the first American to summit Mt. Everest. Leif's book chronicles a climb of Mt. Everest, following his father's footsteps. To read more, click here.

--The Tacoma News Tribune ran an article about Leif Whittaker, his new book and his experience "growing up Whittaker." To read the article, click here.

--The American Alpine Club Annual Benefit Dinner will take place in Seattle this weekend. Conrad Anker will be the keynote speaker. To learn more, click here.

Bigfoot Holding a Snowboard on Washington State Route 2

--Apparently there are those in the Washington State Senate that would like to name Bigfoot, Washington State's official cryptid... To read about it, click here.


--The Tahoe Daily Tribune is reporting that, "It's been seven weeks since flames ripped through the Homewood Mountain Resort's South Lodge, and about one month since a small fire occurred at the Henrikson building in Tahoe City, but fire officials still haven't released information on the cause of either one." To read more, click here.

Desert Southwest:

--13 Action News is reporting that; "while no evacuations have been issued, there are new risks for avalanche at Mount Charleston. Trails up canyon, remote backcountry and the Rainbow and Echo subdivisions of Kyle Canyon are asked to be aware of the increased risks." To read more, click here.

--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.


--CBS Denver is reporting that, "a 17-year-old girl is the latest person to die at a Colorado ski resort. The teenager hit her head on a tree on Wednesday afternoon at Winter Park resort." To read more, click here.

--The following video from the Crested Butte Avalanche Center talks about a skier triggered avalanche that took place on Tuesday:

--This one is a bit unusual. The Denver Post is reporting on not just an avalanche, but a moose attack. "Three snowboarders were caught in an avalanche in Maroon Bowl on Monday then two of them had to fight off multiple attacks from a moose after self-rescuing from the slide." To read more, click here.

AAI Guide Zach Lovell on the summit of Hallett Peak in 
Rocky Mountain National Park
Photo by Chris Brinlee Jr.

--Outside Magazine has featured American Alpine Institute programs and AAI Guide Zach Lovell in one of their recent articles. To read the article, click here.

--After numerous problems and many reports that the store would close, the iconic Neptune Mountaineering shop in Boulder will remain open under new ownership. To read more, click here.

--The Denver Post is reporting that, "as citizens, government officials and business owners grapple with the value of public lands, one things holds true: Federal designation of an area as a national park or monument can help the local economy. The two newest national monuments in Colorado are buoying the communities that surround them." To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--There was a fatality this week on Maine's Mt. Katahdin. Bangor Daily News is reporting that, "A 68-year-old Holden man died Saturday after falling more than 1,000 feet down the icy surface of the Abol Slide in the park, according to a press release issued Monday." To read more, click here.

--It appears that an ice climber was injured at Lake Michigan this week. To read more, click here

--It's official. Utah's Governor Herbert has put oil, gas and mining on public lands above recreation. The result is that the Outdoor Retailer show will be searching for a new venue as soon as possible. This will cost Utah over $45 million dollars. To read more, click here.

--The Salt Lake Tribune responded to the loss of the Outdoor Retailer with an excellent editorial, "In the same week Utah announced that it had topped $8.17 billion in annual economic benefit from tourism, the $40 million Outdoor Retailer show announced it was leaving. Surely we can take a half-percent hit, right? No. The exit of Outdoor Retailer is so much more than just losing the state's largest convention. There will be hospitality jobs lost, and hotel rooms from Sandy to Ogden vacant for those two weeks a year. We're now building a 900-room downtown convention hotel — with public bonding authority — largely on spec. There is now no convention currently on Salt Lake City's docket that demands it." To read more, click here.

The Daily Camera has a great article about public lands and Congress' attempt to steal it from us: "'Public lands are under attack in a way they haven't been before,' Alex Honnold said to me last weekend. 'There's a realistic threat against 60 percent of our climbing areas. It's time to start paying attention.' Honnold, famous for his free-solo climbing, is an outspoken defender of public land. The 60 percent he refers to is the amount of American climbing — crags and mountains — that's on public land. To be clear, public land is federal land. It's your land." To read more, click here.

--Rock and Ice is reporting that, "It’s been a short-lived season for U.S. ice climbing. Only last week Ouray Ice Park announced its closure following unseasonably warm weather, and now the Valdez Ice Climbing Festival in Alaska, which runs every year over Presidents' Day Weekend, has had to follow suit after days of rains and abnormally warm weather resulted in the decline of conditions that would threaten the safety of climbers." To read more, click here.

--Alpinist is reporting that, "the UK-based Grit and Rock Foundation has announced four teams that will receive grant money for climbing expeditions. The award was created last September to 'encourage female participation in pioneering alpine ascents and to further the understanding and exploration of the unclimbed peaks. The award is open to individuals and climbing teams of any nationality with a majority female participation.'" To read more, click here.

--The National Parks Traveler is reporting that, The $11.9 billion maintenance backlog cited by the National Park Service inflates the true cost of high-priority infrastructure needs and elevates the risk for privatization and corporate giveaways in America’s parks, according to a report by an independent, nonpartisan policy institute." To read more, click here.

--Gripped Magazine is reporting that, "the Calgary Climbing Centre (CCC) hosted a groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday for their new Olympic-calibre climbing gym near the Calgary Olympic Park. The new facility will be a 25,000-square-foot cutting edge place for Canadian climbers to train. The new gym will have World Cup event Lead, Speed and Bouldering walls." To read more, click here.

--Forbes is reporting that Walmart has purchased a mountaineering retailer: "Walmart has purchased Moosejaw for $51 million, a move aimed squarely at besting Amazon in the apparel and sporting goods categories as the battle heats up. Walmart will now have a presence in a category reeling from consolidation and disruption. Moosejaw is largely an online seller of outdoor gear and activewear, with 10 brick-and-mortar locations." To read more, click here.

Uinita Brewing is celebrating the National Parks with a new line of Golden Ale.

--The Men's Journal is reporting that, "Uinta Brewing announced this week that they will be releasing a new Golden Ale dedicated to the National Park system in the U.S. The Salt Lake City–based brewery, which identifies itself as “a brand powered by adventure,” plans to release several iterations of the Golden Ale, each containing packaging honoring one of the nation’s National Parks." To read more, click here.

--The Wyoming Tribune Eagle is reporting that, "the Wyoming Senate advanced a bill Tuesday that supporters say would protect ski resorts from frivolous lawsuits. But opponents say House Bill 32, the Ski Safety Act, will make it harder for skiers and snowboarders to seek legal recourse if they are seriously injured on the slopes." To read more, click here.

--The Burlington Free Press is reporting that, "the news that Vail Resorts plans to buy Stowe Mountain Resort for $50 million was welcomed by Vermont’s ski industry. Insiders saw the move, announced Tuesday, as validation for the state’s ski business by the nation’s biggest and highest profile resort owner and operator...." To read more, click here.

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