Thursday, March 8, 2018

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 3/8/18

There were a lot of snow related fatalities over this last week. Yes, some of them were avalanches. But there were also tree-well immersions and a roof slide at a ski resort. Be careful out there. Always be aware of your surroundings and be extremely conservative in new snow conditions...


--It's been a tough couple of weeks in the mountains. The Tacoma New Tribune is reporting that, "The state of Washington averages five avalanche deaths every two years. This year, there have been six avalanche deaths here in just over a week." To read more, click here.

--The Associated Press is reporting that, "Authorities are trying to recover the body of a skier killed in an avalanche in the Methow Valley. Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers says four skiers were caught in the slide Sunday afternoon. The other three were able to locate the fourth using his avalanche beacon, but they couldn't recover his body." To read more, click here.

--Two snowmobilers were killed on Sunday near Esmeralda Peak in Eastern Washington in an avalanche. To read more, click here.

--There were two tree well fatalities at Mt. Bachelor over the weekend. Gear Junkie reports that. "In separate incidents Friday, a 24-year-old Bend, Ore., man and 19-year-old Eugene, Ore., woman fell into 6-foot-deep wells and suffocated. The deaths mark the first tree-well fatalities in 16 years at the resort, with roughly 8 million visits since the last occurrence." To read more, click here.

--MEC and REI are both dropping brands from Vista Outdoors. From the Adventure Journal: "REI announced that is suspending future purchases of brands owned by Vista Outdoor, which manufactures guns and ammunition, including semi-automatic weapons through its Savage Arms brand. Vista owns Bell, Blackburn, BollĂ©, Bushnell, CamelBak, Camp Chef, Giro, and Jimmy Styks, among others. This morning, Canadian retail chain MEC CEO David Labistour said in a statement that effective immediately, MEC will cease ordering any Vista Outdoor products. It will continue to sell inventory in stock until it’s sold out." To read more, click here.

--This is a really nice piece on Whatcom County Search and Rescue and the Bellingham Mountain Rescue Council.

--A nice new wall has been developed right next to the Smoke Bluff Parking Lot in Squamish. To read more about it, click here.


--Two ski resorts suffered in bounds avalanches over the weekend in the Sierra. The first was a controlled slide at Mammoth Mountain, that got out of control. But no one was injured. The second was at Squaw Valley and buried five people, though there were no reported fatalities. The following video is of a snowboarder rescued inside the ski areas boundaries:

--The Reno Gazette Journal reported on two fatalities from a roof avalanche. "A mother and son from San Francisco died Sunday while skiing to a slope-side condominium at Kirkwood Mountain Resort. According to the Alpine County Sheriff’s Office Olga Perkovic, 50, and her son, Aaron Goodstein, 7, died after snow falling from a rooftop buried them." To read more, click here.

--The National Park Service is now taking applications for climbing stewards in Yosemite National Park. To read more, click here.

Desert Southwest:

--An individual was found dead in Red Rock this week. It appears that the person died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. To read more, click here.

--The desert near Joshua Tree may soon be open to energy development. A number of locals are fighting against this move. To read more, click here.

--The annual Red Rock Rendezvous is slated to take place in Las Vegas from March 16-19, 2018. This is one of the biggest climbing festivals in the country...and one of the most fun. The American Alpine Institute works with Mountain Gear to put on the festival every year and many AAI guides will be on hand for both instruction, as well as for hanging out at the evening parties. You might also consider booking a guide before or after the program, or even participating in an additional climbing class. To read more, click here.


--The Denver Channel is reporting that, "The sons of former Broncos player Ed McCaffrey are being credited with helping to save the life of a 72-year-old climber who fell in Castle Rock. On Saturday afternoon, Dan Smoker was with his 13-year-old grandson descending the massive rock formation called Castle Rock when the elderly climber slipped and fell." To read more, click here.

--So there's a movie out about a dog on ski patrol in Vail. Check it out, here.

Notes from All Over:

--There was another tree-well fatality at Whitefish Mountain Resort in Montana. To read more, click here.

--Please please please please, don't try this at home!

--Climbing and politics DO converge...especially when it comes to issues of public lands and climate change. I would also argue that gender and racial equality in the outdoors are also important political issues in our chosen sports. Check out Climbing magazine's editorial on this topic.

 Google Earth Image People Believe Shows Spaceship in Antarctica
(click to enlarge)

--So some of the same yahoos who think there are aliens on Mt. Adams think that an alien spacecraft crashed on South Georgia Island in Antarctica. They note the shape of the "craft" and the trail behind it. They don't seem to account for why the crash trail is still there and the "ship" is covered in snow. To me it looks a lot like a serac collapsed off the ice cliff above and slid down the slope. To read more, click here.

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