--In a welcome piece of good news, it appears that avalanche deaths in the west are declining. In theory, there should be more, as more people participate in winter backcountry sports, but that's not what's happening... To read more, click here.
--The Sierra Wave is reporting that, "The Mono County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Team is an all-volunteer non-profit organization dedicated to saving lives. When called by the Mono County Sheriff’s Office, the Team responds for searches and rescues at any time, in any weather, for as long as it takes, for free. The Team has responded to 37 calls this year so far and has volunteered 3,410 hours. Each year the Team holds an Awards Dinner to acknowledge the hard work its members have contributed and to honor members for their individual excellence and public service. The 2018 Awards Dinner was held on Saturday, December 8." To read more, click here.
Colorado and Utah:
--Eldora Mountain tried to implement $20 parking frees on skiers and snowboarders. It didn't work out so well. Check it out.
It's likely that a series of videos posted online depicting the
destruction of a natural arch were fake.
--A series of videos were recently uploaded that depict the destruction of Utah hoodoos and arches. After the initial shock, experts were able to look at the videos critically and believe that they were fabrications. To read more, click here.
--The National Parks Traveler is reporting that, "After 19 years driving up and down Zion Canyon, it should be a surprise that the shuttle bus fleet at Zion National Park is beyond its expected life. What also shouldn't be surprising is that replacement parts for the fleet are getting harder to find, and funding to replace the buses is also hard to come by." To read more, click here.
Notes from All Over:
--Well, Ryan Zinke is out as Secretary of the Interior. There's no question that he was terrible for public lands and for the environment. The problem is that his potential replacements don't look much better.
--Conditions are tough out there. Avalanches are taking place all over the west. In the following video a skier triggered an avalanche on Monday, December 17 on Montana's Bridger Peak:
--A climber suffered a 30+ foot fall at the Stone Summit Gym in Atlanta. It appears that person did not clip into the auto-belay. The person was shaken, but not injured in a way that required an ambulance. To read more, click here.
--The Wall Street Journal is reporting that, "the Boy Scouts of America is considering filing for bankruptcy protection as it faces dwindling membership and escalating legal costs related to lawsuits over how it handled allegations of sex abuse." To read more, click here.
--The Access Fund is reporting that, "Texas Climbers Coalition (TCC) and Access Fund are pleased to announce the acquisition and permanent protection of Medicine Wall, a limestone bluff in San Antonio, Texas that provides an urban getaway for outdoor climbing." To read more, click here.
--Renowned winter climber Lonnie Dupree is gearing up for a solo winter ascent of Mt. Hunter in the Alaska Range. To read more, click here.
--The American Alpine Club has announced the 2019 Climbing Awards. To read more, click here.
--Rock and Ice magazine is looking for illustrators to do contract illustration work for the magazine. To read more, click here.