Thursday, January 24, 2019

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 1/24/19

Government Shutdown News:

--Volunteers have done a lot throughout the country to help the Parks during the shutdown. To read about it, click here.

--It could take years, or even decades, for the National Parks to recover from the current Government Shutdown. To read more, click here.

--SNews is reporting that, "As the federal government shutdown continues into its fifth week, the business of outdoor recreation is feeling the effects. Specialty retail stores and adventure outfitters located in gateway communities near national parks are on the front lines of a political conflict that has put at risk the conscientious management of public land. Among the 800,000 employees who have been furloughed from their jobs or required to work without pay, more than 27,000 are National Park Service professionals. Interpretive rangers, law enforcement officers, and maintenance personnel have a long tradition of working in partnership with local environmental advocates in the communities they serve. Now with a dramatically reduced federal workforce, private businesses, nonprofit organizations, and chambers of commerce are struggling to protect the natural resources that are so vital to their economic stability and way of life." To read more, click here.

--In an op-ed at Outside, a former park ranger makes an argument to get politics out of NPS operations. To read the article, click here.

--At Outside, Wes Siler writes about is recent interactions with government workers. "he most surprising emotion I’ve encountered while reporting on the partial government shutdown? Fear. Everyone from park rangers to administrators to government lawyers to guides who operate independent businesses on federal land are all too scared to publicly go on the record about how the shutdown is impacting them. And let me tell you, that is anything but normal." To read more, click here.

--The Atlantic is reporting that, "After observing, if not exactly understanding, the magnetic field’s recent behavior, scientists decided to update the World Magnetic Model, which underlies navigation for ships and planes today. As Nature reported, the update was supposed to come January 15. But the model is jointly developed by the British Geological Survey and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the U.S. government is shut down." To read more, click here.


--The Sawtooth Avalanche Center in Idaho is reporting that, "A skier and snowboarder were caught, carried 100-150 yards, and buried in an avalanche they triggered in the Warm Springs Creek drainage on Sunday, 1-20- 2019. The skier was fully buried and was able to dig himself out of the debris in approximately 25 minutes. The snowboarder was partially buried with his head and torso beneath the snow. He also extricated himself. They were riding in the 'sidecountry' or 'out-of-bounds' terrain on Bald Mountain, outside the ski area boundary. Neither rider was seriously injured. The avalanche was at least 100 feet wide and released on a northerly aspect near 7800' in elevation." To read more, click here.

--A couple of new alpine mixed routes have gone up over the last couple weeks on Vancouver Island. To read about it, click here.


--Teton Gravity Research is reporting that, "Two British hikers were rescued in extremely steep terrain in Yosemite early last Wednesday morning, just as heavy snowfall was materializing. According to rescue reports, the two hiked up the Yosemite Falls trail, planned to descend the Snow Creek Trail, but got lost around snowline and accidentally started descending a steep dead-end gully as darkness fell." This, of course, was done with a complete skeleton crew due to the Government Shutdown. To read more, click here.

--Buzzfeed and several others are reporting that, "Two married travel bloggers who fell to their deaths in Yosemite in October were drunk when they died, according to autopsy results released Friday. The bodies of Meenakshi "Minaxi" Moorthy, 30, and Vishnu Viswanath, 29, were recovered roughly 800 feet below Taft Point on Oct. 25 after a specialized team of rangers was able to reach them. Together, they ran the Instagram account @holidaysandhappilyeverafters, which had accrued 25,000 followers, where they posted about their world travels." To read more, click here.

--Alex Honnold's Free Solo has been nominated for an Oscar for best documentary.

--Here's a piece on the mood of employees of Yosemite National Park right now.

Desert Southwest:

--A small group of Las Vegas residents are trying to save the Bonnie Springs Ranch near Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. To read more, click here.

--This is a spooky video of a flash flood in the Ice Box Canyon in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. The video is not recent, but it does show how quickly water can come after a rain storm...and how much water can come...

--A 20-year old in Arizona realized a dream this week. He went hiking, naked, in the Chiricahua National Monument. Due to the Government Shutdown, there was no one there to tell him he couldn't hike naked. To read more, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

--From the Colorado Avalanche Information Center: "A group of backcountry tourers staying at the Markley Hut near the town of Ashcroft were involved in an avalanche on January 21, 2019. One was buried in the avalanche. The group located and extricated the tourer from the snow and tried to revive them, but their effort was unsuccessful." To read more, click here.

--A skier hit a tree and died in Granby. To read more, click here.

--A skier who went missing in Emery County, Utah has been found dead. He was killed in a soft slab avalanche near Electric Lake. Neither the skier nor his partner were wearing avalanche tranceivers. To read more, click here.

--A skier triggered an in-bounds avalanche in a closed area at Loveland Ski Resort on Friday. Nobody was injured in the event. To read more, click here.

--A bull moose chased two skiers at Brekenridge Ski Resort. No one was injured. To see a video of the encounter, click below:

--In another "what's-a-matter-with-people-these-days" story, a skier at Utah's Brighton Ski Resort attacked a police officer when he learned that the parking lot was full. To read more, click here.

--Both Alta and Snowbird closed early this week because of too much snow. Yep, you heard that right. The avalanche hazard was too high for the patrollers to control. To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--There was an inbound avalanche at New Mexico's Taos Ski Resort last Thursday. The avalanche resulted in two fatalities. It appears that the run had been controlled with explosives that morning, but there were no results. To read more, click here.

--New York's Daily Freeman is reporting that, "A skier died of injuries suffered in an accident at the Hunter Mountain ski resort, a Hunter spokeswoman said Tuesday." To read more, click here.

--The Conway Daily Sun is reporting that, "New Hampshire’s congressional delegation is seeking financial support for the state Department of Fish and Game since it, among other agencies, has been conducting rescues in the forest without compensation. That was the gist of a letter sent by U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan and U.S. Reps. Carol Shea-Porter and Annie Kuster (all D-N.H.), along with Acting Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen, and Acting Director of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Margaret Everson." To read more, click here.

--This shouldn't be news to people who read our blog, but you should take your kids rock climbing...

--The Seattle Times is reporting that, "China will cut the number of climbers attempting to scale Mount Everest from the north by one-third this year as part of plans for a major cleanup on the world’s highest peak, state media reported Monday.

--The total number of climbers seeking to summit the world’s highest peak at 8,850 meters (29,035 feet) from the north will be limited to less than 300 and the climbing season restricted to spring, the reports said." To read more, click here.

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