Thursday, August 29, 2019

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 8/26/19


Smith Rock State Park

--A climber tripped while descending a trail in Smith Rock State Park and fell 100-feet. The climber did not survive. To read more, click here.

--There are two missing hikers in the Downey Creek area. This is the south end of the Ptarmigan Traverse. King 5 News is reporting that, "The Snohomish County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue team is looking for two hikers missing at the Downey Creek Trail. David James and Marshall "Buster" Cabe left on August 16 and were expected to return on August 23, the sheriff's office said, but family members said they had not heard from the pair. They called 911 Monday to report them missing." To read more, click here. UPDATE: These guys were found. To read about it, click here.

--Here's a nice piece on how Latino Outdoors is getting kids outside. This particular article specifically talks about kids on Mt. Rainier.

A boulder being moved on a highline for 
trail construction at Washington Pass.

--Several AAI guides contributed to trail construction efforts in Washington Pass last weekend. The American Mountain Guides Association and the Access Fund sponsored a work day for guides, so that they might contribute to the development of a trail that accesses all the towers in the Liberty Bell massif.

--There is another trail work opportunity with the Leavenworth Mountain Association on September 21st. They will be working on the trail up to Snow Creek Wall. To read more, click here.


--Bakersfield Now is reporting that, "Bad news for some hikers looking to getting away this weekend. The Bureau of Land Management posted a warning that portions of the Pacific Crest Trail have been blocked due to rockslides caused by recent seismic activity. Crews will start removing the debris starting in late September. The buried section is impassable to equestrians north of Walker Pass, where the PCT crosses State Route 178 near Lake Isabella." To read more, click here.

Desert Southwest:

--News Channel 3 is reporting that, "A hiker is recovering after falling nearly 30 feet while climbing "Lily Rock" in Humber Park near Idyllwild. This happened just after 3 o’clock Saturday afternoon." To read more, click here.

--There was a meeting this week and a public forum that concerned the expansion of the mobile network on Highway 159 outside Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. To read more, click here.

--KTLA 5 is reporting that, "an anonymous donor has given more than $30,000 to fund a reward for information that leads to whoever has killed more than 40 protected wild burros in the Southern California desert." To read more, click here.

--The campground in Red Rock Canyon will reopen tomorrow, Friday, August 30. To read more, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

--HuffPost is reporting that, "A Colorado man survived a bear attack Monday thanks to his wife and her Louisville Slugger. Jon Johnson and George Ann Field were watching TV at their home in Pine when Johnson heard noises coming from upstairs. He walked into the kitchen and found himself face-to-face with a mother bear and one of her cubs eating a loaf of bread." To read more, click here.

--There was a massive rockfall event in Zion National Park this week, when a massive piece of rock broke loose from Cable Mountain. Three people were injured in the incident, and one was taken to the hospital. To read more, click here. To see a video of the event, click below.

--A climber is lucky to be alive after being struck by lightning. Rock and Ice is reporting that, "Around 3:00 p.m. on August 17, longtime climber Minko Nikolov, 31, was struck by lightning while hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park between Lower and Emerald Lake. His smoking body was discovered by hikers and he was quickly airlifted to a hospital in Loveland, Colorado." To read more, click here.

--Snews is reporting that, "Doug Stenclik, co-founder of Colorado retail shop Cripple Creek Backcountry, recently purchased WildSnow, the blog dedicated to the niche sport of ski touring and splitboarding." To read more, click here.

--Increased recreation may be having a detrimental impact on the elk population near Vail. From the Guardian: "Trail use near Vail, Colorado, has more than doubled since 2009. It’s had a devastating impact on a herd of elk. Increasing numbers of outdoor recreationists – everything from hikers, mountain bikers and backcountry skiers to Jeep, all-terrain vehicle and motorcycle riders, aren’t good for Elk populations. Biologists used to count over 1,000 head of elk from the air near Vail, Colorado. The majestic brown animals, a symbol of the American west, dotted hundreds of square miles of slopes and valleys." To read more, click here.

--The BLM may be trying to find a way to sell off public lands. To read more, click here.

--Rocky Mountain National Park is considering a change in camping fees. To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--The Jackson Hole News and Guide is reporting that, "A 20-year-old French Canadian man was climbing by himself in Grand Teton National Park on Sunday morning when he fell 50 feet. Although Maxime Blondel was injured, he was able to pull out his cell phone and call for help." To read more, click here.

--The issues in Wyoming's Ten Sleep Canyon have come to a head with the National Forest Service closing the area to all future development. The problem that lead to this was twofold. First, people chipped holds in the process of their route development. Second, a group of climbers stripped all these routes with manufactured holds of all their bolts. The combination of these things was too much for the Forest Service. To read more, check out this great piece on the controversy from Climbing.

--The Burlington Free Press is reporting on significant overuse issues in the Adirondacks. "Hikers packed the lots at popular trail heads up and down New York State Route 73 before sunrise on an early August weekend, partly thanks to a roadside parking ban enacted in the spring amid safety concerns. The scene was indicative of a growing problem in the Adirondacks. A sweeping management plan created by the state Department of Environmental Conservation two decades ago might have headed off parking woes, but locals say little of the plan was ever implemented, nor were other measures that could have helped mitigate overcrowding at one of the Northeast's most popular hiking destinations." To read more, click here.

--India has opened up several new peaks. From the Economic Times: "The ministry of home affairs (MHA) has opened up 137 peaks located in Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Sikkim to foreigners ''desirous'' of obtaining a mountaineering visa for climbing and trekking purposes. MHA said the proposal to open more mountain peaks for mountaineering and trekking in all the Himalayan states was under consideration of the government." To read more, click here.

Navigating the Khumbu Icefall on Mt. Everest
Photo: Guy Cotter

--Alan Arnette has published a deep dive into the new rules on Mt. Everest in Nepal. And he notes that some of them don't make any sense at all. To read the blog, click here

--And in other Everest News, Nepal will be banning single use plastics in the Everest region. To read more, click here.

--SnowBrains has compiled a list of the ten best small ski resorts in America. Check it out, here.

--Rock and Ice is conducting a survey on alcohol and drug use around climbing. To participate, click here.

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