Thursday, October 3, 2019

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 10/3/19

Climate Crisis:

--The headline at the Daily Beast is, "Italy and France Prepare for Imminent Collapse of Mont Blanc Glacier." Several areas are being evacuated. "Italian civil protection authorities took the extreme measure of closing down the Italian side of Mont Blanc due to the imminent threat of around 9 million cubic feet of ice breaking away from the Planpincieux glacier on the Grandes Jorasses mountain on the Mont Blanc massif. To get an idea of how big that is, that much ice would make 67.3 million gallons of water if it melted." To read more, click here.

--Protect Our Winters is reporting that, "The International Ski Federation has signed onto a U.N. climate change initiative in a move some view as a welcome about-face from its president, whose comments about environmentalists alarmed leaders in the ski and snowboard community. FIS announced Wednesday that it had joined the U.N. Sports for Climate Action Framework and made it part of its sustainability policy." To read more, click here.


--There's another opportunity out there to comment on the grizzly reintroduction plan to the Cascades. To read more, click here.

--Climbing is reporting on the potential end of #VanLife in Squamish. "Earlier this year, Squamish County proposed Bylaw No. 2679, containing regulations that would prohibit all overnight camping, whether in a tent or a vehicle, in public spaces. It allows for two exempt areas more than seven miles outside town, down 4x4 roads; anyone caught camping outside these zones could be fined up to $10,000. While the bylaw, which needs to go through three readings (it has been through one already) is still under review, it has faced community opposition throughout. A lot is at stake: The outcome could create a template for not only Squamish but other outdoor towns across North America." To read more, click here.

--It's started to snow. Maybe winter will be early...?

--The American Alpine Institute will be joining the Northwest Avalanche Center as they host the thirteenth annual Northwest Snow and Avalanche Workshop (NSAW) on Sunday, October 20th at Seattle Town Hall. NSAW is the region’s largest gathering of snow and avalanche professionals and backcountry recreationists who work and travel in avalanche terrain. Event details and tickets can be found, here.

--The Seattle Times is reporting that, "Two former Hood Canal-area residents have been indicted on eight federal felony counts stemming from an effort to burn a bees nest that was interfering with their attempts to illegally harvest a valuable maple tree in the Olympic National Forest. Their attempt to burn the beehive resulted in a forest fire that consumed 3,300 acres and cost $4.5 million to fight, according to an indictment unsealed Monday." To read more, click here.


--The Tahoe Daily Tribune is reporting that, "The Tahoe community is rallying behind Robb Gaffney, an influential skier and activist for the Keep Squaw True movement, after he was diagnosed with a rare form of bone marrow cancer over the summer." To read more, click here. To donate to Robb's GoFundMe page, click here.

--They're having a party in Lone Pine on October 5th to celebrate the establishment of the Alabama Hills National Scenic Area in March. To read about the party and the Scenic Area, click here.

Desert Southwest:

--Redlands Daily Facts is reporting that, "Joshua Tree National Park visitors will have a chance to weigh in on the increasingly popular park’s future. Park staff will host community meetings in Joshua Tree, Los Angeles and the Coachella area in October to get feedback on ways to improve the park’s management, from protecting natural and cultural resources to handling capacity issues." To read more, and to see dates and locations of feedback sessions, click here.

--Former Outside editor Axie Navis has just been hired to work as the director for New Mexico's new Office of Outdoor Recreation. To read more, click here.

--Alex Honnold, famous free-soloist and Las Vegas resident, gave Outside a list of his favorite places to climb in Southern Nevada. To read about it, click here.

--Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area has changed the hours for the Scenic Drive. The drive will be open from 6am to 7pm. If you need to obtain a Late Exit permit because you are climbing a long multi-pitch, call 702-515-5050.

Colorado and Utah:

--SGB Media is reporting that, "Vail Resorts Inc. officially expanded its empire Tuesday when the Broomfield, CO-based ski area owner and operator closed on its previously announced $264 million acquisition of Peak Resorts Inc. Peak’s shareholders a few days earlier voted to approve the deal for a purchase price of $11 a share, formally paving the way for Vail 17 to add new ski areas to its already massive portfolio, which now stands at 37 resorts worldwide." To read more, click here.

--DPS Cinematic, the award-winning film division of DPS Skis, is proud to debut 'Stone’s Throw,' a short film featuring Koala (team athlete) Dash Longe. The world premiere, which will also serve as a fundraiser for Healthy Environment Alliance of Utah (HEAL Utah), takes place at The Commonwealth Room in Salt Lake City on Oct. 3, 2019 – $8 tickets and further information can be found at: In cooperation with presenting partner Teton Gravity Research, 'Stone’s Throw' will launch online Oct. 8, 2019 on Check out the trailer below:

--The Flatirons Climbing Council posted the following on MountainProject: "We are looking for Volunteers to help out with trail stewardship work at Overhang Rock and Third Flatiron on Sunday, October 20 as part of the REEL ROCK 14 world premiere taking place on October 17,18 in Boulder.  The trail projects are being sponsored by OSMP in collaboration with Flatirons Climbing Council and The Front Range Climbing Stewards." To read more, click here.

--Gripped is reporting that there will be a talk at the Banff Mountain Film Festival about climbers in avalanches. "Over the last 22 years, 43 per cent of all the avalanche fatalities in Banff, Yoho and Kootenay National Parks have been climbers and mountaineers Climbers and avalanches are a dangerous mix in Canada’s mountains. On November 3rd there will be a panel discussion on the topic at the Banff Mountain Film Festival." One of the speakers will be former AAI Guide Chantel Astorga. To read more, click here.

--We say it and say it again. Stay away from wild animals. Leave them alone. They're not pets. A couple of people were attacked in Estes Park last week. Check out a video below:

--Rock and Ice got suckered by an internet troll. And so did we. The story went that a team in the Flat Irons had a rack stolen mid-pitch. The person who posted the story on MountainProject stuck to his guns when he was called. We reposted the story on our Facebook page. But alas, the MountainProject poster confessed that it was all a big joke. To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--Climbing magazine and many other outlets are reporting that Phil Powers, the CEO of the American Alpine Club, will be stepping down from that position. To read about it, click here.

--Rock and Ice is reporting that, "in September 2019, Dani Arnold sets a new record time at the Cima Grande. He climbs the 550-meter (1800') north face over the Comici-Dimai route in 46 minutes 30 seconds." The Comici-Dami route is a 19-pitch 5.10c on Cima Grande in the Sexten Dolomites of northeastern Italy. To read more, click here. To see a video of the ascent, click below.

--The Hill is reporting that, "William Pendley, the acting director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), has released a 17-page recusal list highlighting a number of people, companies and advocacy groups he must avoid while working at the agency. The disclosure shows Pendley’s ties to a number of industries that BLM regulates as it works to balance energy, grazing and recreational interests along with conservation." To read more, click here.

--And here's a lot more on the developing problems with the BLM from Outside.

--Outside is reporting on an amazing woman. "In May, Kirby Morrill was nearly murdered during a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. Four months later, she climbed Maine's highest peak, the route's terminus." To read more, click here.

--The Billings Gazette is reporting that, "Sarah Davis has been named the first female chief ranger in Yellowstone National Park's history and the 18th chief ranger in the more than 100-year history of park management by the National Park Service." To read more, click here.

--Speaking of Yellowstone...a guy got drunk and went for a walk, into Old Faithful. From CNN: "A 48-year-old man suffered severe burns after falling into a hot spring at Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming late Sunday night, the National Park Service announced. Cade Edmond Siemers told park rangers that he took a walk off the boardwalk without a flashlight and tripped into the thermal water near the cone of Old Faithful Geyser, the NPS said in a statement. The park warns on its website that visitors are to always walk on the boardwalks." To read more, click here.

--There are going to be some changes coming for the Pacific Crest Trail long distance permit. To learn more, click here.

--Robert Jasper completed a rope solo first ascent on the infamous North Face of the Eiger. To read about it and to watch a video, click here.

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