Thursday, January 30, 2020

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 1/22/20

Climate Crisis:

--Mother Jones is reporting that, "Political appointees at the Interior Department have sought to play up climate pollution from California wildfires while downplaying emissions from fossil fuels as a way of promoting more logging in the nation’s forests, internal emails obtained by the Guardian reveal. The messaging plan was crafted in support of Donald Trump’s pro-industry arguments for harvesting more timber in California, which he says would thin forests and prevent fires—a point experts refute." To read more, click here.


--The Wenatchee World is reporting that, "after almost a year of developers and opponents battling it out, a Chelan County judge is allowing the Leavenworth Adventure Park to move forward." This is an amusement park. It's construction will certainly have consequences to climbing, camping and backpacking out of Leavenworth, with the biggest issue being additional crowding. To read more, click here.

Is it Sasquatch? Click here to read more.

--The Seattle Times is reporting that, "A bill in the Washington Legislature would get rid of the Discover Pass, eliminating the $30 annual fee thousands of motorists now pay to enter state parks.  Senate Minority Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, is sponsoring Senate Bill 6174, which would make access to over 100 state parks, 700 water-access points, and 350 recreation sites free for all. Currently, motorists must pay a $30 annual pass or $10 day pass, or risk getting slapped with a $99 fine." To read more, click here.


--The Sacramento Bee is reporting that, "Squaw Valley ski patrol is urging skiers to stay in bounds on trails and be aware of avalanche safety after they had to traverse dangerous terrain to find a lost and injured skier on Monday. The rescuers found the skier two miles out of bounds, near Needle Lake. Terrain was so difficult to access that a CHP helicopter was requested and flew the skier and the ski patrol unit back to high camp at Squaw Valley ski resort." To read more, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

--Out There Colorado is reporting that, "A string of avalanches recently tore through parts of Colorado, leaving multiple people trapped under the snow. One person died and multiple were injured." To read more, click here.

--The Know Outdoors is reporting that, "Nearly 200 miles south of Denver, near the New Mexico border in a picturesque valley on the eastern slope of the Sangre de Cristo range, a long-shuttered ski area is showing hopeful signs of life. Sure, a lot of things would have to fall into place before Cuchara Valley can be reborn as a ski area after two decades of dormancy, but a local group is working hard to make it happen." To read more, click here.

--The Access Fund is reporting that, "For the last two years, Access Fund has been fighting off attempts by the Department of Justice to transfer and to outright dismiss its lawsuit to defend Bears Ears National Monument in Utah, an irreplaceable landscape that is home to world-class climbing. After many months of procedural battles—all of which we’ve won—Access Fund and its co-plaintiffs have now taken an offensive position with a motion that could lead to a victory on the merits." To read more, click here.

--Outside is reporting that, "Bluebird Backcountry is set to open in Colorado next month with 1,500 acres on Peak Ranch, near Steamboat Springs, plus a lodge, warming huts, gear rentals, and ski patrol. But instead of a chairlift, dedicated skin tracks will lead skiers to open meadows and aspen glades. When it debuts for a trial month starting February 15, Bluebird will be the first human-powered, downhill-focused ski resort in North America, giving people an opportunity to explore the sport in a safe and accessible location." To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--A cross-country skier was bit by a coyote in Yellowstone National Park this week. To read more, click here.

--The Post Register is reporting that, "Changing conditions are being blamed for three Teton Range avalanches triggered by skiers on Sunday and one on Monday, according to officials. As temperatures climbed to the low 40s on the floor of Jackson Hole, Wyo., the avalanche danger was rated at “Moderate” for elevations of 7,500 feet and above." To read more, click here.

--Teton Gravity Research is reporting that, "the Freeride World Tour is setting a new standard at the dawn of a new decade: equal pay regardless of gender. It’s a progressive step forward for female freeriding, and the FWT hopes it will elevate the next generation of freeriders." To read more, click here.

--Canada's premire outdoor retailer, MEC lost 11 million dollars last year. The result? Layoffs and restructuring. Check out this letter from the company's CEO.

--Unofficial Networks is reporting that,"According to the National Ski Areas Association, without drastic changes, snow sports participation could decline 2.5% every year for all ski areas. The main reason for this decline is millennial participation. Millennials represent the largest group of snowboarders and skiers, but they also have the fewest number of days per season. The figures show that the industry will need to increase the frequency of the millennial participant to match that of the exiting baby boomer." To read more, click here.

--Conversely, there appears to be a lot of crowding at ski resorts lately. Outside is asking why...? According to the National Ski Areas Association, ski and snowboard visits are up 18 percent since 1978, to almost 60 million last winter. And skiers are more concentrated than ever: the Rocky Mountain region saw a 54 percent jump in visits, while the Midwest is down by a third in that same time period. (Of course, ski seasons fluctuate. Last winter was the fourth busiest since 1978, though the one before that doesn’t even break the top half.)" To read more, click here.

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