Thursday, February 27, 2020

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 2/27/2020

Climate Crisis:

--Adam Cramer at the Outdoor Alliance writes, "Recently, a handful of lawmakers led by Senator Udall (D-NM) and Senator Bennet (D-CO) introduced a resolution that the U.S. should establish a national goal of conserving at least 30% of the land and oceans of the United States by 2030. I like this. It's an ambitious yet achievable goal that will help protect the climate. Today, the resolution was introduced in the House by Rep. Haaland (D-NM). " To read more, click here.


--KGW8 and many others are reporting on a fatality on Mt. Hood: "A Portland Mountain Rescue climber called the sheriff's office at 12:12 p.m. Tuesday after finding a climber at Illumination Saddle, at 9,400 feet elevation on Mount Hood. The person who fell was wearing ski boots, according to the PMR climber." To read more, click here.

A climber on Diedre (5.8, II+)

--The approach trail at the lower Apron in Squamish is currently closed. Specifically, the "V-Groove" trail that is used to access Snake and Diedre. There is a bear denning in the area. Flagging tape has been placed over the trail. According to the Squamish Rock Climbing forum, "you can still approach via the old trail. It goes straight up from the farthest south (right hand) switchback on the regular trail. This will reconnect with the regular trail just before the last steep scramble to the base of Diedre."

--So, there's a WI 13 in British Columbia now...

--Oregon Live is reporting that there has been a reversal in the decision to dissolve Portland Mountain Rescue. "Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts on Wednesday abruptly reversed course and announced that he would allow Portland Mountain Rescue to continue to respond to search-and-rescue missions on Mount Hood after all. Roberts announced his change of heart after meeting with representatives of the elite rescue unit for two hours Wednesday morning." To read more, click here.

--A new bus company is offering tickets from Seattle to Snoqualmie Pass for $5. Check it out.

--KTVB is reporting that, "A doe pronghorn plunged to her death Tuesday afternoon after running full speed off a cliff near Boise, narrowly missing a group of rock climbers staging below, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game said." To read more, click here.


--Dave McCoy, the founder of Mammoth Mountain, died two weeks ago at the age of 104. Dave was a famous and relentless advocate for one of the best ski resorts in California. The video below is a thank-you from the Mammoth community:

Desert Southwest:

--Joshua Tree's Whispering Wall area is closed due to nesting owls.

--The National Parks Traveler is reporting that, "in a move that could be compared to swimming against the tide, an advocacy group in New Mexico is urging the state's U.S. senators not to push for rebranding of Bandelier National Monument as a 'national park.' There have been a number of rebranding moves across the National Park System in recent years, turning Pinnacles National Monument, White Sands National Monument, the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, and Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore into 'national parks.' A similar effort has been voiced for New River Gorge National River. But the board of directors of Caldera Action, a nonprofit organization focused on protection, access, and education on National Park Service lands in the Jemez Mountains and associated public lands, this week voted unanimously to oppose a bill introduced in the Senate that would change Bandelier's designation." To read more, click here.

AAI is sponsoring a Rock Warrior's Way Clinic in Red Rock for Combat Veterans
(Click to Enlarge for Details)

--The National Parks Traveler is reporting that, "Graffiti clowns have been frequent visitors this year to Joshua Tree National Park, where they wielded cans of spray paint and other tools to vandalize areas of the park. There have been a number of cases since January where graffiti has turned up in places such as Rattlesnake Canyon, the Skull Rock Nature Trail, and along Geo Tour Road." To read more, click here.

--The funding for a trail that would link Summerlin to the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area visitor center has been approved.

--The Scenic Drive hours at Red Rock Canyon will shift on March 1st. The Drive will be open from 6am to 7pm.

Colorado and Utah:

--Two snowmobilers were partially caught in an avalanche in Colorado earlier in the month. The incident was caught on video. Everybody survived, but the video is certainly scary. To see it, click here.

--The Denver Post has an update on last week's ski lift suffocation report. "The New Jersey skier who suffocated to death after his coat became caught on a ski lift at Vail Mountain earlier this month may not have fallen through an opening in a chairlift seat as originally thought, Eagle County authorities said Monday. At least one witness told authorities that the chairlift’s folding seat was raised when Jason Varnish, 46, and another man loaded the lift in the resort’s Blue Sky Basin area on Feb. 13 — creating a gap where the seat should have been — but investigators aren’t sure whether Varnish fell, jumped or was pushed off the chairlift, Eagle County communications manager Justin Patrick said Tuesday." To read more, click here.

--A Denver man has been sentenced to two months in prison for spraying graffiti tags on tables, rocks and trees on the Hanging Lake Trail in the Rocky Mountains. To read more, click here.

--Summit Daily is reporting that, "Arapahoe Basin Ski Area Chief Operating Officer Al Henceroth wrote in his blog Friday morning that A-Basin plans to replace the popular Pallavicini chairlift at the end of the season. 'Pallavicini is an incredible chairlift,' Henceroth wrote. 'It is my favorite chairlift, anywhere. The new lift will be just as good and the spirit and culture and vibe of Pali will be as strong as ever.' To read more, click here.

--BusinessDen is reporting that, "Loveland Ski Area has a new twist coming for skiers who want fresh turns and no chairlifts. The ski area at the eastern end of the Eisenhower Tunnel, which currently ferries skiers along the Continental Divide in its “Ridge Cat,” has received preliminary permission from the U.S. Forest Service to offer guided snowcat skiing and snowboarding in Dry Gulch, which includes terrain outside Loveland’s boundaries." To read more, click here.

--The Outdoor Alliance has some much needed good news in Moab. "On February 21, BLM announced, citing recreation conflicts and public concerns, that the two most egregious parcels would be removed from an upcoming oil and gas lease sale. The parcels, identified as numbers 11 and 12 and shown in the map below, would have allowed for horizontal drilling into areas adjacent to the Slickrock trail and camping zones in the Sand Flats Special Recreation Management Area." To read more, click here.

--There are raptor closures in Arches and Canyonlands. To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--WDIO is reporting that, "a skier who died at Lutsen Mountains Ski Resort Wednesday afternoon has been identified as 70-year old David Michael Skog of St. Paul." This resort is located in Minnesota. To read more, click here.

--Alaska's KUCB is reporting that, "An Unalaska man was killed in an avalanche Tuesday evening while he was snowmachining in the Unalaska Valley. Trey Henning, 21, was buried in the avalanche and later recovered from the site near the quarry on Overland Drive. In a statement, the Department of Public Safety said life-saving measures were unsuccessful." To read more, click here.

--This Supreme Court case being reported by NPR is more complex than it looks at first. "The Appalachian Trail – the 2,200-mile hiking stretch that goes from Georgia to Maine — is at the center of a legal battle that has risen to the Supreme Court. The case involves a proposed pipeline that would connect natural gas fracked in West Virginia to population centers in Virginia and North Carolina. The Atlantic Coast Pipeline would cross the Appalachian Trail within the George Washington National Forest in Virginia, and some environmental groups are challenging the legality of the permit the U.S. Forest Service issued allowing that to happen." To read more, click here.

--The New Yorker has published an article on Survivor's Guilt in the Mountains. “'Athletes have a particular calling we need to address,' said Tim Tate, a psychotherapist in Montana. 'It’s a calling they cannot refuse. They have it on a loudspeaker in their brains. They can’t help but do what they do.'" To read the article, click here.

--It is possible that the Covid 19 -- the "corona virus" -- will shut down the Tokyo Olympics, the first Olympic games to include cimbing. To read more, click here.

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