Thursday, April 9, 2020

Climbing, Coronavirus and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad -- 4/9/20


--Former president of the Seattle Mountaineers, Frank Fickeisen, passed away at the age of 93 this week. To read more, click here.

--The annual National Brotherhood of Skiers, a black skiers organization, had their annual get together in Ketchum, Idaho this year. The event at Sun Valley at the beginning of March, resulted in numerous COVID-19 infections among the 600-hundred attendees. To read more, click here. REI  produced an excellent film about this group last year. To see the film, click here.

--The Seattle Times is reporting that, "REI said it would keep its 162 retail locations shuttered and furlough many of its roughly 14,000 employees without pay for 90 days as the coronavirus pandemic continues to paralyze much of the bricks-and-mortar retail sector." To read more, click here.

--A new select guidebook is coming out for Squamish!

--In some excellent news, KOMO is reporting that, "A man who broke into dozens of vehicles at Mount Rainier and Olympic national parks has been sentenced to two years in federal prison after he serves a more than two-year state prison term." To read more, click here.


--A rescue team was caught in an avalanche near Donner Pass on Saturday. Thankfully, there were no injuries. To read more, click here.

--With only 17 hospital beds, the town of Mammoth is hoping to put up a checkpoint on the highway to keep visitors who might bring the virus, out. To read more, click here.

Desert Southwest:

--KGUN 9 is reporting that, "Following Arizona Governor Doug Ducey's stay-at-home-order, the Pima County Sheriff’s Department has seen a spike in rescues on hiking trails." To read more, click here.

--The Grand Canyon has been closed.

--The Las Vegas Review-Journal is reporting that, "Free public trails near Scenic Drive in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area are closed until further notice. The trails are off Calico Basin Road and include Calico Basin, Kraft Mountain and Ash Spring trailheads; Gene’s Trail; Girl Scout Trail; Ash Spring Trail; Calico Overlook Trail; and Calico Basin Trail, according to Red Rock Canyon Las Vegas’ website." To read more, click here.

--A Southtwestern slackliner recently posted this dizzying drone video of slackliners in Red Rock Canyon. Though it's a bit "spinny," it's certainly a scenic video.

Colorado and Utah:

--The Salt Lake Tribune is reporting that, "The Bureau of Land Management is considering industry-driven requests to lease tens of thousands acres for oil and gas development near Arches and Canyonlands national parks. In recent months, firms sought to nominate up to 360 parcels on these scenic lands popular for dispersed outdoor recreation outside Moab." To read more, click here.

--The Summer Outdoor Retailer show has been cancelled. This is one of the biggest events in the outdoor industry. To read more, click here.

--Unofficial Networks is reporting that, "CEO Rob Katz announced through a press release VAIL Resorts has deferred all chairlift construction projects, terrain expansion and improvements to base areas. This includes projects planned for Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Okemo. The suspension will save the company $80-85 million." To read more, click here.

--The Durango Herald is reporting that, "Trail systems serve as the lifeblood for Durango outdoor recreation. Keeping those networks open during the coronavirus pandemic is important to public officials, but trail closures are a real possibility because of users who do not follow public health ordinances." To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--Here is a comprehensive list of closed North American climbing gyms. Remember, you can support them now by purchasing punch cards for future use.

--National Park employees are being muzzled.

--In some good news, a previously unprotected piece of the Pacific Crest Trail has been purchased by the Pacific Crest Trail Association. To read more, click here.

--#Vanlife is not very quarantine friendly. Christina Hadley at Outside writes about how hard it is to negotiate this crisis while living out of a vehicle. Check it out, here.

--As pollution has decreased, the Himalaya has become visible in India. To see a photo, click here.

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