Thursday, July 23, 2020

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 7/23/20


--A 19-year-old climber died on Sunday after falling from Oregon's Three Fingered Jack. It appears that broken holds lead to the tragedy. To read more, click here.

--Andy Brown, a long time climber and Outward Bound Instructor, recently died at the age of 66 at his home on Vancouver Island. To read about Andy's life, click here.

--The Squamish Chief is reporting on three different rescues in the Squamish area late last week. These included a complex rescue of a climber with a broken arm on Birds of Prey (5.10b, III). To read more, click here.

--The National Parks Traveler is reporting that, "A week after Interior Secretary David Bernhardt tossed aside efforts to draft a recovery plan for grizzly bears in the North Cascades ecosystem, a conservation organization announced it would try to undo Bernhardt's decision. On July 7 the Interior secretary, during a roundtable discussion in Washington state, said "the people who live and work in north central Washington have made their voices clear that they do not want grizzly bears reintroduced into the North Cascades." On Wednesday the Center for Biological Diversity initiated a lawsuit to challenge that decision." To read more, click here.

The view from Mt. Baker on July 21st.
Photo by Michael Chorvat

--Rock and Ice is reporting that "John Roskelley, leading American alpinist of his era, is running for Washington State’s 4th Legislative District senate seat. A Democrat, he is on the ballot in the primary election August 4." Roskelley is a renowned alpinist, outdoor author and former mountain guide. To read more, click here.


--The Associated Press is reporting (via the Seattle PI) that, "With no confirmed case of the coronavirus, Yosemite National Park appeared to be a safe haven from the pandemic. But tests of the park's raw sewage have confirmed the presence of the virus, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Saturday, and dozens of people are believed to have been infected. No park employee or resident has tested positive at the park's health clinic, and no visitors have reported being sick since Yosemite began a phased reopening on June 11 after being closed for nearly three months." To read more, click here.

Desert Southwest:

--The Las Vegas Review-Journal is reporting on Nevada's public lands: "The statewide shutdown resulting from the coronavirus pandemic has driven more people to public lands, serving as one of few silver linings during the outbreak, Nevada lawmakers and activists said Thursday. But the surge of visitors in Clark County, and elsewhere throughout the state, has also underscored that preserving access to the outdoors is costly. A pending bill in front of the House of Representatives next week is expected to improve matters, officials say." To read more, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

--Rock and Ice is reporting that, "Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell have established a massive new linkup in Rocky Mountain National Park: 17 peaks, 11 named routes, 35 miles, 20,000 feet of vert. Even for guys who climb the Nose in under 2 hours, that’ll take a while… about 36 hours!" To read more, click here.

--The Aspen Times is reporting that, "an adaptive skier who fell from a Snowmass chairlift in February 2019 has taken Aspen Skiing Co. to court. Allison Nicola brought a lawsuit against Skico on July 7 in Pitkin County District Court, where she’s alleging a chairlift operator negligently misloaded her onto Elk Camp lift, from where moments later she fell 17 feet to the ground, her injuries exacerbated by another load operator who landed on top of her." To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--Anchorage Daily News is reporting that, "a rock climber in the Hatcher Pass area fell more than 25 feet and landed on a ledge about 60 feet above the ground Tuesday, according to a report from Alaska State Troopers. The climber’s injuries were not life-threatening and included neck and back injuries, troopers said." To read more, click here.

--The New York Times is reporting that REI has received a significant amount of criticism from their employees about how they have responded to COVID-19 cases amongst their staff. It appears that they did not adequately notify employees when a staff member became sick, and indeed, may have even told the staff member not to tell others that he was sick. The Coop is currently trying to respond to those criticisms. To read the article, click here.

--SNEWS is reporting that, "if you've paid attention to the news in outdoor retail this week, you might be scratching your head a little. REI made waves with a recent announcement that 400 of the company's retail employees would lose their jobs, effective July 15. Mountain Equipment Co-op made a similar move, letting go of nearly 200 last week. At the same time, we've seen others like Bass Pro Shops—which caters to a similar, or at least comparable, outdoor customer—hire thousands across the country even as the pandemic continues to rattle the economy. So what gives? The answer, experts say, is complicated." To read more, click here.

--In other mask news, mask rules and other COVID-19 regulations are inconsistent between the National Parks. To read more, click here.

--It appears that the Fall climbing season will be open in Nepal. From the Himalayan Times: "With the government announcing to resume all international and domestic flights from August 17, the Ministry of Culture Tourism and Civil Aviation today said that it would let all tourism related activities including mountain climbing in the autumn season commence." To read more, click here.

--Climbing is reporting that, "on July 9, Walltopia, the world's largest climbing wall manufacturer, reported that their headquarters in Sofia, Bulgaria, had suffered an arson attack. On July 3 at roughly 3 a.m., security cameras captured four individuals using incendiary liquid to set fire to a 21-meter rainbow flag on the facade of Walltopia’s building. The flag had been hung temporarily in support of Sofia Pride." Sofia Pride is a LGBTQ+ Pride parade in Bulgaria. To read more, click here.

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