Thursday, August 6, 2020

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 8/6/20


Early morning on Mt. Rainier.

--Mount Rainier National Park noted that a body was recovered this week: "Park rangers recovered a body of a deceased person from an off-trail drainage near Paradise on Monday, August 3, 2020. The body is believed to be that of Talal Sabbagh, a hiker who went missing in late June." To read more, click here.

--KATU 2 is reporting that, "The body of a Kennewick climber who died in a fall from Mount Jefferson in central Oregon has been recovered. The Tri-City Herald reports 68-year-old David Freepons was climbing July 25 with a group at the mountain when he slipped on a glacier and fell several hundred feet to his death." To read more, click here.

--A major technical rescue took place last week on Mt. Stuart. An individual was lowered pitch after pitch down the northwest face of the mountain in a litter. 


--The Fresno Bee is reporting that, "A mountain climber who died while scaling Mount Humphreys in the remote Sierra Nevada has been identified as Paul Sheykhzadeh, 52, of Reno. Sheykhzadeh’s body was recovered on Monday with assistance from the California Air National Guard and its CH-47 Chinook helicopter due to the high elevation, Fresno County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Tony Botti said." To read more, click here. Paul was an active member of the SAR community.

--It's not a good sign for our National Parks that the president doesn't know how to pronounce the word, Yosemite.

Desert Southwest:

--It's possible that the chemicals that a New Mexico ski area is using are having a chilling downstream effect, and might be killing the soil. To read more, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

--A 26-year-old climber suffered a fatal fall on Longs Peak last week. From Rock and Ice: "Dillon Blanksma of Golden, Colorado died following an unroped fall from Broadway, the ledge a third of the way way up the East Face—also known as the Diamond—of Longs Peak (14,259 feet), in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP), Colorado." To read more, click here.

--Unofficial Networks is reporting that, "Aspen Skiing Co. CEO Mike Kaplan wrote a letter to passholders to give them an idea of what to expect during the upcoming ski season in the midst of a global pandemic. In the letter Kaplan acknowledged some of the new procedures would be “annoying” but things like decreased uphill capacity of chairlifts and gondolas would foster 'more of an old school experience, but that could also translate to less noise, fewer distractions and, hopefully, more meaning.'" To read more, click here.

Due to the Pandemic, the OR Show was done virtually two weeks ago.

--The Outdoor Retailer Show online didn't really draw the numbers they were hoping for. From SNEWS: "OR's 2019 Summer Market drew 1,400 brands and nearly 25,000 attendees. It was, according OR's parent company Emerald, the largest outdoor B2B show in history. Before this week, those figures had people hoping that OR Online would set some records, too.  Unfortunately, that didn't quite pan out. When OR Online opened on July 21, a total of 100 brands had signed up to exhibit, with slightly more than 1,100 retailers, working media, and designers registered to attend. In terms of actual participation, the figures weren't much better. Over the course of the show's three days, retail buyer attendance was down 70 percent compared to the 2019 Summer Market's numbers; designer attendance came in at 67 percent compared to last year." To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--A climber was injured near Whitefish, Montana on Sunday. Limited information is available. To read more, click here.

--Time is reporting on some of the additional impacts that have taken place in the National Parks due to the Pandemic: "Many of these spaces, supposed to be untouched swaths of time-proof wilderness, have been overrun by first-time visitors seeking refuge from quarantine, joblessness, or the inability to take far-flung vacations. And as people have flooded into the parks, new crises have arisen for rangers and nearby communities, including indigenous populations who were already particularly susceptible to the virus. To read more, click here.

--Antartica is the only continent not to have any cases of COVID-19, but research stations are sparsely populated during the winter in the southern hemisphere. That will start to change as more researchers and adventurers travel south in September, October and November. Outside is asking how the continent can keep the Coronavirus at bay. 

--It's not currently clear how many wildland firefighters have the coronavirus. And as fire season is ramping up, the Forest Service is trying to figure out what to do. To read more, click here.

--Should climbing in the Canadian Rockies be more regulated? This author, writing for the Calgary Herald, thinks so. "This spring and summer have been unforgiving for climbers and hikers and unrelenting for rescue teams. A skier tumbled 400 metres and died in Banff National Park on July 18. Other recent deaths include a climber on Mount Andromeda and scramblers on Mount Fable and Yamnuska. Kananaskis Public Safety set a record when they were called out to more than 20 rescues over a three-day stretch from July 9 to 11. Will these deaths and rescues compel the climbing community and planners to cross the Rubicon and fundamentally change the way climbing is undertaken in parks?"

--Climbing is reporting that, "on July 31, Kai Lightner launched the nonprofit Climbing for Change, which will partner with brands, climbing gyms, and existing organizations to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within the climbing community." To read more, click here.

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