Thursday, January 21, 2021

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 1/21/21


--The North Shore Rescue Team is the busiest volunteer SAR team in Canada, with over 130 missions a year. There's a new book out about the team: North Shore Rescue: If you get Lost Today, Will Anybody Know It? To learn more about the book, click here.

Michael Telstad makes his way toward the true summit of Chair Peak
on the first winter ascent of the west face of the mountain. Photo by Doug Hutchinson.

--A new line was completed on the West Face of Chair Peak this week by Michael Telstad and Doug Hutchinson. The line goes at WI 4+/M4. To read about it, click here.


--The BLM has released a new management plan for the Alabama Hills. From the Sierra Wave: "The plan is designed to provide diverse, high-quality recreational opportunities while minimizing user conflicts, addressing human health and safety concerns, reducing recreational impacts, and enhancing other resources, values, and uses." To read more, click here.

Desert Southwest:

--The Desert Sun is reporting that passes to Joshua Tree National Park may be purchased online, even though the area is currently in lockdown. To read more, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

--The Denver Channel is reporting that, " A skier died after an accident at Eldora Mountain Ski Resort Thursday, according to the Boulder County Sheriff's Office." To read more, click here.

--The Colorado Sun is reporting that, "Colorado’s resort communities are teetering on the edge of increased restrictions as a potential surge in COVID-19 cases from the busy holidays looms. But public health officials in eight tourism-dependent communities have not linked any outbreaks to ski areas." To read more, click here.

--Should gates from a resort into the backcountry be closed. The Park City resort is struggling with this after a fatality in Dutch Draw last week. This is the second fatality in recent years of an individual who accessed backcountry terrain from the resort. To read more, click here.

--Snowbrains is reporting that, "Because traffic on a powder day up to Alta Ski Area and Snowbird equates to living hell, one of the proposed solutions to mitigate traffic in Little Cottonwood Canyon has captured Utah’s Governor Spencer Cox’s attention. That option is a 30-seat gondola that would cost an estimated $576 million to build and $6.9 million to operate." To read more, click here.

--Solitude Mountain Resort is yet another resort that is experiencing problems with guests that will not adhere to COVID protocols. In many cases, the skiers and boarders are being hostile to employees that are trying to enforce these policies. Please. Please. Please. Adhere to these resort policies. Many are on the precipice of shutting down due to state regulations. To read more, click here.

--Vail Resorts is documenting some serious declines in revenue. From The Vail Daily: " (1) Season-to-date total skier visits were down 16.6% compared to the prior year period. (2) Season-to-date total lift ticket revenue, including an allocated portion of season pass revenue for each applicable period, was down 20.9% compared to the prior year. (3) Season-to-date ski school revenue was down 52.6% and dining revenue was down 66.2% compared to the prior year. (4) Retail/rental revenue for North American resort and ski area store locations was down 39.2% compared to the prior year." To read more, click here.

--Rock and Ice is reporting that, "While going virtual promises to keep the 2021 Ouray Ice Fest small, there’s one area where the park isn’t skimping: the mixed climbing competition—the Festival’s traditional centerpiece— will be the biggest ever. A whopping 47 climbers applied to participate in this year’s Ouray Elite Mixed Climbing Competition on January 21-24, which has historically been an invitational. This is the first time park officials have opened up the application process to the general public." To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--Gripped and others are reporting on the death of the Italian climber Cesare Maestri. "One of the most legendary figures in the sport, has died at 91. Born in Trento, he began climbing at a young age and was given the name 'spider of the Dolomites' early in his career. In 1952, he became an alpine guide and would go on to make bold free-solos of difficult climbs, such as The Solleder Route on the Civetta, The Solda/Conforto Route on the Marmolada, and the Southwest Ridge of the Matterhorn in winter. He made hundreds of first ascents over the years." To read more, click here.

--Gripped is reporting that, "man has died in the Crowsnest Mountains in southern Alberta while soloing The Chutes. On Jan. 9, 2021, at 6:30 p.m. MST, Crowsnest Pass RCMP were dispatched to a Garmin SPOT emergency activation. The information that was provided indicated an injury." To read more, click here.

--The Calgary Herald is reporting that, "A man was airlifted to a Calgary hospital after surviving a long fall during an ice climbing accident in the Rockies Friday. According to Rocky Mountain House RCMP, the 28-year-old man fell about 12 metres while ice climbing at the south end of Abraham Lake, approximately 210 kilometres west of Red Deer." To read more and to see a video of the rescue, click here.

--For the second time this month, an avalanche ripped through a Russian resort. This one was manmade, and resulted in at least one fatality. To read more, click here.

--On January 16th, a team of ten Sherpas stood on the summit of K2. This was the last 8000-meter peak to be completed in the winter season. All other 8000-meter peaks had been climbed in the winter. The mountain in this season, has long been considered the last great prize of Himalayan climbing. To read more, click here.

--Gear Junkie is reporting that, "Each state in the U.S. has its own plan for doling out the COVID-19 vaccine. Those at the top of the list include obvious professionals like healthcare workers and emergency responders. But in Vermont, that first wave of vaccines will also go to ski patrollers." To read more, click here.

--Backpacker is reporting that, "If those vaccine selfies popping up in your timeline have you feeling optimistic about your hiking plans this year, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy doesn’t feel the same way. Like in 2020, the organization is encouraging hikers to stay home to avoid spreading the virus, and won’t recognize those who do hike as 2,000-milers." To read more, click here.

--Some in the Northeast are upset that Vail Resorts isn't abiding by promises made around COVID and Epic Pass refunds:

--The UIAA is reporting that, "In response to the evolving Covid-19 situation, the UIAA – International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation – has made further changes to the calendar for its current 2021 Ice Climbing season. In November, the UIAA confirmed that no World Tour would be held during the winter of 2020-2021, and instead would be replaced by Continental Competitions with the highlight being the three-week Tour des Alps, a mini-series which would see athletes take on three European Cups and ice climbing community days while staying in their own travel ‘bubble’." To read more, click here.

--Footwear News is reporting that, "renowned street artist Futura is taking The North Face and its parent VF Corp. to court over alleged copyright infringement. In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in California Central District Court, Futura claims that the outdoor brand knocked off a stylized depiction of an atom that has appeared in his artwork for years. The allegedly infringing logo was spotted in the designs of The North Face’s “Futurelight” collection of waterproof apparel, footwear and accessories that, according to the suit, ended up in a $20 million ad campaign." To read more, click here.

--Here are some numbers, graphs and charts that show what's happening in the climbing wall industry around Coronavirus. These statistics show things like how close these facilities are to closing, number of staff infected, how their businesses have fared, etc.

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