Thursday, August 26, 2021

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 8/26/21


--Pro Climber Sasha Digiulian has worked extensively with women climbers in Afghanistan. She recently wrote passionately in Climbing about what's happening to them in the country. "Right now, as you read this, thousands of people are desperately trying to escape from Afghanistan since the Taliban seized control of the country on Sunday. You’ve seen the chaos in the news. Among these would-be refugees are members of Ascend Athletics, Afghanistan’s first female mountaineering team, part of a program that has produced hundreds of strong female climbers since 2014. To save these young women from this oppressive regime, we need to raise our voices. We must lobby to ensure that these and other at-risk women are included in the United States’ evacuation plans." To read more, click here.


--King 5 is reporting that, "A second litter of wolverine offspring, called kits, has been born in Mount Rainier National Park, according to the National Park Service (NPS). This is only the third wolverine family documented in Washington's South Cascades in a century and the second family documented in Mount Rainier National Park, the NPS said. The first wolverine family was discovered in the park in August 2020." To read more, click here.

--Wilderness Search Investigations (WSI), a new nonprofit company that is looking at putting together volunteer search teams in Washington State. The team will continue searching for missing hikers after the County has suspended the search. They currently are seeking rescuers. Interested parties need to be comfortable hiking off trail, as most of our searching will be off trail, using a GPS and a map & compass as backup. Possible backpacking into search locations for three-day weekends, otherwise will be day hikes. Day hikers will require a 24 hour pack for the “What If” should happen. Day or overnight will depend on the location of the search. Please send an email with your interest to wldnsrchinves(at)


--Snowbrains is reporting that, "the Dixie Fire, currently the second-largest wildfire in California’s history, has become the first known fire to burn across the Sierra Nevada mountain range." The fire started on the western slope and made it all the way over the range and down the eastern slope. To read more, click here.

--This headline is nice. From Fox 26 News: "Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep population thriving after decades of absence from Yosemite."

--Inyo National Forest has moved to Stage II Fire Restrictions. These restrictions are due to the overwhelming fire activity in the area and include things like "no smoking." To read the list of restrictions, click here.

Desert Southwest:

--The Las Vegas Review Journal is reporting that, "Clark County lawmakers recently approved building homes on a gypsum mine overlooking Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, which has been the subject of a yearslong debate about environmental impact and private development. But the project on Blue Diamond Hill approved Aug. 4 is not the same as developer Gypsum Resources’ controversial proposal to construct 3,000 houses that has faced fierce pushback from environmental advocates and been ensnared in a bitter legal battle. Instead the commission unanimously signed off on a slimmed-down project from the developer: a planned unit development and tentative map to construct 280 luxury homes across 563 acres." To read more, click here.

A climber rappels in Joshua Tree National Park.

--The Daily Bulletin is reporting that, "Overwhelming attendance at Joshua Tree National Park resulting from a desire for outdoor recreation due to the coronavirus pandemic is causing miles-long vehicle back-ups at the entrance and a parking crisis for visitors trying to enjoy hiking, camping and rock climbing at the desert park. The park is proposing two major projects as possible solutions to long entrance lines and a shortage of parking spaces inside the park. But the projects are extensive and in the early stages, requiring environmental reviews and public comments before they can move forward." To read more, click here.

--The National Park Service is reporting that, "Grand Canyon National Park Deputy Superintendent Louis Rowe has announced the selection of Angela Boyers as Chief Ranger for the Division of Visitor and Resource Protection. As chief ranger of Grand Canyon National Park, Boyers will manage a complex program that includes law enforcement, emergency services, wildland and structural fire, aviation, fee collection, backcountry operations, and a regional dispatch center. " To read more, click here.

--Outside Business Journal is reporting that, "this week, Taos Ski Valley announced a hike to its minimum wage—up to $15 per hour—in order to meet living-wage requirements of the county in which the business is located, company representatives announced in a release. The wage increase went into effect earlier this summer for housekeepers and dishwashers, according to Dawn Boulware, the company’s vice president of social and environmental responsibility. The remaining staff will see the change reflected in their first October paychecks, at the start of the company’s fiscal year." To read more, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

--The Denver Gazette is reporting that, "a climber was rescued early Tuesday morning after she fell 20 feet from the Second Flatiron and injured her leg, the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office said. The woman, 26, had scrambled the freeway route on the Second Flatiron and was preparing to descend back to the trail when she fell, deputies said. She slipped while attempting to climb around an obstacle at the top of the route." To read more, click here.

--Two women camping in the La Sal Mountains near Moab succumbed to gunshot wounds. The Grand County Sheriff's office has determined that the deaths were homicides, and there is an ongoing investigation. To read more, click here.

--From Rocky Mountain National Park: "Beginning this week, all paved roads and parking areas within Rocky Mountain National Park will be striped. Work is expected to last three weeks and should be completed by September 4, weather and resources permitting. During the day, when striping occurs on paved roads, travelers should expect rolling delays up to 30 minutes Monday through Friday. Most work for parking areas will be completed at night Sundays through Thursdays from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. When striping occurs in parking lots, those areas will be closed. Striping work will not occur on weekends."

--Backpacker is reporting that, "just three and a half months after reopening to the public, Colorado’s Hanging Lake is once again closed due to a mudslide that partially obliterated the trail to it, the U.S. Forest Service announced today. In a news conference, White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams said a mudslide in the burn area left by last year’s Grizzly Creek Fire’s left much of the trail to the popular lake under a debris field and damaged or completely washed out multiple bridges. As a result, he said, Hanging Lake would be 'closed for the foreseeable future.'" To read more, click here.

--Fox 31 is reporting that, "The group tasked with rescuing visitors in Rocky Mountain National Park needs a little help themselves. 'The vehicle that the park has been using almost as their mobile command center for search and rescue is really old,' Rocky Mountain Conservancy Executive Director Estee Rivera told FOX31. Now, RMC is trying to raise $75,000 for a new, modern search and rescue vehicle." To read more, click here.

--The Salt Lake Tribune is reporting on access issues for climbers in Little Cottonwood Canyon. The Salt Lake Climbers Alliance opposes both options being presented by the Utah Department of Transportation to alleviate parking issues in the canyon. To read more, click here.

--Climbing is reporting on a year-long bolt war on Pikes Peak. "Over the past few weeks, the Pikes Peak Bolt War has attracted the interest of land managers and mainstream local news outlets, and has driven the Colorado Springs climbing community into a collective uproar. So far, neither side is willing to budge. After all, it’s not just about a few bolts, they say. It’s a high-stakes tug-of-war between the past and future of climbing on Pikes Peak—and perhaps the past and future of American climbing at large." To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--Gripped and many others are reporting that, "David Roberts, who was often called the “dean of adventure writing” has died at the age of 78. He was one of the world’s most prolific mountain authors, with his well known books including Deborah: A Wilderness Narrative and The Mountain of My Fear." To read more, click here.

--A 30-year-old woman died in a rock climbing fall at North Carolina's Pilot Mountain. Information on the accident is still scant. To read about it, click here.

--RMO Today is reporting that, "32-year-old man fell more than 1,000 feet to his death in a climbing accident on Mount Hungabee in Yoho National Park on the weekend. Parks Canada rescuers recovered the body of the man on Sunday (Aug. 15) after a getting a satellite communication device message from the two distressed surviving climbers on the west ridge of the 3,492-metre peak in Yoho National Park near the boundary with Banff National Park." To read more, click here.

--As the Delta Variant rages through the country, the National Park Service is once again requiring masks in public buildings.

--The Texas-based Crux Climbing Centre has just hosted North America's first nonbinary inclusive climbing competition. To read more, click here.

--Outside is reporting that, "Lyme-carrying ticks are a bigger threat than ever. A promising new antibody treatment looks to stop infection—even after a tick bite." To read more, click here.

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