Thursday, November 25, 2021

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 11/25/21

Happy Thanksgiving!

This is one of the biggest weekends of the year for climbing at certain areas. These areas include Smith Rock, Red Rock Canyon, Joshua Tree National Park, Moab, Indian Creek and many others that usually have decent weather this time of year.

If you don't have camping reservations, and you don't have a lodging plan, and you intend to visit one of these areas, make sure that you have a back-up plan.

And be careful...! There's often a spike in accidents over the long weekend...


--Glacier Creek Road (FR 39), which provides access to the north side of Mt. Baker, has been washed out at about mile 3.7. This is a severe washout. In addition to this, the road that is used to access Shannon Ridge on Mt. Shuksan has some severe erosion. It's still passable, but at mile marker .7 to mile maker, 1.2, the road could go if we have another serious weather event.


--My San Antonio is reporting that, "Three of Yosemite’s campgrounds — Tuolumne Meadows, Bridalveil Creek and Crane Flat — will be closed as they undergo extensive renovations. There will be no camping available at all three sites during the closures. Tuolumne Meadows will see the longest closure, as the National Park Service says that it will be shuttered until 2024, or even 2025, for rehabilitation. It is Yosemite’s largest campground, sprawling across 140 acres with 304 drive-in campsites for campers with cars, 21 for backpackers, seven group sites and four horse sites. The site serves 141,000 visitors a year." To read more, click here.

--Here's a cool piece on the Tahoe Nordic Search and  Rescue Team.

Desert Southwest:

--In an unusual move, the Joshua Tree National Park closed the classic route Heart of Darkness (5.11a) due to poor anchors. The closure will likely be short-lived. To read more, click here.

Caustic (5.11b) is a classic line in Calico Basin.
Photo by Caden Martin

--There is a Change.Org petition out there that is asking the Las Vegas BLM not to begin charging for parking at Red Rock Canyon's Calico Basin. A policy of charging people for parking could really push more people to park along the road, creating further problems for homeowners in the area. To read more and to sign, click here.

--In Tommy Caldwell and Alex Honnold news, they just completed the first repeat of What Dreams May Come (5.13, 10-Pitches) in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. In researching this post, I found that there's another route in Red Rock with the same name that's only 5.6. To read more, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

--From the Colorado Sun: "It wasn’t that long ago that ski resort operators lost sleep over snowfall. Then they had to fret over once-in-a-lifetime protocols to limit the spread of contagion at their ski areas.  Now, the worries are stacked even deeper, with affordable housing, dwindling numbers of workers and ever-lengthening lift lines joining the perennial fretting over snow and looming threat of spiking COVID cases." To read more, click here.

--Snowbrains is reporting that, "The Park City Professional Ski Patrol Association (PCPSPA) has been meeting with representatives from Park City Mountain, UT, and Vail Resorts since August of 2020 to negotiate a new contract. The current contract covering approximately 200 Ski Patrol and Mountain Safety personnel expired in November of 2020. With the opening day of the 2021-22 season just around the corner, the Union hopes to secure a contract that will lead to a livable wage for career employees." To read more, click here.

--There's a lot of plastic in your skis. And as we know, plastic is part of our environmental problem. In steps WNDR Alpine Skis. In an effort to decrease plastic in the world, the company is fashioning skis out of algae. To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--OPB is reporting that, "The U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed Chuck F. Sams III Thursday as the first Native American to serve as director of the National Park Service in its 105-year history. Sams, a member of the Cayuse and Walla Walla tribes, which are part of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, will be the first confirmed director of the NPS since 2017 as the agency has been led by acting directors since then." To read more, click here.

--The Department of the Interior has announced: "Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland today formally established a process to review and replace derogatory names of the nation’s geographic features. She also declared “squaw” to be a derogatory term and ordered the Board on Geographic Names – the federal body tasked with naming geographic places – to implement procedures to remove the term from federal usage. 'Racist terms have no place in our vernacular or on our federal lands. Our nation’s lands and waters should be places to celebrate the outdoors and our shared cultural heritage – not to perpetuate the legacies of oppression,” said Secretary Haaland. “Today’s actions will accelerate an important process to reconcile derogatory place names and mark a significant step in honoring the ancestors who have stewarded our lands since time immemorial.' To read more, click here.

--The American Safe Climbing Association is kicking of a bolt replacement fundraiser. "There are tens of thousands of bolts in the US that need immediate replacement, and hundreds of thousands that will need replacement in the coming years. The cost of high-quality hardware is significant, even with cost-saving through bulk ordering and all-volunteer labor, the average cost to rebolt just one sport climb is well over $100." To read more and to donate, click here.

--And finally, in an effort to increase safety through the Kumbu Icefall on Mt. Everest, a pair of individuals may develop a work around, using a via ferra. To read about it, click here.

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