Thursday, December 23, 2021

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 12/23/21

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  • Spring and Summer Climbing Guide and Instructor based in Bellingham - with the possibility of year-round work in other states.
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--Snowbrains is reporting that, "Two teenage boys were killed in an avalanche on Friday afternoon in the Big Hole Mountains west of Driggs, Idaho. The pair were caught and buried by the slide near Relay Ridge in the area of Ryan Peak. One boy was skiing, the other snowmobiling." To read more, click here.

--Gripped is reporting that, "a snowboarder has died after an accident in an out of bounds area at SilverStar Mountain Resort in B.C. this weekend. He was riding alone and was found by another skier who saw a snowboard poking out of the snow." To read more, click here.

--This is a nice piece that celebrates the work done by the Washington Trails Association Trail Crew.

Desert Southwest:

--Gripped is reporting that, "Alex Honnold has made the second ascent of one of the hardest multi-pitch routes at Red Rock with Synthetic Happiness on Rainbow Wall. Honnold sent it with Priti Wright belaying. This was the second big free route Honnold completed on the impressive Rainbow Wall this season, with the other being What Dreams May Come 5.13+ with Tommy Caldwell." To read more, click here.


--Snowbrains is reporting that, "A man fell to his death on Mount Whitney, CA, last week while on a five-day, four-night trip in the backcountry during the biggest storms of the winter so far. Eric Goepfert, 50, was reported missing by his wife when he failed to return on Friday December 17th as planned." To read more, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

--A skier was caught and fully buried in an avalanche in Utah's Big Cottonwood Canyon on Friday. He was successfully rescued, but the avalanche was caught on video:

--In a separate incident on Friday:

--Snowbrains is reporting that, "A 600-foot wide, roughly two-to-four-foot deep avalanche was triggered in Hidden Canyon near Brighton Resort on Sunday. The slide was reported to Brighton Ski Patrol by someone other than those who triggered it. Upon inspection, ski patrol noticed two tracks entering the avalanche but no tracks coming out the other side. The Utah Avalanche Center reports that Brighton & Solitude ski patrols were called into the scene, bringing Recco-locating devices and two dog teams to search the debris field. They later determined that no one was caught in the avalanche." To read more, click here.

--The Daily Camera is reporting that, "two rock climbers who were stuck Saturday night on Redgarden Wall in Eldorado State Park have been rescued. Shortly after 5 p.m. Saturday, the Boulder County Communications Center received a call from two climbers who were close to hypothermic and needed to be rescued." To read more, click here.

--The Summit Daily is reporting that, "After voting to unionize in May, Breckenridge ski patrol has made it through contract negotiations with Vail Resorts. Voting on the new contract closed Monday, Dec. 13, and was ratified Tuesday, Dec. 14, with a 'near unanimous vote.' Ryan Anderson, a Breckenridge ski patroller who helped lead unionizing efforts, said negotiating with Vail went quite well. He said local management at the resort has kept its word in supporting patrollers throughout the process." To read more, click here.

--In more union news, Snowbrains is reporting that, "The Park City Professional Ski Patrol Association (PCPSPA) has “overwhelmingly” rejected the latest contract offer from Vail Resorts, which would have $15/hr as the starting wage for a patroller. The same offer has been made by Vail Resorts three times now, each time rejected by the roughly 200 patrollers at Park City Mountain Resort, UT. The current starting wage is $13.25/hr, and PCPSPA is holding out for $17/hr." To read more, click here.

--The Salt Lake Tribune is reporting on the difficulties of keeping climbers off closed routes in Bears Ears. Many areas have cultural significance and cannot be climbed. To read more, click here.

--Snowbrains is reporting that, "Former pro-skier David Lesh should have been in court today for his sentencing after being found guilty of illegally riding a snowmobile at a terrain park in closed Keystone Resort on April 24, 2020, and undertaking an unauthorized commercial venture on national forestland. However, his decision earlier this month to fire his attorney means he will not face sentencing today, Tuesday 21st December, as his new attorney cannot begin work on the case until Wednesday 22nd December. The Judge has said he is “less than pleased” with the circumstances." To read more, click here.

--Out There Colorado is reporting that, "Ouray Ice Park is closer to a major expansion with a grant from Great Outdoors Colorado, the state agency funding outdoor-related projects with lottery revenues. The $100,000 grant is "the jumpstart that we need," said Peter O'Neil, executive director of the nonprofit overseeing the southwest Colorado playground beloved by ice climbers around the world." To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--Snowbrains is reporting on an avalanche last week: "A skier triggered and was caught in an avalanche near The Apron at Bridger Bowl Ski Area on Thursday. According to the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center, no one was injured and the ski area is closed." To read more, click here.

--Variety is reporting that, "In a presentation to buyers delivered at the start of the Pre-Cannes Screenings on Monday, director Doug Liman described his new movie 'Everest,' set to star Ewan McGregor, Sam Heughan and Mark Strong, as the 'ultimate adventure film.' HanWay Films is selling international rights at the virtual market, while UTA Independent Film Group handles U.S. 'Everest is about the first attempt to climb Mount Everest in 1921, Liman explained. 'It resulted in the first 11 deaths on Everest.' The film charts the intense rivalry between and driving obsession of English mountaineer George Mallory (McGregor) and the eccentric Aussie climber George Finch (Heughan). Strong plays the arrogant Arthur Hinks of the Royal Geographic Society, who selects Mallory to scale the mountain." To read more, click here.

--The Sierra Club is reporting on California's Outdoors for All initiative: "The initiative, billed by Governor Gavin Newsom’s administration as the “largest-ever single investment in parks and open space for underserved communities,” will invest more than a billion dollars to create new parks, protect existing ones, and expand access to the outdoors for all Californians. These investments are crucial. We are facing the overlapping challenges of the climate crisis, the biodiversity crisis, and the nature equity crisis. Both the federal government and the state of California have set ambitious goals of protecting 30 percent of all lands and waters by 2030 to tackle the worst effects of these crises. The “Outdoors for All” initiative will be vital in achieving those goals and addressing these challenges head-on." To read more, click here.

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