Thursday, February 24, 2022

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 2/24/22


--The National Caucus of Environmental Legislators is reporting that, "he Washington state House of Representatives passed a bill to support outdoor school programs throughout the state. The legislation, HB 2078, is sponsored by Rep. Alicia Rule and would establish a statewide grant program to ensure that all students can benefit from outdoor education.  The program will be administered by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction who can partner with state agencies and outdoor school providers to offer programs. The grants will go to school districts and tribes to either develop or expand outdoor educational experiences. The bill also requires that programs ensure equitable opportunities for students and consider accessibility needs." To read more, click here.


--The Sierra Wave is reporting that, "Beginning Friday, May 20, Yosemite National Park will implement a temporary peak hours reservation system. Building on lessons learned during the summer reservation systems in 2020 and 2021, the peak hours reservation system is designed to spread visitation out and reduce chronic congestion in the park. Park visitors will need a reservation to enter the park between 6 a.m. and 4 p.m. seven days a week. Visitors entering the park outside of the peak hours are not required to have a reservation." To read more, click here.

--The Tahoe Daily Tribune is reporting that, "The UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center has partnered with BrandXR, Palisades Tahoe, and Protect Our Winters on an educational campaign to increase public awareness and understanding of the negative effects of climate change to Lake Tahoe’s snowpack and the winter tourism industry. Designed to inspire people to take immediate action to reduce their own carbon emissions by one ton per year and prevent the worst scenario from playing out, the campaign includes a carbon reduction calculator, easy actions individuals can take to #SaveOurSnow, and an augmented reality Instagram filter." To read more, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

--Teton Gravity Research is reporting that, "two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters crashed in Snowbird’s Mineral Basin on Tuesday, around 9:30 a.m. Miraculously, no crew or bystanders were injured in the accident. The two helicopters were on a training mission when they crash landed on the backside of the ski area. One the helicopters flipped on its side and lost its rotor." To read more, click here.

--Ice climber Leland Nisky had a very close call when an avalanche came down on him while soloing on the Ribbon (WI4) in Ouray. Check out this Instagram post:
--The Outside Business Journal is reporting that, "Utah Governor Spencer Cox didn’t mince words this week in his response to the news that 25 major companies—including REI and Patagonia—plan to boycott Outdoor Retailer if the trade show returns to Salt Lake City. Asked what he thinks of the show’s biggest customers protesting a move to Utah, Cox said at a press conference Thursday that the state has gotten along just fine since the show abandoned Salt Lake City for Denver in 2018." We should note, that a few months ago, he put up a video begging OR to come back. To read more, click here

--Unofficial Networks is reporting that, "back in 2018, Park City Mountain Resort lost the lease to the Scotts Bowl after the owner of the land, Silver King Mining Company, decided to not renew the agreement. According to the Park Record, Park City announced that they have reopened the slopes for this season, and for the long-term future as well. The reopened runs are Scott’s Bowl, Pinecone, and Two Goons, which are all double black diamonds. There are two ways to access these trails, both of which require hiking. You could ski off the Jupiter lift and hike up a little bit, or go to the mid-station of the Quicksilver Gondola and hike up from there. It’s a nice positive from a mountain that’s struggled to appease locals for a variety of reasons this season." To read more, click here.

--Utah ski resorts are opposed to a bill that would make Mountain Daylight Time a constant in the state year-round. To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--The Honolulu Fire Department is reporting that, "On Monday, February 21, 2022, the Honolulu Fire Department (HFD) received a 911 call at 3:47 p.m. about an injured rock climber in Mokuleia. Five HFD units, staffed with 16 personnel, were dispatched to this emergency. The first unit arrived at the scene at 4:05 p.m., established command and started hiking to make contact with the rock climber. A landing zone was established at the Kealia Trail trailhead." To read more, click here.

--Inside Outdoor is reporting that, "a well-documented increase in backcountry-related activities was recorded during last snow season, as consumers looked for ways to get their alpine fix while social distancing. However, resorts are less restricted this year, and Americans are returning to the slopes. It’s showing in sales numbers, according to The NPD Group. Revenue from backcountry accessories, which includes skins, beacons, probes and avalanche shovels, declined the most during the season-to-date (August through December 2021), versus last season. Sales are down 14 percent this season, after growing by 90 percent, during this time last year." To read more, click here.

--The Outside Business Journal has taken a hard look at a major problem in the outdoor industry: plastic packaging.

--Vail Daily is reporting on Wall Streets response to the problems plaguing Vail Resorts. Analysts "suggested Vail Resorts hold off on one of the key growth strategies it has employed over the course of the last decade, mergers and acquisitions, suggesting Vail Resorts 'digest what you have' before buying more ski areas. A decade ago, Vail Resorts owned six ski areas; today the company owns 40, with 37 in North America." On the upside, the same report indicates that they believe most Vail employees will see a raise next year. To read more, click here.

--"The Department of the Interior today announced a list of candidate replacement names for more than 660 geographic features with the name 'squaw,' which was officially declared a derogatory term as a result of Secretary’s Order 3404. The Department has initiated Tribal consultations and an opportunity for public comment to recommend and review proposed replacement names." To read more, click here.

--NHPR is reporting on the controversy surrounding a small New Hampshire ski area: At the root of the controversy at Gunstock is its unique governance structure. Built after the Great Depression with funding from the Works Progress Administration, the mountain is owned by Belknap County. But since 1959, Gunstock has been run by a five-person commission whose members are chosen by Belknap County’s state representatives. That structure was designed, in theory, to protect Gunstock’s independence and keep politics at bay. But in recent years, some of Belknap County’s most conservative lawmakers have battled for greater control over the mountain: filing legislation to take charge of its budget, threatening to remove current board members and accusing some of those board members of criminal activity." To read more, click here.

Monday, February 21, 2022

The Dangers of Collapse on an Ice Climb

In 1994, I had a very close call.

My friends and I were gearing up at the base of Shannon Falls (WI2+, II) in Squamish. The route wasn't really in. There was ice and it looked like there was a line, but that particular flow is high volume and it takes quite a lot for it to freeze. A tremendous amount of water was running behind the ice and the walls on either side of the climb were plastered in frozen spray.

But we were young and dumb and thought for sure that we could make it go...

We were gearing up at the base when something cracked up high. It sounded like a gunshot, and then like a tree falling through the forest. But it wasn't a tree, and it wasn't a was something bigger, and perhaps more dangerous. A block of ice the size of a minivan ripped off the semi-frozen falls and dropped toward us like a bomb.

The four of us scattered, getting away from the base of the falls just in time. The falling ice exploded on the ground, shooting basketball-sized blocks in every direction, zipping past us like missiles.

At the end of the day, we had a couple of bumps and bruises, but no one was truly injured.

It took a week to recover. And it took a week for the climb to finish freezing. So just seven days later, we found ourselves once again at the base of Shannon Falls. This time though, we sent the line.

For a long time, I was quite proud of that climb. It was technically easy, but the experience a week prior had left an indelible mark on me. The entire time we were on the route, I was convinced it was going to collapse...and I simply didn't have the judgement or experience to adequately assess the strength of the climb. Getting to the top, uninjured and happy, seemed like a great accomplishment.

But that's not how a climb should go. The baseline of success shouldn't be staying alive. Instead, it should be having a good time with our friends, while pushing ourselves in a controlled manner. One is not in control when they get on an ice climb that appears to be coming apart.

Ice climbs can and do collapse. If there is water running behind a climb -- especially if there's a lot of water -- it's time to go home. If it's so cold that the entire climb is brittle, then it's time to go home. It it's really warm out, and has been warm for a few days, it's time to go home. And if you just don't feel it, it's time to go home.

That's what should have happened in the following video. Whiteman Falls is a classic 2-pitch climb found in Kananaskies Country near Calgary. In the video, the climbers work up the line as you can hear water running behind, and then a large part of the climb collapses.

The video shows the incident from two perspectives. First, it shows it from the perspective of the climber, and then second, of the belayer. It gives you a really good feel for what it would be like to be near a climb as it collapses.

There is one thing that I thought this party did well. The belayer is perched in a place where he is secure from falling ice. One could make a very strong argument that this is how a belayer should be placed in all ice climbing situations.

Ice climbing is super fun, but it can also be dangerous. Learning how to protect both a leader and a follower from falling ice is a skill that takes time and experience to develop...

--Jason D. Martin

Friday, February 18, 2022

Common Mistakes when Skiing Powder

Backcountry skiing is truly the art of skiing every type of terrain possible. But we go into the backcountry to powder ski.

Here are some excellent tips to increase your powder skiing skills.

In review:

The first mistake is to lean back too much. It's easy to do this because, you feel like the powder is grabbing at your feet. If you lean back too much, it makes it much harder to turn and is exhausting.

The second most common mistake is to finish a turn and then to stay in that position. The best thing one can do it to project the body down the hill. Keep your hands in front and never let a hand get behind you, as it can set off a greater rotation than you'd like.

The third most common mistake is to ski with your feet too wide. If your feet are too wide, it's easy to put too much force into one ski, causing it to sink down. The snow then grabs the foot and pulls it backwards, which can spin you into a crash.

--Jason D. Martin

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 2/17/22


--Oregon Live is reporting that, "After two skiers died at Mt. Bachelor ski area Friday and Saturday, a helicopter was dispatched to the mountain Sunday morning on a medical emergency call, transporting a 64-year-old man to St. Charles Bend. A spokesperson for Mt. Bachelor confirmed a man was flown to St. Charles Bend at around 9:53 a.m. after he experienced a medical emergency." To read more, click here.

--Climbing is reporting that. "On February 2, local police arrested former USA Climbing National team member Alex Fritz on three charges of third-degree child rape. Fritz, 28, had been coaching and route setting at Vertical World in Redmond, Washington. He is accused of having sexual interactions with athletes as young as 12 years old in the U.S. and Canada. Fritz had been under investigation by SafeSport, a federally mandated organization for investigating cases of sexual assault in sport. The investigation began in June 2019. Following SafeSport’s recommendation, Fritz’s USA coaching license, along with his access to SafeSport certified gyms, was suspended on Dec. 16, 2020." To read more, click here.


--The Tahoe Daily Tribune is reporting that, "The Tahoe-Truckee community is in mourning following an accident at Palisades Tahoe that took the life of North Tahoe High School sophomore Scotty Lapp, authorities said. 'Our hearts are broken at (Tahoe Truckee Unified School District,) and our deepest sympathies are extended to the Lapp family and his friends,' said Kelli Twomey, coordinator of communications for the school district, in an email. Lapp had reportedly finished competing at Sunday’s Tahoe Junior Freeride Series’ event at Palisades Tahoe when he and a teammate collided, Twomey said." To read more, click here.

Desert Southwest:

--The Sacramento Bee is reporting that, "Hikers discovered human remains during their visit to Joshua Tree National Park, police said. Deputies from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department went to the California national park Tuesday, Feb. 8, after hikers said they found human remains." To read more, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

--Snowbrains is reporting that, "At about noon on Sunday, February 13th, the Summit County Rescue Group received a call for an avalanche on the west side of Loveland Pass with a confirmed skier burial. A mother and son on skis intended to retrieve a piece of rappel gear they had left behind the day before when they rappelled to ski a chute locally known as Butt Crack. As the son traversed toward the top of the chute, he cut across a steep slope below the ridge and triggered an avalanche. The mother stayed in a safe zone to the side of the avalanche and was not caught. The son took an estimated 200 to 300-foot ride in the avalanche debris, including an estimated 50-foot drop off a cliff. It took the mother about ten minutes to reach him, and she found him buried up to his waist with minor injuries." To read more, click here.

--Climbing is reporting that, "Over the weekend, visitors to Moab’s Big Bend bouldering area were shocked to discover a petroleum-based grease smeared on various roadside boulders. Three popular boulders—Black Box Boulder, Chaos Boulder, and Punisher Boulder—each of which holds various lines and link-ups, were affected. Big Bend is a small sandstone bouldering area nine miles north of Moab, along Highway 128. With easy access and a wide range of grades, the area is highly trafficked. Cleaning efforts began on Saturday. Local climber Maddy Barney helped determine initial cleaning methods." To read more, click here.

--More complaints about Vail Resorts were made to elected officials in Park City this week. In this case the complaints were epitomized by a $9 cold hotdog in s styrofoam container that was served after a 45-minute wait in line. To read the story, click here.

--It seems like Backcountry Hunters and Anglers are doing more than state or Federal authorities in curbing illegal trail construction: "In support of our state’s elk, mule deer, trout and a myriad of other species that rely on public lands habitat for survival, the Colorado chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (BHA) is offering a $500 reward for reports or information leading to a conviction of those responsible for illegal trail construction on public lands." To read more, click here.

--Gear Junkie and many others are reporting that, "In a Feb. 14 press release, a contingent of outdoor brands led by The Conservation Alliance expressed stark opposition to the relocation of Outdoor Retailer (OR) from Colorado to Utah by its parent company, Emerald Expositions.'Despite widespread industry objections, Emerald has demonstrated a continued interest in moving the Outdoor Retailer trade show to Utah,' the group stated. It added that it 'will not support or attend a trade show event in the state as long as its elected officials continue their attacks on national monuments and public lands protections.'" To read more, click here.

--Unofficial Networks is reporting that, "Aspen Skiing Co. announced a $3/hr raise for all hourly and salary staff beginning Sunday, February 13th. The raise represents a $12 million dollar investment, and with the combination of the November pay hike, which increased the payroll by three million dollars, and this weeks raise, starting hourly pay for most employees with Skico is $20/hr and salaried employees will see a $6,240 annual increase in pay." To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--The National Park Service is reporting that, "Teton Interagency Dispatch Center received a call the afternoon of February 13, about a skier involved in a fall in the Apocalypse Couloir in Death Canyon. Grand Teton National Park rangers and Teton County Search and Rescue jointly responded to the incident. A climber in Death Canyon reported witnessing an individual fall in the Apocalypse Couloir, who appeared to be unresponsive. Park rangers, Teton County Search and Rescue personnel and the Teton County Search and Rescue helicopter responded to provide medical care." To read more, click here.

--Montana Right Now is reporting that, "Search and rescue teams found a climber safe after their friend received an alert from their GPS device Wednesday. A caller reported to Gallatin County 9-1-1 that they received a message from their friend’s GPS device that an incident had occurred according to Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue (SAR). The caller said they believed the friend was ice climbing and provided GPS coordinates of the last known location of the device." To read more, click here.

--SnowBrains is reporting on the reasons behind the number of in-bounds fatalities in the 2021-2022 ski season: "This season has been off to a rocky start in many ways. Many resorts have been dealing with the lack of snow across the nation, as well as an increase in fatal crashes. Ski resorts all across the country have been in a drought. This winter has been exceptionally dry, and on top of it, areas have seen more and more traffic.  So far, there have been at least 14 in-bound ski-related deaths at resorts all across the country. Major areas like Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, Jackson Hole, Mt. Hood Meadows, Eldora, Alta, and even Fernie Resort in Canada, have experienced crashes that ultimately resulted in a loss of life. Most of these accidents have happened on predominantly expert runs where the skier lost control and couldn’t stop themselves." To read more, click here.

--Doing wilderness survival stuff and violating national parks rules and regulations to do it, is no good. That's what a couple of youtubers in Canada just found out, when they were fined for nearly $111,000 each for unlawfully fishing, hunting, discharging firearms, lighting fires, damaging natural objects, and operating a drone inside Banff National Park. To read about it, click here.

--While vaccine mandates are politically fraught, a number of outdoor companies have taken these mandates on themselves. AAI is one of these. From the Outdoor Business Journal: "Some companies, including Denver-based outdoor industry behemoth VF Corporation (parent company to The North Face, Smartwool, and Timberland, among others) have taken matters into their own hands by issuing their own companywide vaccine policies." To read more, click here.

Monday, February 14, 2022

Ten Hacks for Backcountry Skiers

If you're looking for some really good ski advice, the Stomp It tutorials are pretty darn good. There are dozens of videos on youtube from these guys, and they're all informative and well-produced.

The video we're focusing on here is the "Ten Hacks for Freeride Skiers" video, which really should be Ten Hacks for Backcountry skiers, thus my title.

Here is what he covers in the of the hacks:

  1. (:18) He covers getting up in powder after a fall. This is important!
  2. (1:09) One skin skate: How to move with a single skin on, to decrease time with skins.
  3. (2:06) He shows how to remove a skin without taking off skis.
  4. (2:53) A trick to keep skins dry when yo-yoing.
  5. (3:31) Duct tape on a pole trick.
  6. (4:08) Measuring slope angle with your ski pole.
  7. (5:26) Building a bench with your skis and poles.
  8. (6:03) Snacks - he shows how to make a good one!
  9. (6:48) Carry a multi-tool.
  10. (7:16) Fill in holes on-the-go.

--Jason D. Martin

Friday, February 11, 2022

Goggle Fogging

So, there I was, a brand new pair of goggles on a wet northwest ski day. The light was flat and there was a lot of fog. It was really hard to see.

The following day...? Crystal clear.

Don't let a wet day ruin your goggles!

But still, really hard to see.

At some point on the rainy ski day, water got in between the lenses of my goggles. And from that point forward, it was almost impossible to get the water out. The goggles were constantly fogging, regardless of the day's weather.

And thus began my quest to fix my new goggles.

Over the next several days, I tried a number of different fixes. Depending on the goggle brand and build, one of these may work better than another.

Let Them Dry Out in a Warm Area

The first and least consequential way of dealing with water between the lenses is to simply place the goggles in a warm dry place. For example, I left mine in the laundry room for a week between ski trips. They were not in a cold garage or left in my car.

It is possible to pop out the lens' in order to make it dry more quickly. Airflow will certainly be better. But I found that my lens'  did not go back in well. Indeed, they constantly popped out of the frame after I did this, adding insult to injury.

Note the mismatch between the lens and the frame in this picture.
This remains a problem to this day with this pair of Julbo Goggles.

The Rice Treatment

Many of you have used rice to get water out of a cellphone. The idea here is the same. Place the lens' -- sans frame -- into a bag or dried rice. Often this will suck out the moisture.

As noted above, the lens may not go back in properly once out.

The Dryer Treatment

The thing that ultimately worked the best, was to put the goggle frames into the goggle bag, then put them in the drying machine. I ran the dryer on medium heat for a half-an-hour, and when they came out, they were all fixed.

Later I did this with a different pair of goggles without taking the lens' out. It worked just fine and allowed me to avoid trying to get the lens back in.

It should be noted that many goggles are designed for multiple lens'. These models may not have the same problem with the lens going back in as those models that don't have this feature.

Non-Between-the-Lens Issue

Sometimes fogging takes place because of something a bit more common than water between the lenses.

1) It's not uncommon for people to put their goggles up on their wet helmet. Snow and water often gets into the goggles that way. This is where a lot of fogging issues start. 

2) Another common reason that goggles fog is if a face mask is tucked up under them. Your breath can fog them. This can be avoided by keeping the mask out of your goggles.

3) This should be obvious, but after you fall down, make sure to clean snow off the goggles. Often snow gets plastered on the padding, which allows them to slowly get saturated as your body heat melts the snow.

4) Occasionally water drips down from above, and enters the goggle padding. A helmet with a visor can help reduce this particular problem.

5) If you're overdressed and you get hot on your descent, sweat and body heat can contribute to goggle fogging.

6) And finally, when all else fails, it's not a bad idea to have a backup pair...

Goggle Care

There are a few rules to keep in mind that will help decrease fogging issues.

1) Avoid rubbing water out of the goggles with your fingers or anything that is rough. It's best to try to shake them out. When you rub the lens, you can inadvertently rub off the anti-fogging agent that manufacturers apply.

2) When you aren't using them, it's best to keep your goggles in a place that is warm and dry. Extreme temperatures can cause them to wear out faster. Indeed, putting cold goggles on your warm face just causes try to keep them at room temperature before use.

3) Don't store your goggles away somewhere where they can't dry off. Wet goggles should be treated like any other gear. Dry them, then store them...

Goggles are an essential part of a skier's kit. But if you can't see through them, they're essentially worthless. Take the time to buy a quality pair of goggles and then treat them well. Pay attention to them. They're just as important as any other piece of essential equipment.

--Jason D. Martin

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 2/10/2022


--Gripped is reporting that, "this weekend saw a number of backcountry users require a rescue due to avalanches with one person dying in a large slide. The avalanches were all around Pemberton north of Whistler. Pemberton RCMP received multiple emergency rescue calls just after noon on Feb. 5. Search and rescue crews, the RCMP, helicopters and ground units were deployed in responding to a series of avalanches, and a snowmobile crash." To read more, click here.

--Gripped is reporting that, "climbers have reported hearing rockfall in Squamish, as temps are forecasted to hit double digits by next weekend. Last year was one of the worst on record for rockfall and it led to several area closures. This winter, Squamish experienced extreme weather swings, cold snaps, a lot of snow and a few freeze/thaw cycles. The result could be another spring and summer where we see a number of small to large rockfalls." To read more, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

--Snowbrains is reporting that, "US Ski & Snowboard announced last week a new partnership with Woodward, designating Woodward Copper, Colorado, and Woodward Park City, Utah facilities as Official Training Centers for U.S. Ski & Snowboard athletes through January 2025." To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--The Conway Daily Sun is reporting that, "a 67-year-old man from Florida collapsed and died while hiking Mount Willard to go ice climbing last Friday, according to the New Hampshire Department of Fish and Game." To read more, click here.

--Three parties had an extremely close call with an avalanche on Mt. Washington over the weekend. To read about it, click here.

Monday, February 7, 2022

Backcountry Ski Repair and First Aid Essentials

Sarah Carpenter is an AMGA certified ski guide and one of the owners of the American Avalanche Institute, one of AAI's partners in avalanche training. Sarah is one of the best, and when she speaks on backcountry skiing, wise people listen.

The following video covers her thoughts on what is needed in backcountry ski repair kit, as well as in a backcountry first aid kit for a skiing/splitboard outing.

The following is a quick list of what she covers. See the video for context...

Repair List
--Bivy Sack or Rescue Sled
--2-3 Carabiners
--4-5 Ski Straps
--Hose Clamp
--Bailing Wire
--Glob Stopper
--Spare Batteries
--Duct Tape
--Flagging Tape
--Binding Screw/Plummer's Putty
--Binding Buddy

First Aid List
--Ace Wrap
--Hand Warmers
--Blister Repair
--Athletic Tape
--Wound Closure Strips

Other Items
--Personal Locator Beacon/Satellite Messaging System
--Radios (Person -to-Person Coms)
--Backup Battery Pack

--Jason D. Martin

Friday, February 4, 2022

How to Sharpen and Maintain Your Ice Screws

Ice screws are expensive and they get damaged easily.  Petzl has put together this absolutely great video on how to sharpen your screws. Beware though, these techniques take some minor skills with tools...

It should also be noted that there are a few "ice screw sharpeners" on the market. But you should be aware that these are generally designed to only work in conjunction with ice screws of the same brand.

--Jason D. Martin

Thursday, February 3, 2022

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 2/3/2022


--KGW8 is reporting that, "On Saturday, volunteers with Portland Mountain Rescue responded to the fourth rescue call on Mount Hood in the span of a week when a climber fell and slid roughly 1,000 feet down the mountain." To read more, click here.

--Oregon Live is reporting that, "A 30-year-old man from Illinois died in a skiing accident at Mt. Hood Meadows on Sunday morning, according to the Hood River County Sheriff’s Office. The sheriff’s office identified the man as Michael Snell. Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Patrol responded to a report of a skiing accident on Four Bowl, which is an advanced trail, shortly after lifts opened at 9 a.m. Sunday, said Dave Tragethon, a spokesperson for Mt. Hood Meadows." To read more, click here.

--Vail Resorts says Stevens Pass will remain open beyond the original closing date. Read more!


--Modern Conservationist is reporting that, "In 2021, backcountry use — fueled by the pandemic — was at an all-time high. As one example, in iconic Yellowstone National Park, camping increased 93 percent over a two-year period, while backcountry camping increased 117 percent in that same time frame, according to an NPS news release. Also hitting record highs are search and rescue (SAR) operations — some lifesaving, but others no more than a taxi ride for a tired hiker. This trend is causing deep concern among park rangers and conservationists as they fear backlash for unnecessary rescues undertaken on the public’s dime." To read more, click here.

--Gripped is reporting that, "Adrian Vanoni and Sam Stroh have repeated the 36-pitch Golden Gate, a popular 5.13a big wall free route on El Capitan, to close out the first month of 2022 in Yosemite. Golden Gate heads up the first 20 pitches of Salathé Wall. It’s followed by a 5.12c down-climb, a 5.13a pitch, the 5.12 Golden Desert pitch, the A5 traverse and the Razorblades pitch. The first ascent of Golden Gate was in 2000 by Alex and Thomas Huber." To read more, click here.

Desert Southwest:

--The Sacramento Bee is reporting that, "a climber was in need of rescue after he plunged 60 feet into a narrow slot canyon, Arizona rescuers said. The 47-year-old climber was stuck Saturday, Jan. 29, in a slot canyon near the Virgin River Gorge, Mohave County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue said in a Facebook post the next day." To read more, click here.

--This is a really tough one. There was a murder suicide that involved a baby in Red Rock Canyon over the weekend. To read about it, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

--The Denver Post is reporting that, "Authorities have released the name of a 24-year-old suburban Denver man who died in a ski crash at Copper Mountain ski resort. The Summit Daily News reports Nicholas Vigil, of Lakewood, was skiing with friends through the trees along the intermediate Collage Run when he lost control and crashed Jan. 20. The Summit County coroner’s office says he suffered a traumatic brain injury, and his death was ruled an accident." To read more, click here.

--The Gazette is reporting that, "A tree, quick thinking, and a strong grip likely saved a skier from serious consequences over the weekend when a large avalanche slid down part of Colorado's Gore mountain range. On Sunday, a skier triggered a large avalanche at an elevation of about 12,000 feet along the Gore Range and in the area of Pitkin Creek – located in the Vail and Summit County backcountry zone. After triggering the avalanche, the skier was able to grab onto a tree to avoid being swept down to the valley floor. Had the individual been swept away, they would likely have been dragged hundreds of feet (potentially more than 1,000 feet) down steep, high-consequence terrain." To read more, click here.

--2KUTV is reporting that, "Search and rescue crews were called out to help a skier who became stuck in a steep area on North Thunder Mountain in Little Cottonwood Canyon. Officials with the Salt Lake County Search and Rescue team said they were dispatched to the area around 4:20 p.m. Saturday. The skier became trapped in an area called the Hypothermic Needle, or 'The Needle,' where they could go neither up or down the mountain and needed assistance." To read more, click here.

--The Vail Daily is reporting that, "As the petition to “Hold Vail Resorts accountable” for alleged ski area mismanagement this season reached 40,000 signatures Sunday, an update from page manager Jeremy Rubingh was posted with a new call to action. Rubingh, on Sunday, put out a request for Epic Pass users to email on Tuesday with a request to disengage the auto-renew option on their Epic Pass. 'Please join us on January 18th by sending a message stating that you’d like to cancel your pass ‘auto-renew,'' Rubingh wrote in the Sunday update. 'Even if you don’t have the auto-renew activated, you can send an email to explaining why you will not be renewing your pass.'" To read more, click here.

--Vail Daily is reporting that, "The run called The Narrows has been removed from the in-bounds terrain available to skiers and snowboarders on Vail Mountain, a spokesperson with the resort has confirmed. The Narrows was a double-black diamond run which provided connectivity to a large swath of terrain between the Gondola One line, Mill Creek Road and lower Riva Ridge." To read more, click here.

--The Summit Daily is reporting that, "a newly released study on backcountry search and rescue operations in Colorado hopes to improve how these volunteer groups are supported by the state in future years. Colorado Parks and Wildlife was directed to conduct a study with stakeholders to identify challenges with the existing, volunteer-based backcountry search and rescue programs in Colorado through the passage of Senate Bill 21-245. The study, published Jan. 17, saw responses from 49 search and rescue teams in the state, including Summit County Rescue Group, along with 41 sheriff’s offices." To read more, click here.

--Climate Connections is reporting that Utah's ski season is getting shorter due to climate change: "His team reviewed about 40 years of temperature data. They found that many Utah resorts are warming even faster than global averages. And daily low temperatures are rising faster than daily highs during the ski season, so it’s just not getting as cold." To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--Gripped and many others are reporting that, "Italian climber and mountain guide Corrado “Korra” Pesce has died following an accident in Patagonia. His body remains, for the time being, on Cerro Torre. He was 41 years old." To read more, click here.

--Gripped is reporting that, "Canadian climber, author and artist Glen Boles has passed away in Cochrane, Alberta, at the age of 87. His photos and works of art hang on countless walls around the world, and he was an honorary member of the Alpine Club of Canada, the American Alpine Club and the Calgary Mountain Club. He acted as honorary president of the Alpine Club of Canada from 2005 to 2009. In 2005, he received the summit of excellence award for his contribution to Canadian mountaineering." To read more, click here.

--The New York Times has a great piece out on a climber that is on Everest right now, alone and without oxygen. Check it out.