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.

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