Monday, March 28, 2022

Ski Crampons

Ski crampons: Sometimes they are a necessary evil to move over firm snow. They are generally one of those devices that you carry and hope you don't have to use. Simultaneously, they are one of those devices that you know you really need when you need them...

In the following video, AMGA Instructor Team Members Margaret Wheeler and Jeff Ward demonstrate the use of ski crampons and when it is appropriate to attach and remove them.

--Jason D. Martin

Friday, March 25, 2022

Using Trees and Bushes for Anchors

All types of climbing requires all types of anchors. One commonly used anchor in top-roped climbing as well as in multi-pitch climbing is the ubiquitous tree. Trees and bushes are everywhere. You can find solid trees sticking out of cracks in the middle of a route and you can find weak trees sitting on top of a crag. As a result it is very important to look carefully at a tree before using it.

In traditional anchors, we often use the acronym SERENE to determine whether an anchor is good or not. The letters in SERENE stand for the following:

S -- Solid -- Are all the pieces in the anchor solid?
E -- Equalized -- Are all the pieces equalized?
R -- Redundant -- Is there redundancy throughout the sysytem?
E -- Effective -- Was the anchor construction simple and quick with no fuss?
NE -- No Extension -- Will the system be shock-loaded if a piece blows?

All anchors should pass the SERENE test or come extremely close to passing this test.

When we find a big fat tree that we elect to use as an anchor, the tree generally will not pass this test. Why? Because a single tree is not redundant. However, if the tree is giant and has a good root-base, redundancy doesn't matter as much. All the other letters in the acronym will be satisfied.

The SERENE acronym becomes significantly more important when the tree or bush that you wish to use in your anchor isn't very good. Occasionally, we have to link together a series of shrubs in order to create a SERENE anchor. It's important to use as many as you need to use in order to make the anchor as strong as it needs to be.

Following is a video about what to look for in a good tree anchor:


--Jason D. Martin

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 3/24/22


--Luke Wilhelm, a respected and loved climbing guide, died in an personal climbing accident on Colonial Peak earlier this month. Climbing posted a very nice obituary and you should read the whole thing, but here's a highlight: "Luke, who was living in Bellingham, Washington, was a mountaineering guide for Rainier Mountaineering, Inc. (RMI), out of Ashford, Washington. He found home wherever the next skiing, climbing, alpine objective, or hammock spot was. This past year one of Luke’s clients, Tim Morris, requested a special commendation (which he termed a Medal of Honor) from RMI for him, writing: 'Luke’s ever-positive attitude, patience, and genuine servant’s-heart is observable without exception, while consistently maintaining leadership candor and decorum, ranking him as exemplary among his peers and reflecting great credit upon himself, RMI, and the Guided Mountaineering Industry as a whole.'" To read about Luke, click here.

--The National Parks Traveler is reporting that, "Past problems with flooding have the National Park Service at North Cascades National Park proposing to relocate the Graybeal Hiker and Stock camps along the Brush Creek Trail. There's also a need to construct additional backcountry camp accommodations for the Pacific Crest Trail long-distance permit holders along the Bridge Creek Trail. The Graybeal Hiker and Stock camps were hit by flooding from Brush Creek in 2003, 2006, and 2017. Moving campsites out of the floodplain zone prevents further damage to the camp sites and eliminates entanglement with this natural process, the Park Service said in explaining the need to relocate the camps. Capacity at these camps will remain the same." To read more, click here.


--Snowbrains is reporting that, "Another large boulder fell off of Echo Summit Wednesday morning and crashed down onto the Highway 50 mountain pass in El Dorado County, blocking traffic in both directions, the California Highway Patrol reported. The six-foot-high boulder fell off the summit shortly after 8am." To read more, click here.

--Gear Junkie is reporting that, "As concern over Yosemite Valley’s increasing traffic problem mounts and construction projects pile up, park officials responded with a new permit system. From May 20 to Sep. 30, 2022, everyone visiting Yosemite from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. will need to make an online reservation. A few notable exceptions to the new system exist (more on that later)." To read more, click here.

Desert Southwest:

--Jared Leto, an A-list Hollywood actor, has opened up about a near-death experience he had while climbing with Alex Honnold, in Red Rock Canyon. To read about it, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

--SnowBrains is reporting that, "At around 3:00 pm on March 17, 2022, a solo backcountry snowboarder was caught, buried, and killed in an avalanche south of Trout Lake, 13 miles south of Telluride, CO, in the North San Juan Mountain Forecast zone." To read more, click here. Here's a bit more info.

--Steamboat Pilot and Today is reporting that, "Avalanche conditions in the Steamboat and Flat Tops region were forecasted as moderate on Saturday, March 19, when a backcountry skier was killed in an avalanche east of Steamboat Springs. The skier who died after being caught in the slide was identified as Andrew Hyde, 49, of Steamboat Springs by Routt County Undersheriff Doug Scherar on Sunday, March 20." To read more, click here.

--The Outside Business Journal is reporting that, "After five years in Denver, Outdoor Retailer (OR) is bidding farewell to Colorado and striking out once more for Utah. Show organizers today confirmed that the trade show will relocate to Salt Lake City—its former home—in January 2023 when its current five-year contract with the City of Denver expires. The show will stage in Utah at least through the end of 2025. Show director Marisa Nicholson told Outside Business Journal that the decision comes after more than 18 months of discussions with OR attendees and exhibitors." To read more, click here.

--Science News is reporting that, "Castleton Tower and its peers may appear still. But these soaring geologic structures are in constant motion, vibrating in response to earthquakes, human activity and even distant ocean waves. The same goes for fins, rock formations that are irregularly shaped instead of cylindrical or rectangular like towers, says geophysicist Riley Finnegan of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. The seismometers measure how much the towers and fins naturally vibrate. Those data are key to assessing the formations’ stability and could even help researchers search the rocks for possible signs of seismic activity in the distant past." To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--The Times Union is reporting on a death in the Adorandacks: "State Police are investigating whether a man found dead last week under 4 feet of snow on Mount Colden was involved in an avalanche at the notorious Trap Dike. After a three-day search involving 27 state Department of Environmental Conservation forest rangers, search team members discovered the body last Friday of Thomas Howard, 63, of Westport, Conn. “partway up” the Trap Dike route to Colden in the High Peaks Wilderness Area, said a DEC spokesperson on Tuesday." To read more, click here.

--UK Climbing is reporting that, "a Ukrainian guiding company has announced that it will not accept Russian clients, while mountaineers worldwide are calling for a blanket ban on Russian expeditions and clients this upcoming season - and potentially beyond." To read more, click here.

Monday, March 21, 2022

Backcountry Skiing: Effective Transitions

Backcountry skiing is one of the most fun mountain adventures out there. But it is gear intensive and there is no more gear intensive moment in a backcountry skiers day than the transition from climbing to skiing or from skiing to climbing.

AMGA Instructor Team Member Jeff Ward and Outdoor Research came together to do a video on this subject. Check it out below:

--Jason D. Martin

Friday, March 18, 2022

Attaching an Ice Axe to a Pack

This morning I was putting away my rock rack in the garage when I noticed that one of my ice axes was lying on the floor. Both of my children appeared to still be intact and they both were each carrying around their favorite toys (an stuffed horse and a Minecraft Creeper). In other words, there had been no viscous ice axe attacks so that one might have the other's favorite toy...

The mystery was fleeting, but the idea of a blog wasn't. That ice axe lying on the floor reminded me that one question regularly arises when we are getting ready to go into the field: How do I attach my ice axe to my backpack?

Most backpacks have two loops that hang down off the back of the pack. To attach the ice axe, one must slide the shaft down into one of the loops with the pick facing in toward the center of the pack.

In this photo it is possible to see that the ice axe's pick
is facing toward the center. You can see that if the straps that hold it
in place were to fail, the axe would not fall off.

After the axe has been dropped down into the loop, rotate the spike up toward the top of the pack. Usually there is some kind of strap or buckle that can be fastened over the shaft so that the axe stays in place. The Black Diamond pack in the following picture has a special cord with a toggle to hold the axe in place.

A pack with an ice axe properly stowed.

After I took these pictures I found a nice hole in the backyard. It looked a little bit like somebody had been using a hoe to scrape up the grass. I immediately knew better. To me, it looked like an adze had been been at work.

After discovering that, I decided that it would probably be best if two little kids were not playing with an ice axe. There will be time enough for that when they're older...

--Jason D. Martin

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 3/17/2022


--News Channel 21 is reporting that, "A 71-year-old skier at Mt. Ashland died Friday after being reported missing and found by searchers outside the resort’s boundary ropes, officials said Saturday. The man, whose name has not been released, was reported missing Friday afternoon by his skiing partner, the resort said in a Facebook posting. A search was begun by Mt. Ashland Ski Patrol, assisted by Jackson County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue and a helicopter." To read more, click here.

Desert Southwest:

--The Las Vegas Review-Journal is reporting that, "Clark County Commissioner Justin Jones has been accused of deleting text messages he sent and received prior to a key vote in 2019 that effectively delayed a controversial proposed housing project overlooking Red Rock Canyon. The texts were sought as evidence by lawyers for developer Gypsum Resources LLC, as part of the company’s federal Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings and ongoing lawsuit against the county and commissioners, whom the developer has blamed for project delays over the years that it said fueled much of its financial predicament." To read more, click here.

Morning in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

--The Las Vegas Review-Journal is also reporting that, "Once home to mock gunfights and a petting zoo, the former Bonnie Springs Ranch is set to take shape as a luxury housing enclave. Developers of The Reserve at Red Rock Canyon, as the property is now known, held a ceremonial groundbreaking Tuesday for the desert outpost west of Las Vegas. It is slated to feature 16 homesites ranging from 2 to 4 acres each." To read more, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

--Snow Brains is reporting that, "two unprepared women were lucky to be rescued after getting stranded for ten hours off Big Baldy, UT, on Friday. The pair were discovered wearing light jackets and low-cut shoes with either low-cut socks or no socks at all in waist-deep snow by two trail runners." To read more, click here.

--Snow Brains is reporting that, "a skier was buried for up to 23 minutes after being caught in an avalanche just outside Solitude Mountain Resort, UT, on Saturday, Utah rescuers said. A guided group of eight skiers planned to ski through Silver Fork on Saturday, March 12, when one of the skiers in the group triggered an avalanche that swept through a gully, reports the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team." To read more, click here.

--Unofficial Networks has a cool video with this: "Really cool story out of Colorado where Leadville legend Tom Szwedko has been working on an unbelievable ski streak for the past 42 years. The 74 year old retired computer programmer has skied at least one day a month since October 1979. That’s over 500 months spanning five decades." To see the video, click here.

--They are not screwing around in Vail. Police will put people in jail for up to 180 days for borrowing a season pass. From SnowBrains: "The Vail Police Department is warning skiers and riders to avoid the temptation of borrowing a ski pass to save on the cost of a lift ticket. To date, police have seen an increase in the number of ski pass fraud investigations this season. Thirty-one people have been cited for deceptive use as of March 8, compared to 27 total citations for the entire previous ski season." To read more, click here.

--The Colorado Sun is reporting that, "Colorado’s Parks and Wildlife Commission on Wednesday approved a $29 price for the new Keep Colorado Wild Pass. The pass, which will be part of every vehicle registration in the state unless drivers choose to opt out, could generate more than $54 million a year for Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s 43 state parks." To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--The National Parks Traveler is reporting that, "a strong majority of Americans believe climate change is harming the National Park System, according to a poll conducted for the National Parks Conservation Association. The poll found that nearly nine in 10 of those surveyed said climate change is negatively impacting national parks. And most Americans, regardless of political party, would be more likely to support a representative who supported a bill that was designed to reduce the impact of climate change on national parks, the park advocacy group said." To read more, click here.

Seattle Bouldering Project

--The Climbing Business Journal is reporting that, "It was recently announced that the Bouldering Project—which operates six facilities across Minneapolis, Seattle and Austin (and a seventh on the way in Salt Lake City)—has acquired three additional facilities that previously operated as Brooklyn Boulders gyms. These three newly acquired properties are located in Brooklyn, Boston and Washington D.C., and were sought and acquired by the Bouldering Project for the purpose of 'growing with new people in new places.'" To read more, click here.

--Snowbrains is reporting some big news on the Vail fiasco front: "Vail Resorts’ new CEO, Kirsten Lynch, announced a $20 per hour minimum wage for all 37 of its North America resorts, effective for the 2022-23 ski and ride season. Entry-level ski patrollers and maintenance team members will start at $21 per hour. To ensure career and leadership wage differentials, Vail Resorts is also increasing wages for non-entry level hourly team members." To read more, click here.

Monday, March 14, 2022

Lowering from a Loaded Belay Plate

In cooperation with Outdoor Research, the American Mountain Guides Association has made several videos for beginning level climbers.

In this video, AMGA Instructor Team Member Jeff Ward, demonstrates two techniques to lower a climber from a loaded autoblocking device (belay plate).

Following is a quick breakdown of the points made.

Technique 1 - Rocking the carabiner
--Good for lowering short distances
--Need an active break hand

Technique 2- Redirect the plate with a thin sling
--Better for slightly longer distance lowering
--Need hands free backup for break strand

There is actually a third technique that he didn't show. One can put a nut tool or the nose of a carabiner into the small hole on many of these devices and crank it backwards. This will allow the device to open. But like the first technique, it will be important to have an active break hand.

--Jason D.  Martin

Friday, March 11, 2022

Leave No Trace: Doing Your Dishes in the Backcountry

There are a tremendous number of skills to learn for the backcountry traveler, but washing dishes? This is something that a lot of people don't think about adequately until they are in the backcountry. How do I manage my food scraps and dish soap without polluting my water source? These are important questions, and the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics has the answers:

In review:

1) Dishes should be done 200-feet or at least seventy steps away from your water source.

2) You will need your dirty dishes, a scraper, soap, a towel, a sponge, a backcountry wash basin, and a trash bag.

3) Filter water before starting dishes. You may also heat the water to boiling and then let it cool. But you will need hot water anyway.

4) Scrape your dishes into the garbage bag.

5) Use minimal soap on the sponge to scrub your dishes clean.

6) Rinse your dishes in warm water and dry to eliminate any soapy residue.

7) Dispose of waste water (gray water) 200-feet from camp. Be sure to strain out food scraps.

8) The gray water may be splashed over a large area or disposed of in a cat hole.

9) The soap, scraper and sponge and anything else that smells should be kept in your food storage system.

Animals are attracted to the areas where you eat and wash. By eliminating a lot of food byproducts, you can decrease your interaction with rodents, raccoons and bears.

--Jason D. Martin

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Cimbing and Outdoor News from Here and Beyond - 3/10/21


--North Shore News is reporting that, "The BC Coroners Service is investigating after a 50-year-old Delta man died from a skiing accident at Cypress Mountain Resort in West Vancouver on Saturday (March 5). West Vancouver Police Department confirmed that just after 10:30 a.m., officers responded to a call after reports of an injured skier. The BC Ambulance Service and Cypress Mountain ski patrol were tending to the injured skier; however, the man was later pronounced dead at the scene." It appears that this individual lost a ski then hit a tree. To read more, click here.

Mt. Hood in June

--Antelope Valley Press is reporting that, "A climber died and another was in critical condition, Monday night, after falling on Mount Hood, according to the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office. The two climbers fell about 200 feet in the Leuthold Couloir area of the mountain, late Sunday. Both climbers were injured." It is possible that the fatality was due to a delayed rescue in poor conditions. To read more, click here.

--Crystal Mountain Ski resort is expected to raise season passes from approximately $1000 to $1700. They will be making several capitol improvements on site...that season passholders won't really care about. To read more, click here.

--King 5 is reporting that, "Washington state’s glaciers are not only shrinking but melting away entirely. The National Park Service has studied glaciers for more than a century in Mount Rainier, Olympic and North Cascades national parks. The Olympics and North Cascades have lost more than half their ice since 1900. Rainier has lost 3%. Yet the amount of loss since the late 1970s has accelerated, based on National Park Service surveys of these mountain glaciers." To read more, click here.


--SnowBrains is reporting that."the highly anticipated $65 million Base-to-Base Gondola at Palisades Tahoe, CA, will be completed for the 22/23 winter season, Alterra Mountain Company announced last week." To read more, click here.

--SnowBrains is reporting that, "Remaining evidence of the ski resort formerly know as Squaw Valley will be removed soon after the Placer County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the renaming of three county-maintained roads that still contain the racist slur." To read more, click here.

--The Sierra Wave is reporting that, "The Inyo National Forest is pleased to welcome Julie Hall, the District Ranger for the Mt. Whitney Ranger District. Julie fills the position behind David Andersen, who recently accepted a newposition on the Umpqua National Forest. Julie has strong ties to the Eastern Sierra and the Inyo National Forest. Her father retired from the Inyo National Forest in 1992 as the Forest Recreation Staff Officer and he still lives in Bishop. Her family relocated to Bishop with his job and she attended high school here." To read more, click here.

Desert Southwest:

--ENR Southwest is reporting on a new trail from Las Vegas to Red Rock Canyon: "Construction is set to start next year on a planned $100-million bike and hiking trail from Las Vegas’ western suburbs to scenic Red Rock Canyon. The long-discussed 20-mile Red Rock Legacy Trail will run alongside Nevada State Route 159, a busy thoroughfare that’s currently shared by motorists and bicyclists." To read more, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

--It appears that an individual died while descending a route in Eldorado Canyon State Park. To read about it, click here.

--Out There Colorado is reporting that, "A backcountry skier was seriously injured after triggering an avalanche east of Parrot Peak in the La Plata mountains on February 26, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) announced on Saturday." To read more, click here.

--Gripped is reporting that, "Colorado’s popular Eldorado Canyon might only allow visitors into the park if they’ve registered for a permit starting this summer. Over 540,000 people visited Eldorado Canyon last year, which has The Parks & Wildlife Commission considering to implement an online ticketing system on summer weekends. The timed-entry pilot would run weekends and holidays from July 1 to Sept. 15 this year and from May 15 to Sept. 15 next summer, with evaluation planned for the fall of 2023." To read more, click here.

--The Outside Business Journal is reporting that, "A Colorado district judge ruled late last month that Colorado-based Cocona Labs, creators of 37.5 Technology, can move forward with two separate lawsuits accusing The North Face (TNF) and Columbia of patent infringement. The two cases date to 2016, when Cocona sued VF Corporation (TNF’s parent company) and Columbia Sportswear Co., alleging that the apparel brands had illegally incorporated Cocona’s patent-protected thermoregulating technology into their products." To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--Developers are planning an indoor ski resort in Texas. Images of the potential indoor resorts look dumb.

Monday, March 7, 2022

Alex Honnold Reviews Classic Climbing Scenes in Movies

We have run several articles about how ludicrous some of the scenes are in different climbing movies. But it's still fun to hear someone one else's perspective, especially if that someone is Alex Honnold.

In the following video, Alex talks about several climbing scenes, including scenes from Mission Impossible 2, Point Break, Star Trek V, Failure to Launch, The Dark Knight Rises, Vertical Limit, and Cliffhanger.

--Jason D. Martin

Friday, March 4, 2022

Route Profile: Epinephrine

Many climbers consider Red Rock Canyon's Epinephrine (5.9 IV+) to be one of the best routes of its grade in the world. With over fifteen pitches of climbing, Epinephrine is a phenomenal route that places one in an incredible position high above the Black Velvet Canyon.

The chimneys on Epinephrine are behind the pillar at the bottom of the wall.
Photo by Greg Barnes from

Many look at the moderate 5.9 grade and believe that this route will be a walk in the park. The reality is that Epi -- as the locals call it -- is a route that includes significant difficulties that one doesn't often encounter on a regular day out at the crags. Indeed, the route is known for one major feature: a long 5.9 chimney system.

The first third of Epinephrine is dominated by chimneys. These chimneys are incredibly smooth inside. Some have even equated them to glass. It often feels that the inch at a time gains inside the chimneys might be lost at any moment from a mild slip or fall. Difficult passage inside the chimneys are exacerbated by the fact that the route is so big that a pack is absolutely necessary. To move through the chimneys one must drag their pack between their legs.

Climbing the Chimneys on Epinephrine
Video by Richard Draves

A climber in a chimney on Epinephrine.
Photo by Richard Draves
Once the first third of the route is completed, the difficulties ease, but there is still over a thousand feet to climb. The second third of the route ascends an exposed headwall which drops off nearly a thousand feet. There is a great deal of 5.9 terrain in this section of the climb, but the climbing feels significantly easier than that of the chimneys. The 5.9 climbing in the central part of the route is "normal" 5.9. In other words, it feels like any 5.9 that one might find on one of the shorter routes in Red Rock. This section goes significantly faster than the first section.

The last third of the route climbs a massive mid-fifth class ramp. One climbs pitch after pitch after pitch of easy terrain that slowly allows altitude to be attained. Finally after traversing an exposed tree ledge, one finds himself at the base of an easy scramble which leads to the top of Velvet Peak.

Red Rock Canyon is famous for its moderate (5.6-5.9) multi-pitch routes. There are literally hundreds of them. At the upper end of moderate climbing, Epinephrine stands out as a spectacular and unforgettable adventure.

Great Links for Information about Epinephrine:
Supertopo Beta (Best Route Topo)
AAI Epinephrine Trip Report
Los Alamos Mountaineers Trip Report
Team Jammies Trip Report
Trip Report from
Camp4 Trip Report

--Jason D. Martin

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 3/3/22


--Two new alpine routes were recently sent on Vancouver Island. From Gripped: "Five climbers recently visited a remote area of Strathcona Provincial Park on Vancouver Island and climbed two new winter alpine lines on Mount Albert Edward. The peak is the sixth highest on the island at 2,093 metres." To read about the ascents, click here.

--There's a new Squamish Bouldering Guide out.


--The Tahoe Daily Tribune is reporting that, "as of Monday, Feb. 28, the snowpacks in Lake Tahoe, Truckee, Carson and Walker basins and other areas average about 85% of normal according to Natural Resources Conservation Service Hydrologist Jeff Anderson who measured the SNOTEL site at Mount Rose Ski Tahoe which was at 86%. Other snowpacks across northern Nevada are lower and range from 64-78%." To read more, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

--9 News is reporting that, "Search teams on Saturday found the body of a 27-year-old man who was caught in a small avalanche Friday near the town of Marble, according to the Pitkin County Sheriff's Office (PCSO). The victim has been identified as Nathaniel Ethan Schmidt of Colorado Springs." Two dogs were also killed in this slide. To read more, click here.

--The Aspen Times is reporting that, "Jon Reveal, a former Aspen Skiing Co. executive who worked 55 years at various ski resorts, died unexpectedly Thursday after finishing a day at work at Tamarack Resort in Idaho. Reveal’s wife, Kim Waltrip, said an autopsy this week will determine the cause of his death. Reveal, 77, was in excellent shape and received a “clean bill of health” in a heart stress test three months ago, she said. He died after working a full day and heading to his vehicle." To read more, click here.

--2KUTV is reporting that, "An injured skier was rescued in Maybird Gulch (near Salt Lake) Saturday, officials said. Search and rescue teams were called at approximately 4:20 p.m. to assist the skier. 'Due to the remote location of the skier, rapidly losing daylight, and nature of the injuries, SAR command called in for a helicopter extraction,' officials said." To read more, click here.

--The Journal is reporting that, "A Durango man was recovering Tuesday after being caught in an avalanche Saturday in the La Plata Mountains west of Durango. Mint Henk, 37, woke up for the first time on Tuesday after the accident, said his wife, Katy Henk. In a whisper, he was able to recount the accident and ask about his family and the buddy he was skiing with, Alex Vidal, she said." To read more, click here.

--Snowbrains is reporting that, "On Thursday, February 24, six poachers trespassed onto privately-owned Eagle Point Resort property near Beaver, Utah, and skied several of the western slopes of the ski area while it was closed, according to a social media post shared by Eagle Point Resort. The southern Utah ski area called the local Sheriff, who came to investigate the scene." To read more, click here.

--Climbing is reporting that, "In Colorado, where the number of outdoor users is quickly outpacing the bandwidth of local search and rescue (SAR) teams, volunteer rescuers aren’t just unpaid—they’re spending over $1,500 of their own money each year to save other people’s lives. That’s according to a landmark new study conducted by Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) in 2021, to investigate reports of burnout, underfunding, and legal vulnerabilities among many of the state’s 50 all-volunteer, nonprofit SAR teams." To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--Climbing is following the plight of some Ukrainian climbers as they brace for war. Alpinist is posting comments from both Russian and Ukrainian climbers opposing the war.

--Gripped is reporting that, "The final two ice climbing world cups of the 2021/22 season have been cancelled. The executive board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said in a statement that they 'urge all International Sports Federations to relocate or cancel their sports events currently planned in Russia or Belarus.' The announcement by the IOC led to the UIAA‘s executive board’s deciding to end the season now: 'It has decided that, in the interest of the safety of all participants and to maintain the integrity of the UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour, the two remaining UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup events scheduled to take place in Russia between now and the end of the 2021-22 season are cancelled.'" To read more, click here.

--Two climbers were hit by an avalanche on Polar Circus (WI 5) in Alberta this week. From Gripped: "'We were climbing the second last pitch of Polar Circus when spin drifts started to get bigger,” the climbers reported. 'So we decided to turn around. When we wanted to rappel over the pencil (around 2,000 metres above sea level) an avalanche around size 2 caught us. It must have started in alpine zone. The debris was loose but due to the narrow gully above us pretty heavy.'" To read more, click here.

--Bro culture and toxic masculinity haven't gone anywhere from the climbing scene. A young woman posted a video of her bouldering while by two men make sexist comments about her skills on the rock, while explaining why they couldn't do it on TikTok this week. The incident was then covered by several media outlets.

--Climbing is reporting on a new documentary: "In October 2017, accomplished big wall climber Quinn Brett took a life-changing fall while attempting to set a new speed record of the Nose. Brett broke four ribs, punctured a lung, bruised her liver, and fractured her 12th thoracic vertebrae. She was left paralyzed from the waist down. An Accidental Life, which has been nominated for best Feature at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, starts after that: In this breathless transition in which Brett attempts to reconcile the loss of her legs and learn to move forward. It’s a deeply intimate, if at times provocative, film, a resounding expression of the human soul." To read more, click here.

--Climate change and snow making are likely to make skiing even more exclusive and more expensive. To read about it, click here.

--Somebody made an autonomous snowcat that can drop you off at the top of a run and pick you up at the bottom. Check it out.

--And finally, Snowbrains is reporting that, "Sleeping Giant Ski Area in Cody, WY will be donating 100% of their tickets sales this Saturday to Ukraine’s army." To read more, click here.