Thursday, February 9, 2023

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 2/9/2022


Due to some field time, this news update was not posted last week. The current edition covers two weeks of outdoor news.


Low on Mt. Rainier

----Kiro 7 is reporting that, "Washington’s National Park Fund awarded a record-setting $1.1 million to the state’s three largest national parks on Wednesday. The funds will support 42 “priority projects” at Mount Rainier, North Cascades and Olympic National Parks." To read more, click here.

--Unsurprisingly, a new research paper indicates that Bigfoot is likely many bears. From BioRxiv: "It has been suggested that the American black bear (Ursus americanus) may be responsible for a significant number of purported sightings of an alleged unknown species of hominid in North America. Previous analyses have identified correlation between ‘sasquatch’ or ‘bigfoot’ sightings and black bear populations in the Pacific Northwest using ecological niche models and simple models of expected animal sightings. The present study expands the analysis to the entire US and Canada by regressing sasquatch sightings on bear populations in each state/province while adjusting for human population and land area in a generalized linear model. Sasquatch sightings were statistically significantly associated with bear populations such that, on the average, one ‘sighting’ is expected for every few hundred bears. Based on statistical considerations, it is likely that many supposed sasquatch are really misidentified known forms. If bigfoot is there, it may be many bears.' To read more, click here.

--WlFi is reporting that, "Nestled between the snowy ranges of Mount Rainier and Glacier Peak, a significant glacier in Washington state has disappeared after existing full of ice and snowpack for millennia, according to a researcher who has tracked the glacier for years. In this swath of mountain range in the Washington Cascades east of Seattle, the climate crisis dealt the final blow to the Hinman Glacier, the largest in the region, according to Mauri Pelto, a glaciologist with Nichols College. It's not just the Northern Cascades that's losing ice. Researchers recently found that up to half of the planet's glaciers could be lost by the end of the century, even if the world's ambitious global climate targets, including phasing out fossil fuels, are met." To read more, click here.

--Climbing is reporting that, "While certainly no Joshua Tree or Red River Gorge, City of Rocks National Reserve in southern Idaho holds its own as a climbing mecca for the area, with a storied history, over 600 routes, over 120,000 visitors each year, and 14,407 acres of land. During the first week of December 2022, the National Park Service acquired an additional 105 acres of land adjacent to the City of Rocks and the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation purchased 260 adjacent acres, all land that had previously been privately owned and had limited access for use. With these new additions comes the opportunity for the development of many new climbing routes." To read more, click here.

--It appears that Aaron Minton and Tucker Merrill climbed a new ice line on the west face of Sloan Peak. To read about it, click here.


--There's news coming out of Yosemite on an Access Management Plan. This could have a real impact on all visitors to the valley. Read about it and comment on it, here.

Desert Southwest:

--From the National Parks Traveler: "Planning a backpacking trek in Joshua Tree National Park in California? You can obtain the necessary permit online at For the rest of February you'll also be able to self-register for a backcountry permit at trailheads in the park. However, the new online system will be fully implemented on March 1 and the self-registration, paper-based permits will no longer be available.  " To read more, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

--SnowBrains is reporting that, "a skier was killed in a fall in the Y-Couloir in Utah’s Little Cottonwood Canyon on Saturday, February 4th. According to the Unified Police Department, the victim was a 36-year-old male backcountry skier who had lost control of his skis around 1 p.m. and fell a long distance to the base of the couloir. The fatal fall did not involve an avalanche." To read more, click here.

--The Denver Post is reporting that, "A snowboarder was found guilty of leaving the scene of a collision that killed a skier at Eldora in 2021. Nicholas Keith Martinez, 29, of Wellington, was found guilty Tuesday of leaving the scene of a skiing or snowboarding crash, a petty offense, in connection with the death of Ron LeMaster. Following the trial, Martinez was sentenced to a $500 fine and costs, as well as 40 hours of community service to be completed within 90 days." To read more, click here.

--The Colorado Sun is reporting that, "The United States will pay family members of a Ugandan human rights activist killed in an accident at Arches National Park more than $10 million in damages, a federal judge ruled Monday." This was not a regular outdoor incident, but instead the horrible result of human error. A gust of wind swung an untethered gate into the woman's car, killing her horribly, in front of her new husband. To read more, click here.

--Climbing is reporting that, "Nestled on the southwest side of Hallett Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park, Chaos Canyon, one of North America’s best known bouldering areas, is home to nearly 1,000 boulder problems on impeccable Rocky Mountain granite. Due to a massive rockfall event on the south slope of Hallett Peak on June 28, 2022, the National Park Service has indefinitely closed access to all areas west of Lake Haiyaha, including all of Upper Chaos and Upper Upper Chaos, home to some 80% of the canyons boulder problems. These closures have raised questions about the future of climbing in the canyon and lead some to speculate about the National Park’s long term attitude toward climbers." To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--KTOO in Alaska is reporting that, "It took dozens of rescuers several hours to retrieve a skier who broke his leg after venturing beyond the Eaglecrest Ski Area with two friends on Saturday. Jackie Ebert, Operations Chief for Juneau Mountain Rescue, says they were able to mobilize quickly thanks to the timing of the accident." To read more, click here.

--The Insider is reporting that, "A skier caught in an avalanche in Alberta, Canada, on February 3 was saved by two rescuers who hiked for hours to reach him, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, or CBC, reported on Sunday. The man, who has not been identified by name in media reports, is in his thirties and is from Nelson, British Columbia, per the CBC. He went off the ski path at Castle Mountain Ski Resort on Friday afternoon and was caught in an avalanche, the ski resort's sales and marketing manager, Cole Fawcett, told the media outlet." To read more, click here.

--Huffpost is reporting that, "The Biden administration on Wednesday followed through on its commitment to ban commercial logging and other development across more than 9 million acres of Alaska’s Tongass National Forest — the nation’s largest national forest. The move reverses a Trump administration rule that gutted safeguards for the world’s largest intact temperate rainforest." To read more, click here.

--The New York Times has posted a really interesting article about how skiing in Ukraine is a respite from the war raging in that country. To read the story, click here.

--Is it possible that beer without alcohol, "near-beer", is better post workout than sports drinks...? Here are some thoughts.

--So will anyone wear 3D printed climbing shoes? They're out there...

--And finally, though it's not news, this is fun to watch:

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