Thursday, March 16, 2023

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 3/16/23

From the Access Fund:

--"The National Park Service and US Forest Service are working on new national-level guidance that may prohibit fixed anchors in Wilderness areas, which would amount to a fundamental re-interpretation of the Wilderness Act of 1964. In other words, the government would regard bolts as illegal unless federal bureaucrats provide special allowances for individual fixed anchors. At stake is not only the ability to safely climb some of the most iconic routes in America, from big walls in Yosemite and Zion to alpine spires in Rocky Mountain National Park, but also the potential erosion of climbers as Wilderness advocates." To read more, click here.

--From Gripped: "Utah and Colorado politicians want to protect access to famous rock climbing areas. Utah Rep. John Curtis says that climbing and outdoor recreation is an “ever-growing industry.” Curtis and Rep. Joe Neguse, D-Colorado, co-introduced the bipartisan Protect America’s Rock Climbing Act, which would “reiterate Congress’ intent for climbing to be an activity allowable and compatible with wilderness designations.” To read more, click here.


--There's limited information at this point, but a skier was seriously injured by an avalanche in the Baker Backcountry near Mt. Herman on Wednesday. 

--So a stranded driver hooked his cell phone to a drone, sent it up, got service, and got rescued. Read about it, here.

--Gripped is reporting that, "the backcountry ski season has been marred with touchy snow conditions and several avalanche deaths, but on March 8, Christina Lusti and Andrew McNab made the first ski descent of southwest couloir of Mount Niflheim in B.C." To read more and see the line, click here.


--The Inertia is reporting on a slide in Tahoe last week: "A large avalanche slammed into an apartment building in the Olympic Valley area near Palisades Tahoe, one of California’s most storied ski resorts. The avalanche, according to reports coming out of the Tahoe area and it was significant – as in not just a sluff slide." To read more, click here.

Yosemite's El Capitan

--Nobody seems to know when Yosemite will reopen. Maybe tomorrow...? Maybe not...

Desert Southwest:

--There was some kind of accident in Red Rock Canyon on Sunday afternoon. This was likely a rappelling accident.

Colorado and Utah:

--The New York Times is reporting that, "the state of Utah is fighting in federal court to gut the very law that first protected its landscapes that have since become among the nation’s most popular national parks, visited about 10 million times in 2022. The courts should toss out the state’s lawsuit." To read more, click here.

--Backpacker is reporting that, "After state legislators voted down a bill that would have blocked hikers from suing private landowners over injuries, the owner of two of Colorado’s most popular summits says he’ll close the trail to the top." To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--Gripped is reporting that, "one month after Yosemite ice climber Zach Milligan died while soloing Polar Circus north of Lake Louise, another ice climber has died in Canada’s mountains. Police have said that an ice climber died after falling around 10 metres on a route that’s 25 kilometres up the Kootenay River Forest Service Road. The only route in that area is Gibraltar Wall, a four-pitch WI4." To read more, click  here.

--AAI Guide Lauren Olivia Smith had a close call while leading an ice climb in Montana in January. The story can be found, here.

--The Bangor Daily News is reporting that, "vandals are leaving false markers along trails in Acadia National Park, which could lead hikers to follow unsanctioned and potentially dangerous routes along the park’s rugged terrain, according to park officials. The National Park Service is trying to find out who spray-painted red splotches or blazes along the trails. The park uses blue paint — known as blue blazes — to mark trees or rocks along hiking trails so that visitors know which routes to follow to safely get to their destinations." To read more, click here.

--ANI is reporting that all foreign trekkers are going to be required to hire a guide to trek in the country after April 1st. To read more, click here.

--The Fairbanks Daily Newsminer is reporting that, "the National Park Service proposes constructing an estimated 17 miles of trail in the frontcountry of Denali National Park. The area proposed for development is the nonwilderness area of the park between the George Parks Highway and the Nenana River, on the eastern margin of the park" To read more, click here.

--This is spooky. From Science Alert: "Each year, hundreds of mountaineers camp at the South Col on Mount Everest's southern side in preparation for their attempt to reach the roof of the world. While these adventure seekers may be taking home some well-deserved bragging rights, a new study shows they may also be leaving behind some tenacious microbes that seem capable of bunkering down to survive on the icy, desolate outcrops." To read more, click here.

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