Thursday, October 26, 2023

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 10/26/2023

NOTE - Get 2023 prices on AAI programs through 2024 by booking before November 1st!


--Gripped is reporting that, "a 39-year-old rock climber was arrested last week over an alleged plot to kill random climbers at the Smith Rock Craggin Classic, an event hosted by the American Alpine Club. The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office took Samson Zebturiah Garner to the county jail on several charges each of attempted murder of multiple victims, attempted first degree assault, attempted second degree assault and unlawful use of a weapon." To read more, click here.


--Gripped is reporting on two climbers who climbed 71-pitches in Yosemite in less than 24-hours. "Miles Fullman and Tyler Karow have completed the Yosemite Triple Crown in less than 24 hours. The objective is a link-up of routes on El Capitan, Half Dome and Mount Watkins. According to Fullman, they’re the eighth team to accomplish the Yosemite Triple Crown." To read more, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

--A prankster in a Sasquatch costume likely brought believers more "proof" that Bigfoot is real. To read more, click here. To see a video of him, click below:

--SnowBrains is reporting that, "as of this October, Arapahoe Basin in Colorado is now operating with 100% renewable electricity and mitigating over 2/3rds of the resort’s carbon emissions. This major achievement was made possible by partnerships with Xcel Energy and many community partners, including Jack’s Solar Garden, located in Longmont, Colorado." To read more, click here.

--Here and There is reporting that, "Outside Magazine is hosting a consumer-focused festival next year that they’re hoping becomes the “SXSW of the outdoor industry” over the next several years. The event is planned for the first week of June in downtown Denver, bringing together gear, music, film, consumers, and industry. The event will incorporate the “Big Gear Show” and a number of different ‘activation zones’ that brands can sponsor. There will be a measure of free access, but music, headliners, films, keynotes, and panels are likely to be ticketed experiences, sold through a multi-day festival pass. The event has the support of Colorado’s Outdoor Recreation Industry Office, as well as the mayor of Denver and the governor." To read more, click here.

--SnowBrains is reporting what is likely the first skier triggered avalanche of the year. "13,198-f00t Mountain Boy Peak experienced Colorado’s first avalanche of the season, as confirmed by the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC). Situated south of Independence Pass, the avalanche was triggered on Sunday, 15th October 2023, below the peak’s ridge, with the area described as a north-facing gully on its NW Ridge." To read more, click here.

--The Access Fund is looking for a new director.

Notes from All Over:

--Powder is reporting that, "Ski Ward, located in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts became the first North American ski area to open for the season on October 22nd, 2023." To read more, click here.

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 10/19/2023

Get 2023 prices on 2024 AAI programs by booking your 2024 adventure before November 1st!


--The Methow Valley News is reporting that, "restoration of grizzly bears to the North Cascades has moved closer to reality, with the release of a draft plan that details how the bears would be reintroduced and managed in an area that once supported a healthy population of grizzlies." To read more, click here.

--The Seattle Times is reporting that, "Seattle-founded REI cut 275 retail jobs, including 19 in Washington, as part of a broader plan to restructure stores. The layoffs affect 2% of the outdoor retailer’s workforce nationally.  The decision comes as the company is trying to change its brick-and-mortar business model said Mary-Farrell Tarbox, REI vice president of stores, in a memo to employees Thursday." To read more, click here.

The Seattle Times is reporting that, "This past summer, Hashimoto, a 52-year-old science teacher and running coach at Ellensburg High School, and Ernest-Beck, 23, a longtime neighbor of Hashimoto’s and a regular climbing partner, scaled the 100 tallest peaks in Washington state in 107 days — a prodigious mountaineering achievement." To read more, click here.

--The Access Fund and local climbers worked earlier this month to rehabilitate Lover's Leap after the wildfire decimated the area in 2021. To read more, click here.

Desert Southwest:

--Fox 5 is reporting that, "nearly four million people a year visit Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area on the westside of the Vegas Valley. Now there is a push to permanently protect more than 30,000 acres of land on the eastside of Las Vegas. Wednesday night, people came together at the East Las Vegas Library to lay out a path to establish the area as a new national monument." To read more, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

--SnowBrains notes that the Arapahoe Basin CEO is teasing an unreleased master plan including a new gondola, new lifts and other expansions. To read more, click here.

--The NPS is reporting that, "Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) officially closed for the season to through travel.  Many popular driving destinations for this time of year include Bear Lake Road, Moraine Park, and Horseshoe Park on the east side of the park as well as the section of Trail Ridge Road along the Kawuneeche Valley on the west side of the park, are all open." To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--An 18-year-old climber died in a strange accident in Alabama. It appears that something went wrong when cleaning a route on toprope. To read more, click here. Karsten Delap has done an excellent breakdown of what he thinks may have happened and how to avoid it. 


--AAI guide Will Gordon recently accepted the Mislow-Swanson Denali Pro Award for rescuing a skier that fell from Denali Pass above the team he was guiding. After rescues, Denali mountaineering rangers recognize climbers with a Denali Pro lapel pin for exemplary expedition behavior, such as protecting the mountain environment, assisting fellow climbers, and using good judgment to limit or eliminate injury. At the end of each season, mountaineering rangers collectively select a Mislow-Swanson Denali Pro Award winner from the pin recipients. This is the award that Will won. To read more about the award, click here.

--SnowBrains is reporting that, "in November 2020, Powder Magazine announced it would no longer offer a printed magazine. This news was met with dismay from skiers, readers, and photographers everywhere, as the magazine had become a staple of the industry since 1972. It was considered the publication that stoked the fire for the upcoming season. However, it may not have been a huge surprise, as keeping a publication alive in the digital era is hard. Nowadays, many consume their news through social media-delivered algorithms. Now, maybe even more surprising is the resurrection of a print edition of Powder. The 23/24 Photo Annual will be available online and at newsstands nationwide on November 3, 2023." To read more, click here.

--Speaking of awards, Gripped is reporting that, "George Lowe has received the 2023 lifetime achievement award from the Piolets d’Or. Among his many first ascents includes that of the north face of the North Twin in the Canadian Rockies." To read more, click here.

Thursday, October 12, 2023

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 10/12/2023


--NCW Life is reporting that, "a climber who got into a precarious situation on the rugged face of Mount Stuart was successfully escorted home early Saturday. Rescuers say they got the call about noontime that a climber had become stuck on the southwest face of the mountain. Chelan County Mountain Rescue responded with four team members, who were taken by air to the Mount Stuart summit on a Chelan County Sheriff’s Office helicopter." To read more, click here.

--SnowBest is reporting that, "In big news from the US today, Alterra Mountain Company (owners of Ikon Pass) have announced an intention to acquire Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing in Blue River, British Columbia. Alterra Mountain Company already own the world’s first (and largest) commercial heli skiing operation, Canadian Mountain Holidays (CMH) and will add Canada’s “other” famous heli ski operation to their mix." To read more, click here.


--Climbing is reporting that, "on September 28, an experienced Korean climbing guide reportedly passed away in Yosemite, after rappelling off the end of his rope while descending from Sickle Ledge on the iconic El Cap route, The Nose (VI 5.9 C2 3000’)." To read more, click here.

--The Guardian is reporting that, "an off-duty US air force flight instructor braved strong winds, hail and slippery conditions to rescue a fellow climber who had fallen about 80ft (24.4 meters) down a slippery slope at Yosemite national park this past Labor Day weekend, according to the military branch." To read more, click here.

--Gripped is reporting that, "Nick Ehman has soloed The Nose in 4 hours and 39 minutes, breaking Alex Honnold’s solo record of 5 hours and 50 minutes. Tom Evans of the El Cap Report broke the news on Facebook, saying that Ehman’s ascent was 'NOT a free-solo but with mixed free and aid climbing. Same as Alex did on his solo of The Nose.'" To read more, click here.

Desert Southwest:

--Timed reservations have once again started for the Scenic Drive in Red Rock Canyon National Recreation Area.

Notes from All Over:

--Wyofile is reporting that, "the state of Wyoming has taken a key step toward unloading its last remaining 640 acres locked within the borders of Grand Teton National Park. The land, in the heart of Jackson Hole, could be sold at auction. Progress toward the sale of the so-called Kelly Parcel came late Monday, when the Wyoming Office of State Lands and Investments announced it was initiating a land disposal in conjunction with releasing a detailed analysis of the square-mile property." To read more, click here.

Monday, October 2, 2023

Guided Outdoor Adventure in Las Vegas

Las Vegas is known primarily for its casinos, its nightlife, its shows, its food, its glitz and its glamour. But hiding in plain sight is something that people just don't talk about enough. Las Vegas is an outdoor adventurer's dream.

On the periphery of the city there are several places that those looking for wilderness adventure can go to experience some truly amazing things. And the American Alpine Institute can help you get there.

Founded initially as a climbing school and guide service, the American Alpine Institute has since expanded its services to include not just rock climbing and mountaineering, but hiking, backpacking, snowshoeing, Leave No Trace wilderness programs and canyoneering.

With a mission to provide world class mountain education, exceptional guided experiences and to inspire natural preservation, AAI has a program for every adventure motivated Las Vegas visitor.

We understand that adventure is a spectrum, and while some want to climb to the top of a mountain, others want to explore, hike or snowshoe. Following is a short tiered breakdown of AAI's programs in and around Las Vegas, from non-technical to technical.

Click to enlarge.

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area boasts beautiful craggy peaks, red sandstone hills, and peaceful wilderness solitude. AAI's Guided Hiking Program in Red Rock allows hikers to explore this alluring area and learn about the local natural history, geologic features, plants, and animals.

There are hundreds of hiking trails woven throughout Red Rock, so we offer a wide variety of hiking options for all ability levels. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing, sightseeing walk, or a challenging scramble, we can ensure that there is a hike for everyone. 

Bighorn Sheep in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
Photo: David Anderson

The Paiute people populated Red Rock Canyon for thousands of years.
 They left their marks on the landscape in petroglyphs throughout the area. 
Many have faded, some have been vandalized, but you can still find 
a surprise in the desert every now and then. 

Just over an hour from the hustle and bustle of the Las Vegas Strip lies the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area, home to the magnificent Mt. Charleston. Mt. Charleston boasts endless hiking and snowshoeing opportunities during the wintertime. 

Most people don’t realize that the high mountainous desert gets that cold, but winter storms blanket the range in snow, and temperatures are often in the 20s in the shade, and in the 30s in the sun.

Snowshoeing and winter hiking are the perfect ways for entry-level winter wilderness travelers to access some of the most wild and scenic backcountry during the cold months. We offer private guided snowshoeing and winter hiking trips to the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area and Mt Charleston throughout the winter season for all fitness levels and ages. We choose our objectives based on your needs and desires.

Moving through freshly fallen snow. Photo: Jamie Dantas

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area -- often referred to as Red Rocks -- is unique in North American climbing. No other area offers such extensive climbing in a beautiful desert environment while at the same time enjoying the ease of access and amenities of a nearby metropolitan area. Red Rock rises in a 3000-foot wall of red, pink, and cream colored Aztec sandstone. The cliffs form a north-south trending barrier over ten miles long and are cut perpendicularly with many major canyons and innumerable smaller ones. When you are climbing, the only sign of human impact is an occasional glimpse of the narrow access road, so while you are close to civilization, it feels like you are deep in a desert wilderness area.

AAI offers private guided programs for climbers of all ages and skill levels every day. We also offer a variety of group courses in Red Rocks. Check them out:

Multi-Pitch Skills Course (4-days)

Other Program Options

AAI has the ability to provide summer hiking and backpacking programs in the Spring Mountains, approximately one-hour from Las Vegas.  These are provided on a private basis.

In some years, the Spring Mountains hold enough snow to explore the area on backcountry skis. Additionally, there is occasionally ice climbing up there. AAI can provide either of these options to interested parties on a private basis when the weather and conditions cooperate.

And finally, AAI can provide Leave No Trace programs to those that are interested in both Red Rock Canyon and in the Spring Mountains, any time throughout the year. Contact us for more information.