Thursday, December 21, 2023

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 12/21/2023


--Backpacker is reporting that, "the United States Forest Service (USFS) formalized a comprehensive plan for the Pacific Northwest Trail last week, marking the end of a multi-year process to define the trail’s future. Under the plan, officials now have guidelines through which they can manage and develop the trail, as well as rally congressional support to help establish the still largely underdeveloped trail." To read more, click here.


--From the Sierra County Sheriff's Office: "On Saturday, December 9, 2023, the Sierra County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a Calpine resident who was bitten by a bear the previous night. The resident reported that on the preceding night, he had let his dog outside to go to the bathroom. The dog immediately took off, prompting him to go outside. While outside, a bear emerged from his neighbor’s yard and charged at him. Regrettably, the bear did not stop, and the Calpine resident sustained bites on his hand, wrist, and leg." To read more, click here.

--Gripped is reporting that, "if you’re planning to climb in Yosemite in 2024 during the busiest parts of the year, then you’ll need to book a reservation to enter Yosemite National Park. The National Parks Service (NPS) announced a reservation system is being introduced to counter the long wait times. 'Yosemite has been grappling with congestion − even gridlock − for decades,' says NPS. 'We want to build from the lessons learned from the last three summer of managed access. We are currently developing the Visitor Access Management Plan in order to design an approach that provides a great visitor experience while protecting Yosemite’s natural and cultural resources.'" To read more, click here.

Desert Southwest:

A climber on Caustic (5.11b) in Red Rock Canyon.
Photo: Caden Martin

--The Las Vegas Review Journal is reporting on the strong numbers for outdoor recreation coming out of Las Vegas: "From rock climbing and hiking to skiing and ATV riding, outdoor recreation in Nevada contributed roughly $6.1 billion to the state’s economy in 2022, a 25.3 percent increase from the previous year, according to estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. That’s beyond any bump outdoor activity saw during the pandemic as Strip resorts shuttered and people moved outside for recreation." To read more, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

--Ski Magazine is reporting that, "Many ski areas have issued a statement that acknowledges that their booming businesses operate on stolen lands—then everyone gets on with their day. Colorado’s Winter Park Resort is taking that acknowledgment one step further. This year, the Front Range ski area, which operates on the ancestral homelands of the Arapaho, Cheyenne, and Ute tribes, has launched a permanent art installation and a new snow stake designed by Indigenous artists. In addition, the resort is adding Arapaho language translations to their trail signs this season and installing historical markers that share the history of the land prior to 1940, the year the ski area opened." To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--NBC Montana is reporting that, "The Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue rescued a ice climber on Saturday in Hyalite Canyon that had fallen about 40 feet and sustained a back injury." To read more, click here.

--A goat triggered an inbounds avalanche at Big Sky. According to Unofficial Networks, "this goat was carried the full length of the avalanche, over a distance of 1,000 feet and through rocky terrain. Remarkably, it emerged from this perilous journey unscathed.

--The hard reality of ski bumming in the mid-2020s.

--The North Face and VF Brands have succumbed to a cyber attack, which is making it difficult for them to fulfill orders. To read more, click here.

--HuffPost is reporting that, "The U.S. Forest Service, an agency with a long history of prioritizing timber production, has taken a first step toward protecting the nation’s most ancient forests from logging. The agency on Tuesday announced a proposal to amend management plans for all 128 national forests and grasslands across the country to better conserve carbon-rich 'old-growth' forests, typically defined as those at least 150 years old and largely undisturbed by human activity." To read more, click here.

--Ski is reporting that, "While the Utah and California mountains get pummeled by winter storms, East Coast ski resorts continue to endure warm temperatures, rain, and a downright sad lack of snow. It’s gotten so bad in part of Vermont that Mad River Glen has ceased lift operations this week." To read more, click here.

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 12/14/2023


--Ski is reporting on a controversial project near Mt. Shasta: "New lifts, base lodges, dining options, and other skier amenities are all welcome additions at resorts across the country, but a towering tribute to the Virgin Mary? Not so much. Mt. Shasta Ski Park, a 635-acre ski area located in Northern California at the foot of the iconic fourteener, just shared plans to build a 20-foot-high statue of the Virgin Mary at the top of Douglas Butte, which is one of the resort’s four lift-served summits." To read more, click here.


--This video of a bear running past skiers in Heavenly has been making the rounds this week:

Colorado and Utah:

--The Daily has a report out about Vail's sales numbers: "Vail Resorts is reporting sales of its season passes are up for the 2023/2024 snow season. In its first quarter earnings report, the company said pass sales through Dec. 4 for the upcoming season increased about 4% in units and approximately 11% in dollars compared to the same period last year." To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--Here's a short list of the fee free days in the National Parks in 2024.

--Huffpost is reporting that, "Interior Secretary Deb Haaland announced Wednesday that the National Park Service is launching an initiative with Native American tribes to tell 'a more complete story of American history' at the country’s 428 national park sites." To read more, click here.

--The New York Times released an incredible story about a camera found melted from the ice in 2020 that reopened a series of questions about the deaths of two Americans on Aconcagua in 1973. Some believe that foul play was involved. To read the story, click here.

--From Backpacker: "When Apple introduced the ability to automatically call for help via satellite in 2022, critics feared it would encourage hikers to be reckless. But a year later, one of the United States’ busiest search and rescue outfits is praising it—and other new safety tech from the company—as a 'game changer.'" To read more, click here.

Pay the full tuition for one of the above listed courses by December 15th and get 20% off!

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 12/7/ 2023


--Climbing is reporting on an older accident and what led to it: "Climber Whitney Clark suffered a 30-foot groundfall in Sequoia National Park on October 8, after a sling jammed into her lone progress capture device—a Petzl Micro Traxion—while she was ascending a fixed line. After tackling the 16-mile approach to Angel Wings on October 6, Clark and partner Luka Krajnc fixed the initial pitches of their objective, the 17-pitch ultra classic Valkyrie (IV 5.11+; 2,200ft), the following day. On the morning of October 8, Krajnc climbed the route’s first pitch, a 70-degree slab, top rope soloing with a GriGri. Clark followed him, using a Micro Traxion as her only ascension device." To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--On November 29th, the House introduced the EXPLORE bill which combines several key pieces of outdoor legislation into one bill. This includes things like the SOAR Act which will make permitting easier for outdoor recreation companies, and the Protect America's Rock Climbing Act, that will ensure fixed anchors remain a legitimate use in Wilderness. To read more about the legislation, click here

--Pro climber Sasha DiGiulian testified before congress about the EXPLORE Act. 

--SnowBrains is reporting that, "Vail Resorts is facing a lawsuit over the death of Scott Lewis, a zipline guide at Stowe Mountain Resort, Vermont. The lawsuit, which involves four other companies, alleges equipment failure and safety negligence." To read more, click here.

--In other snow related lawsuit news, Nike sent a cease and desist to Skiman LLC because the logo looks too similar to their Jordan logo. Seems kinda legit. Read more.

--Climbing is reporting that, "The Southeastern Climbers Coalition (SCC) and Access Fund are thrilled to announce the purchase and protection of the iconic Citadel Boulders in Alabama. The acquisition, which includes 58 acres of undeveloped land surrounding an incredible boulder field, was more than two decades in the making, and it marks another landmark victory for climbing and conservation in the Southeast." To read more, click here.

--Politico is warning that a portion of the Grand Teton National Park might be sold. "The Wyoming Office of State Lands and Investments figures it could raise millions of dollars for public schools just by selling one big chunk of trust land: 640-acres inside the eastern border of Grand Teton National Park. Reflecting prices in one of the most expensive real estate markets in the nation, the director of the state office on Friday recommended selling the land in a public auction for no less than $80 million, or $125,000 an acre. Many believe the plot would fetch an even larger price if the State Board of Land Commissioners approves the recommendation this week." To read more, click here.

--The Happiness Function is reporting that, "seven out of ten people who camp in the U.S. and Canada are planning to witness this spring’s anticipated celestial event dubbed the ‘Great North American Eclipse’ on a camping trip, and 18% have already booked their spots, according to Kampgrounds of America (KOA). The latest data from KOA reports a 13% increase in campers interested in witnessing the solar eclipse firsthand since their last poll in August 2023, indicating that people are getting increasingly excited about the event. It will be the last solar eclipse until 2044." To read more, click here.

--The Guardian is reporting on a little-known program that uses cyanide mechanisms to essentially explode on predators in order to kill them. "A campaign to end the use of so-called “cyanide bombs” within the United States has received a major boost after the country’s largest public land management agency banned the poison devices on hundreds of millions of acres across the nation. The move builds on decisions by states such as Oregon to fully or partially prohibit the use of cyanide bombs, also known as M-44s, within their jurisdictions. The US Department of Agriculture uses these devices to kill predators and other wildlife." To read more, click here.

--If you're Canadian and you're looking for expedition funding, click here.

Pay the full tuition for one of the above listed courses by December 15th and get 20% off!

Monday, December 4, 2023

Gear Review: Grass Sticks Bamboo Ski Poles

Last winter I had a blast skiing all over the Sierra Nevada (Mammoth Lakes and Tahoe) and in the Cascade Range with a trusty pair of Grass Sticks ski poles. The ski poles are simple, but sometimes for the equipment you rely on greatly to get up and down a mountain, simpler is better.

Most people probably know the Grass Sticks from their distinctive look. You can choose from a range of fun, bright colors for the grip and the powder baskets, and the natural look of the bamboo pole stands out in a sea of aluminum and carbon at the ski resort or on the skin track.

But where this pole stood out for me was the little details that added comfort. The grip is comfortable in gloved or mittened hands. It doesn’t have ridges for your individual fingers or for your forefinger, which was something that I appreciated after having a bad experience with the ridges on the Moment Freeride pole fitting my hand (I’m normally a HUGE Moment fan, especially for skis that work well in the Sierra, but was disappointed in this particular item). So the grip, like a lot of things on the Grass Sticks, was simple and just worked.

The author with a pair of Grass Sticks Ski Poles in Mammoth Lakes, California. Photo by Caitlin Brown.

I also liked the wrist strap. I chose to get it without a buckle, and found that I didn’t really miss it and appreciate having one less thing that can break on a piece of gear. When touring up Mt. Tumalo in the Oregon Cascades, or out at Red Cone Bowl on the Mammoth Crest, it was comfortable for going uphill as well as down without needing any adjustment.

For the pole itself, the benefits of bamboo as the material for the shaft go beyond aesthetics. Because bamboo has natural flex, it’s less likely to bend or break than your average aluminum pole. It may not be ski-mountaineering-racing light (they weigh about 18oz on average - depending on the length of your pole and accessories, of course). But I expect my pair to be a reliable workhorse. And - continuing in the theme of customizability - while the ski poles aren’t height-adjustable, you can order the exact length pole in centimeters that works for you.

I was fortunate enough to receive a pair of ski poles from Grass Sticks for this review. But if they were ever to break – which doesn’t seem likely – I’d buy another pair.
--Shelby Carpenter, AAI guide alum

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 11/30/2023


--Police is reporting that, "On Saturday Nov. 25, deputies from the Clackamas County (Oregon) Sheriff’s Office helped rescue a mountain climber who had fallen on Mt. Hood. The 36-year old woman from Portland was descending the popular South Side route on Mt. Hood when she slipped, fell several hundred feet, and was injured, the sheriff’s office reports." To read more, click here.

Desert Southwest:

--Fox 5 is reporting that, "Nevada and other states in the Colorado River Basin continue to face a water crisis. Drought has stretched on for more than two decades and is compounded by the effects of climate change. Last year, Lake Mead dipped to an all-time low. Can human intervention make a difference? Can we get more desperately needed water from the clouds to the ground? FOX5 went on a journey seeking an answer to that question up to Mt. Potosi where a cloud seeding generator is located." To read more, click here.

A climber rappels of a route in Joshua Tree National Park.

--A former Park superintendent wrote an editorial in the Los Angeles Times about an expansion of Joshua Tree National Park and a new national monument. To read the piece, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--People is reporting that, "A 36-year-old man hit his head during a fall in Montana on Saturday and later died as a result of his injuries. Kyle Allen Rott fell and injured himself during a recreational ice climb around 3 p.m. local time on Saturday, according to a release from the Gallatin County Sheriff's Office. Authorities responded to a 911 call reporting Rott’s fall, as well as a call on a GPS device near the area where he had been climbing — Grotto Falls in Hyalite Canyon, near Big Sky, Montana." To read more, click here.

--Power Sports Business is reporting that, "The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) recently released economic data from the Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account for the year 2022, showing the largest economic impact in its history and outdoor recreation’s powerful economic impact on the U.S. economy. These new figures reveal that outdoor recreation generates $1.1 trillion in economic output (2.2% of GDP), 4.98 million jobs and comprises 3.2% of U.S. employees." To read more, click here.

--Lifestyle is reporting that research, "published in the MMR (Military Medical Research) Journal, looks into the impact of extreme exercise on immune function, shedding light on potential vulnerabilities. This investigation becomes particularly relevant in the growing popularity of rigorous fitness regimens and endurance sports. The study emphasizes that while moderate exercise is generally associated with immune system benefits, pushing the body to extremes may have the opposite effect." To read more, click here.

--A former US Marine set-up a climbing camp in the Alps for bereaved Ukrainians to help them process their grief. To read more, click here

--Gripped is reporting that, "in 2021, Magnus Midtbø had become the first climber to reach one million subscribers on YouTube. Now, he’s become the first climber to gain two million followers. His channel started in 2011 and now has 336,309,403 views as of today." To read more, click here.

Pay the full tuition for one of the above listed courses by December 15th and get 20% off!

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 11/23/2023


As it's Thanksgiving weekend, desert climbing areas can be crowded and campsites may be limited. Please be respectful of one another and consider sharing tent sites when you can.


--How the reintroduction of grizzly bears will affect recreation in the North Cascades.

--A Search and Rescue team in Squamish just won a land rover.


--The Sacramento Bee is reporting that, "a climber had plans to meet his wife at a California trailhead after descending a mountain peak, but he never made it. Instead, a hiker found Marc Rockwell-Pate’s body Nov. 12 on Mount Agassiz, a day after he was reported missing, the Inyo County Search and Rescue said in a Facebook post." To read more, click here.

Desert Southwest:

--Here's a first person account of an accident at the Ultraman Wall in Red Rock Canyon last week. The accident -- lowering off the end of the rope -- resulted in a shattered ankle.

--News Channel 3 is reporting on the rescue of a hiker in Joshua Tree: "Authorities were called this afternoon to rescue an injured hiker. The incident happened a little after 3:30 p.m. The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department's air rescue helicopter was requested to assist park services to transport a hiker to the hospital." To read more, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

--Gripped is reporting that, "on Nov. 19, Boulder County Communications was notified of a climber who had taken a big fall and sustained a head injury while climbing on The Dome in Colorado’s Boulder Canyon. According to a press release from Boulder County Search and Rescue, the 39-year-old male was leading when he lost his footing and fell. While falling, some of his trad gear pulled from the route resulting in him falling approximately 30 feet before his climbing partner was able to arrest his fall. The climber sustained serious injuries during the fall and was not able to walk to the trail head." To read more, click here.

--Here's an interesting SAR piece: "A Hiker and a Terrier Climbed a Peak. The Dog Came Home 72 Days Later. Rich Moore and his dog Finney disappeared on a hike in Colorado in August. Ten weeks later, crews found the dog alive. Now, friends and family are trying to understand what happened." And here's another excellent piece on the dog.

--Lor Sabourin, a guide and therapist that has occasionally worked for AAI, recently repeated an infamous 5.14 crack in Moab. To read about it, click here.

--Gripped is reporting on a "large rockfall took place on Weeping Rock in Zion National Park earlier this week. It temporarily stopped traffic and covered a popular parking lot in a dust cloud." To read more, click here.

--SnowBrains is reporting that, "the Utah Avalanche Center has received its first skier-triggered avalanche reports of the season following a recent storm that deposited up to 19 inches of new snow in the backcountry. The avalanches, primarily composed of soft slabs of new snow or wind-drifted snow, were reported in upper elevation northerly facing terrain." To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--Important access news from Climbing: "Late last week, the National Park Service (NPS) and National Forest Service (NFS) released draft climbing management directives that would render all fixed anchors in wilderness illegal until each anchor can be individually reviewed by under-resourced land management agencies. The public has 60 days (from November 17) to comment on the proposals here and here. You can write your congressional representative to support the Protecting America’s Rock Climbing Act here." To read more, click here.

--There's been a fair bit of criticism of Jared Leto's climb of the Empire State Building. Climbing's piece about the ascent does a good job of putting their finger on what was wrong with the whole endeavor. 

Pay the full tuition for one of the above listed courses by December 15th and get 20% off!

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 11/16/2023


--Avalanche Canada is reporting on a fatal avalanche accident involving ice climbers in Kananaskis Country. Details can be found, here. A news report on the incident can be found, here.

--The Mountaineers is reporting that, "with winter recreation already underway at Mount Rainier, we’re happy to share that Park staff announced this week that they anticipate providing additional road access from Longmire to Paradise for the 2023-2024 winter recreation season. Beginning Nov 15, the Park will expand winter public vehicle access to the Paradise area to five days per week, on a Thursday through Monday schedule. The annual shift to nightly closures of the Paradise gate began on Nov 8." To read more, click here.

The Lower Lump Area of the Index Town Walls

--The Washington Climbers Coalition and the Access Fund just closed on a property in Index that will secure the Lower Lump area from development for generations to come. To read more, click here.


--SnowBrains is reporting that, "In a tragic turn of events early yesterday morning, November 9, 2023, a snowmobile accident at Palisades Tahoe in California claimed the life of Homewood resident Brian Gimbert. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) confirmed that the 34-year-old was pronounced dead at Tahoe Forest Hospital following the incident, the SF Chronicle reports. The accident occurred in an undeveloped area on the Alpine Meadows side of the resort, just south of the main lodge. According to the CHP, Gimbert’s snowmobile collided with a large rock, approximately two feet in diameter, partially concealed by snow. The impact caused the snowmobile to overturn, ultimately resting on Gimbert." To read more, click here.

--Apparently it was full-on insanity at Mammoth Mountain's opening day.

Desert Southwest:

--Arizona Game and Fish is reporting that, "a woman has died eight days after being hospitalized as the result of an apparent elk attack on her property in the Pine Lake community in the Hualapai Mountains, about 15 miles southeast of Kingman. The attack occurred on the afternoon of Oct. 26 while the woman’s husband was in Kingman. According to the husband, when he returned around 6 p.m., he found his wife on the ground in the backyard with injuries consistent with being trampled by an elk. He also observed a bucket of spilled corn nearby. There were no witnesses to the event." To read more, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

--The Post Independent is reporting that, "Around 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, the Glenwood Springs Fire Department responded to a report of a climber who had fallen approximately 40 feet while on a multipitch climb called 'Mudflap Girl' on the Grizzly Creek trailhead, according to a news release from the city of Glenwood Springs." To read more, click here.

--Aspen Daily News is reporting that, "Aspen Skiing Co. workers who make on-mountain commutes are entitled to compensation for their time spent riding chairlifts, snowmobiles and snowcats to and from work, a class-action lawsuit filed this week alleges. The suit was filed by SkiCo hourly employee Craig Stout, who is challenging some of the company’s wage policies and claims the company had been recruiting employees with promised perks that went unfulfilled." To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--WKRN is reporting on a rescue in Tennessee. "Clarksville first responders were called out to Queens Bluff Sunday morning to help an injured climber. According to Clarksville Fire Rescue, crews were dispatched to the scene at approximately 11:51 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 12." To read more, click here.

--As the ski season starts, it's super important to remember that riding rad lines comes with big risks. This is a tough video to watch as 16-year-old Kai Jones breaks both legs after making a poor landing. We all need to remember, this could have been any one of us:

Pay the full tuition for one of the above listed courses by December 15th and get 20% off!

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 11/9/2023


--The Wenatchee World is reporting that, "The federal government’s plan to reintroduce grizzly bears into the North Cascades has received backlash from an Eastern Washington congressman. U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Yakima, in an opinion piece called the Biden administration’s plan to add the bears to an area without a grizzly sighting in more than a quarter-century 'reckless' and described public comment efforts as a 'façade.'" To read more, click here. It should be noted that AAI's position is that grizzly reintroduction can be done in a responsible and reasonable manner.

Smith Rock State Park in Oregon

--Climbing published an editorial last week entitled, "The Place Where Murder and Climbing Meet: Musings on the state of our sport after a failed mass shooting at the Smith Rock Craggin' Classic." The piece touches on both the current state of our larger world, as well as the state of our sport. The author doesn't draw many conclusions, but there's value in thinking about -- even if you disagree -- some of the things he brings up. To read the piece, click here.

Desert Southwest:

--The Daily Press is reporting that, "Human skeletal remains were found in a remote area of Twentynine Palms, according to authorities. On Saturday morning, Morongo Basin sheriff’s deputies headed to Canyon and Two Mile roads, just north of Joshua Tree National Park." To read more, click here.

--A 92-year-old man completed the Rim-to-Rim hike at the Grand Canyon. To read more, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

--Fox 21 is reporting that, "A suspect and an officer fell approximately 30 feet into Red Rocks Canyon after a struggle, according to the Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD). CSPD said around 1 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 27, an officer contacted a wanted person on a trail in Red Rocks Canyon, and the person struggled with the officer as the officer was attempting to take the person into custody." This area is not to be confused with Red Rock Canyon in Las Vegas. To read more, click here.

--Gear Junkie is reporting that, "for decades, the precipitous trail through Hey Joe Canyon offered Moab off roaders an iconic experience of the area’s world-famous rock formations. But now it’s one of many classic trails closed to motorized recreation by federal officials. While some environmental groups laud the closures, opponents say they make access more difficult for everyone." To read more, click here.

--SnowBrains is reporting that, "Human-triggered and natural avalanches aren’t the only kinds of slides backcountry travelers need to be aware of.The Colorado Avalanche Center shared an Instagram post on Sunday showing what appears to be the remnants of a large avalanche that was triggered by an animal in the Colorado Rockies. According to the CAIC, an avalanche report was submitted by a hunter who saw a lone pair of deer tracks entering into a slide path of an R2/D2-sized avalanche on a northeast aspect at about 11,500 feet near Redstone. The tracks did not come out the other side." To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--In addition to the Smith Rock mass shooting threat, there was another lesser reported threat in the climbing community. From Climbing: "On Sunday, October 22, Touchstone’s Hollywood Boulders management were made aware that a member of the gym had suggested, in threatening text messages sent to an unnamed acquaintance, that they were 'strapped' with a weapon and 'wanted scalps.' The member went on to write 'god has spoken' to him and that he 'already has a kill order.' The recipient of the messages was then directed to 'avoid the gym for a while.'" To read more, click here.

--SnowBrains is reporting that, "Jackson Hole Mountain Resort (JHMR) announced today that it will host its first-ever Ski In Jeans Day on Saturday, Dec. 9, in an attempt to break the world record for most people skiing and riding in jeans. JHMR will offer $25 lift tickets throughout the day to all guests, as well as $25 performance equipment rentals, $100 off group lessons, and live music to kick off the season and celebrate the most famous pants in the West. The previous world record for most skiers and riders in jeans was set at the The Remarkables Ski Area in New Zealand earlier this year, with 102 total visitors on the slopes wearing denim." To read more, click here.

Current American Alpine Institute Promotions:

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 11/2/2023


--Gripped is reporting that, "the Washington climbing community is mourning the death of Michal Rynkiewicz, a route developer and leading local Index climber, after an accident at the Index Town Walls. While the details of what happened haven’t been released, Rynkiewicz’s death on Oct. 20 was due to what assistant chief of operations at Sun Valley Fire, Ernie Walters, said was 'equipment failure.' Walters added that Rynkiewicz was an avid rock climber who was working toward becoming an EMT." To read more, click here.

--OPB is reporting that, "A 39-year-old rock climber is facing a slate of attempted murder charges over an alleged plot to kill random people at a Smith Rock climbing event this weekend. The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office arrested Samson Zebturiah Garner on Thursday and took him 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.


--It's possible that a recent fatality on Mt.Whitney's Mountaineers Route was the result of lingering snow and ice from the big Sierra snow season.

--The AAC is reporting that, "On August 2, 2023, the American Alpine Club entered into a General Agreement with the Yosemite National Park Service with the goal of supporting and promoting climbing in Yosemite Valley. This new formalized partnership is built upon a strong foundation of working together for decades—including on projects like the Yosemite Big Wall Permitting Program, Climber Coffee, sponsoring Yosemite Facelift, and the United in Yosemite festival. This opportunity will allow the AAC to assist the climbing management program at YNPS with public outreach, offer subject matter expertise on climbing stewardship matters, and identify other projects and services which could benefit the Park and climbing community—building on the long established and well-loved climbing iniatives that will continue to exist in the Park." To read more, click here.

Desert Southwest:

--Mt. Charleston, a popular hiking, skiing, snowshoeing and climbing area near Las Vegas, had significant damage following a major storm two months ago. Roads and trails were seriously damaged. However, there are some things reopening. Read about it, here.

--The Sedona Red Rock News is reporting on camping in Arizona: "Over the last 30 years, as demand for camping within the 1,821,495-acre Coconino National Forest has increased, more of it has been closed to camping. Within the Red Rock Ranger District, camping is now prohibited on 15% of its total area." To read more, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

--Fox News is reporting that, "A climber in Utah was saved after he slipped down a cliff face and got his knee stuck in a crack for 12 hours on Friday night, officials said. The male climber, who was not publicly identified, became stuck around 8 p.m. on the Generic Crack climbing route in Indian Creek, San Juan County Search and Rescue said." To read more, click here.

--Out There Colorado is reporting that, "Perhaps one of the most impressive endurance feats that's taken place in Colorado history, Erin Ton's self-supported summer push to climb 57 'public lands' 14,000-foot Centennial State peaks between July 16 and July 30 set a record that will be hard for anyone else to top. Roughly three months after she successfully completed her push, Ton's record has now been officially confirmed and published by reputable record-tracking website 'Fastest Known Time' in a category of its own as of mid-October." To read more, click here.

--Patrollers at Eldora Ski Resort are in the process of unionizing. To read more, click here. (Paywall)

Notes from All Over:

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.