Thursday, June 1, 2023

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 6/1/2023


--The News Tribune is reporting that, "a hiker stumbled upon the body of a missing climber on a Washington mountain more than three months after she was swept away in an avalanche with three other people, deputies said. A Chelan County Mountain Rescue volunteer was at the base of Colchuck Peak on Monday, May 29, when he spotted a body, the county sheriff’s office said in a news release." To read more, click here.

--Franklin Falls and Denny Creek along the I-5 corridor will be closed this summer. To read more, click here.

--Several areas in the North Cascades National Park will see regular helicopter visits this summer for repair. To read about it, click here.

--Hurricane Ridge in Olympic Mountain National Park is slated to be closed indefinitely. This is so that investigators can continue to work on understanding why the Hurricane Ridge Day Lodge burned down on May 7th. To read more, click here

Colorado and Utah:

--CBS Colorado is reporting that, "Fire crews rescued a climber after he got stranded in Garden of the Gods. The 20-year-old climber fell on Kindergarten Rock around 9 p.m. Monday." This link includes the rest of the story and video.

--CBS Colorado is also reporting that, "The Alpine Rescue Team rescued an injured backcountry skier on the northwest side of Torrey's Peak on Sunday. At one point the team had to carry the skier in a sled through waist deep snow." To read more, click here.

--A lot of opportunities to volunteer on Access Fund clean-ups in Little Cottonwood Canyon this summer. Check it out.


An areal view of 14-Camp on Denali. The camp is on the flat bench.

--Teams from the American Alpine Institute are slowly making their way up Denali. Learn more about their progress, here.

Notes from All Over:

--The only agency to respond to more rescues than the National Park Service in the United States, is the Coast Guard. To read about it, click here.

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 5/25/2023


--560 KPQ is reporting on the atrocity that is the Leavenworth Adventure Park: "It won't be long before Leavenworth Adventure Park and Washington State's first alpine coaster opens for guests. The park has announced June 1st will be the park's grand opening and that guests will pay for attractions only, no admission fee." Long fought by local climbers and guides, this new park sits at the intersection of Icicle and Tumwater Canyons. To read more, click here.

--The Squamish Access Society is looking for info on peregrine falcons: "As nesting season arrives we encourage all climbers to report any peregrine falcon nesting sites they observe. Temporary closures for nesting are an important part of protecting these birds that we share our cliff environments with. Please share any nest sightings to"

--The Trek is reporting that, "the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest has issued a food storage order for all backcountry users. The order is effective immediately and will remain in place until further notice." To read more, click here.


--There are a bunch of boulders blocking the road into Yosemite National Park. It's not clear when the road will reopen. See a video, here.

Desert Southwest:

--KRQE is reporting on New Mexico's Petroglyph National Monument: "The National Park Service (NPS) is making changes. They’re closing off 30 unofficial access points into the Petroglyphs National Monument as part of their 'Visitor Use Management Plan.'" To read more, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

--Outside is reporting that, "Tom Hornbein passed away on May 6, 2023, at his home in Estes Park, Colorado. He is best known for his audacious climb of the West Ridge of Mount Everest in 1963 with Willi Unsoeld." To read more, click here.

--The Daily Camera is reporting that, "a 37-year-old man from Fort Collins was rescued Sunday night from Rocky Mountain National Park after he fell while rock climbing. According to a news release, park rangers received word Sunday afternoon that the climber had been injured after a roughly 30-foot roped fall in a mixed route on Taylor Peak." To read more, click here.

--Climbing is reporting that, "Access Fund has announced that, on June 7, Chris Winter will step down after five years as the executive director. His role will be temporarily filled by Erik Murdock, the current vice president of Policy & Government Affairs, while Access Fund searches for a new executive director." To read more, click here.

--The Daily Yonder has an interesting article out about Arches National Park and the crowds it's seeing: "'Hyper-visitation' in the crown jewels of public lands is a national issue, as parks everywhere take a beating from crowds. In 2016, the parks system marked a milestone, welcoming the most visitors ever in its history, some 331 million people, a thousand times the number of visitors exactly a century earlier, in the year of the system’s founding, when a mere 326,000 passed through park gates. Though the aggregate volume dropped by a hundred million people post-pandemic, many parks, like Arches, are still overwhelmed." To read more, click here.

--Open Snow is reporting that, "Park City Mountain Resort, UT, violated safety standards resulting in an accident that killed Christian Helger, a ski patroller on duty. A Utah Occupational Safety and Health (UOSH) citation rated the violation as 'serious.' The 29-year-old was riding the Short Cut chair on January 2nd, 2023, when “a large pine tree fell onto the chair lift itself, the cable, which caused some oscillating of the chair itself,” said Andrew Wright with the Summit County Sheriff’s Office. It is still not being reported whether the chairlift safety bar was down, as per Vail Resorts’ employee policy." To read more, click here.


--A missing climber on Denali was found alive after falling nearly 1,000-feet. To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--Yahoo and others are reporting that, "there's been an accusation of grand theft on the roof of the world. On Thursday, May 12, New Zealand climber Guy Cotter of expedition company Adventure Consultants wrote on Facebook that valuable climbing gear belonging to him had gone missing at Camp IV, which is located at approximately 26,000 feet on the South Col of Mount Everest. According to Cotter's post, a cache of tents, stoves, pots, and gas was gone when he arrived. Cotter said he believes the stuff was stolen." To read more, click here.

--Footwear News is reporting that, "last week, employees at a Boston REI store joined a movement underway in the outdoor retailer’s stores across the U.S. when they voted in favor of  unionizing their location. This initial union win marked the latest victory for a relatively recent organizing drive taking root across REI stores — and across retail more broadly. In addition to Boston, four other REI stores — in Chicago, California, New York City and Ohio— have voted in favor of unionizing in the last two years, and others across Oregon, North Carolina and Minnesota have begun the process as well, filing filed petitions with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for union elections." To read more, click here.

--The BLM will have several public and virtual meetings about it's new rule: "The proposed Public Lands Rule would establish a framework to ensure healthy landscapes, abundant wildlife habitat, clean water and balanced decision-making on our nation’s public lands. The proposal would uphold the Bureau of Land Management’s multiple use and sustained yield mission, ensuring the health, diversity, and productivity of public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. By putting conservation on an equal footing with other uses, the proposal would help guide responsible development while safeguarding important places for the millions of people who visit public lands every year to hike, hunt, camp, fish, and more. This proposal comes at a pivotal moment, as our public lands face new and growing challenges. Climate change is driving unprecedented drought and increasingly intense fires, a loss of wildlife, and an influx of invasive species. At the same time, public lands face growing pressure as recreation increases and development on private land disrupts habitat. This proposal would ensure the BLM is able to respond to these pressures, managing for healthy lands today so that it can deliver its multiple use mission now and in the future." To read more, click here.

--Gripped is reporting that, "the Devils Tower National Monument has said in a press release that some climbs are temporarily closed to protect nesting Peregrine and Prairie Falcons. This includes all of the routes on the east and northeast faces. 'The closure is implemented annually to provide the falcons with an undisturbed nesting location during this critical courtship and nest-selection period,' the press release said." To read more, click here.

Thursday, May 4, 2023

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 5/4/2023


--The Bellingham Herald is reporting that, "An injured climber was rescued over the weekend from the bottom of a cliff on Mount Erie. The Anacortes Fire Department first responded Saturday afternoon before requesting additional assistance in securing and transporting the climber to a medical facility due to the nature of the injury and the surrounding terrain." To read more, click here.

--Mt. Rainier National Park is exploring the possibility of a timed entry system similar to those used at Arches and Rocky Mountain National Parks. To read more, click here.

--From the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest: "The Darrington District of the Mt.-Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest is preparing recreation sites for maintenance and construction by closing the trailheads, parking lots and trails in some areas along and near the Mountain Loop Highway. They will also be closing portions of roads in the area." To see the closures, click here.

--SGB Media is reporting that, "Columbia Sportswear Company (CSC) filed suit against two former executives in Oregon District Court for alleged theft of trade secrets. The two former employees resigned on the same day and joined Huk Gear, the fishing apparel brand owned by Marolina Outdoor, Inc." To read more, click here.

Desert Southwest:

--Gripped is reporting that, "a 20-year-old woman was rescued over the weekend after her leg got stuck while climbing in Pinnacle Peak Park, Arizona. She told the rescuers that she was 'free climbing by herself when her leg got twisted between two large boulders.'" To read more, click here.

--KSNV is reporting that, "an upcoming cycling event will lead to closures on parts of Red Rock Canyon Drive and Blue Diamond Road for several hours this Sunday, according to transportation officials." To read more, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

Notes from All Over:

--Fox News is reporting that, "a climber died and another was stranded over the weekend in a Texas national park where rock climbing is banned. Guadalupe Mountains National Park was notified on Saturday that a member of a climbing party had fallen off an edge and appeared to be unresponsive." To read more, click here.

--Gripped is reporting that, "thirty years after it was released, a sequel to the much-loved Hollywood movie Cliffhanger will go into production. And just like the 1993 film, Sylvester Stallone will be one of the characters. It will be directed by Ric Roman Waugh and written by Mark Bianculli." To read more, click here. To see the trailer from the original film, click below:

--Alaska's News Source is reporting that, "Alaska’s hardiest mountain climbers can thank Army Alaska for helping them reach the nation’s highest peak. On Monday, a U.S. Army team known as Bravo Company 1-52 — or simply the 'Sugar Bears' — flew out two Chinook helicopters to the Kahiltna Glacier in the heart of Denali National Park to drop supplies for climbers at the Denali base camp." To read more, click here.

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 4/27/2023


--Gripped is reporting that, "an 11-year-old boy is recovering in hospital after taking a 40-foot fall while climbing at Smith Rock. A fundraiser has been organized by friends of the family to help cover medical costs." To read more, click here.

--Footwear News is reporting that, "After 20 years of business, REI confirmed it will close its downtown Portland, Ore., location in early 2024 amid increased crime in the store’s Pearl District neighborhood. In a statement emailed to FN on Tuesday, an REI Co-op representative confirmed the closure and stated that the decision 'does not reflect the hard work and dedication of our Portland team, nor the overall health of the co-op.'" To read more, click here.

--In other REI news from Footwear News: "REI has released its latest Impact Report and financials results for 2022, closing the year with a record $3.85 billion in sales and distributing $323 million back to the co-op community." To read more, click here.

--From Wild Olympics: "Today the Wild Olympics Coalition cheered the Earth Day reintroduction of the Wild Olympics Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers Act sponsored by Senator Patty Murray and Representative Derek Kilmer (D-WA-06). With a strong foundation of broad local support and the steadfast efforts of the two Congressional leaders, the bill has made steady progress each successive Congress. Last year the bill passed the House with bipartisan support and advanced farther than ever before in the Senate. The Wild Olympics legislation would permanently protect more than 126,500 acres of Olympic National Forest as wilderness and 19 rivers and their major tributaries – a total of 464 river miles – as Wild and Scenic Rivers. Designed through extensive community input to protect ancient forests and salmon streams and enhance outdoor recreation, the legislation would designate the first new wilderness in the Olympic National Forest in nearly four decades and the first-ever protected wild and scenic rivers on the Olympic Peninsula." To read more, click here.

Mt. Hood

--If you plan to climb Mt. Hood in 2024, you'll have to buy a permit. Check it out.


--Gripped is reporting on an ascent that included AAI Guide Tad McCrea: "a new Alps-like alpine mixed route has been climbed on the east northeast face of Mount Morrison in California called Troll Toll, it goes at M5 over 600 metres. The peak is found in the Sierra Nevada, and this is now one of the hardest routes to date. It was climbed by Jack Cramer, Tad McCrea, Vitaliy Musienko up a line of granite, ice and snow. Morrison is often called the Eiger of the Sierra due to its size, rock quality and difficult routes. Few climbers venture here." To read more, click here.

--Unfortunately, several roads were damaged in Inyo National Forest this winter and will be closed. To see a list, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

--From Ski magazine: "Former Olympic racer and iconic big mountain skier Jeremy Nobis was found unresponsive in his Cedar City, Utah jail cell on April 19. The 52-year-old was awaiting sentencing on his latest DUI charge, the most recent in a string of drunk-driving offenses that he racked up across Utah, Colorado, and Idaho dating back to 2006. Although he lost his way over the last decade and a half, Nobis will be remembered as one of the best big mountain skiers of all time." To read more, click here.

--Summit Daily is reporting that, "A Flight for Life helicopter spared Summit County Rescue Group volunteers an hours-long rescue Sunday, April 23, when it changed course to assist with the rescue of an injured skier on Quandary Peak. The helicopter was on its way to Colorado Springs to run an errand when the 911 call for a skier with a possible head injury came in around 10:30 a.m., Summit County Rescue Group member and spokesperson Anna DeBattiste said. The skier was airlifted to a hospital in Denver to be treated for his injuries." To read more, click here.

--Some campgrounds that have historically opened in Colorado around this time of the year, will be delayed in opening due to snow. Read more.

--So this is weird. Hikers are apparently losing their shoes in the Colorado snowpack, which has resulted in rescues. Read about it, here.

Notes from All Over:

--A new survey of National Parks employees indicates very low job satisfaction. "According to survey results, national parks ranked 371 out of 432 government agencies in 2022 – or in the bottom 15 percentile. Those numbers were essentially flat compared to 2021 and 2020 survey results." Check out an article about this at Backpacker.

-- Backpacker is reporting that, "two people are facing charges for allegedly selling drugs to thru-hikers along the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina, law enforcement says. The Macon County Sheriff’s Office said that it had arrested Bobbie Anne Drelick and Ioan Edward Craia after receiving a tip, which led officials to a van in the Rock Gap, North Carolina area. After searching the van with a drug-sniffing dog, deputies found 5.56 pounds of marijuana, 8.78 ounces of psilocybin, 8 doses of LSD, and 10 grams of THC wax resin." To read more, click here.

--The Climbing Business Journal is reporting that, "Movement Climbing, Yoga and Fitness, the largest nationwide community of indoor climbing gyms, today announced they have acquired four of Summit Climbing, Yoga and Fitness Gyms’ locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area. The newly acquired facilities will build on Movement’s existing presence in Dallasand bring world-class rock climbing, bouldering, yoga, and a variety of fitness activities including classes, cardio, and weightlifting to an even larger group of residents." To read more, click here.

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 4/20/2023


--The dangerous block on the mega classic Banana Peel (II+, 5.7) in Squamish has been removed. Reportedly, this route is good to go. 

--Gripped is reporting that, "The Chief has been the scene of a number of rockfalls over the past few year, and while the most recent this week isn’t the biggest, it was still significant. It fell from the right side of Sheriff’s Badge." To read more, click here.

--Jack Kuenzle just crushed the previous speed record on Mt. Shasta. From SnowBrains: "Starting at Bunny Flats at 6,880′, the route featured 7,602′ of climbing over two and a half hours to the summit of 14,162 foot Mount Shasta. Kuenzle took two hours and four minutes to the summit and just 26 minutes to descend the same route." To read more, click here.

--Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest will have several prescribed fires in the Mt. Baker district in the coming weeks. 


--From the Nevada Current: "A Nevada Department of Wildlife biologist who sued Lake Tahoe bear activists for allegedly mounting a “vicious and calculated effort to damage his reputation and jeopardize his employment” is now on the hook for more than $150,000 in legal fees, costs, and damages. Judge Connie H. Steinheimer ruled last week against NDOW official Carl Lackey, who filed a lawsuit in 2017 against Carolyn Stark and Mark Smith, who administer the Facebook page NDOW Watch: Keeping them transparent. Lackey sued Stark and Smith for comments posted on the page by others about Lackey’s approach to bear management." To read more, click here.

Desert Southwest:

--The reopening of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon has been delayed due to snow. To read more, click here.

--8 News Now is reporting that, "The recent warmer weather is great for walking or hiking around the Las Vegas valley but you do need to be aware as the temperature rises so does rattlesnake activity. Red Rock Canyon posted on social media that rattlesnakes were spotted around the visitor center." To read more, click here.

Calico Peaks in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

--KTNV is reporting that, " If you've been out to Red Rock Canyon recently, you've probably noticed a lot more greenery than usual. A local land and water specialist tells Channel 13 cloud seeding may be part of the reason why." To read more, click here.

--News Channel 3 is reporting that, "Two people suspected of breaking into multiple vehicles in Joshua Tree in March were later spotted using stolen credit cards at the Palm Desert Walmart, authorities said. The thefts were reported at around 5:00 p.m. on March 8 at the Hemingway Parking Lot. There was no word on how many cars were broken into." To read more, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

--Powder is reporting that, "Powder Mountain, UT flies under-the-radar compared to the popular resorts in Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons, but it's actually the largest ski resort by acreage on the entire continent. The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Netflix Co-Founder and former CO-CEO Reed Hastings has purchased a significant stake in Powder Mountain for an undisclosed amount. Keep reading below for more details." To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--A climber was seriously injured after suffering a fall in New York's Chapel Pond area in the Keene Valley. To learn more, click here.

--FN 5 is reporting that, "more REI stores across the U.S. are looking to unionize their workplaces, joining a growing wave of similar efforts across the chain in recent months." To read more, click here.

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 4/12/2023


--An injured climber was rescued near Penticton at the Skaha Bluffs on Sunday. At this time there is limited information available on this.

--My Northwest is reporting that, "A male wolf wandered into Klickitat County in southwestern Washington and now has a female companion, creating the region’s first wolf pack in a century, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). Known as the Big Muddy Pack, named after its recorded territory being near Big Muddy Creek, the two wolves were enough to meet the minimum requirements to be recognized as a pack, and a new litter of pups is expected from the pair. According to WDFW, wolf pups are typically born in late April or early May." To read more, click here.

--This is happening all over the country:

--The Department of Justice is reporting that, "Richard Russell Kersten, 36, of McCall, Idaho, was sentenced to one month in federal prison for illegally harvesting timber from national forest lands, U.S. Attorney Josh Hurwit announced today. In addition, Kersten was ordered to pay the government $8,000 in restitution and banned from entering all National Forest System lands for a period of three years." To read more, click here.


 --KTLA 5 is reporting that, "a 27-year-old San Marino woman who was reported missing earlier in the week on Mount Whitney was found dead Tuesday, according to the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office. Dongying “Cindy” Qiu is seen in a photo released by the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office. Cindy” Qiu’s body was discovered Tuesday at the base of a frozen waterfall near Outpost Camp, the office said in a Facebook post. She apparently fell about 60 feet through a snow chute at the top of the waterfall, approximately a quarter mile off trail." To read more, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

--SnowBrains is reporting that, "An avalanche on a closed run at Snowmass ski area in Colorado yesterday prompted a search and rescue mission involving a team of ski patrollers and four avalanche dogs. No individuals were found, and nobody has been reported missing." To read more, click here.

--The Colorado Sun is reporting that, "roughly six months after Winter Park ski area held a foundation-laying ceremony for its latest big project, it’s preparing to begin construction of new, on-site employee housing about 100 yards from the Cabriolet lift, which accesses the mountain’s main base area and thousands of acres of skiable and bikeable terrain. In doing so, it will join a host of resorts offering on-site employee housing in Colorado and turn critical problems central to most ski towns — where to house workers and how to build density in the mountains — into a modular construction blueprint that other resorts may follow." To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--Our director recently took on the Protect America's Rock Climbing Act in an article for Cascadia Daily News.

--Gripped is reporting that, "Matt Cornell, Jackson Marvell and Alan Rousseau have established a route up the east face of Mount Dickey on Alaska’s Ruth Glacier. The bold new route is called Aim for the Bushes, a reference to a scene in the Hollywood movie The Other Guys. Cornell, Marvell and Rousseau spent three days on the bold 1,600-metre AI6 M6X. It climbs next to Snowpatrol, which was first climbed in 2004 by Andy Sharpe and Sam Chinnery at VI WI5+. They descended from the summit to base camp in under three hours." To read more, click here.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

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


--560 KPQ is reporting that, "The Washington State Department of Transportation (DOT) will begin its seasonal clearing of the North Cascades Highway on Monday, March 27. The 44-mile stretch of State Route 20 closes annually during the winter months from the Ross Dam Trailhead to Early Winters due to heavy snow and persistent avalanche risks." To read more, click here.


--Yosemite has reopened!

--The Inertia is reporting that, "every week seems to come with a new winter storm to track in the Sierra Nevada region and we’re now stepping into territory where every week brings some kind of new record. The trend in the past decade has seen a handful of strong starts to the season that tapers off significantly as spring approaches, so when January 1 rolled around this year we were in a wait-and-see pattern. For reference, California had recorded 64 percent of its average April 1 snowpack as 2023 began, which accounted for 174 percent of the average snowpack for the first week of January." To read more, click here.

--This video is making its rounds of a patroller seriously losing his cool. Generally, our assumption is that the patroller is in the right, but this is a bad look for Palisades Tahoe.

Desert Southwest:

--From The Hill: "President Biden on Tuesday will designate two new national monuments at Nevada’s Avi Kwa Ame and Texas’s Castner Range and will also take a step toward the designation of a national marine sanctuary. The Avi Kwa Ame monument in Southern Nevada will include the peak also known as Spirit Mountain, which is part of the creation story of several tribal nations. The area is a desert landscape that contains a Joshua tree forest and fauna including the desert bighorn sheep, desert tortoise and Gila monster." To read more, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

--The Sacramento Bee is reporting that, "An avalanche engulfed three people near Marble, killing one, Colorado officials report. The Friday, March 17, avalanche caught two skiers and a splitboarder touring the backcountry near Rapid Creek, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center said." To read more, click here.

--Summit Daily is reporting that, "Spring break has kept the Summit County Rescue Group busy this year. Over just the last 11 days, members responded to an overnight rescue of a backcountry skier, a snowmobile accident in Heeney, an airlift for an injured skier at Mayflower Gulch and several calls to Quandary Peak." To read more, click here.

--Fox News is reporting that, "A 56-year-old man died at Arches National Park in Utah on Sunday, the second hiker reported to have died on a trail at the park within a month, officials said. Park rangers had responded to a "report of CPR in progress" at Devils Garden Trail, the National Park Service said Monday. Officials with the Grand County Sheriff’s Department, Grand County EMS, and Classic Air Medical also responded to the trail." To read more, click here.

--Gwyneth Paltrow is currently defending herself against an accusation that she ran into a retired optometrist on a Utah ski slope. The optometrist's lawyers state that, "Paltrow crashed into Sanderson with such force that he broke four ribs and left him with a concussion. They claimed the concussion left him unable to adequately convey the seriousness of the crash, saying a ski instructor confronted him and berated him after the incident while Paltrow "bolted" away from the scene." To read more, check out an article at KOMO News.

--KPCW is reporting that, "On Monday the head of Deer Valley Resort had an update for the community about possibly joining forces with the new Mayflower ski resort, which plans to open in late 2024.
During a panel discussion about the state of the local ski industry Monday night at the Park City Library, Deer Valley President and COO Todd Bennett offered unprompted remarks about negotiations between the resort and Mayflower developer Extell." This new resort will not allow snowboarding. To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--CBS Boston is reporting that, "A skier who was buried in snow for about 6 1/2 minutes after getting caught in an avalanche in New Hampshire's White Mountains this week was dug out by a companion and survived uninjured, authorities said." To read more, click here.

--THV11 is reporting that, "on March 7, a man was sentenced for illegally guiding hikers at Buffalo National River (in Arkansas). According to reports, Jeffrey Johnson was sentenced to two years probation, $600 in fines, $80 in processing fees, and was ordered to pay $2, 686.27 in restitution. Mr. Johnson was also banned from the Buffalo National River for two years" To read more, click here.

--WUSF Public Media is reporting that, "the National Park Service is now requiring permits that could cost hundreds of dollars for filming in national parks – including the 11 parks across Florida and more than 400 others across the country – if there is an intent to make money off the recordings. That’s an increasingly common scenario among emerging content creators, including YouTubers, Instagrammers and Tik Tokers, who worry the government is turning out the lights on their growing industry." To read more, click here.

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.

Thursday, March 2, 2023

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 3/2/23


--Spokane Public Radio is reporting that, "Grizzly bears in Washington’s North Cascades could gain habitat as the climate warms, according to a study that looked at how climate change could affect the reintroduction of grizzly bears. The study, published in the journal Biological Conservation, found potential high quality grizzly bear habitat in the North Cascades Ecosystem will expand as the climate changes. The study looked at climate scenarios through the 2080s." To read more, click here.

--SnowBrains is reporting that, "Comedian and actor Chelsea Handler celebrated her 48th birthday her way: by skiing in a U.S.-Canadian Patterned bikini down the slopes of Whistler, Canada. Handler was born on February 25, 1975, in New Jersey, and the near naked birthday ski in Whistler has become somewhat of a tradition for her. She first came to Whistler for her 38th birthday and has returned every year. This year, Chelsea was lucky to be able to catch some powder runs as a birthday present." To read more, click here.


--Yosemite National Park will be closed indefinitely due to deep snow.

Desert Southwest:

--The Deseret Sun is reporting that, "A Minnesota man who climbed into an off-limits ancient cave and petroglyph site in Joshua Tree National Park has been fined $540 and banned from any national park for a year. Alexander Lee Demko, 34, of Minneapolis was found guilty on Monday by U.S. Magistrate Judge Shashi H. Kewalramani in Riverside of one misdemeanor count of illegally entering, climbing, walking on, and traversing the Barker Dam Petroglyphs site, an archeological resource in the park." To read more, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

--The Durango Herald is reporting that, "Two backcountry skiers died in an avalanche Saturday near Vallecito Reservoir. The men left to go skiing at 7 a.m. Saturday south of the reservoir with the intention of returning about noon the same day, according to a news release from La Plata County. But after failing to return, someone notified authorities at 9:18 p.m. that the men were missing." To read more, click here.

--SnowBrains is reporting that, "The body of a snowmobiler caught in an avalanche on Saturday was located and recovered yesterday, the CAIC reports." To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--The National Parks Traveler is reporting that, ", a national portal for accessing recreational activities on federal lands, is cluttered with unauthorized and possibly illegal “junk fees” that potentially generate hundreds of millions of dollars for a government contractor hired to operate the site, according to a lawsuit. The filing, which requests a jury trial and seeks at least $5 million in damages, raises the question of whether in effect has privatized public lands for the benefit of Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc., which operates the site. It was filed last month in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern Virginia and asks the court to order Booz Allen to refund to consumers processing, lottery, and cancellation fees charged on the website and mobile app." To read more, click here.

--Eddie Bauer has discontinued its "Guide Built" program, laying off all of their brand ambassadors and athletes. To read more, click here.

--Gear Junkie is reporting that, in the near future, "REI will only sell products that are entirely free of PFAS, the harmful category of chemicals. That’s the news from the Washington-based retailer, which announced Tuesday new product standards for itself and its thousand-plus brand partners. REI’s new rules will require its suppliers to cut all per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from all cookware, apparel, shoes, packs, and similar gear. It’s a planned phase-out of all remaining products with the chemicals. Its deadline? Fall 2024." To read more, click here.

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 2/23/2023


--NBC News is reporting that, "A mountain climber accidentally triggered a deadly avalanche in central Washington, killing three people on the expedition, authorities said Tuesday. The victims were among six 'backcountry travelers' on Colchuck Peak, which is near the Cascade Mountains village of Leavenworth and about 120 miles east of downtown Seattle, according to the Northwest Avalanche Center." To read more, click here.

--Gripped is reporting that, "two people died in an avalanche near Kicking Horse ski hill in Golden this week, bringing the total number of people killed by avalanches this winter to nine.  The size 3.5 avalanche measured 115 metres wide and 950 metres long with a crown depth of 1.5 metres and it ran on a weak layer. Avalanche Canada said this season’s snowpack is similar to the 2002-2003 season when 25 people died in British Columbia’s backcountry." To read more, click here.

--Don Striker, the superintendent of North Cascades National Park, has laid out three primary challenges and objectives for the coming year. To read about them, click here.


--Gripped is reporting on the death of a legend: "one of Yosemite’s most iconic big wall speed climbers, Ammon McNeely, has died at the age of 52. Details of the accident are unknown, but sources close to McNeely say that he fell off a cliff near Moab, but it wasn’t climbing related. During his time in the Valley, McNeely climbed over 60 routes on El Capitan and spent hundreds of days on the wall." At this point, it appears that Ammon was sitting on a rock near the edge of a cliff that fell, and he went with it. To read more, click here.

Desert Southwest:

--The iconic invisible house near Joshua Tree National Park is for sale. A mere 18-million will get you a house with an indoor pool that disappears into the landscape due to the house's mirrors. To read more, click here.

--A lost hiker started a wildfire near Sedona. He's now being charged $300,000 for the damage the fire created. To read more, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

--Vail Resorts doesn't appear to be doing a good job with employees who have traveled to the US to work for them. Summit Daily tells one story: "Queiroz is among several employees of Keystone’s parent company, Vail Resorts, who said they’ve faced challenges securing hours after traveling to work in the United States on a temporary student visa — known as a J-1 — for the 2022-2023 ski season. Students say it’s led to financial burdens as they contend with a high cost of living in Summit County that includes their housing, groceries and transportation." To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--Gear Junkie is reporting that, "Alterra Mountain Company, the owner of 16 ski resorts and facilitator of the Ikon Pass, will pay a total of $17.5 million to those who held passes in the COVID-shortened 2019-2020 season. That’s after a Colorado judge awarded the sum following a court case in late January." To read more, click here.

--Gripped is reporting that, "German climber and experienced high-altitude mountaineer Jost Kobusch has become the fifth person ever to reach the summit of Denali, North America’s highest mountain at 6,190 metres, solo and unsupported in winter." To read more, click here.

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 2/16/2023

Desert Southwest:

--Backpacker is reporting on three different rescues this month in Death Valley National Park: "When most people think of Death Valley, they think of heat—blistering, record-setting, egg-frying, triple-digit heat. But over eight days this month, a very different hazard sent SAR teams scrambling to rescue three stricken hikers: cold and snow." To read more, click here.

--The Access Fund is doing everything it can to keep reservations and fees from coming to Calico Basin in Red Rock Canyon just outside Las Vegas. To read more, click here.

--A couple of climbers had to rescue a free soloist who was stuck at a crux at El Cajon Mountain this week. This comes on the heels of the death of a climber on the same crag in December. It is not okay to free solo anywhere near your limit. And you certainly should never free solo a line that is not totally obvious. The amount of people getting in trouble or getting hurt, is rising. To read the story, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

--The Silverton Ski Area is adding another lift.

--Seasonal raptor closures have gone into effect in Rocky Mountain National Park's Lumpy Ridge area. To read more, click here.

--The Owl Creek Chase Nordic Race had a bit of an issue last week. From The Aspen Times: "The race, which typically takes place on the Owl Creek Trail from Snowmass to Aspen, was rerouted due to moose activity near Buttermilk Ski Area." To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--Gripped is reporting that, "it’s a sad day in the climbing community as word has spread of the death of Zach Milligan, a climber originally from Montana with close ties to Yosemite. The accident took place on Polar Circus, a 700-metre WI5 in the Canadian Rockies. After receiving a call at 11 p.m. on Saturday night, a Parks Canada’s visitor safety team flew a drone over the climb on Saturday. “They found what appeared to be the deceased person at the bottom of a cliff in that area,” said Sgt. Susan Richter of the Lake Louise RCMP." To read more, click here.

--TV6 is reporting that, "The body of an ice climber that went missing off of Miner’s Castle at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore last week has been recovered. According to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, the body of 31-year-old James Bake of Gaylord was recovered." To read more, click here.

--A climber was injured this week in Lakeside, California. From Fox 5: "A climber fell from a large distance near an East County park on Saturday, said CAL FIRE Public Information Officer Thomas Shoots. Officials received a call shortly before 12:30 p.m. reporting the incident, which occurred on a trail near El Monte County Park. CAL FIRE said the trail had difficult access." To read more, click here.

A still from the wild boar attack.

--A wild boar attacked snowboarders in Japan last week. Watch a video, here.

--The Climbing Business Journal has released a report on the state of the climbing gym industry. "The report chronicles and analyzes all the major industry happenings for the year 2022. More specifically, the report showcases the size and scope of the climbing gym industry in the United States and Canada, exploring in-depth the various shifts, changes and evolutions that took place in climbing gyms of all types last year. And, for the first time ever, the report reveals average annual growth rates in the U.S. and Canada and features a look at Mexico’s climbing gym industry as well, thus expanding the breadth of the report to encompass all of North America." To read more, click here.

--Gripped is reporting that, "some of North America’s most experienced ice and mixed climbers gathered last weekend at the Michigan Ice Festival. Of all of the climbs that went down, a new WI6+ above Lake Superior might be the most impressive." To read more, click here.

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:

Monday, January 30, 2023

How to Build a V-Thread

You've just completed a spectacular ice climb. Everything went smoothly the entire way. But now you're three pitches off the deck and you don't want to leave anything behind on your descent. There is a way to do this and it is surprisingly simple.

The V-thread -- also known as the Abalakov anchor -- is a simple technique wherein one simply links two holes bored in the ice together and then threads a cord through, the cord is then tied-off and used as an anchor.

Following is a short video on how to do this with a single ice screw:

It's not a bad idea to back-up an ice anchor before rappelling. This article provides some tips as to how one might back-up a V-thread.

It's a good idea to practice this on the ground before employing it in a descent. Though this is conceptually simple, it can be difficult to line up the bore holes. This is definitely not something that you want to use for the first time in a raging snowstorm as it's starting to get dark.

--Jason D. Martin

Friday, January 27, 2023

Avalanche Awareness - Strategic Shoveling

This video is the third in the three-part series put together by Backcountry Access.

As with the first two parts, I'd like to once again throw in a word of warning. One should not travel in the winter backcountry without proper avalanche education.

--Jason D. Martin

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 1/26/23


--Castanet is reporting that, "RCMP have confirmed two have been killed following an avalanche in the Mount McCrae area near Revelstoke Monday afternoon. A third person suffered injuries In a statement, police say a small group of people had been heli-skiing in the area known as 'Chocolate Bunnies' southeast of Revelstoke at the time of the avalanche." To read more, click here.

--A climbing wall is being constructed on the old concrete silos in the town of Concrete. From Go Skagit: "The climbing wall that is planned for the back of the old silos that welcome visitors to the town of Concrete has had its first climbing holds installed. The holds, which climbers will use to scale the silos, are gray and rock-like in order to match the aesthetic of the silos and give climbers a more natural experience, said Jeremy Akers, who is funding the climbing wall." To read more, click here.

Desert Southwest:

--A climber in Arizona who got her knee stuck in a crack was freed through the use of dish soap. To read more about this rescue, click here.

A Joshua Tree in Joshua Tree National Park

--The National Parks Traveler is reporting that, "Joshua Tree National Park and the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians have signed an agreement that allows for continued cooperation and a path toward shared stewardship of park resources. 'The Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians and Joshua Tree National Park have a long, extensive history of working together to protect sacred sites and interpret the history of the first people in this area,” said Superintendent David Smith. “This agreement is just the next step in a journey where we continue to collaborate to protect the park's resources and honor the history of the people who helped shape this cultural landscape.'"To read more, click here.

Colorado and Utah: is reporting that, "Visitation at Utah's "Mighty 5" national parks took a slight tumble in 2022. A little more than 10.5 million people visited the five national parks last year, down about 7% from the record-setting 2021 numbers, according to a analysis of National Park Service visitation. While the numbers are well ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic-impacted 2020 levels, the 2022 figures ended up 2% below pre-pandemic levels in 2019." To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--SGB Media is reporting that, "It looks like big snow equals big business, at least for ski resort owner and operator Vail Resorts, Inc. The company reported preliminary season-to-date total skier visits were up 12.5 percent through January 8, compared to the 2021/22 season-to-date period." To read more, click here.

--SnowBrains is reporting that, "For the first time in 74 years, winter 23/24 will be the first winter without a brand new Warren Miller movie. The news comes on the anniversary of the great man’s passing on January 24th, 2018. The news was announced by director/director of photography Chris Patterson on Instagram. Patterson has been filming Warren Miller movies for thirty years. According to Patterson, the heartbreaking decision has been made by Outside Inc due to financial challenges. While no new movies will be filmed, future movies will be created from already existing footage." To read more, click here.

--Gripped is reporting that, "While some places in Canada known to have fat ice had a slow start, classics from coast to coast are now in and getting climbed. In Banff National Park, two new routes were just climbed above Lake Minnewanka near the town of Banff. Both require skating along the frozen lake and add to the growing number of routes next to the famous body of water that ends in the Ghost River Valley." To read more, click here.