Thursday, July 18, 2024

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 7/18/24

News from the American Alpine Institute:


--AAI will be having a "flash sale" and gear demo at 7pm on Wednesday, July 24th. At this in-person sale, discounts will be announced at 7pm. Bring cash for used guide gear. Check it out at our headquarters in Bellingham at 4041 Home Road.

Northwest:



--There is a Red Flag warning in the Pacific Northwest this weekend. And the Pioneer Fire on Lake Chelan is continuing to grow. This may ultimately have an impact on area recreation. See Inciweb for updates.

Sierra:

--Gripped is reporting that, "this spring, the Yosemite Climbing Association built a Climber’s Credo in response to the fixed anchor concerns that have made headlines throughout the US. Their website says, 'At a time when there are pressures to impose a nationwide fixed anchor prohibition in designated Wilderness, we have the power to come together as a community and embrace a set of shared ethics and values. What was true in 1972 is still true today: ‘We believe the only way to ensure the climbing experience for ourselves and future generations is to preserve (1) the vertical wilderness, and (2) the adventure inherent in the experience.’” To read more, click here.

--Gripped is reporting that, "earlier this year, Brant Hysell rope-soloed Salathé Wall on El Capitan in 19 hours and 57 minutes. The previous fastest time was by Cheyene Lempe in 2013 at 20 hours and six minutes. Shortly after his ascent, Alex Honnold climbed it solo in 11 hours and 19 minutes." To read more, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

--Climbing is hiring a new Editor and Chief.

Notes from All Over:

--Mass Live is reporting on an accident in Massachusetts: "The Worcester County District Attorney’s Office has identified the climber killed in a fall at Leominster State Forest last week as 69-year-old Lunenburg resident Robert Conroy." To read more, click here.

--A sign of a weak market for the outdoor industry? From RV Travel: "Despite the RV manufacturing industry’s “cautiously optimistic” spin, there’s no magic in RV retail sales. Put simply, sales of new RVs are down across the board as RV consumers walk away from new rigs." To read more, click here.

Upcoming American Alpine Institute Programs:

Thursday, July 11, 2024

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 7/11/24

Northwest:

--Gripped is reporting that, "he Squamish RCMP have said that the bodies of three climbers who went missing at the start of June have been recovered. In a statement, BJ Chute, the manager of Squamish Search and Rescue, said the recovery operation took place in the Atwell Peak area near Mount Garibaldi. RCMP did not release the names of the climbers, saying their families have requested privacy. The climbers were last seen on May 31 in terrain described as “really complex and remote” by Squamish Search and Rescue member Christy Allan." To read more, click here.

--The Statesman Journal is reporting that, "A climber was rescued via helicopter from the high elevations of North Sister on Saturday, according to Lane County Search and Rescue. The climber "likely had several broken bones and was on an exposed scree slide taking rockfall," a news release said. North Sister is considered the most challenging and technical to climb of the trio of volcanoes in Central Oregon." To read more, click here.

--King Five is reporting that, "high temperatures across Washington will contribute to fire danger, elevate temperatures in streams and have an impact on wildlife, but they won't likely play a major role in melting snowpack because so much of it is already gone by this time of year." To read more, click here.

This is a photo of the 2023 Sourdough Fire in the North Cascades.
The fire was triggered by a lightning strike.

--The Seattle Times had a similar article this week: "As temperatures soar across Washington this week, so too will the risk of wildfire, state officials say. The hot weather (expected to hit triple digits in some places), ongoing drought and heavy gusts of wind form the three pillars of what is expected to be “near record” wildfire danger, according to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center’s Monday morning briefing." To read more, click here.


Colorado and Utah:

--There were two distinct rescue incidents in Zion last week, but the wording of the emergency messages was incredibly similar. For a time, rangers thought they were the same incident. Read more.

--Like many other national parks, it looks like Zion is moving to a reservation system.

Notes from All Over:

--Outside is reporting on an incident in Yellowstone: "Visitors to Yellowstone National Park over the Independence Day weekend were rocked by news of a fatal shootout that occurred within park boundaries on the morning of July 4. That afternoon, the NPS published a press release about the incident: rangers responding to an emergency call had exchanged gunfire with an unidentified man at Canyon Village, one of the park’s busiest destinations." To read more, click here.

--Gripped is reporting that, "a study published in Nature Communications has reported that the Juneau Icefield is losing 50,000 gallons (190,000 litres) of water per second. The 3,900-square-kilometre icefield is composed of 1,000 glaciers on the border of Alaska and B.C." To read more, click here.

--Inside the Games is reporting that, "It is now official. This Wednesday, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Executive Board ratified the proposal to add Para Climbing to the LA 2028 sports programme. This is the first time a sport has been added to the Paralympic programme by an Organising Committee. It will join the 22 sports already included." To read more, click here.

Thursday, June 27, 2024

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 6/27/24

Northwest:

--The section of the Pacific Crest Trail that goes through Snoqualmie near Interstate 90 may be closed for short periods each day this summer due to blasting for work on a ski lift. To read more, click here.

--KTVZ is reporting that, "the snowcapped peak of Mount Rainier, which towers 4.3 kilometers (2.7 miles) above sea level in Washington state, has not produced a significant volcanic eruption in the past 1,000 years. Yet, more than Hawaii’s bubbling lava fields or Yellowstone’s sprawling supervolcano, it’s Mount Rainier that has many US volcanologists worried. 'Mount Rainier keeps me up at night because it poses such a great threat to the surrounding communities. Tacoma and South Seattle are built on 100-foot-thick (30.5-meter) ancient mudflows from eruptions of Mount Rainier,' Jess Phoenix, a volcanologist and ambassador for the Union of Concerned Scientists, said." To read more, click here.

Sierra:

--The respected big wall climber John Middendorf has died of a stroke. He was 65. Gripped has a good write-up on his legacy, here.

--Climbing is reporting on a new 17-pitch route on Keeler Needle, a 14,260-foot neighbor to Mt. Whitney called Keel Haul (V 5.13c). Read more.

Colorado and Utah:

--Fox News is reporting that, "A skier is safe thanks to the quick thinking of two off-duty ski patrol members who saved him after he fell over 1,000 feet while attempting to descend South Arapaho Peak in Colorado. On Sunday, June 16, shortly after 10:30 a.m., the Boulder County Sheriff's Office was notified of a skier who had sustained serious injuries in the area of the Skywalker Couloir on South Arapaho Peak, west of Nederland." To read more, click here.



Notes from All Over:

--Climbing is reporting on a death that took place in a rock gym: "Lee Hansche died in an accident while route setting at the Vertical Dreams climbing gym in Manchester, New Hampshire, on May 21. While the cause of the accident is unclear, Hansche, who had managed the gym for over two decades, was using the appropriate safety gear and was extremely comfortable with the rope systems involved with indoor route setting." To read more, click here.

--WABI 5 is reporting that, "A 24-year-old rock climber was rescued in Acadia National Park on Monday. It happened in an area around South Bubble Trail near Jordan Pond. According to park officials, he slid and fell about fifty feet down the rock." To read more, click here.

--CTV News is reporting that, "A skier fell about 650 metres down the side of Mount Temple after breaking through a cornice last week. Parks Canada said they were called to help on June 20. A pair of skiers had been climbing up the southwest ridge of Mount Temple, south of Lake Louise, when one fell through a cornice, an overhanging ledge or shelf of snow at the ridge of a mountain." To read more, click here.

--Teton Gravity Research is reporting that, "Lukas McClish had been lost in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California for 10 days before being rescued on June 20. When the 34-year-old hiker finally emerged from the woods, he was shirtless, scruffy, and on the brink of malnutrition. He had been surviving on berries and creek water, sleeping on damp beds of leaves, and shouting for help as he searched for a way out." To read more, click here.


--And finally, the photo above is what you get when you ask AI to teach you how to camp. Maybe hire a guide instead. This has been making its way around the internet. First seen on @tamaryellin's account on Threads, but appears to be making the rounds.

Upcoming American Alpine Institute Programs:

Mountaineering in Ecuador
Kilimanjaro Expedition
Alpine Mountaineering and Technical Leadership
Alpinism I: Introduction to Mountaineering
Glacier Skills and Crevasse Rescue
Mt. Baker Skills and Climb
Mt. Shuksan Skills and Climb
Mt. Whitney Skills and Climb
Alpine Rock Climbing

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 6/20/24

American Alpine Institute Denali Updates:

Team 5 has made the summit of Denali. And Team 6 is moving up to Camp II.

Northwest:

--The News Tribune is reporting that, "A missing skier who was found deceased at Mount Rainier National Park has been identified. Karen Jackmin, 38 of University Place, died from multiple blunt-force injuries on May 18. Her manner of death is listed as an accident, according to the Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office." To read more, click here.

--The Washington State Parks has put out a survey on snowmobile use in SnoParks. To respond to the survey, click here.

--Climbing is reporting on an older incident on the Goat Wall: "On Tuesday, May 21, a group of eight climbers from Illinois and Indiana attempted to ascend a long sport climbing route on the Goat Wall in Mazama, Washington. The party started climbing at 7:30 A.M. and were still only two-thirds up the route (at the top of the seventh pitch out of 11) when the sun began to set. By the time the group called the Okanagan County Sheriff’s Office at 10:30 P.M. to initiate a rescue, it was dark." To read more, click here.

Sierra:

--Climbing is reporting that, "Yosemite National Park was the site of a protest against Israeli intervention in Gaza this week. A team of four climbers hung a banner emblazoned with the words “STOP THE GENOCIDE” and the colors of the Palestinian flag on the iconic rock face of El Capitan." To read more, click here.

Desert Southwest:

--The Associate Press is reporting that, "A couple hiking in the desert south of Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California was rescued after running out of water, authorities said. On Sunday, the man called 911 and reported that his girlfriend was dehydrated and weak, according to a statement from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office posted Monday on social media." To read more, click here.

Mt. Wilson in Red Rock Canyon

--The Las Vegas Sun is reporting that, "Commissioners unanimously approved an $80 million settlement to end their yearslong legal battle with developer Gypsum Resources and owner Jim Rhodes, giving Gypsum the green light to move forward on their residential project that will erect 3,500 homes near Red Rock Canyon and Blue Diamond Hill. The agreement calls for Gypsum Resources to limit its development to 3,500 homes, when they initially planned for 5,000. It is also contingent on the Bureau of Land Management agreeing to divert traffic from Scenic Route 160 to Scenic Route 159." To read more, click here.

--Backpacker is reporting that, "an outbreak of a severe gastrointestinal illness swept through the hundreds of hikers who visited Arizona’s famed Havasu Falls this week. In some cases, individual hikers and whole groups had to be airlifted out because they were too sick to walk unassisted. The cause of the outbreak is as of yet unknown." To read more, click here.

--News Channel 3 is reporting that, "Joshua Tree National Park leadership has implemented fire restrictions that began on Saturday, June 15, and will continue through October 1 due to hot, dry weather conditions and increasing fire danger." To read more, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

--Yahoo News is reporting that, "Two off-duty firefighters happened to be in the right place at the right time on Sunday when they witnessed a skier begin an attempt to descend a gully on South Arapahoe Peak before falling. It happened on the Skywalker Couloir. According to the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office, the skier was beginning the ski descent of the couloir, which is west of Nederland, when he fell and slid around 1,000-2,000 feet down the snowfield before his fall was arrested on a rock ledge." To read more, click here.

--The National Park Service is reporting that, "A ranger at Bryce Canyon National Park has died from injuries sustained after tripping and falling while on-duty. Around 11:30 p.m. on Friday, June 7, Park Ranger Tom Lorig was working with park visitors at Bryce Canyon’s annual Astronomy Festival. While directing a visitor to a shuttle bus, Ranger Lorig fell and struck his head on a large rock. Finding him unresponsive, the visitor quickly notified a nearby law enforcement ranger. National park rangers, medically-trained bystanders, and local EMS personnel cooperated to provide initial life-saving care, but were unsuccessful in reviving Ranger Lorig. He was 78 years old." To read more, click here.


--Ski is reporting that, "a decision that just came down from the Colorado Supreme Court has the potential to disrupt the state’s ski industry. The seven justices of the state’s highest court ruled 5-2 that the broad liability waivers we all sign when we purchase our lift tickets don’t hold ski resorts immune from lawsuits in all situations." To read more, click here.


Notes from All Over:

--The American Alpine Club has awarded several grants, including one to former AAI Guide Chantel Astorga. Read more.

--The Associated Press is reporting that, "Shaun White is starting a season-long halfpipe league that will offer more than $1.5 million in prizes in hopes of pulling together what has long been a spread-out, confusing action-sports calendar." To read more, click here.

Thursday, June 6, 2024

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 6/6/2024

American Alpine Institute Denali Updates:

American Alpine Institute Team 2 made the summit. Team 3 is waiting for a chance at the summit at high camp. Team 4 is at Camp 3. And Team 5 is waiting for a weather window to fly onto the mountain. Read more about AAI's 2024 Denali Season, here

Northwest:

--It appears that some experienced climbers are missing near Squamish. Read more.

--Washington State Parks are looking at a proposal to cut the number of nights that campers can stay. To read about it, click here.

Sierra:

--Climbing is reporting that, "accomplished California climber and guidebook author Charles Barrett was sentenced to life in prison for the rape of a woman in Yosemite National Park. The ruling, made by U.S. District Court Judge John A. Mendez, comes after a weeklong February trial in which a jury found Barrett guilty of two counts of aggravated sexual abuse and one count of abusive sexual contact. All of the case’s proceedings were held in Sacramento." To read more, click here.

El Capitan

--Gripped is reporting that, "Alex Honnold has set a new rope-solo speed record in Yosemite that surely won’t be broken anytime soon, having climbed the 3,500-foot Salathé Wall in only 11 hours and 18 minutes." To read more, click here.

Desert Southwest:

--A fire burned approximately 113 acres of Red Rock Canyon last week. Learn more.

--The Deseret Sun is reporting that, "Joshua Tree National Park is seeking public comment on a proposal to increase camping and Key’s Ranch Tour fees, which would take effect next year." To read more, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

--Unnoffical Networks is reporting that, "Brian Head Town Council approved on Tuesday the annexation of approximately 1,799 acres for a new real estate community called Aspen Meadows. This real estate community will add hundreds of acres of new skiable terrain and multiple lifts, including a multi-stage gondola, to Brian Head Resort. Trail cutting reportedly began yesterday, but an opening date for the first phase of the ski resort expansion hasn’t been officially announced." To read more, click here.

--The NPS is reporting that, "The National Park Service has finalized a Day Use Visitor Access Plan for Rocky Mountain National Park to manage day use visitor access in a way that protects the park's resources, maintains positive visitor experiences, promotes safety, and supports the park’s ability to maintain daily operations. The plan establishes two timed entry reservation systems from late-May through mid-October, one for the Bear Lake Road Corridor and one for the rest of the park. This is similar to what the park has piloted the last three summers and is the current operational plan for this summer. The reservation systems have been successful at spreading visitor use out throughout the day and throughout the park." To read more, click here.

--Here's a rundown of what went down at the first ever Outside Festival in Colorado.

Notes from All Over:

--An independent climber died in a snow cave on Denali this week. From Alaska Public Media: "One of the two climbers trapped since Tuesday near Denali’s summit was rescued alive by a helicopter crew early Friday. The other died in a snow cave while waiting for help, according to park officials." To read more, click here.

--The New York Times is reporting on sexual harassment and assault in climbing culture. To read the piece, click here.

--Several routes on Wyoming's Devil's Tower are now closed for nesting falcons. Read more.

--A new study indicates that there's a correlation between social media use and National Parks visitation.

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 5/30/24

American Alpine Institute Denali Updates:


--AAI Team 2 made the summit of Denali on Tuesday! They should be off the mountain today.

--Team 3 is staging at 14 camp. And Team 4 has just placed a cache above 10,000-feet.

--Read all our Denali dispatches, here!

Northwest:

--A climber in Washington's Grant County was severely injured this week, but details are sparse. Read more.

--The Bulger List is the list of 100 tallest peaks in Washington State. The youngest person to ever complete the list, 20-year-old Andrew Okerlund, will be featured in a new movie about his adventure. Not only is he the youngest person to complete the list, he's also only one of five to complete the entire list in one season. To read more, click here.

Desert Southwest:

--Fox 10 is reporting that, "A woman who reportedly fell 30–40 feet while rock climbing on Tom's Thumb in Scottsdale is in serious condition. Scottsdale Fire says crews from multiple agencies worked together on Memorial Day to rescue the 34-year-old woman, who was wearing a helmet at the time of her fall." To read more, click here.


--Some info about the new trail in Red Rock from the BLM: "The Red Rock Legacy Trail project (Legacy Trail) proposes the construction of a paved multi-use path to improve safety and recreational opportunities for non-motorized users in the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area (RRCNCA) and the surrounding area. Visitation to the RRCNCA has increased greatly in recent years, and there is a need for safer shared access for pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles. The proposed trail would improve safety along State Route (SR) 159 by providing an alternative to using the highway's shoulder. The route will connect approximately 20 miles of trail between the residential community of Summerlin with the Hualapai Trailhead parking lot just off SR-160, as well as provide upgrades to approximately six trailhead parking lots. The project is being delivered in five unique ‘Phases’ (see map below), with construction of Phase 1 anticipated to begin as early as 2025. The Federal Highway Administration-Central Federal Lands Highway Division (FHWA-CFLHD) is the lead agency for the project, partnering with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Clark County, and the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) to plan, design, and implement the trail." To read more, click here.

--The Daily Indy is reporting that, "Since the passage of the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act (SNPLMA) in 1998, more than $4 billion in revenue generated from Las Vegas area land sales has been directed to conservation, park improvement and wildfire prevention projects across Nevada and the Lake Tahoe Basin. Now, another $348 million in federal dollars is set to be allocated for additional projects, and the federal government is seeking input on where that money should go." To read more, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

--Fox News is reporting that, "A snowboarder who fled after allegedly plowing into an Aspen skier and leaving her crumpled in the snow before months of physical therapy, was identified using his social media presence and distinctive gear, according to a lawsuit.  Anne Cassidy, a mother of four and an 'expert skier' familiar with Aspen Mountain, said she was chatting in plain sight on her skis with a friend beside the unloading area of the Gent's Ridge Lift Feb. 24. Unbeknownst to them, a snowboarder offloading from a nearby gondola was careening toward them." To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--Gripped is reporting that, "climber has died after an accident in a New Hampshire climbing gym. When responders arrived, they found the injured climber, who sources say fell up to 50 feet, with 'no safety gear stopping the fall.'" To read more, click here.

--A photographer in Alaska died after being attacked by a moose that had just given birth. To read more, click here.

--KRON 4 is reporting on an incident near San Francisco: "Marin County Fire rescued a rock climber in Stinson Beach on Thursday. After falling approximately 20 feet, the fallen rock climber was hoisted back to safety by fire crews." To read more, click here.

--A blind climber finished a trad ascent of a 10d route on Devil's Tower this week. Read more.

--The Advocate is reporting that, "Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland reversed on Friday a National Park Service directive that would have barred employees from participating in LGBTQ+ Pride Month events while in uniform. The initial policy, issued on May 17, led to widespread backlash from the LGBTQ+ community." To read more, click here.

--Footwear News is reporting that, "Amer Sports, Inc. posted sales and profits ahead of its guidance on Tuesday morning, with growth largely driven by its Arc’teryx brand. The newly public Finnish company, which owns the Salomon, Arc’Teryx, Wilson, Peak Performance and Atomic brands, reported a 13 percent revenue increase in Q1 to $1.2 billion. Net income was $7 million, down from $19 million in Q1 the prior year. Diluted earnings per share was 1 cent compared to $5 cents the prior year. Adjusted gross profit margin grew 110 basis points to 54.3 percent in Q1, a jump largely driven by the technical apparel group and the high profit Arc’teryx brand." To read more, click here.

--SGB Media is reporting that, "DestiMetrics (DM) has released its season-end assessment of the Winter 2023-24 season, describing the findings as a famine-to-feast snowfall season that, coupled with stubbornly high inflation and interest rates, led to declines in winter lodging occupancy across 17 western mountain resorts in seven states for the season." To read more, click here.


--It sounds like middle-aged men are making up a large percentage of the demographic that is injured and/or killed in ski resorts. Read more.

Upcoming AAI Programs:

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 5/23/24

AAI Denali Updates:

--Team 1 is on their way down from high camp. Team 2 just made it to camp 3 at 14,200-feet. And Team 3 is officially on the glacier and beginning their climb! Learn more at our expedition blog.

Northwest:

--Action News Now is reporting that, "a climber died while suffering a medical emergency on Mount Shasta this past Friday, the sheriff’s office said. The sheriff’s office said on Friday at 7 p.m., dispatch received a Garmin InReach emergency notification at 9,500 feet up Avalanche Gulch. A 49-year-old climber who was later identified as David Lopez, 49, of Campbell, collapsed and became unresponsive while approaching Lake Helen with his climbing partner." To read more, click here.

Sierra:

--Gripped is reporting that, "last week Alex Honnold was MCing a bouldering world cup event in Salt Lake City and this week he’s back in Yosemite. And unlike some climbers who choose not to talk about their free-soloing, Honnold is often quick to share about his most recent rope-less climbs. 'I’m back in the Valley!!' Honnold said on Instagram. 'I had a fun first day soloing the East Buttress of Middle Cathedral and then the East Buttress of El Cap. I heard someone call it the half pipe because you climb the two sides of the Valley across from each other.'" To read more, click here.

El Capitan at Sunset

--Gripped is reporting that, "American big wall climber Brant Hysell, the man behind the Gravity Labs YouTube channel, rope-soloed Salathé Wall on El Capitan on May 11 in 19 hours and 57 minutes. The previous fastest time was by Cheyene Lempe in 2013 at 20 hours and six minutes." To read more, click here.

Desert Southwest:

--The NPCA is reporting that, "the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) and local leaders recently joined Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland to discuss a proposal to expand Joshua Tree National Park and establish Chuckwalla National Monument." To read more, click here.

--Here are some updates on Mt. Charleston access for the summer 2024 season.

--Is Las Vegas the adventure sport capitol of the United States. Some think so...

Colorado and Utah:

--KSL.com is reporting that, "Police have identified the man found dead near Snowbird after not returning from skiing Sunday as 60-year-old Charles Esposito of Layton. Police initially received a call about an overdue skier about 10:30 p.m. Sunday and began a search of the area. Officers arrived to find the man's vehicle in the Snowbird parking lot and determined his phone was near the Gadzoom lift, according to a statement from Unified police." To read more, click here.

--Fox 31 is reporting that, "A climber was flown to a hospital after falling approximately 60 feet from a cliff near Loveland on Saturday, according to the Loveland Fire Rescue Authority." To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--The National Park Service is reporting that, "on Monday, May 20, Denali National Park and Preserve mountaineering rangers located a deceased climber at an elevation of 17,000 feet on the West Buttress route on Denali. On Sunday, rangers were contacted by a concerned family member that had not heard from a climber for several days. The climber had been regularly checking in with family via an InReach communication device during their attempted solo climb of Denali." To read more, click here.

--It appears that mosquitos are moving to higher altitudes due to anthropogenic climate change. Read more.

--Outside is reporting that, "a pair of bills that would have allowed Hawaii’s government to charge for rescues of hikers who venture onto closed trails has died in the state legislature. Senate Bill 2543 and House Bill 2174 were the latest in a series of proposals that sought to hold scofflaw adventurers financially responsible for their own rescues. The text of the House version cited both increased spending on rescue operations and the danger to first responders as motivations for the bill, and expressed hope that the new legislation would act as a deterrent for hikers considering venturing onto closed trails or terrain. Both bills died in the Senate, with a companion bill that would have established a 'hike safe' card whose purchase would have funded SAR operations failing as well." To read more, click here.

Upcoming AAI Programs:

Mountaineering in Ecuador
Kilimanjaro Expedition
Alpine Mountaineering and Technical Leadership
Alpinism I: Introduction to Mountaineering
Glacier Skills and Crevasse Rescue
Mt. Baker Skills and Climb
Mt. Shuksan Skills and Climb
Mt. Whitney Skills and Climb
Alpine Rock Climbing

Thursday, May 9, 2024

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 5/9/2024

Northwest:

--Yahoo is reporting that, "a Washington state man who was trying to summit Mount Rainier this week collapsed and died near the top of the mountain in the national park, officials said." To read more, click here.

--A new line has been climbed on Mt. Hood. A two-pitch WI4/M4 line was completed in late April in the Black Spider area. To read more, click here.

Sierra:

--Gripped is reporting that, "a popular trail in Yosemite is closed for the foreseeable future due to a large rockfall that took place this spring. The John Muir Trail took an astonishing 46 years to build and was opened in 1938." To read more, click here.

--The closest ski resort to Los Angeles is for sale

Desert Southwest:

Mt. Wilson in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.

--The Las Vegas Review-Journal is reporting that, "the $100 million-plus Red Rock Legacy Trail project received $1 million in federal funding to push the project toward becoming a reality. During a news conference on State Route 159 on Friday, Rep. Susan Lee, Andrew Bennett, director of the Clark County Office of Traffic Safety, and Nevada Department of Transportation spokesman Justin Hopkins were on hand during a ceremonial check presentation." To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--Outside is reporting that, "the Biden administration announced today that it is expanding two national monuments in California: the San Gabriel Mountains and Berryessa Snow Mountain, bringing nearly 120,000 additional acres under federal protection." To read more, click here.

--An incident and accident reporting system in Canada was recently shut down due to liability concerns. To read more, click here.

--The Kathmandu Post is reporting that, "For the first time, high-altitude guides will face some competition on Everest… from drones. The Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality, which hosts the 8,848.86 metre-tall Everest, is piloting heavy lifter drones that will bring back garbage from the mighty mountain. Though officials say that cargo drones will fly on Everest to bring garbage, its success, however, may affect the livelihood of high altitude support staff who navigate the dangerous Khumbu Icefall with tonnes of loads on their backs." To read more, click here.

--Gripped is reporting that, "the IFSC has banned a climber for the presence of Stanozolol metabolites, saying, 'The IFSC have received an official communication from the International Testing Agency (ITA), delegated by the IFSC as anti-doping service provider, about a rule violation in accordance with Article 8.3.3 of the IFSC Anti-Doping Rules committed by Iranian climber Reza Kolasangian.'" To read more, click here.

--KOMO News and others are reporting that, "a part-time ski instructor's death has been ruled a homicide after a collision with another skier, according to reports. The Teton County Sheriff's Office issued a statement on Facebook, noting that two skiers collided on Rendezvous Trail at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Teton Village on April 14. Authorities asked anyone who witnessed the collision to contact a detective." To read more, click here.

Upcoming AAI Programs:

Mountaineering in Ecuador
Kilimanjaro Expedition
Alpine Mountaineering and Technical Leadership
Alpinism I: Introduction to Mountaineering
Glacier Skills and Crevasse Rescue
Mt. Baker Skills and Climb
Mt. Shuksan Skills and Climb
Mt. Whitney Skills and Climb
Alpine Rock Climbing

Thursday, May 2, 2024

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 5/2/24

Northwest:

--Yahoo News is reporting that, "An avalanche injured two climbers on Mount Shasta in Northern California, requiring rescuers to be airlifted to their assistance, sheriff’s officials reported. A climber called 911 at 12:21 p.m. Saturday, April 27, to report he and his climbing partner had been injured by an avalanche at 12,200 feet up the mountain, the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office said in an April 29 news release." To read more, click here.

--A climber was rescued off of Cutthroat Peak last week with a broken leg. The team was trying to make an ascent of the rarely climbed Cauthorn-Wilson ice route. To read more, click here.

--It appears that a skier was seriously injured in a collision with another skier on Mt. Bachelor last week. Read more.

The Torment-Forbidden Traverse in North Cascades National Park.

--North Cascades National Park announced that the long awaited decision on the reintroduction to grizzly bears is complete: "The National Park Service and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service have announced a decision to actively restore grizzly bears to the North Cascades of Washington, where the animals once roamed. Grizzly bears occupied the North Cascades region for thousands of years as a key part of the ecosystem, distributing native plant seeds and keeping other wildlife populations in balance. Populations declined primarily due to direct killing by humans. The last confirmed sighting of a grizzly bear in the U.S. portion of the North Cascades ecosystem was in 1996." To read more, click here.

--My Northwest is reporting that, "Following a tumultuous year that included layoffs and operations restructuring, REI announced it lost $311 million in 2023. The Seattle-founded outdoor equipment retailer reported its revenue was $3.76 billion, down 2.4% from the previous year." To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--There was a significant accident in the Alaska range last week when a pair fell on Mt. Johnson. One individual died at the scene and the other was evacuated. To read more, click here.

--The BLM has announced a rule that puts outdoor recreation on equal footing with other public lands issues, such as extraction. To read more, click here.

--It appears that REI is leaving its unique footwear brand.

--A grizzly bear scared a skier at Lake Louise last week. Video.

--Climbing is reporting that, "David Letterman joined Alex Honnold at the Perelman Performing Arts Center in New York City last Thursday for an interview in front of a live audience, discussing “scaling new heights, chasing your dreams, and never looking down.” But first, before all the tired metaphors, the two toproped at Movement Climbing + Fitness in Gowanus. Honnold offered up pointers while Letterman played up the awkward nature of checking someone’s knot (yes, David, we all have crotches) and ate M&Ms from a chalk bag. At 77, Letterman proved he’s as spritely as ever." To read more, click here.

--Gripped is reporting that, "British alpinist Tom Livingstone and Slovenian partner Gašper Pintar have made the first ascent of a route on the south face of Mount Dickey (2,909 m) in Alaska’s Ruth Gorge. It took them four days and they’ve yet to grade it but named it The Great Wall. Livingstone called their trip 'a great Alaskan adventure.'" To read more, click here.

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 4/25/24

Northwest:

--Sadly, another American guide died this last week on the Icefall Traverse in British Columbia. Rob Coppolillo was well-known in the Pacific Northwest Guide Community and was a friend to many here at AAI. He and his family are in our thoughts. A Go-Fund-Me has been set-up to help his family.

--SourceOne is reporting that, "in a recent release by Travel Lemming, an innovative online travel guide, Washington State emerged as a key player in the national parks arena. As part of the celebrations for National Parks Week, the guide announced its latest rankings, placing two of Washington's own among the top five in the country." To read more, click here.

--Outdoor Sportswire is reporting that, "Arc’teryx Equipment, the global design company specializing in technical high-performance apparel and equipment, is pleased to announce ambitious new science-based climate targets – including the brand’s first ever Net Zero goal – as it takes another step in its ongoing commitment to sustainability." To read more, click here.

Desert Southwest:

--The Daily Press is reporting that, "U.S. Rep. Raul Ruiz M.D. and Sen. Alex Padilla (both D-Calif.) on Tuesday introduced bills to designate Chuckwalla National Monument and expand Joshua Tree National Park under the Antiquities Act." To read more, click here.



Colorado and Utah:

--Outdoor Sportswire is reporting that, "A member-led collective and the outdoor industry’s catalyst for meaningful change, Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) today announced its lineup of education sessions and connection opportunities at the Outdoor Retailer Summer show in Salt Lake City, Utah, June 17-19, 2024. The lineup will address critical and intersectional topics including market and consumer trends, sustainability, advocacy, and participation." To read more, click here.

--Alta has a one-room schoolhouse, and the New York Times just put out an article about it.

Notes from All Over:

--The Climbing Business Journal is reporting that, "The North Face has unveiled the official sport climbing competition uniforms to be worn by athletes from the U.S., Japan, South Korea and Austria in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games." To read an article about this and to see photos, click here.


--There's a new campaign to get trail running into the Olympics. 

--The first paragraph in this article from Ski says it all: "Call it Vail math: Skier visits were down this past winter, but lift ticket revenue went up after a mediocre snow year. How exactly does that work? Exactly as Vail Resorts planned, that’s how." To read the piece, click here.

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 4/18/24

Northwest:


Colorado and Utah:

--SnowBrains is reporting on an accident last week: "A young local skier died on Tuesday while attempting to jump over US HWY 40, also known as Berthoud Pass. According to reports by the Grand County Sheriff’s Office, the site of the fatal accident was between Henderson Mine Road and Robbers Roost, approximately six miles east of Winter Park, Colorado." To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--Outside is reporting on a miscarriage of justice: "on February 29, Daniel, Wyoming resident Cody Roberts allegedly ran a juvenile wolf down with his snowmobile, taped its mouth shut, transported it to the town’s Green River Bar, posed for photos with the animal, then either beat or shot it to death, depending on which version of the report you read. State wildlife officials received a tip about the incident, and later fined Roberts $250 for a misdemeanor violation of Wyoming’s prohibition against possession of live wildlife. No other charges or penalties have been brought against him. As of April 10, however, the Sublette County Sheriff’s Office announced that they—along with the Sublette County Attorney’s office—are now investigating Roberts." To read more, click here.

--Alaska Public Media is reporting that, "This week, Belgian climber Jelle Veyt is on the final leg of a journey to Denali that has brought him more than 15,000 miles. Unlike the hundreds of climbers who fly to base camp each year, Veyt will be traveling to the Kahiltna Glacier on skis. In fact, his entire trip to Alaska has been accomplished by a combination of human and sail power." To read more, click here.

Upcoming AAI Programs:

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 4/11/24

Northwest:

--KGW8 is reporting that, "42-year-old Roscoe "Rocky" Shorey from Washougal was found dead at the bottom of Mount St. Helens crater last Saturday. It was assumed that Shorey had not survived the 1,200-foot fall, but rescuers trying to piece together what happened say otherwise. The men who recovered his body found evidence that Shorey had survived the initial fall and tried repeatedly to climb back — nearly reaching the crater's rim — before falling a final time." To read more, click here.

--The American Alpine Institute is sponsoring an Adopt-a-Crag at Mt. Erie on Saturday from 9am to noon. Support Mt. Erie and get some cool schwag! Learn more, here.






















Sierra:

--Climbing received a weird proposal from ex-Stonemasters stating that it was way harder to climb in the 70s than it is now. They are proposing an interactive "Stonemaster Climbing Experience" that includes drug use, alcohol, canvas tents, sleeping on dirty underwear, and a myriad of other things. The letter is odd and kinda funny. Read more about it, here.

Desert Southwest:

--There was a lightning caused fire in Red Rock Canyon this week. Read more.

Colorado and Utah:

--Gripped is reporting that, "earlier this month, Rocky Mountain Rescue Group shared a photo on social media saying they were 'Moonlighting as MEOWtain Rescuers!' It was after they rescued two climbers and their cat from the First Flatiron in near Boulder, Colorado." To read more, click here.

--SkiHi News is reporting that, "Jonathan Babcock was skiing with his sister, Linda Babcock, at Winter Park Resort on Feb. 9 when he says a snowboarder hit him and launched him into a tree, which caused him to break two ribs and receive a hairline fracture on his pelvis." To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--Our thoughts go out to Caroline and Adam's family. From Ski Magazine: "A helicopter transporting skiers crashed in the Pennine Alps of Switzerland Tuesday morning, leaving three passengers dead and another three injured. The crash took place shortly before 9:30 a.m. near a heliski landing site on the northern face of Petit Combin, according to local news outlet SWI. The victims have been identified as 45-year-old American ski guide Adam George, helicopter pilot and father of two Jerome Lovely, and James Goff, whose nationality has yet to be verified. George, a New Hampshire native, was an established mountaineer and ski guide. He leaves behind his wife and fellow ski guide Caroline George, and their young daughter." To read more, click here.

-SGB Media is reporting that, "In a landmark bipartisan agreement, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Expanding Public Lands Outdoor Recreation Experiences (EXPLORE) Act, demonstrating the momentum that members of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) and industry partners have in helping promote policies that expand access to outdoor recreation opportunities." To read more, click here.

--Yahoo Finance is reporting that, "Outdoor Voices was a direct-to-consumer darling once valued at $110 million—but the activewear brand has had a long fall from its glory days. Years of executive reshuffles and acquisition rumors culminated in a very public meltdown earlier this month, when the company closed all its retail locations and abruptly laid off most of its workforce. Outdoor Voices is now reportedly on the verge of bankruptcy." To read more, click here.





Thursday, March 28, 2024

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 3/28/24

Northwest:

--KUOW and others are reporting that, "Lou Whittaker, a mountain climber, guide and identical twin to Jim Whittaker, the first American to climb Mount Everest, died this week. He was 95." Lou was one of the founders of RMI on Mt. Rainier. To read more, click here.

--The National Parks Conservation Association and others are reporting that, "the National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today released the final environmental impact statement and grizzly bear reintroduction plan. Although a record of decision has yet to be signed, the agencies’ preferred alternative would restore grizzlies to their historic homelands, where they are functionally extinct. The agencies recommend a 10(j) rule that would give wildlife managers additional flexibility under the Endangered Species Act to responsibly manage bears." To read more, click here.

Sierra:


--Tragically, two brothers (18 and 21 years old) were attacked by a mountain lion east of Lake Tahoe. The older brother did not survive the attack. Read more.

--The New York Times featured an editorial by Beth Rodden last week about the changes she's seen in rock climbing and acceptance since she started her career. The piece covers both her experience as a high end climber and as a mother. Check it out.

Desert Southwest:

--Friends of Red Rock Canyon are working to deter car break-ins in the Conservation Area. Learn more.












Colorado and Utah:

--Park City is struggling with skier parking.

Notes from All Over:

--There was an inbounds avalanche at Maine's Sugarloaf Mountain over the weekend. To read about it, click here.

--Unnoffical Networks is reporting that, "Three people have sued the National Park Service for its policy not to accept cash payments at locations across the country. SFGATE reports Esther van der Werf of Ojai, California, Toby Stover of High Falls, New York, and Elizabeth Dasburg of Darien, Georgia, filed their lawsuit on March 6th after being prevented from paying in cash at various national parks, monuments and historic sites around the country. The trio cited a US code that states US currency is legal tender for all public charges. The lawsuit alleges that the park service’s cashless policy is in violation of federal law." To read more, click here.

--There's a new sign at Everest Base Camp. Some people are upset.













--It appears that the Democrats made a poor choice in expert witness testimony about climate change when they invited Olympic hopeful Gus Schumacher to testify. Schumacher struggled with some of the questions. It is our opinion that athletes that are climate activists must be fully prepared for complicated questions. To read about the hearing, click here.