Thursday, February 29, 2024

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 1/29/24


--Unofficial Networks is reporting that, "on the morning of February 21, 2024, the quiet slopes of Avalanche Gulch on Mount Shasta revealed the aftermath of a tremendous force of nature—a very large (D4) natural avalanche. This awe-inspiring event unfolded during the heart of a powerful winter storm that had blanketed the region in a thick layer of snow from February 17th, relentlessly depositing nearly constant precipitation over four days." To read more, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

--Hometown Weekly is reporting that, "Emergency crews rescued an injured climber who fell from a rock face Sunday morning in Eldorado Canyon. According to Mountain View Fire Rescue’s Facebook post, crews responded around 10:41 a.m. to Eldorado State Park to help a climber who fell from a rock face." To read more, click here.

--CPCW is reporting that, "a woman skiing backcountry terrain west of the Park City ridgeline had to be flown to the hospital after being caught in an avalanche." To read more, click here.

--SnowBrains is reporting that, "a snowboarder had a shocking last run of the day when he was cruising near Brighton Ski Resort, Utah. Loren Richardson was going down a narrow pathway on his snowboard when he happened upon an older man brandishing a shotgun, threatening to 'put holes' into him, if he traveled down that pathway again." To read the story, click here. To see the video, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--SnowBrains is reporting that, "A skier died on Friday evening, February 23, at The Highlands at Harbor Springs Resort, Michigan, following an accident in expert terrain." To read more, click here.

--The New York Almanack is reporting that, "On Tuesday, February 20th at about 1:20 pm, Ray Brook Dispatch received a call to assist an ice climber who fell while climbing Pitchoff Mountain in the Adirondacks." To read more, click here.

--RV Pro is reporting that, "Kampgrounds of America (KOA)’s latest monthly report showed a significant uptick in travel bookings for the 2024 season, particularly among Gen Z campers. The report indicates the continuing trend of integrating road trips with camping, noting a 10% higher preference for road trips over traditional camping activities. This preference highlights a broader enthusiasm for exploration and adventure, with 59% of campers favoring road trips and 49% opting for stationary camping." To read more, click here.

--The Whitefish Ski Resort is joining a number of others with a patroller unionization effort. To read more, click here.

--The National Parks just released a press release on visitation: "The National Park Service announced that 400 national parks reported a total of 325.5 million recreation visits in 2023, an increase of 13 million or 4% over 2022. In addition to the continued growth in overall numbers, NPS data shows that visitation is increasing in the more traditional off-seasons at many parks, with more visits in the spring and fall than seen in years past. And 20 parks—many of them less well-known—broke visitation records in 2023." To read more, click here.

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 2/22/24


--It looks like there will be a film about Warren "Batso" Harding's life. He was on the first team to scale Yosemite's El Capitan.

Colorado and Utah:

--Western Slope Now is reporting that, " A man was rescued after falling over 120 feet while rock climbing in Whitewater on Saturday. MCSO deputies, MCSO Search and Rescue volunteers, Gateway Fire Department, CareFlight and the BLM responded to the scene of the fall in Whitewater, Colorado." To read more, click here.

--Summit Daily is reporting that, "A female skier is dead following “an incident” on the Double Dip trail at Loveland Ski Area on Friday, Feb. 16, around 1:20 p.m. The ski area said in a statement that ski patrol was in the area and responded immediately before the skier was pronounced dead at the scene, according to statements provided to Summit Daily News." To read more, click here.

--SnowBrains is reporting that, "A snowboarder’s quick thinking saved him from a potentially deadly encounter with a mountain lion while riding near Beaver Mountain, Utah, on Sunday, February 5. Charlie Duffy recounted his experience in an Instagram post, describing how he noticed fresh paw prints in the snow before spotting the mountain lion just a few feet behind him. Acting on instinct, Duffy swung his snowboard with full force at the predator, managing to fend it off." To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--East Idaho News is reporting that, "a Colorado man died while skiing at Grand Targhee on Saturday after he fell in a tree well and became trapped. Teton County Coroner Brent Blue identified the man as 67-year-old William Douglas England of Lakewood, Colorado." To read more, click here.

--Climbing is reporting that, "Ahead of the 2024 season, the International Federation of Sport Climbing has released a policy to prevent eating disorders among competition climbers. The policy, developed by scientific experts based on the findings of an International Olympic Committee, marks the first time any international federation has taken an active step to limit the pervasiveness of Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport. Ultimately, it will require athletes to submit to several questionnaires and tests before competing." To read more, click here.

Upcoming American Alpine Institute Programs:

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 2/15/24


--The low snowpack in the PNW this year could have an impact on both hydropower and drinking water. Read more.


--NBC News is reporting that, "A professional rock climber known in the California climbing community was convicted Tuesday of sexually assaulting a woman in Yosemite National Park in 2016, federal prosecutors said. A jury convicted Charles Barrett, 38, of two counts of aggravated sexual abuse and one count of abusive sexual contact, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California said." To read more, click here.

--Gripped is reporting on rockfall closures in Yosemite: "Travel along the popular trail between Happy Isles and the Vernal Fall Footbridge is closed 'until further notice,' park officials have announced. Park authorities said, 'Hikers should follow posted detour signs from the Happy Isles shuttle stop (No. 16) to the stock trail behind the Happy Isles Art & Nature Center.'" To read more, click here.

Desert Southwest:

--KSNV is reporting that, "The Bureau of Land Management announced on Thursday that a new $41 million investment from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will go toward ecosystem restoration. Part of that funding will go toward the Lost Creek boardwalk in Red Rock Canyon." To read more, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

--KSL is reporting that, "A man who was critically injured after he skied off a cliff Monday in backcountry terrain near Snowbasin Resort has died. The resort's ski patrol responded to a report of an unresponsive guest and, upon investigation, discovered the skier had left resort boundaries to access out-of-bound terrain, a statement from Snowbasin Resort says. While in the 'extreme' backcountry terrain, the skier had an accident and re-entered resort boundaries, Snowbasin said." To read more, click here.

--Aspen Times is reporting that, "A backcountry skier was caught, buried, and killed in an avalanche near Crested Butte on Saturday, Feb. 10, according to a preliminary report from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center." To read more, click here.

--SnowBrains is reporting that, "a solo skier was caught, carried, partially buried, and injured in an avalanche in Little Cottonwood Canyon on Sunday, February 11, that threw him 1,500 feet over cliffs in terrain that would almost certainly be dubbed as ‘unsurvivable’. Another ski tourer in a nearby party put himself in harm’s way to go rescue the injured skier, where then a rescue helicopter was dispatched." To read more, click here.

--Ski is reporting that, "Whether you know it or not, when you purchase a season pass or a lift ticket at a ski resort in the United States, you’re entering into a legal contract that essentially releases the ski area from responsibility in all but the most negligent of accidents. A case heading to Colorado’s highest court next week will attempt to hold one of the state’s resorts liable for what it says was a very preventable outcome that left a teenager paralyzed from the waist down." To read more, click here.

--A parcel of private land was recently sold to a private land trust on the edge of Zion National Park, making the Park bigger. Read more.

--SnowBrains is reporting that, "Snowboarder Jake Canter, 20, has been suspended by the U.S. National Team after being arrested on domestic abuse charges. The arrest happened last month during the Winter X Games held in Aspen, Colorado." To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--Adirondack Explorer is reporting on an individual that died of cardiac arrest: "Well-regarded ice climber Jay W. Harrison of Thurman, dubbed the “mayor of Crane Mountain,” died earlier this month in the area of the Warren County peak, which he conquered numerous times." To read more, click here.

--A speed climber forgot to clip into his autobelay and took a fifty-foot fall. The climber is expected to make a full recovery. Read more.

--Candide Thovex dropped this insanity the other day:

--Footwear News is reporting that, "VF Corporation on Tuesday announced that it would carry out a “strategic review” of its brand portfolio, following another disappointing quarter for the shoe and apparel company. Now insiders are speculating that Timberland could be a likely contender for divestiture." To read more, click here.

--The Daily is reporting that, "in Q4 of 2023, sales of the Sorel brand declined 19% to $116 million. Columbia Sportswear Co. CEO Tim Boyle said shifting consumer trends coupled with weather impacted demand and led to the weak sell through." To read more, click here.

--Outdoor Sportswire is reporting that, "the Winter Sports Sustainability Network (WSN), managed by Peak 63 and the Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry (FESI), in collaboration with Snowsports Industries America (SIA) are proud to announce the establishment of a transformative Climate Pact, bringing together prominent ski, snowboard, binding, and boot brands from Europe and the United States in a unified commitment to accelerate climate action within the winter sports industry." To read more, click here.

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 2/8/24


--AAI Guide Eli Spitulnik has created a new variation on two lines on Colfax Peak on Mt. Baker. His line is a combination of Kimchi Suicide Volcano and the Polish Route. The new line goes at WI4+/M5. To see an instagram post about the adventure, click here. Another report can be found, here.

The Dorado Needle in North Cascades National Park.

--Yahoo is reporting that, "Backcountry permit fees are changing at North Cascades National Park this year. Park officials announced in a news release Monday that backcountry camping permits will go from a per permit fee to a per person fee, and that the price is going down. Beginning in March, summer season backcountry permits will cost $10 per person plus a $6 permit fee. Previously, the permits cost $20 apiece." To read more, click here.

--Ski is reporting on a new potential ski resort in British Columbia: "A proposal for a brand-new ski resort outside of Vancouver is the latest one to catch skiers’ attention. The Spuzzum First Nation people announced plans last week to build an 815-skiable-acre resort with a 2,300-foot vertical drop and 11 lifts at full buildout. The South Anderson Resort would have a four-season base village with around 12,000 beds in hotels, condos, houses, an RV park, dining, retail, and 1,200 units of employee housing. The Spuzzum people hope to build and operate the resort to provide career opportunities for its members, and that’s primarily what sets it apart." To read more, click here.


--Here's a report and video from an avalanche near Truckee. 

Desert Southwest:

--SnowBrains is reporting that, "Lee Canyon Ski Area, just outside Las Vegas, Nevada, will remain closed on Tuesday and potentially Wednesday following an inbounds avalanche on Monday afternoon. Initial fears were that four people were missing, but fortunately, the swift action of Lee Canyon’s ski patrol and mountain operations teams ensured all individuals were quickly located and accounted for. One person needed assistance. That person, who was skiing with another person, was released after being treated at the scene." To read more, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

--The Colorado Sun is reporting that, "52-year-old Miami man died Thursday after a “serious incident” on an intermediate trail at Breckenridge Ski Resort. Ski patrol found the man on the resort’s Peak 8 and brought him to a first aid room, resort spokeswoman Sara Lococo said." To read more, click here.

--SnowBrains is reporting that, "after 27 years of ownership, Dream Unlimited Corp. has announced that it will sell Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, Colorado, to Alterra Mountain Company. The deal is expected to close later in 2024, adding Arapahoe Basin to Alterra’s portfolio of destinations in Colorado." To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--Alaska's News Source is reporting that, "a European man heli-skiing in the Chugach Mountains has died from his injuries after being pushed into a band of rocks." To read more, click here.

--SnowBrains is reporting that, "On Sunday afternoon, February 4, Grand Teton National Park (GTNP), Wyoming, rangers requested helicopter assistance from Teton County Search & Rescue (TCSAR) to respond to an injured skier on Prospectors Mountain inside the park. The skier, a 29-year-old local woman, along with four men, were near the top of the Banana Couloir at 10,800 feet when they triggered and were caught by an avalanche. Three in the group were able to self-arrest, while one of the men was carried 500 feet, and the woman was carried by the snow slide approximately 1,500 vertical feet. Neither skier was fully buried; however, the woman sustained serious injuries." To read more, click here.

--So this crazy thing as skied this week at Jackson Hole:

--Gripped is reporting that, "the Ice Climbing World Championships will be held in Edmonton, Alberta, from Feb. 16 to 18, 2024. The event will take place in the city’s downtown close to the Edmonton Oilers hockey arena." To read more, click here.

--RV Pro is reporting that, "The new KOA AI Chatbot is designed to meet and exceed the rapidly evolving expectations of today’s campers and travelers, it said. According to the company’s June KOA Monthly Report, 32% of campers report already using AI for trip planning, with an additional 22% planning to utilize it in the future. In alignment with these trends, KOA’s robust AI Chatbot uses years of camping content, location information and data to be the industry’s most intuitive holistic camping technology." To read more, click here.

--And speaking of RVs. It might be a good time to buy one as RV sales "normalize." 

Thursday, February 1, 2024

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 2/1/24


--SnowBrains is reporting that, "The helicopter crash from Monday, January 22, 2024, in British Columbia has claimed a fourth victim, as one of the four injured succumbed to his injuries. The fourth victim was identified as 35-year-old Lewis Ainsworth from New Zealand. Ainsworth was an experienced heli-ski guide and President of the New Zealand Mountain Guides Association and accredited by the International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations. Ainsworth is survived by his partner, his 10-year-old daughter, and his parents. In a statement, Ainsworth’s family said they were heartbroken by his death. The family thanked those who had been involved in the search and rescue operation and Ainsworth’s medical care over the past week." To read more, click here.

--SnowBrains is reporting that, "On Sunday, January 28, two inbounds avalanches were triggered at Washington state ski resorts. One at Mission Ridge and the other at Stevens Pass." More info can be found, here.


--A knife-wielding man was shot and killed by a police officer after a car chase at Palisades Tahoe last week. To read more, click here.

--A missing woman wasn't actually missing. She had been directed to download on a gondola at Heavenly, only for them to turn off the service. She spent 15-hours in the gondola, while she was reported missing to the Sheriff's department. To read about it, click here.

Desert Southwest:

--Fox 11 is reporting that, "Authorities discovered human skeletal remains near a hiking trail in Joshua Tree on Jan. 25. Park staff said they were led to the remains when park researchers found an unattended backpack along the trail near the Black Rock Area of the park." To read more, click here.

--Here's a disconcerting report coming out of Arizona: "Reports of deceased animals and strange wildlife behavior has Saguaro National Park concerned that rabies may be a possible cause. The park urges visitors who have physical contact with an animal to notify park staff and seek medical attention immediately.   Park staff recently discovered several deceased foxes and have received reports of abnormal animal behavior in foxes and racoons, as well as one reported incident of a bobcat biting a visitor. No carcasses have yet been recovered for testing to determine the cause of illness in these animals." To read more, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

--The Aspen Times is reporting that, "At 11:26 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 27, according to an Aspen Skiing Company press release, a 22-year-old female skier collided with a tree on the Exhibition run at Aspen Highlands." To read more, click here.

--Townlift is reporting that, "On Sunday, Jan. 28, three skiers approached Gobbler’s South Summit from the north. After reaching the summit and skiing down, one skier was caught, carried and partially buried by a 2-4 foot deep, hard slab avalanche that spanned 500 feet wide and 2,000 feet long. The skier involved in the avalanche is reported to be in okay condition following the incident." To read more, click here.

--KUTV is reporting that, "A satellite distress call from a canyoneering group in a remote slot canyon in Garfield County resulted in the Department of Public Safety Aero Bureau hoisting out two people. The call was made on Friday afternoon (1/19/24) to local emergency dispatch. After determining the importance of response time and difficulty, rather than deploying the Garfield County Sheriff's Office ropes rescue team, they called DPS for a hoist." To read more, click here.

--SnowBrains is reporting that, "back in August of last year, Deer Valley Resort announced a monumental expansion that will add 3,700 acres of terrain and 16 new lifts to its world-renowned, ski-only destination located in the Wasatch Mountains in Park City, Utah. This was part of acquiring and integrating the up-and-coming Mayflower Resort into its current operations. The complete project will unfold over the next three seasons, with a significant portion of the new lifts and trails set to open as early as the 2025/26 winter season." To read more, click here.

--Would a "fast pass" to lifts for those who use a bus to access ski resorts in Utah decrease vehicle traffic? One letter to the editor in the Salt Lake Tribune argues for this common sense move. To read the editorial, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--Gripped is reporting that, "32-year-old man died after a backcountry skiing accident on the north face of Mount Temple near Lake Louise in Banff National Park. According to the RCMP, the man was from Saskatchewan and in a group of three." To read more, click here.

--Footwear News is reporting that, "REI is the latest company to announce significant workforce reductions this year. CEO Eric Artz notified employees in a Jan. 25 letter that the outdoor retailer would lay off 357 people across its organization, including 200 corporate employees at its Sumner, Wash. headquarters and 121 in its distribution centers." To read more, click here.

--USA Climbing is opening a training center in Salt Lake City. Local climbing gyms where competitions and training for the organization has historically taken place, are not pleased. To be clear, the article actually says that they are "pissed." To read more, click here.

--Gripped is reporting that ice climbers appear to be falling more throughout North America, and that this is leading to more rescues. Read about it, here.

--The Daily is reporting that, "Outdoor products company Yeti announced Wednesday that it has acquired emerging pack brand Mystery Ranch. Terms of the deal were not disclosed." To read more, click here.

Upcoming American Alpine Institute Programs:

Climbing in Red Rock Canyon
Mountaineering in Ecuador
Alpine Mountaineering and Technical Leadership