Thursday, March 28, 2024

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


--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.


--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.

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 3/21/24


--The Clackamus County Sheriff is reporting that, "On Saturday, March 16, 2024, the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office managed a multi-team search and rescue mission after a climber fell near the summit of Mt. Hood. At approximately 4 p.m. Saturday, a 43-year-old woman was descending the popular South Side route on Mt. Hood when she was struck by falling ice and fell. She sustained injuries that left her unable to move." To read more, click here.

--The Columbian is reporting that, "The Washington Region 4 Technical Rescue Team saved a rock climber who fell off a rock wall and suffered a traumatic hip injury Thursday at Beacon Rock State Park, according to the Vancouver Fire Department. 'This was a really tough one. This was a once in a career rescue effort. This is why we spend hundreds of hours training for an event like this. Everyone worked well together and performed professionally and proficiently,' Vancouver Fire said in a statement. To read more, click here.

--SnowBrains is reporting that, "on Sunday, March, 17, an avalanche forecaster triggered a destructive wet slab avalanche near Dollarhide Summit in the Smoky Mountains of Idaho by throwing a snowball at a slope. It ran 1,400′ to the valley below. A forecaster discussion on the Sawtooth Avalanche Center’s website shared information about the current wet slab avalanche cycle running in both the Smokey Mountains and Sawtooth Range of Idaho." To read more, click here.

The Stawamus Chief in Squamish

--The Klahanie Campground across from Shannon Falls in Squamish is for sale. Unfortunately, it is likely that this nice little campground will become condos or a hotel. Read more.

--Dogs have to be leashed this year in Skaha.

--Cascadia Daily News is reporting that, "The Golden West Visitor Center in Stehekin, a small community known for its remote location within North Cascades National Park, will remain closed this summer due to staffing and funding shortages, the National Park Service announced on Tuesday, March 19." To read more, click here.


--2 News Nevada is reporting that, "A skier had to be rescued last week after skiing out of bounds on the back side of Mt. Rose Ski Resort. The skier left the resort through the Manzanita Bowl gate and had failed to turn back toward the resort before skiing past what the Washoe County Sheriff's Office Hasty Team described as the "point of no return" in a post to their Facebook page." To read more, click here.

--The Sierra Sun is reporting that, "The Placer County Sheriff’s Office describes a recent rescue by Tahoe Nordic as challenging. Windy conditions and nightfall met the team as they searched for an out-of-bounds skier." To read more, click here.

--California National Parks top the list for air polution issues. Read more.

Colorado and Utah:

--CBS News Colorado is reporting that, "a skier died after hitting a tree at Keystone Ski Resort on Thursday. The Summit County Sheriff's Office said the incident occurred on the Flying Dutchman Trail on Dercum Mountain about 9:45 a.m. March 14." To read more, click here.

--Moab's Castleton Campground is now closed indefinitely. To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--Outside and many other outlets are reporting that, "pioneering mountaineer, climate advocate, and adventure filmmaker David Breashears was found deceased on Thursday, March 14 at his home in Massachusetts. He was 68 years old." To read more, click here.

--Outside was pretty cheeky about an actor's abuse of a National Park: "On Thursday March 14, a district judge in Wyoming named Stephanie A. Hambrick presided over the court case of Irish movie star Pierce Brosnan—yes, he of James Bond fame. Brosnan, 70, was accused of breaking sacrosanct rules of decorum in Yellowstone National Park during his visit there on November 1. The Park Service said that Brosnan hiked off a marked pathway while visiting the Mammoth Terraces hot springs and then snapped a selfie in front of the natural wonder—despite the presence of signs saying to stay on the trail. The authorities found out about the offense because, of course, Brosnan uploaded a cool mid-crime photo to Instagram. Yes, according to the National Park Service, 007 himself acted like a bonafide Touron of Yellowstone." To read more, click here.

American Alpine Institute News - We're Moving April 15th!

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 3/14/24


--560 KPQ is reporting that, "A Leavenworth resident and forecaster for the Northwest Avalanche Center (NWAC) is dead after a climbing accident along Icicle Road late last week. Forty-year-old Matt Primomo was reportedly scaling Icicle Buttress about six miles outside Leavenworth when he suffered a fatal fall at around 8:30 p.m. on Thursday." To read more, click here.

--Out There Colorado is reporting that, "a recent skier death that took place in the Canadian Province of British Columbia involved a hazard that all slopesport enthusiasts should be aware of – a tree well. According to a report from CBC, a 76-year-old man died after falling into a tree well at Red Mountain Resort on March 5. The skier was found buried in deep snow by another resort skier, rescued by members of the resort's volunteer ski patrol, but ultimately dying shortly after the incident at a local hospital." To read more, click here.

--Gripped is reporting on an avalanche survival story: "search and rescue specialists say that a woman was buried for 20 minutes before being rescued in the North Shore mountains north of Vancouver. According to the North Shore Rescue (NSR) Facebook page, she was snowshoeing with a partner near Pump Peak on Mount Seymour when the avalanche struck and buried both of them." To read more, click here.

--The beloved Seattle mountaineering store, Pro Mountain Sports, is closing.

Desert Southwest:

--The Nevada Globe is reporting that, "A dramatic rescue unfolded Friday afternoon in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area after a climber became lost and sustained critical injuries. According to Las Vegas Fire & Rescue (LVFR), their Technical Rescue Team was called to the scene after reports of a stranded climber on the White Rock Trail within the Red Rock Loop." In the photo attached to the article, it looks like the rescuer is rappelling down Tunnel Vision (5.7, III). To read more, click here.

Colorado and Utah:

--The Denver Gazette is reporting that, "Two rock climbers were rescued in Eldorado Canyon State Park south of Boulder on Saturday evening after becoming stuck. Boulder County rescue crews were called just before 8 p.m. by two climbers who were stuck on the top pitch of the T-2 climb located on Tower Two of the Redgarden Wall." To read more, click here.

--REI is adding a new store to Loveland.

--Townlift is reporting that, "Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: MTN) released its second quarter of fiscal 2024 results on Monday. The report highlighted the company’s resilience amid unfavorable conditions, with a net income increase for the quarter to $219.3 million from $208.7 million year-over-year. Vail Resorts reports a 9.7% drop in season-to-date skier visits. The company saw a 2.6% increase in lift revenue and a 5.5% increase in ski school revenue." To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--SnowBrains is reporting that, "A 19-year-old backcountry skier was killed in an avalanche in Spray Valley Provincial Park, Alberta, on Sunday, March 10. Two skiers were on a ridge crest on The Tower. Skier 1 entered the slope and skied about 300 feet (100 meters) before Skier 2 entered and triggered the slide. Skier 2 managed to grab onto a tree and escape burial. Unfortunately, Skier 1, wearing an airbag but didn’t manage to inflate it, was caught by the avalanche and buried under six feet of snow." To read more, click here.

--A 20-year-old backcountry skier died in a fall on Mt. Washington in New Hampshire on Saturday. To read more, click here.

--Gripped is reporting that, "Polish climbers Marcin Tomaszewski and Pawel Haldas have made the first ascent of Cold Wars, a 19-pitch 980-metre mixed route up the south face of Moose’s Tooth in Alaska. It climbs 250 metres of approach slopes and 730 metres up to M5 A3." To read more, click here.

Upcoming American Alpine Institute Programs and News:

Thursday, March 7, 2024

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 3/7/24

Video Reminder:

There were two tree well deaths this week in the mountains. As such, we thought it might be a good idea to revisit this video:


--An off-duty firefighter died while snowboarding in a tree well on Friday near Mt. Baker Ski Area. Read more.

--A Seattle-based woman launched a business that provides bus trips to popular ski mountains. To read about it, click here.

--GoSkagit is reporting that, "Washington’s National Park Fund announced last week that it will award North Cascades National Park about $162,000 in grant funding for an array of park projects." To read more, click here.

--The National Parks Traveler is responding to the cutting of rangers in Stehekin: "A petition with nearly 800 signatures from across the country has been sent to Interior Secretary Deb Haaland asking that she direct the National Park Service to staff a remote outpost in North Cascades National Park Complex in Washington state. The petition, driven by the North Cascades Conservation Council and joined by a coalition of environmental and outdoors groups, carries with it more than 400 personal testimonials of community members from Stehekin who want rangers based there this summer." To read more, click here.

Desert Southwest:

--Alex Honnold, Las Vegas resident and most famous climber alive, has had another child with his wife Sanni McCandless. Read more, here.

Colorado and Utah:

--Gripped is reporting that, "American climber Kai Lightner has made the first ascent of Death of Villains 5.15a in the Hurricave, Utah. In November, he repeated Life of Villains 5.14d at the same crag. Lightner’s first 5.14c was Southern Smoke at age 13 and he climbed his first 5.14d with Era Vella a decade ago." To read more, click here. NOTE: AAI partner's with Kai's organization Climbing 4 Change to provide BIPOC scholarships.

Notes from All Over:

--Buckrail is reporting that, "A local man died in a skiing accident at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort (JHMR) on Friday, March 1, according to the resort. According to a statement from JHMR, a 67-year-old Jackson man was skiing through the North Woods between Rendezvous Trail and The Hobacks when he became separated from his group. The skier was part of a locals group with the JHMR Mountain Sports School." To read more, click here.

--Epic Passes for next winter are already on sale.

--Idaho Capitol Sun is reporting that, "a $40 million private donation will go toward building at least 70 new modular housing units for employees at Yellowstone National Park, the National Park Service announced Thursday. Yellowstone National Park officials said work on the units would begin later this year and that the extra money will help speed up the process of constructing more employee housing at the nation’s oldest national park, which saw its second-busiest season ever last year." To read more, click here.

Upcoming American Alpine Institute Programs:

Climbing in Red Rock Canyon
Mountaineering in Ecuador
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