Author: Jason Martin

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad – 2/15/18

Northwest:

–A climber on Mt. Hood suffered a 100-foot fall on Tuesday. Nearby parties performed CPR on the climber, but he was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital after being airlifted off the peak. To read more, click here.

–A new three-pitch WI 3 climb was completed in Squamish last week. Check it out!

Sierra:

–The iconic rock climber, Jim Bridwell, has passed away. There have been reports for weeks about “The Bird’s” deteriorating condition. News of his death on Monday is just starting to trickle onto the internet. We will link profiles about his life to our news blog next week.

–Squaw Valley has installed batteries developed by Tesla to decrease it’s greenhouse gas output. To read more, click here.

Desert Southwest:

–The Mercury News and many others are reporting that, “Three people died and four were rushed to a Nevada hospital with life-threatening injuries after a tour helicopter crashed into a section of the Grand Canyon on Saturday evening. The incident occurred around 5:20 p.m. on the land of the Hualapai Nation near Quartermaster Canyon, Hualapai Nation Police Chief Francis Bradley told the Associated Press.” To read more, click here.

–The Desert Sun is reporting that, “The California desert is the latest target of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s campaign to promote resource extraction on public lands across the West. Zinke’s Interior Department said this week it would allow mining on 1.3 million acres, or more than 2,000 square miles, across the California desert, reversing an Obama-era effort to protect those lands. Vast swaths of Utah’s Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments were similarly opened to mining this month, following President Trump’s decision to dramatically reduce the size of those monuments.” To read more, click here.

–The annual Red Rock Rendezvous is slated to take place in Las Vegas from March 16-19, 2018. This is one of the biggest climbing festivals in the country…and one of the most fun. The American Alpine Institute works with Mountain Gear to put on the festival every year and many AAI guides will be on hand for both instruction, as well as for hanging out at the evening parties. You might also consider booking a guide before or after the program, or even participating in an additional climbing class. To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

–Wisconsin’s Journal Sentinel is reporting that, “Authorities have identified the 37-year-old Waukesha man who died as the result of a skiing accident on Saturday, Feb. 3, in Dane County. Jonathan Allen was skiing at the Tyrol Basin Ski and Snowboard Area north of Mt. Horeb when he struck a tree ‘at a high rate of speed,’ according to a Monday morning news release issued by the Dane County Sheriff’s Department.” To read more, click here.

–Outside magazine has some ideas about Leave No Trace. This series of ethics could use some updating to deal with a few 21st century LNT problems. To read more, click here.

–The Salt Lake Tribune is reporting that, “President Donald Trump’s spending plan proposes an $18 billion fund to help rebuild national parks and wildlife refuges and boost the Native American education system but also would deliver a severe cut to the Interior Department’s overall budget and add new authority to sell off some public lands.” To read more, click here.

–Ponzi schemes are not just a New York phenomenon. Ariel Quiros, the owner of Vermont’s Jay Peak Ski Resort, built such a scheme by swindling money out of foreign investors through a program meant to provide them US residence for making investments in the United States. To read more, click here.

–And finally, the organizers of the Olympics won’t let skiing robots enter the events…yet. So, a few engineers decided to run their own robot ski Olympics. Check it out, below:

No Shortcuts – Ski Training Video

It takes a tremendous amount of dedication to become one of the top big mountain skiers in the world. Pro skier Dane Tudor is at the top of his game. The following video shows what it takes to get there… I think that there’s something to be said abou…

Avalanche Problems Explained

The National Avalanche Center has put together an excellent educational resource on how to read an avalanche forecast. This is a really good video and even if you feel well-versed in avalanche education, it’s worth the five minutes it will take to watc…

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad – 2/8/18

Northwest:

–Jim Herrington will be in Bellingham on Friday (February 9, 7pm) at Village Books presenting on his new book, The ClimbersThe Climbers is a photo essay of some of the most well-known climbers in the world. But it is not about those who are trendsetters today, but instead about the aged mountaineers who made first ascents throughout the world in the last century. The Climbers won the Grand Prize at the Banff Mountain Book Awards. To read more, click here.

–The Seattle Times is reporting that, “The National Park Service has chosen Palmer “Chip” Jenkins, Jr., to be the next superintendent at Mount Rainier National Park. The park service says Jenkins will start in his new role in mid-March, replacing Randy King who retired in January.” To read more, click here.

–It’s not a good idea to ski in an area being controlled for avalanches. The Revelstoke Mountaineer in Canada writes that, “Skiers and snowboarders who head into the Rogers Pass backcountry without complying with the Winter Permit System aren’t just jeopardizing access to one of North America’s most iconic ski touring areas, but an avalanche control program that’s protecting the lives of thousands of people every day.” To read more, click here.

Sierra:

–Gripped is reporting that, “Sender Films has announced that The Dawn Wall movie will premiere at the South by Southwest Festival this year. There will be a full theatrical release later in the season.” To read more, click here.

Desert Southwest:

–A climber was injured in Red Rock Canyon’s Ice Box Canyon over the weekend. There is limited information about the situation. To read more, click here.

–Alex Honnold lives in Vegas…! And so do a ton of other high-end climbers. Check it out!

–The annual Red Rock Rendezvous is slated to take place in Las Vegas from March 16-19, 2018. This is one of the biggest climbing festivals in the country…and one of the most fun. The American Alpine Institute works with Mountain Gear to put on the festival every year and many AAI guides will be on hand for both instruction, as well as for hanging out at the evening parties. You might also consider booking a guide before or after the program, or even participating in an additional climbing class. To read more, click here.

–News Channel 3 is reporting that, “It has been years in the making, and finally, a new shuttle bus is in service at Joshua Tree National Park. Beginning Feb. 1, the RoadRunner shuttle will take visitors to several designated stops in and around the park. The shuttles will leave every two hours from the Joshua Tree and Oasis Visitor Centers.” To read more, click here.

Colorado:

–Westworld is reporting that, “According to a just-released final report from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC), 27-year-old Durango resident Abel Palmer did almost everything right on January 21, when he and a companion chose to partake in some backcountry skiing between Red Mountain Pass and the Town of Silverton, in an area known to locals as Sam’s Trees. But one small mistake, during which he accidentally entered an area he hadn’t planned to enter, led to him becoming the first person in Colorado to die in an avalanche during 2018.” To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

–Ted Johnson, the man behind the creation of Utah’s Snowbird resort, died last week. Johnson was hit by a drunk driver while he was crossing the street in a crosswalk. To read more, click here.

–A 74-year-old ice climber was killed in a fall in Montana on Sunday. Little is known about the nature of the accident. To read more, click here.

–Rock and Ice is reporting that, “The North Carolina climbing and conservation communities lost a giant when John Myers passed away February 3, due to ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease).” To read more, click here.

–Outside is reporting that the new leader of the national parks is bad news. “There’s a new acting director for the National Park Service, and he has an interesting past. Most notably, P. Daniel Smith made headlines for the time he helped the owner of the Washington Redskins cut down trees on federally owned, protected land to lend the billionaire a better view.” To read more, click here.

Denali’s name is contentious in Ohio. But who cares?
The mountain is not in Ohio…

–Though Native Americans, climbers and Alaskans all call Denali, Denali, and William McKinnley never even saw the mountain, there is still a push from some to change the official name back to Mt. McKinley. The Hill is reporting that, “GOP lawmakers from Ohio are pressing President Trump to uphold a promise to reverse former President Obama’s decision and rename the Alaskan mountain Denali to its old name, Mt. McKinley. In a letter to Trump, the 11 lawmakers say it was “disrespectful” for Obama to change the name of the mountain, which had been named after William McKinley, a former president from Ohio. The mountain was named after the 25th president in 1896.” To read more, click here.

–A production company is looking for a couple of female climbers to be stunt doubles for actresses. To read more, click here.

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad – 2/1/18

Northwest:

–Oregon Live is reporting that, “A Mount Hood ski patroller was seriously injured in an avalanche Wednesday afternoon while working in a closed area of the resort, authorities confirmed. The patroller, a member of Mt. Hood Meadows Pro Patrol, was one of three working in the area when the avalanche occurred, according to a resort spokesman. The unidentified patroller, who was partially buried, was taken to a hospital, the spokesman said.” To read more, click here.

–A group of backcountry skiers were caught in an avalanche in British Columbia’s Hollyburn Mountain on Saturday. They were able to self-rescue. To read more, click here.

Sierra:

–The NPS is reporting that, “today, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced that he has selected Michael T. (Mike) Reynolds to be the superintendent of Yosemite National Park in California. He also named Paul Daniel (Dan) Smith the National Park Service’s acting director, replacing Reynolds, who has exercised the authority of NPS director since January 3, 2017.” To read more, click here.

Desert Southwest:

Z 107.7 is reporting that, “After numerous citizen complaints and media pressure, the County said it is finally taking steps towards fulfilling its obligations on Section 6 in Joshua Tree. The 605-acre parcel, bisected by a dirt portion of Onaga Trail East of Quail Springs Road, has turned into an unregulated, wild-west ad hoc campground, climbing, off-road vehicle and open play area.” To read more, click here.


–The annual Red Rock Rendezvous is slated to take place in Las Vegas from March 16-19, 2018. This is one of the biggest climbing festivals in the country…and one of the most fun. The American Alpine Institute works with Mountain Gear to put on the festival every year and many AAI guides will be on hand for both instruction, as well as for hanging out at the evening parties. You might also consider booking a guide before or after the program, or even participating in an additional climbing class. To read more, click here.

–Somebody poached a pregnant elk in Zion National Park last week. To read more, click here.

Colorado:

–The Denver Post is reporting that, “Skiers and snowboarders notched yet another victory Monday as Telluride ski area joined the Epic Pass for the 2018-19 season, the first limited-access partner to take up with Vail Resorts as it squares off with Alterra Mountain Co. in a season-pass brawl.” To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

–A dramatic rescue took place in the Himalaya this week. Rock and Ice is reporting that, “Adam Bielecki and Denis Urubko blasted up Nanga Parbat during a frigid night to rescue the stranded Elisabeth Revol. Her partner Tomek Mackiewicz could not be saved.” To read more, click here.

–Alpinist magazine and many others are reporting that, “The legendary Himalayan historian Elizabeth Hawley died on January 26 at the age of 94 in Kathmandu, Nepal. Her remarkable life has had several distinctive chapters, but the mountaineering community will remember her most as the chronicler of Himalayan climbing.” To read more, click here.

–A skier died after hitting a tree at Big Sky Ski Resort in Montana. To read more, click here.

–A 20-year-old skier died in Park City this week after hitting a tree. To read more, click here.

Liz Daley guiding in Washington Pass.

–Outside is reporting that, Jones Snowboards is giving away $1,500 in cash to women who want to explore backcountry frontiers. They’re also kicking in a new Jones splitboard, skins, and backpack. The grant is offered in partnership with the American Alpine Club, and only women qualify. It honors Liz Daley, a snowboarder and mountain guide who died in a 2014 avalanche while descending 7,000-foot Cerro Vespignani, in Argentinian Patagonia. The Live Like Liz Award seeks to support women who share Daley’s passion for wilderness exploration.” Liz was an AAI Guide. To read more, click here.

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad – 1/25/18

Northwest:

–A 24-year-old snowboarder went missing on Sunday in the Mt. Baker Ski Area. Unfortunately, the search mission in steep cliffy area has been suspended due to blizzard conditions on the mountain. To read more, click here.

–Global News is reporting that, “the B.C. Coroners Service is investigating a death on Mount Washington after the Vancouver Island ski resort received record-breaking snowfall.” To read more, click here.

–The Seattle Times is reporting that, “Warren A. Miller, the pioneering snow-sports filmmaker whose infectious zeal for the “pure freedom” associated with skiing, snowboarding and other pursuits inspired multiple generations of adventure-seekers around the globe, died Wednesday at his home on Orcas Island. He was 93.” To read more, click here.

–Bellingham’s Blanchard Mountain has been protected from clearcutting. To read more about the bill that did this, click here.

Desert Southwest:

–The annual Red Rock Rendezvous is slated to take place in Las Vegas from March 16-19, 2018. This is one of the biggest climbing festivals in the country…and one of the most fun. The American Alpine Institute works with Mountain Gear to put on the festival every year and many AAI guides will be on hand for both instruction, as well as for hanging out at the evening parties. You might also consider booking a guide before or after the program, or even participating in an additional climbing class. To read more, click here.

–Alex Honnold was derided for posting pictures of the Women’s March in Las Vegas on Social Media. Critics said things like, “stick to climbing!” And several other, not-so-nice things. His response was excellent. To see it, click here.

Colorado:

–ABC News is reporting that, “a backcountry skier died in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado Sunday, marking the state’s first known avalanche fatality of the season, authorities said. The skier was ‘caught, killed while in an area known locally as Sam’s Trees in San Miguel County, Colorado, about 300 miles southwest of Aspen, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC).” To read more, click here.

–The Denver Post is reporting that, “A man visiting the Crystal River Valley got lost while backcountry skiing Saturday near Marble, spent the night in a snowstorm and skied out Sunday afternoon, according to Crested Butte Search and Rescue. ‘He rescued himself, basically,’ said Jeff Duke, vice president of Crested Butte Search and Rescue and one of its team leaders.” To read more, click here.

–The Winter Outdoor Retail Show is in Denver this week. This is a big deal because it’s the first show in Denver after the show pulled out from Salt Lake City. The show left Salt Lake because state politicians didn’t share the values of the show and supported things like the cutting of Bear’s Ears. It’s also a big deal because the show is combining with the Snow Sports Industries show. The Denver Post is reporting that, “If all goes as planned this week, the Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show will spark a political movement that establishes the industry as a major economic, cultural and political force.” To read more, click here.

–The Access Fund is hiring an Events and Outreach Manager. To see the job listing, click here.

–And finally, the Ouray Ice Festival was a huge success this year. To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

–A 19-year-old was killed after she hit a tree at Coffee Mill Ski Area in Minnesota on Saturday. To read more, click here.

–A skier died after another skier collided with him at Blue Mountain Resort in Pennsylvania. It appears that Grygoriy Sologub, 53, had fallen when another skier ran into him. To read more, click here.

–During the Government Shutdown, we were allowed to operate in many places that we weren’t during the last shutdown, and indeed, non-commercial climbers were too…but that may change if there’s another shutdown, due to idiots like the ones profiled in a Washington Post article. Tourists on a commercial snowmobile broke park rules by driving too close to Yellowstone National Park’s iconic Old Faithful geyser Sunday, park officials confirmed, at a time when most staff was furloughed during the partial government shutdown. In an interview Monday, park superintendent Dan Wenk said one of the concession operators who is authorized to conduct snowmobile tours through Yellowstone — and was allowed to continue doing so even as most park employees stopped work this weekend — violated park rules.” To read more, click here.

Here’s a #MeToo Guide for Outdoorsy Dudes who want to support outdoorsy women.

–The office of the Secretary of the Interior “went off” on the individuals who resigned from the National Parks System Advisory Council last week. To read more, click here.

–The New York Times has a great article this week on how climate change is affecting avalanches. To read more, click here.

–The Daily Mail in the UK is reporting on a climber who is being inundated with hate mail after leaving his dog to die in a storm. To read more, click here.

–The American Alpine Club has announced the winners of the Cutting Edge Grants. To read about the winners, click here.

–An all female team made a 62-day traverse of Antarctica. To read about it, click here.

Visitation in Rocky Mountain National Park – 2017

The American Alpine Institute just received the following email from Rocky Mountain National Park:

Rocky Mountain National Park received 4,437,214 visitors in 2017. This was down slightly, 1.8 percent, from the park’s highest annual visitation in 2016, which was 4,517,584 visitors. This continues to represent a 40 percent increase in visitation since 2012. 

Determining visitation is a difficult and imprecise effort. Visitation statistics are reliably accurate estimates and help park managers see overall trends. Weather, especially during May and October, can change annual visitation significantly. The top ten busiest days in 2017 in order from first to tenth were: July 3, September 3, July 2, September 30, July 1, July 15, July 22, July 23, August 4 and September 2.

Rocky Mountain National Park celebrated its Centennial in 2015 followed by the National Park Service Centennial in 2016. Additional factors of the rise in visitation at Rocky include an increased population along the Front Range of Colorado.

Park managers will continue to address what effect this level of visitation is having on visitor and staff safety, resource protection, visitor experiences and operational capacity. This past summer and early fall, park staff continued to restrict vehicle access in three specific areas, the Bear Lake Road corridor, the Wild Basin area and the Alpine Visitor Center, when parking areas filled and heavy congestion warranted. This occurred from late June through September of 2017. These actions will again take place in 2018. Park staff are continuing to address day use for the long term and will be engaging stakeholders and the public on this planning effort later this year. 

For more information about Rocky Mountain National Park please visit www.nps.gov/romo or call the park’s Information Office at (970) 586-1206.

–NPS—