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Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 1/13/11

Posted Jan 13 2011 9:00am

The American Alpine Institute Booth at the Baker Beacon Rally
Photo by Andrew Yasso

--The American Alpine Institute was a key sponsor of the Baker Beacon Rally this year.  This event took place over the weekend at the Mount Baker Ski Area and introduced nearly 400 people to avalanche awareness.  The guides who worked the event however, were adamant that a short clinic is no replacement for a full avalanche course .  To read more, click here .

--The Pacific Crest Trail Association is looking for individuals who would like to assist with trail clearing on the PCT in the Snoqualmie Pass area after the snow melts.  To learn more, click here .

--From a more climber related perspective, there is a movement to get the Bachelor Creek Trail designated as a Class 1 wilderness trail.  This heavily overgrown path provides access to the Ptarmigan Traverse and the Dome Peak area.  To get this turned into a Class 1 trail, it is important to send a request to the forest manager.  A template has been designed and is available on .  To see the template and to learn more, click here .


--The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has come out with some more snow statistics. The mountain measurements show Mammoth Pass snowpack still even with the wettest years on record - that's 1982-1983. The statistics remain staggering with both snow and precipitation measurements double, triple even quadruple normal for this time of year.  To read more, click here .

Desert Southwest:

-- "Mountain Gear Presents: Red Rock Rendezvous" rock climbing festival for its eighth annual event, March 18-20, 2011. The festival takes place at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area near Las Vegas and will host athletes and American Alpine Institute guides teaching clinics and running courses. This year's event is limited to the first 1,000 registrants and early registration is recommended. To learn more, click here and here .

--A teenager charged with placing graffiti on ancient artwork in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area will be taken to federal court. Las Vegas police arrested a 17-year-old known by the nickname "Pee Wee" last month. Because of his age, Pee Wee was charged as a juvenile under the state's anti-graffiti law and his name was not released. At the time, federal authorities said he might be charged under the U.S. Archaeological Resources Protection Act, a felony that carries a penalty of up to $100,000 and five years in prison.  To read more, click here .

Alaska Range:

--In an audio update on his website Monday, Lonnie Dupre said he was making progress on his attempt to become the first person traveling solo to reach the summit of Denali in January. Dupre was flown from Talkeetna, Alaska, to the Kahiltna Glacier, the starting point for the climb, on Friday afternoon.  To read more, click here .

Notes from All Over:

--Three men died in the mountains of western Montana over the weekend, two on a ski hill and one in an avalanche, Flathead County officials said.   A Kalispell man died in a snowboarding accident Saturday at Whitefish Mountain Resort, where a 68-year-old skier also died of natural causes while skiing, and a snowmobiler was killed in an avalanche west of Hungry Horse Reservoir.  To read more, click here .

--After years of anticipation and direct advocacy by the Access Fund, the National Park Service has released an updated draft of its wilderness management policies in order to provide accountability, consistency, and continuity in its wilderness stewardship program. The update covers a wide range of topics including the long-waited-for provisions specific to climbing fixed anchors. Iconic climbing areas in the U.S.—including as Yosemite, Zion, Black Canyon, and Rocky Mountain national parks—would be governed by this new policy.  The proposed policy acknowledges that climbing is a legitimate and appropriate use of wilderness and that each park with significant wilderness climbing activities must prepare a climbing management plan. However, the policy calls for climbing to be restricted or prohibited if unacceptable impacts to wilderness resources or character occur.  To read more, click here .

--Congratulations to AAI Guide, Dawn Glanc!  Dawn won in the women's division at the Ouray Ice Festival and came in seventh place overall.  While Dawn didn't make it to the top of the route in the allotted time, she got higher than any other women.  The preceding video shows Dawn climbing the route. Josh Wharton took first place for the third year in a row.  To read more, click here and here and here .  Following is a video of Josh and his first place ascent

Josh Wharton Wins at Ouray Ice Competition from Rock & Ice on Vimeo .

And just to keep the Ouray Ice Fun going, here is a video of Sam Elias taking a huge, and what looks like a painful whipper, at the Ice Fest

Sam Elias takes huge fall during Ouray ice climbing competition. from Rock & Ice on Vimeo .

--Late last month, a team of Pacific Northwest Climbers made an ascent on a new route on the east Face of Patagonia's Agua Mermoz.  The team comprised of Mike Schaefer, Jens Holsten, and Colin Haley climbed their new line Jardines Japoneses (V 5.10 A1 AI4 M5) in a 26-hour push.  To read more, click here .

--British climber Joe Brown has been appointed the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) award. The 80 year-old climbing legend was the driving force behind the rise in rock climbing standards in the United Kingdom after the second World War.  To read more, click here and here .

--Late last year, the 62nd meeting of IKAR CISA was held in the Tatras mountains last fall gathering the mountain rescue corporations from all the European countries, USA and Japan. The goal of the meeting is to share and discuss techniques, equipment and experiences in order to improve efficiency and safety during rescue operations in the mountains.  To read more and to see a video about the event, please click here .

--In the Summer of 2009, Craig Luebben was killed in a tragic accident while climbing in the Cascades.   The guide was well-known and well-loved throughout both the climbing and guiding community.  As a testament to their love, Craig's friends, Cameron Cross and Bennett Scott, finished a guidebook that he was working on The Poudre Canyon.  All proceeds from the book will go to help pay for Craig's daughter to go to college.  To read more and to learn how to purchase the book, click here .

--A Delaware state senator and his two daughters were among those injured in the ski lift accident at Sugarloaf Mountain Ski Resort last month, The News Journal of Delaware has confirmed.  State Senator Michael Katz said that he and his two daughters are recovering from injuries sustained December 28th when the lift derailed and their chairs fell about 35 feet to the snow.  To read more, click here .

--From closing state parks to reducing the number of state firefighters, Jerry Brown's proposed budget contains significant changes to California's environment.  Picking up where former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger left off, Brown's budget calls for reducing the hours of some of California's 278 state parks and closing others entirely. The proposal would cut $11 million this year, and $22 million next year, from the state parks budget.  Brown has asked State Parks Director Ruth Coleman to submit a list by early February of the parks that will have reduced hours, or will be closed completely. To read more, click here.

Manufacturer Recalls and Equipment Issues:

This is a new section in our weekly news.  We have long felt that hitting a recall just once in a quick blog might not be enough to get the word out.  As a result, we will try to keep each recall up for a month.  Regular equipment problems that appear in forums or on other blogs will still only be hit upon once, but will be featured in this section.

--Backcountry Access (BCA), the North American manufacturer of avalanche safety equipment, has just announced a recall of its latest beacon, the Tracker2. BCA representatives say they have isolated certain issues that could cause a potential malfunction in the T2 units.  To read more, click here .

--The United States Consumer Products Safety Commission announced a voluntary recall of 3,500 Avalung backpacks due to a suffocation hazard.  The backpacks, imported from China by Black Diamond Equipment, include air intake tubing that can crack at cold temperatures.  To read more, click here .
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