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Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 1/14/10

Posted Jan 14 2010 6:00am
There's a lot of big news around the American Alpine Institute this week. AAI guide Dawn Glanc took third place in the 2010 Ouray Ice Festival. Congratulations Dawn! AAI guide Mary Harlan has just reported to us that she is expecting. Congratulations Mary! And our first Aconcagua trip of the season is up and running! Check out our dispatches here.


North American Grizzly Bear

--Wildlife officials from the United States and Canada want to gauge how climate change is affecting grizzly bears and hope to encourage conservation groups to purchase key parcels of bear habitat. Those are two of the major changes proposed Tuesday for future grizzly restoration efforts in the Northern Rockies and North Cascades. There are an estimated 1,500 endangered bears in the region's four states and two provinces. To read more, click here.


--The Sierra Nevada reached their present height 50 million years ago -- 30 million years earlier than geologists once believed, according to a new study. The research, part of a growing body of evidence that the Sierra Nevada are far older than once thought, has implications for understanding the evolution of the plants and animals in the West, as well as the likely climate of ancient North America. To read more, click here.

Desert Southwest:

--Congratulations to Joseph Pearson, Alex Alexaides, and Daniel Hoffman. This trio recently successfully completed their American Mountain Guides Association Single Pitch Instructor Certification Exam which was sponsored by the American Alpine Institute in Red Rock Canyon!

The West Face of Mount Everest
Photo by Guy Cotter

--The new film about the history of climbing Mount Everest made a splash at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. "The Wildest Dream" will be widely distributed in August. To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--The noted Italian alpinist Fabio Giacomelli died in an avalanche on New Year's Day at the base of Cerro Torre in Patagonia. The incident took place during the teams descent shortly after they finished rappelling a new route. To read more, click here.

--The bodies of five Russian climbers killed in an avalanche in the North Caucasus mountains have been recovered, officials said Saturday. Rescuers recovered the body Friday of Andrei Liukkonen, 40, of Moscow, the leader of the group, ITAR-Tass reported. Four more bodies were discovered Saturday. To read more, click here.

--A Jackson Hole ski patroller died Saturday from injuries sustained from an avalanche released during pre-opening control work at the Wyoming ski resort last week. Mark “Big Wally” Wolling, a Jackson Hole Mountain Resort (JHMR) employee since 1978 and a 20-year veteran of the resort's ski patrol, was conducting avalanche control efforts in the ski area's Cheyenne Bowl last Wednesday when he was swept over a cliff by the avalanche and buried in six feet of snow. To read more, click here.

--A 34-year-old man from Alma fell about 100 feet Tuesday afternoon while climbing The Fang, an ice formation in East Vail, the Vail Daily reported. It took rescue crews about 45 minutes to snowmobile and hike into the area where he had fallen and about 45 minutes more to get him out. To read more, click here.

--As stated in the introduction to this news report, AAI guide Dawn Glanc took third place in the 2010 Ouray Ice Festival. Following are the results of the competition from To read more, click here.

2010 Men's Results

1) Josh Wharton: TOP OUT (14:42)

2) Sam Elias: TOP OUT (19:58)

3) Will Mayo: 15.3 points

4) Bryan Gilmore: 15.2

5) Josh Worley: 15.1

6) Andres Marin: 14.5

7) Matt Giambrone: 14

8) Whit Magro: 11.7

9) Marcus Garcia: 10.5 (17:27)

10) Stephen Koch: 10.5 (18:37)

11) Mathieu Audibert: 10

12) Rob Cordery-Cotter: 9.1

13) Yuichi Enokido: 9

14) Gordon MacArthur: 5.9

15) Myung Chul Kim: 5

16) Pat Delaney: 4.9

2010 Women's Results

1) Ines Papert: 15

2) Audrey Gariepy: 11.5

3) Dawn Glanc: 9.5

4) Zoe Hart: 6

5) Majka Burhardt: 5

6) Mattie Sheafor: 1.8

7) Caroline George: 1.5

--The biggest difference between ice and rock climbing is that the quality of ice varies and can change quickly. That is something 37-year-old Gene Rawson, a professional climber from Butte, Mont., knows as someone who has enjoyed ice climbing for years. And a quick change in the ice on the Great White Icicle in Little Cottonwood Canyon led to his 300-foot fall and a subsequent dramatic rescue on New Year's Eve. To read more, click here.

--A new climbing grant has recently been established to celebrate the lives of Micah Dash and Jonny Copp. The pair was killed in an avalanche in China last year alone with filmmaker Wade Johnson. To read more, click here.

The musician Kenna recently summited Kilimanjaro with other celebrity climbers.

--Singer Kenna, who was among the team of celebrities to climb to the top of Africa’s highest peak for the Summit on the Summit Kilimanjaro campaign, has released a new song for free to add to his efforts at raising awareness about the global clean water crisis. The philanthropic star summated Mt. Kilimanjaro on January 12, along with actors Emile Hirsch, Jessica Biel, Isabel Lucas and rapper Lupe Fiasco among others, and now he’s encouraging fans to support the water mission by making his new song “Turn” available for free on his MySpace page.

--James Franco is strapping on his hiking boots to play a mountaineer in his next movie. The 31-year-old Pineapple Express actor is taking the lead in Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle's next project, 127 Hours, reports Variety. The movie is based on the true story of mountain climber Aron Ralston, who cut off his own arm to free himself after lying trapped under a rock for five days. To read more, click here.

--Ephemeral ice has been forming in the Scotland Highlands in recent weeks. Such ice has been calling climbers like Dave McLeod. To read about the painfully thin lines he's been ascending, click here.

--Albert Leichtfried and Benedikt Purner recently sent an extremely thin ice route in Austria that they believe is WI7+. At this grade it would be one of the hardest ice climbs in the world. To read more, click here.

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