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Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 1/28/10

Posted Jan 28 2010 6:00am

The SPOT Locator Device is a common Personal Locator Beacon

--The move by Washington's legislature to require all backcountry users above a certain altitude to wear Personal Locator Beacons is being met with resistance. To read why the Search and Rescue community opposes this, click here. To see and sign a petition against such a rule, click here.

--Canada's Whistler Blackcomb resort, site of several alpine-ski events during next month's Winter Olympics, will be on the auction block during the Games. Lenders plan to auction their stake in British Columbia-based resort company Intrawest, Whistler Blackcomb's owner, during the Vancouver Games. To read more, click here.


--A backcountry skier has gone missing in the Eastern Sierra near Slide Mountain. Little is currently known about the search effort. To read more, click here.

--Eight feet of new snow at Mammoth Mountain is a boon to skiers, but despite the heavy snowfall, the snowpack at Mammoth Pass remains below normal for this time of year. According to the latest numbers from the LADWP, as of Friday the snowpack at Mammoth Pass was listed at 19.3” of water. This is 80% of normal to date for Mammoth. To read more, click here. has a very interesting round-up of all the rockfall incidents in Yosemite this year. Major incidents took place throughout the year. To read more, click here.

Desert Southwest:

--A small plane crashed into a remote part of the Joshua Tree National Park while on its way to Palm Springs Airport on Monday, January 18, 2010. The Cessna 172 aircraft took off around 7:30 a.m., and crashed about 10 miles northeast of Palm Springs. Both of the men on board survived the accident. To read more, click here.

--Late in 2008, Tim DeChristopher made false bids for 14 parcels near Arches and Canyonlands national parks as an act of civil disobedience aimed at fighting global warming and preserving some of the most scenic land in the country. He is currently on trial for two felonies and syas that the prosecution has been "discriminatory" when it chose to charge him even though many others have placed oil and gas lease bids and failed to pay without facing prosecution. To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

The Vinson Massif
Photo by Guy Cotter

--A 17-year-old boy from Utah has reportedly become the youngest person to climb the highest mountains on each of the seven continents, after reaching the peak of Antarctica's Mount Vinson last week. Johnny Collinson began his quest on Jan. 19, 2009, on the summit of Argentina's Aconcagua, completing the feat on the same day just one year later. To read more, click here.

--A good rock can be hard to find these days. That is, a rock with great grooves and cracks, open to the public and good for climbing. But the Carolina Climbers Coalition, a volunteer-driven nonprofit dedicated to preserving natural areas and access to climbing areas in North and South Carolina, recently purchased a pretty good chunk. Anthony Love, president of the CCC and a geologist at Appalachian State University in Boone, said the group has just purchased the West Side Boulders at Rumbling Bald, a 6.1-acre parcel containing a jumble of boulders, from 5-40 feet high, in Hickory Nut Gorge immediately north of Lake Lure. To read more, click here.

--Four Japanese climbers made the first ascent of the west face of Nemjung (23,425') in October. It appears that this significant ascent was only the second ascent on the mountain. To read more, click here.

--An Arkansas rock climber recently made the news in an unflattering way. Apparently the climber broke his ankle after suffering a fall on private property where no climbing is permitted. To read more, click here.

--An ice climber in Colorado was injured when he fell off of The Shroud at Officer's Gulch this week. The extent of the injuries are not currently known. To read more, click here.
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