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Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 12/3/09

Posted Dec 03 2009 6:00am

--A hiker on Monday discovered what appeared to be a human skull on the side of a steep hill near Sandy, Oregon. A 1960s-era pickup was discovered crashed about 40 feet uphill from where the skull was found. To read more, click here.

--Next Friday, the American Alpine Institute will sponsor an event to benefit the purchase of Index. The International Mountain Day event will be held in Bellingham at the YMCA and at New York Pizza. To read more about the event, click here.


--It appears that an 18-year old climber/boulderer from San Francisco is missing. The following was posted on and on this week:

My son is missing since last Friday 11/27 evening. I actually have no idea where he went but he took all his bouldering climbing gear (pad, shoes, chalk) and some camping gear (sleeping bag and pad) so he might be around any climbing/bouldering area within a few hours of driving from San Francisco Bay Area where he lives and was seen the last time. He especially likes Bishop.

Maybe some of you or your friends were in Bishop last weekend and met him? His name is Artem, 18 years old, skinny, 5'10" tall, pretty good climber and boulder, driving dark blue Infiniti G20 license plate 5LLB914. Here is one of his recent pictures

If you saw him or his car please PM or call me 415-505-1684.

Thank you,

--Stephen Wampler is getting ready to climb a mountain. Wampler, who has used a wheelchair for mobility since birth, is about to do something that no one with Cerebral Palsy has ever done before. He will scale the sheer granite face of Yosemite National Park's legendary peak, El Capitan, noted for more than a century for the challenge it presents even to climbers without disabilities. Steve's training, preparation, and custom-designed equipment will all be tested in September of 2010. To read more, click here.

Desert Southwest:

--New Mexico State Police resumed the search Tuesday for a missing 67-year-old El Paso man who never returned from a hike at Emory Pass on Saturday. Robert Sumrall left El Paso early Saturday morning for a day hike in the mountains, where had gone many times before, said his wife Jan. He did not return home at the appointed time. To read more, click here.

Zion National Park

--A woman fell to her death while hiking Friday in Zion National Park, police said. Tammy Grunig, 50, who lives in Pocatello, Idaho, and St. George, was on Angels Landing when she fell, according to a news release from the Washington County Sheriff's Office. To read more, click here.

--The body of a Utah spelunker will be left in a cave after officials determined it was too dangerous to retrieve it. John Jones, 26, of Stansbury Park, Utah, died Wednesday in the Nutty Putty Cave, a recreational area on the west side of Lake Utah, after rescuers were unable to reach him in an inaccessible 18-inch by 10-inch L-shaped "pinch point," The Deseret News of Salt Lake City reported Sunday. To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--Chinese climbers Zhou Peng and Yan Dongdong completed a new route up the south face of Siguniang (20,505') in the Qonglai mountains of China on November 27th. They say the third time's the charm, but for the Chinese it was the fourth time before they completed The Free Spirits (VI M4 AI3). To read more, click here.

--Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort has revoked a woman's season pass for publicly criticizing the ski area's new operating schedule. Other ski areas in Colorado see the move as unprecedented and even strange. To read more, click here.

--The UIAA has recently introduced a search engine on their website that identifies all gear that has had safety or recall issues. To see the search engine, click here.

--Cardoc Jones and Skip Novak recently complted the first known ascent of Mt. Ashley (3,756'), the tallest peak on the northwestern side of the Antarctic island of South Georgia. Though the mountain is easily accessible, it has received little attention because it is not in one of the greater ranges of the island. To read more, click here.

-- For years, Lia Grippo has taught outdoor activities to preschoolers, coaching them on the safest tree branches to climb and the sturdiest footholds on hills. So for Grippo, a steep slope at a Santa Barbara beach was a natural challenge for several young children in her care, including her two sons. In a photo posted on the Los Angeles Times website, Grippo appears to be barefoot on an exposed fourth to low fifth-class slab. This is the slope where she took the children. To read more, click here.
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