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Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 12/8/11

Posted Dec 08 2011 9:00am

--On Saturday, December 1st, the American Alpine Institute ran it's third annual International Mountain Day Fundraiser.  Though all of the receipts are not yet in, it is clear that the company raised a signficant amount of money this year for the Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center .  Thanks to all of those who came to the event!

--Seattle-based Crest Pictures has recently completed a film about Northwest splitboard mountaineer Kyle Miller. FreeRider is a documentary chronicling Miller's passion for his sport, his great love of the wilderness and mountain scenery, his ski bum lifestyle, his triumphs and disappointments, his pain and his joys, and his unyielding dedication towards fulfilling his riding dreams.  Crest Pictures was extremely pleased to learn that their film is being shown at the International Free Ride Film Fest in France.  Crest is currently planning a number of screenings of the film.  To learn more, click here .

--The lawsuit that shook Search and Rescue organizations to the core after a Quebec woman died in the B.C. backcountry is one step closer to being settled this week. After more than 10 hours of mediation Monday, Gilles Blackburn, who got lost while skiing out of bounds with his wife Marie-Josée Fortin almost three years ago, settled his lawsuit with Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. To read more, click here .

--It is possible that the Ross Lake National Recreation Area will be going through a name change.  It sounds like the area could end up, the North Cascades National Recreation Area.  To read more, click here .

--A draft land and scenic river preservation proposal has been put forward by U.S. Representative Norm Dicks and Senator Patty Murray as an alternative to a similar plan by Quilcene-based Wild Olympics . The Path Forward on Olympic Watersheds Protection Proposal cuts nearly in half — to 20,000 acres — the amount of private land that Wild Olympics is proposing that could be purchased for additions to Olympic National Park. To read more, click here .


--The Yosemite Search and Rescue team recently sat down with Climbing magazine to discuss 42 big wall accidents over the last 11 years in Yosemite National Park.  The result is an excellent article on the most common dangers in the big wall environment.  To read more, click here .

--Bright lights and cameras have descended on Independence and other locations this week as a major film company arrived to work on a new movie.  Inyo Film Commissioner Chris Langley reported to the Inyo Board of Supervisors on current and recent film activity. However, Langley said he could not discuss any details on the current movie, The Internet Movie Database says the film is “Django Unchained, ”  a Quentin Tarantino film, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Foxx, Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson, Don Johnson, Kerry Washington and many others. To read more, click here .

Desert Southwest:

--More than ninety-thousand people have joined a popular campaign on asking the National Park Service to go ahead with plans to ban plastic water bottles in Grand Canyon National Park. Last year, the Grand Canyon National Park attempted to address its overflowing plastic bottle problem with a ban on sales of plastic water bottles within the park. Zion National Park, in Utah, had instituted a similar ban on bottles in 2008 which was met with great results and acclaim from environmentalists and NPS officials alike. The park service even gave Zion an environmental achievement award in 2009 for eliminating sixty-thousand plastic bottles from the park in its first year of the ban. To read more, click here .

--A Native American Indian tribe has revived plans to build a casino in the high desert, bringing the debate over off-reservation gaming to a location that is less than a mile from the entrance to Joshua Tree National Park. The Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians wants to build a small, 20,000-square-foot casino along a stretch of Highway 62 in the town center of Joshua Tree. The proposal — which the tribe has circulated to community leaders in recent months — is a scaled-back version of a long-stalled plan from the days before the recession. That plan described a large casino, hotel and RV park on reservation land in the neighboring town of Twentynine Palms.  To read more, click here .


--A six-man Norwegian Team recently established a new route on the incredibly clean granite of Nafees Cap, a 2,700-foot spire in Pakistan's Hushe Region. To read more, click here.

--In mid-November, speed climber Chad Kellogg and David Gottlieb blasted up the South Face of Nepal's Pangbuk Ri (22,034') in a mere fifty hour camp-to-camp push. To read more, click here .

Notes from All Over: 

--You know that the Christmas season is upon us when Santa practices rappelling at Chimney Rock State Park near Asheville, North Carolina. To read about this annual event, click here .

--Many climbers give back.  Some give in little ways, while others go big. Jordon Campbell is going big. To read more, click here .

--The government of Canada's Nova Scotia introduced new legislation on Tuesday that will make wearing ski helmets mandatory to curb head injuries on the slopes. The Department of Health and Wellness said the Snowsport Helmet Act will be the first legislation of its kind in the world. To read more, click here .

--Working with fitness expert Sam Murphy, Prof. Richard Wiseman polled over 6,000 people to find out which of 15 sports they thought would make a member of the opposite sex more attractive. Climbing topped the list for women with 57%, edging out extreme sports, soccer, and hiking. To read more, click here .
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