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Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 12/9/10

Posted Dec 09 2010 9:00am

--This Saturday is International Mountain Day.  The American Alpine Institute will be offering a series of free rock rescue and avalanche awareness seminars.  To learn more, click here .

--A Marysville man who went missing during a weekend hike in eastern Snohomish County has been found dead. Jack LaMont, 54, was missing for two days before his body was found on Morning Start Peak.  It is not clear how he died. To read more, click here .

--The greatest threat to the busiest road in Mount Rainier National Park is the mountain itself.  Receding glaciers, loose rocks and boulders, glacial outbursts and debris flows could combine to cut off Nisqually-Paradise Road. Half the 1.2 million people who typically visit the park each year travel that roadway.  To read more, click here .

--Anyone interested in running a wilderness resort needs to look no further than Washington's rugged North Cascades, where the National Park Service is seeking bidders to manage a twenty-one room hotel/lodge, restaurant and general store in the remote community of Stehekin.  Stehekin is a remote collection of homes and summer cabins surrounded by mountain peaks. Perched at the north end of Lake Chelan, the area is reachable only by boat, floatplane or on foot.  To read more, click here .


--Park staff encountered a man speeding into the park though the exit side of the Ash Mountain entrance station in Sequoia National Park in Three Rivers around 2 p.m. on November 25th, Protection rangers responded and found the man near the Ash Mountain Visitor Center, where other park staff had encountered him a few minutes earlier. When they arrived, the man threw a pistol to the ground. Additional rangers arrived on scene within moments, and he was taken into custody without further incident. After further investigation, it was found that the man, a 42-year-old Sacramento resident, had discharged at least eight rounds in the vicinity of the visitor center while shouting about the end of the world and Armageddon.  To read more, click here .

Todd Skinner from the Todd Skinner Foundation

--In 2006, the climbing community lost a legend.  Todd Skinner was killed in a tragic rappelling accident in Yosemite.  Recently, the "climbing rap star" Odub , created a tribute song with singer songwriter Misty Murphy . To hear the song, check out the thread on it at .

--Weather forecasters, meteorologists and others have pointed to the La Nina effect in the Pacific Ocean and the likely impacts of colder than normal temperatures and below average snowfall. However, the eastern Sierra sits  in the middle of the different effects since higher than normal precipitation may hit the Pacific Northwest but not southern California. LADWP's website shows a pretty good start to Sierra winter snowpack. To read more, click here .

Desert Southwest:

An example of the vandalism in Red Rock from the Friends of Red Rock
--The Las Vegas Metro Police Department has identified one of the taggers believed responsible for graffiti that marred a collection of prehistoric artwork at the Red Rock Canyon . A warrant for the arrest of a 17-year-old known as "Pee Wee" was pending, said Detective Scott Black of the Las Vegas police Graffiti Investigations Detail. Because of his age, police could not release his name. To read more, click here .

--There's an area just outside of Las Vegas that could soon become a preservation site. Last week, the proposed Tulle Springs National Monument showcased one of its long-time residents.  A pre-historic mammoth tusk was revealed to community leaders during a push to recognize the valuable fossil beds.  The technical term we have for animals likes this is "big suckers." A brushing away of the soil revealed a giant mammoth tusk six to seven feet long.  To read more, click here .


--A team of  mountain rescuers have begun searching for a veteran Sherpa guide who has scaled Mount Everest 19 times and went missing last month, officials said Tuesday.  Laxman Bhattarai of Nepal's tourism ministry said the team of seven rescuers has already reached 23,380-foot Mount Baruntse and has begun to search on foot. To read more, click here .

--Kyle Dempster and Bruce Normand completed two new routes on Mt. Grosvenor (20,918') and Mt. Edgar (21,712') in the Gongga Shan Massif, Sichuan Province, China . Each of the two climb were the second successful ascents of the peaks.  To read more, click here .

Notes from All Over:

--Kyle Shellberg of Golden, Colorado was killed on Sunday in an avalanche in the Dry Gulch area near the Continental Divide.  Shellberg is the third avalanche victim in North America in the 2010/11 winter season.  To read more, click here .

--Wolf Creek ski patrol director Scott Kay was wearing an Avalung breathing device when he was killed by a soft snow avalanche on Nov. 22, but was not able to deploy the Avalung before he was buried, according to a technical report posted by the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. According to the CAIC report, the mouthpiece was still secured in the shoulder pack of the harness when Kay was uncovered by rescue workers.  To read more, click here .

--Brie, the avalanche rescue dog, located a snow-bound body, barked three times to alert human searchers, and began digging out the “victim” at the top of Hidden Peak near Alta, Utah. The avalanche rescue drill was the climax of a day of presentations on how avalanche professionals reduce the risk of “white death” in the canyons of the Wasatch Mountains.  To read more, click here .

--The countdown to the 2011 Ice Climbing World Cup (January 8-March 8) has begun. For the first time, an event will be held in Asia, hosted by the Korean Alpine Federation . There will be Lead and Speed competitions in Cheongsong, Korea, as well as the established events across Europe.  The UIAA would like to expand the circuit further, and organize or certify some North American events in order to make them part of the Ice Climbing World Cup. David Dornian of the Alpine Club of Canada , and newest member of the UIAA Ice Climbing Commission , explains the challenges the UIAA may face in bringing the UIAA World Cup brand across the Atlantic.  To read more, click here .

Mt. Baker's Coleman Glacier Photo by Jason Martin
--Geologists listening in on “icequakes” that reverberate through glaciers have developed a model that can predict a collapse up to fifteen days before it happens, the team reports in a new study.
With that kind of knowledge, villages could be evacuated and roads closed in avalanche-prone areas.  To read more, click here .

--The Russian Mountaineering Federation reports on the opening of a rescue shelter on Mount Elbrus : The built Rescue Shelter Red Fox 5300 is first in Europe and second in the world as for the altitude, it was opened on the saddle of Elbrus. The route to Elbrus is the most popular one, every year more than 7000 people ascend the summit.  To read more, click here.
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