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Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 2/23/12

Posted Feb 23 2012 9:00am


--Three people were killed in an avalanche in Washington near Stevens Pass ski area Sunday afternoon, has confirmed. The three were skiing in a group of 13 friends that included both local and visiting skiers, according to ESPN Freeskiing editor Megan Michelson, who was among the skiers in the group. To read more, click here .

--Karl Milanoski, a 41-year-old Seattle man, was swept off a cliff by an avalanche near Alpental, one of four resorts at The Summit at Snoqualmie. The Seattle Times reported Sunday that Milanoski inadvertently set off the avalanche, which swept him over a cliff and 500 feet down the mountain. Milanoski was killed in the slide.  To read more, click here .

--A 28-year-old Bellingham man and his passenger were safe last Sunday after crash-landing a small plane Saturday night nearly 8,000 feet high on the south side of Mount Baker on the Deming Glacier at 7,800'. Both the pilot and passenger, whose names were not released, were rescued from the snow-covered volcano by snowmobilers who saw the wreck, according to the Federal Aviation Administration and the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office. To read more, click here .

--Two skiers who went missing in southeast British Columbia on Monday night have been found in a good condition near Kootenay Pass. To read more, click here .

--The Bellingham Herald produced an interesting article about misconceptions concerning search and rescue activities on Mount Rainier .  To read the article, click here .

Read more here: To read more, click here and here .


--The man known as the Sierra Phantom has died. Friends said JP Glover died Monday, Jan. 30 at the Bishop Care Center. He was 85. Those who knew Glover did not call him by his birth name – most never knew it. He was known as Sierra Phantom, a nickname earned after living 50 years in the wilderness of the Sierra Nevada. To read more, click here .

--AAI Guides Ian McEleney and Kristen Looper recently worked with the Montrose Search and Rescue team an ice climbing trip in Lee Vining .  A great report about their ice climbing trip was posted at Montrose Patch. To read the article, click here .

--A window of time just opened in Yosemite National Park when nature photographers wait, as if for an eclipse, until the moment when the sun and earth align to create a fleeting phenomenon.
This marvel of celestial configuration happens in a flash at sunset in mid-February – if the winter weather cooperates. On those days the setting sun illuminates one of the park's lesser-known waterfalls so precisely that it resembles molten lava as it flows over the sheer granite face of the imposing El Capitan. To read more and to see the photos, click here .

--The Forest Service has released its new map of the popular Ansel Adams Wilderness, managed by the Inyo and Sierra National Forests.  This topographic map replaces the older map which was last published in 1987. To read more, click here .

Desert Southwest:

--Officials Wednesday were advising rock climbers at Joshua Tree National Park to use helmets after a San Diego man fell 50 feet and injured his head. The 30-year old climber was scaling Outer Mongolia Rock formation with friends Monday afternoon when he lost his footing and fell. To read more, click here .

-- An avid skier died early Sunday afternoon after an accident at New Mexico's Sandia Peak Ski Area.
Two friends were skiing down Sandia Peak when they crashed into each other early Sunday afternoon. Benny Abruzzo, general manager of Sandia Peak, said they were both accomplished skiers. To Read more, click here .

--After performing at the Super Bowl, slackliner and Moab resident, Sketchy Andy, made his way onto Conan O'Brien show. Check it out below


--Three backcountry skiers we caught in an avalanche near Wolf Creek Pass. The avalanche released on a west facing slope near treeline. The slide was 3 feet deep, 600 feet wide, and ran 600 feet vertically. One skier was uninjured. The second was injured and required evacuation. The third was killed in the accident. To read more, click here and here .

--A 15-year-old Massachusetts girl was killed when she skied into a tree at Copper Mountain ski resort on Sunday afternoon, authorities said. To read more, click here .
--A 49-year-old woman was treated at McKee Medical Center in Loveland Sunday for injuries she suffered during an ice-climbing accident in the Big Thompson Canyon.  Authorities said the woman was on a ice-climbing trip with her husband and daughter Sunday afternoon. She was about 20 to 30 feet above the ground when she rappelled down the highest of three ice falls, slipped and swung sideways into a protruding ice formation. To read more, click here .

--Avalanche forecasters are saying that the avalanche danger, both in and out-of-bounds, is the worst that it's been in 30 years.  To read more, click here .

--The National Park Service wants to improve and lengthen the oldest established trail in Denali National Park and Preserve.  The Park Service is proposing an upgrade to the Horsehoe Lake Trail, a 1.5-mile trail that was built in 1940. The trail is located near the entrance to the 6 million-acre park and leads to Horseshoe Lake, a small oxbow lake formed when a bend in the nearby Nenana River got cut off.  To read more, click here .

--Visitors interested in winter activities in Denali National Park might have increased opportunities in coming years. The park is considering plowing an additional nine miles of road into the park, and is seeking public input on the idea. To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--A 33-year-old man was killed by an avalanche Monday afternoon that was triggered by the snowmobiles he and a companion were riding in the Lost Johnny area west of Montana's Hungry Horse Reservoir. To read more, click here .

--Avalanches are making national news this year.  The New York Times recently ran an in-depth article about risk taking and avalanche conditions in the backcountry in places like Washington, Colorado and Utah.  To read the article, click here .

--Johan Friso -- a Dutch Prince -- was in critical condition in hospital after he was buried in an avalanche while backcountry skiing in the Austrian Alps last Friday, authorities said.  Queen Beatrix's middle son was pulled unconscious from the snow 20 minutes after the accident and resuscitated, the mayor of the upscale western resort of Lech told the Austria Press Agency. To read more, click here .

--Kate Rutherford and Mikey Schaefer climbed a new route in early January in Patagonia.  Their line, Astro Choss, climbs up the east face of Aguja Saint-Exupery (8,392'). To read more, click here .

--Why is it that the biggest ski resorts in North America are that worried about a low snowfall year? I'll give you a hint.  It's because their business model isn't built completely on skiing. To read about what it is built on, click here .

--The Petzl Newton Industrial Harness requires an inspection. As a precautionary measure, Petzl is asking all of its customers to inspect the safety stitching on the loops of the sternal attachment point on all Newton harnesses. To read more, click here .
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