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Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 3/13/14

Posted Mar 13 2014 9:00am

--Mount Baker and Stevens Pass ranked first and third, respectively, on a list of the 10 places with biggest snowfall totals in North America from . Mount Baker had recorded 409 inches (34 feet) of snowfall, just ahead of Jackson Hole's 404 inches. Top read more, click here .

The Mount Baker Ski Patrol dug a 20-foot deep hole under Chair 8 to have a 
better understanding of the snow layers after the Crystal Mountain and White Pass Avalanches.

--Two large inbounds avalanches have hit ski areas in the Northwest this week. The first one took place on Saturday at White Pass. A cat track slid while it was being groomed. The second avalanche was a ski patrol triggered slide at Crystal Mountain that took out a chair lift. To read more and to see photos of the avalanche that took out the chair lift, click here .

--Avalanche experts are expected to survey a section of Idaho State Highway 21 currently buried underneath up to 50 feet of snow, trees, and rocks. The large avalanche in question happened last Thursday about 27 miles northeast of Lowman, Idaho. To read more, click here .

Desert Southwest:

--A Kingman man rappelling in the Black Mountains of Arizona sustained serious injuries Saturday when his climbing rope was cut and he fell about 50 feet. To read more, click here .

--Red Rock Rendezvous is coming up. Get signed up for the event and sign up for courses and climbs before and after. To read more, click here .

--Input is being taken from the public on how best to address Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area’s infrastructure needs. A Feb. 6 meeting alerted residents about upcoming projects, such as possibly repaving the Scenic Loop Drive. To read more, click here .

--Climbing routes in the northern part of Joshua Tree National Park have been closed temporarily so as not to disturb a pair of golden eagles nesting in the area. To read more, click here .

-- Here's an interesting graph which shows all avalanche incidents in Colorado from 1997-Present.

--Ski patrolling is the most dangerous job in the snow industry. Every morning, after every big storm, these men and women travel out into avalanche terrain—the 37 to 47-degree slopes where powder skiing is the most fun—in search of the white dragon. They do everything they can to bring down the mountain side, and when it doesn’t go—when it’s deemed safe—they drop the rope and let us have our way with it. Anyone who has ever had the stress free joy of an untouched inbounds run knows that this job can’t be appreciated enough. On March 4, while conducting an exploration mission on Conejos Peak in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, Senior Ski Patroller and Avalanche Technician for Wolf Creek Ski Area Colin Sutton lost his life in an avalanche. Click here for a release sent out by Wolf Creek.

Notes from All Over:

--Mark Byers, a 53-year-old climber, was killed while descending a route at Crowder's Mountain in North Carolina. To read more, click here .

--There was a second incident in North Carolina this week. An experienced rock climber said he was the first person to reach the man who fell 20-40 feet off a cliff in Linville Gorge. Officials also cited him because emergency crews said he got in the way of their operation. To read more, click here . To see a video about this incident, click below

--A 27-year-old man has died in an avalanche while he was backcountry skiing in southwestern Montana. To read more, click here .

--Photographer and Teton Gravity Research  supervising producer Greg Epstein, 43, was caught in an avalanche and seriously injured Sunday afternoon in Granite Canyon, just outside of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. According to a press release issued today by Grand Teton National Park, Epstein was preparing to descend one of the Air Force chutes when an avalanche carried him about 1,000 feet. The other two members in his party were not injured.

--There may be a problem with your Mammut Snopulse Airbag. If the connector is not on all the way, it may not function appropriately. See the image below, or read more here .

-- This video's making the rounds this week. In the video we see a hint of an avalanche in the distance from a GoPro. Then the guy wearing the GoPro springs into action by jumping a cliff to save his brother who had been buried. It's worth a watch.

--Brad Farra, John Frieh, and Jason Stuckey completed the first winter ascent of the French Ridge on Alaska's Mount Huntington. To read more, click here .

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