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Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 3/17/11

Posted Mar 17 2011 9:00am

--A national climbing center could be coming to the Stawamus Chief in Squamish. The Vancouver-based Kingswood Group said Tuesday it wants to build a climbing centre as the heart of a mixed-use development beneath the 700-metre granite monolith that forms the gateway to Canada's Squamish. Kingswood, a real-estate developer, said the center on Highway 99 would feature an indoor climbing wall, offices for climbing outfits, research and education facilities and a base camp for climbers and guides. To read more, click here .

--A large avalanche was reported on the periphery of Mount Hood Meadows and the slide did make its way into the ski area.  Sometime in the morning of March 10, 2011 prior to 0815 a large avalanche ran through the Clark side of Heather Canyon.  The slide scoured the sides of the drainage, deposited a significant amount of debris in the gut which extended well past the confluence of the Clark/Heather drainages and the bottom terminal of the Heather Chair.  To read more, click here.

Absolutely massive avalanche wall, over 12 feet tall

--A 19-year-old Ellensburg, WA woman was rescued on Saturday, after sliding 40 feet off a ledge into a creek.  She suffered injuries to her right leg, right arm, and ribs.  Her friends acted quickly in pulling her out of a creek and building a fire to keep her warm.  When rescuers arrived, they used ropes to bring her up out of the creek and then a stretcher to carry her out.  To read more, click here.

--Bradley Gardner, 24, was last seen Wednesday, when he told friends he planned on skiing in the Chippewa Ridge and Basin area.  The search continues for this Big Sky skier, and deep snow, snow showers, and strong winds have limited the use of aircraft due to lack of visibility.  The search continues in both areas, with people on snowshoes, skis, and snowmobiles looking for Bradley.  To read more, click here.

--A slight increase in climbing fees has been approved for Mount Rainier National Park.  Fees for the upcoming climbing year will increase from $30 to $43 for an annual pass. A new addition to the climber permit, is a "youth pass," which allows climbers 24 and under to purchase a pass for $30.  The increase in fees will allows the Park to compensate for an ever growing number of people wanting to climb the mountain, as well as to provide additional training for the climbing rangers.  To read more, click here.


--Weekend Permits for the month of May and June to hike the iconic Half Dome sold out in a record five minutes last week.  Weekday permits for that same time frame were gone in 23 minutes.  Park officials predict that when the next batch of permits go on sale on April 1, they will likely be gone in two to three minutes.  To read more, click here.

Overcrowding on Half Dome's cables
 Desert Southwest:
--As Brian Carrico lay nearly freezing to death in a three-foot snowdrift on Mount San Jacinto, he said, he called on his faith to help him survive. Two weeks after his rescue near the summit above the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, Carrico, 57, a chiropractor who runs a practice in Riverside and Orange County, has a new respect for the fragility of life and the elements of nature. To read more, click here .

----Louis Cicotello, a 70-year-old native of Colorado has died in a 100 foot fall in a remote Utah Canyon.  His 57 year old brother, David Cicotello, was with him, and was left stranded on a small ledge after Louis fell off. David was later rescued by helicopter and treated for minor injuries and dehydration.  Louis was a climber of thirty years, an artist and professor emeritus at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs.  To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--A Georgia man charged with child abuse for punching a 14-year-old girl in the face at Colorado's Beaver Creek Ski Area in December has pleaded guilty to third-degree assault, a Class 1 misdemeanor, the Vail Daily said.  To read more, click here .

--In celebration of International Women's Day last week, the UK Guardian selected the 100 most inspirational women.  The list included names like Lady Gaga and Oprah, but it also included the renowned climber, author and biochemist Arlene Blum. To read more, click here .

--In the middle of all the uprising in the Middle East, three climbers ventured to Jordan to make a first ascent of their aptly named line, Uprising.  This 700 foot 5.11b was established in the Wadi Rum area, first discovered by outsiders in 1984.  The sandstone in the area has no matrix, meaning the rock is extremely unpredictable and ranges from bomber to complete choss.  To read about their trip and the route itself, click here.

--The National Parks Conservation Association has provided an easy way to contact your legislators about the potential Government Shutdown, and the closure of our National Parks.  With the budget yet to be approved, Congress may look to make cuts in the National Park Budget.  To share your opinion on this, and to contact your legislators, please click here.

--A river in New Hampshire just broke off its relationship with the Winter ice.  While this doesn't quite seem like news, it does qualify as a pretty cool event.  Science geeks will enjoy this video, perhaps just as much as the people who set up the camera and filmed it.  Viewer beware, there is a bit of NSFW language at the beginning of the video.  It takes a while to see what's going on, but the anticipation is exhilarating!

--A 32-year-old skier was rescued after he was caught in an avalanche in Granite Canyon in Grand Teton National Park.  After setting off a soft-slab avalanche, Benjamin Shortledge was carried 400 feet down slope and sustained injuries which required evacuation.  His friend's climbed to a nearby saddle where they were able to get cell service and initiate rescue.  To read more, click here.  

--An Austrian skier has written a letter to Black Diamond regarding his survival of an avalanche that left him and his friend fully buried.  The skier was wearing an Avalung at the time of his burial, which may or may not have contributed to his successful and relatively benign rescue.  To read his letter, click here.

--Deadline dates for many American Alpine Club grants are quickly coming up.  To see a list of the potential grants you can apply for and their respective deadlines, click here.

Manufacturer Recalls and Equipment Issues:

--Petzl has recently discovered Chinese counterfeit versions of the Croll, Attache, Ascension and Rescue Ptezl products. There is a significant risk that these counterfeit products could open or otherwise fail at low loads and under normal use.  To read more, click here and here .

--Problems have been sighted with the #5 DMM Dragon Cam.  There are cracks in the aluminum axle boss.  To see photos and to learn more, click here .
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