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Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 6/10/10

Posted Jun 10 2010 6:00am

--At 4:45am on Saturday morning, a massive avalanche ripped down the Ingraham Glacier on Mount Rainier, burying eleven climbers. Ten of the climbers were quickly extracted from the avalanche debris, while one solo climber remains missing. To read more, click here .

--A massive boulder fell onto Highway 20 on Saturday. The 18 foot long by 12 foot high boulder crashed down onto the highway at approximately 11:00am. WSDOT employees were able to remove the rock with front loaders by 6:00pm and the road was open to unrestricted traffic by 8:00pm. The removal of the rock by front-loaders damaged the road and the guard rail. To see more pictures of the boulder, click here .

--It appears that there may be some dangerous anti-climber sentiment along the Clackamus River in Oregon. An individual left a fixed line on a crag, which was cut in such a way as it was hidden. The climber believes that the rope cut was hidden with murderous intent. To read more, click here .

--A 49-year-old man and his 17-year-old son who were lost in white-out conditions on Mount Hood were helped down the mountain Sunday evening, deputies said.The pair started to climb Mount Hood on Saturday at about 10 p.m. After reaching the summit, they began their descent, but encountered limited visibility and high winds several thousand feet down from the summit. to read more, click here .

--Someone left a baby elk on the U.S. Forest Service's doorstep in La Grande in northeastern Oregon. Officials told The (La Grande) Observer that the baby elk probably was not abandoned, because mother elk regularly leave their babies hiding in tall grass or brush while they lead off a threat, such as a coyote, then return. "Removing a young animal from the wild greatly reduces its chances of long term survival in the wild," said Michelle Dennehy from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. To read more, click here .

--Squamish Search and Rescue team saved a 51-year-old Vancouver man after he survived a 10-metre fall from The Chief on Tuesday afternoon. Squamish Emergency Program Society president Suzanne Kenney said the climber was on a multi-pitch trail on the north edge of the Apron called the Calculus Crack when he fell. To read more, click here .


--Keep an eye open on the roads out there. The pattern this spring of migrating deer versus vehicles turned deadly early Saturday morning when a Bishop man on a motorcycle collided with a deer and was killed. To read more, click here .

--It's exciting to see that the people who promote the Yosemite Facelift, a clean-up event that takes place every Fall, are ethically balanced. The lead promoter of the event recently turned down a $20,000 sponsorship from a group that wanted to promote bottled water at the Facelift. Plastic bottles make up an inordinate amount of trash that is collected during the Facelift event. To read more, click here . For more information on Facelift, click here and here.

Desert Southwest:

--A group of three hikers became lost in the Sandia Mountains near Albuquerque. All three were found in good condition. Following is a video from a local news station about the rescue

- Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area has closed its campground until October 1 to allow for campground improvements. The improvements, funded by the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act, will include the installation of concrete pads for picnic tables, shade structures for individual and group campsites and the relocation of two double-vault toilets for the group site area. To read more, click here .

In December, California Senator Diane Feinstein introduced a new piece of legislation designed to protect large areas of Southern California Desert. This week the Inyo County Supervisors weighed in with their concerns about this sweeping piece of legislation. The main thrust of the proposed legislation is to create two new national monuments in the Mojave Desert, along with new areas of designated Wilderness in Death Valley National Park. With less than 2% of the land in Inyo County in private ownership, designated wilderness is a hot button issue for the Inyo Supervisors. To read more, click here .


--A 27-year-old Belgian mountaineer was killed in a fall while climbing the Cassin Ridge of Mt. McKinley in the early afternoon of Monday, June 7. Joris Van Reeth of Borgerhout, Belgium was leading a highly technical section of the route known as the Japanese Couloir when his anchor appeared to fail and he fell 100 feet in rocky terrain. To read more, click here .

--AAI Denali Team #3 summitted late yesterday. In 2010, the Institute has so far had 100% expedition success on the mountain. Every team this year so far has had members summit. To see dispatches from the mountain, click here .

--John Frieh and Dylan Johnson completed a new variation on Mount Bradley (9,104') in the Ruth Gorge in early May. Initial reports indicate that the route was 5.10 with snow and ice up to seventy degrees. To read more, click here .


--Last week, the television news show, 20/20 ran a piece on Jordan Romero, the thirteen-year old who recently scaled Mount Everest. It appears that Romero climbed the mountain from the North and elected not to work with Western guides. The piece also questions whether it's even right to allow a thirteen-year old on such a mountain. We certainly don't think so and wouldn't have brought him if he'd applied for one of our "high end/high altitude" courses. To read more, click here .

--A Nepalese Sherpa who holds the record for the fastest ascent of Everest is hoping to take a local child to the summit after a US teenager became the youngest person to climb the mountain. Thirteen-year-old Jordan Romero from California reached the top of Everest last month, becoming the youngest person ever to conquer the world's highest peak after a climb some medical experts criticized as irresponsible. Now Pemba Dorje Sherpa, who climbed Everest in eight hours and 10 minutes in 2004, is hoping to find a younger Nepalese climber to beat that record next year -- and is even considering taking his nine-year-old son. To read more, click here .

--The film The Wildest Dream , about Conrad Anker's quest to discover whether George Mallory was the first to summit Mount Everest, is slated for release in August. An excellent trailer for the film has just been posted and can be seen here . For more information on the movie, click here .

--Kazakh climber Denis Urubko recently ascended a new variation on the upper slopes of Lhotse (27,939'). Urubko started from the South Col and took a line below the north ridge on the west side of the mountain. To read more, click here .

Notes from All Over:

--Acclaimed freeskier Arne Backstrom has died in a fall on a Peruvian mountain, according to his father. Steve Backstrom told The Associated Press Friday that he was notified of his 29-year-old son's death by rescuers and later by the U.S. Embassy officials. Backstrom, of Olympic Valley, Calif., was the winner at this year's Canadian Freeskiing Championship and a rising star in professional skiiing. To read more, click here. To read the full accident report, click here .

--Swiss police say they are investigating the avalanche death of an American exchange student in the mountains south of the capital, Bern. Police say the student was killed Sunday after being swept away by the snow and falling down a 330-foot (100-meter) cliff.Williams College in Massachusetts has identified the student as Henry Lo. It says he was part of a group of exchange students at Oxford University who were on a weekend hiking trip in Switzerland. To read more, click here .

--A young grizzly bear has been killed after being hit by a car in Yellowstone National Park. The accident occurred Sunday night on US Highway 191 near the Fawn Pass trailhead, about 22 miles north of the community of West Yellowstone. The body of the one-year-old male bear was found along the road by a passing motorist, who reported the discovery. The person who hit the bear did not report the accident and no witnesses have come forward, so details of the accident are unknown. To read more, click here .

--Backcountry Magazine recently produced an interesting article on the sale of Black Diamond. It essentially says that while the sale of the company has created a lot of concern it may very well be much ado about nothing. To read the article, click here .

--On the occasion of World Environment Day (June 5), the UIAA is highlighting its commitment by announcing plans for a Mountain Protection label. The UIAA wants to make it easier for mountaineers to minimize their impact on the environment. For this reason the international federation plans to launch a certification scheme. It forsees a label being awarded to tour operators and mountain recreation organizations which commit themselves to acting according to high mountain protection standards. To read more, click here .

--First, there was the Appalachian Trail, which winds 2,175 miles along the mountainous spine of the eastern United States. Then came the International Appalachian Trail, stretching the AT's northern end in Maine to the edge of Canada's Maritime Provinces, where Vikings long ago landed. Now they're extending the walk: across the Atlantic to western Europe, where the mountain chain's other half loops south to Morocco. Like restless hikers who just can't sit still, visionaries whose years of work led to the IAT's extension are thinking more internationally as they peer over time's horizon toward the very creation of the Appalachians and plot their course to the ancient mountain chain's geological end. To read more, click here .
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