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Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 6/21/12

Posted Jun 21 2012 9:00am

--A 34 year old Seattle man has been killed in a skiing accident on Mount Baker. Kieth Hardy, 34, was killed when he fell while skiing the Coleman Headwall. Crews have been unable to reach the skiers body due to conditions.  It is likely that he will be retrieved today. To read more, click here .

--A man died after falling nearly 1,000 feet while climbing Mt. Hood last Thursday morning. Mark Cartier, a 56-year old man from Portland was near the Hogsback on the popular south side route when he fell. To read more, click here .

Two people were rescued in separate incidents in the Stuart Range this weekend. Andrew Campbell, 23, was injured while rappelling on Ingalls Peak. And Natalya Manko, 50, broke her elbow after sustaining a fall in the same region. It is interesting to note that Manko was previously rescued from the area. To read more, click here .


--Yosemite National Park and USGS scientists, in collaboration with academic geologists, recently completed a comprehensive study of rockfall hazard and risk in Yosemite Valley. This internationally peer-reviewed study utilized new data and technologies to map the cliffs and talus slopes, date ancient rockfalls, and perform computer simulations of potential rockfalls. The information was used to identify a rockfall hazard line on the valley floor. Existing structures within this line were evaluated using a numerical "risk metric" that quantifies the risk posed to human life and safety. This study represents the first time that rockfall risk has been quantitatively assessed in Yosemite Valley. To read more,  click here .

--Two speed records were broken on the Nose (VI, 5.9, A2) in Yosemite this week. First, Hans Florine and Alex Honnold completed an ascent of the route in 2 hours and 23 minutes . And second, Quinn Brett and Jes Meiris broke the female speed record at 10 hours and 19 minutes. Previously, the female record was held by former AAI guide Chantel Astorga and Libby Sauter with a time of 10 hours and 40 minutes.

Desert Southwest:

--It appears that the chains have been stolen off of a number of routes in the Robbers Roost area of Mount Charleston. To read about the issue, click here .

The Las Vegas Metro Police helicopter 
operating during a rescue mission in March, 2010.

--The FAA is investigating a May 18th helicopter incident in Red Rock Canyon . The Las Vegas police Huey rescue helicopter clipped a wall in Red Rock with its main roter blades. All five people on board for the training mission escaped injury and the pilot was able to land the helicopter safely.  To read more, click here .

--The U.S. House of Representatives considered legislation this week that would give the Department of Homeland Security the power to override dozens of environmental laws on all federal lands that lie within 100 miles of the Mexican and Canadian boarders. Proponents say the legislation is needed so that the Boarder Patrol can do its job. Opponents say it would undermine the most basic protections for dozens of national parks, including California's Joshua Tree National Park . To read more, click here .

--A Colorado man says that when he got lost in southeastern Utah's high desert near Moab and night fell, he survived the cold by burying himself in the sand. To read more, click here .


--An avalanche on Denali's Motorcycle Hill, just above the 11,000-foot camp pushed four Japanese climbers into a crevasse on Sunday. A fifth climber survived the accident. To read more, click here .

--Five AAI Guides have received Denali Pro Pins from the National Park Service for their work and their stewardship on Denali. These include Alasdair Turner, Angela Seidling, Chad Cochran, Higino Gonzalez, and Mike Pond.


--Climbing is allowed in Rifle Mountain Park, but is currently banned in the lower canyon. Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) owns this portion of the canyon and the CPW commission has the authority to allow climbing at Rifle Falls, but in early May they summarily denied a petition by the Rifle Climbers Coalition and Access Fund to allow climbing. But there is an opportunity to turn this situation around. The Colorado Legislator recently passed legislation that orders a new 11 voting member CPW Commission. The Governor has until July 1 to appoint these 11 new CPW Commissioners. If you live in Colorado and want to see climbing at Rifle expanded, please this easy-to-use letter writing tool to encourage the appointment of new Commissioners who can govern Park and Wildlife resources with an eye to wildlife management and recreation. 

Notes from All Over:

--A climber was killed in a fall in Red River Gorge on Monday. Details on the accident are still thin. To read more, click here .

--Jeff Botz, and American photographer that has spent over 40 years working in Nepal has accused Western climbers, including Sir Edmund Hillary of being insensitive to the old traditions of the mountain. Botz is supporting a campaign, long backed by China, for Mt. Everest to be known by its traditional names of Sagarmatha in Nepalese or Chomolungma to the Tibetans, and to be treated as a sacred place. To read more, click here .

--An inspirational 31-year old climber who lost his legs at the age of five made history this week when he reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro . To read more, click here .

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