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Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 6/3/10

Posted Jun 03 2010 6:00am

--Rescue workers found two overdue hikers walking along a Forest Service road on Mount St. Helens on Wednesday.Kevin Dean, 34, and Mark Lapinskas, 32, left for the hike at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday and said they got lost in blowing snow and rain while descending the mountain.When the pair failed to return Tuesday evening, Dean's wife reported her husband and brother-in-law missing at about 9:45 p.m., said Dave Cox, the Skamania County undersheriff. To read more, click here .

--A new organization called the Chuckanut Conservancy has been developed to protect "the unique wildlands in the Chuckanuts-to-Cascades region of Northwest Washington." They have developed a blog to keep those interested in Chuckanut and Blanchard Mountain issues up to date. To read more, click here .

--A skier who was attempting a descent of Matterhorn Peak in the Eastern Sierra was killed after sustaining a fall while trying to assist his 10 year-old son out of a difficult spot. To read more, click here .

--A hiker was found dead in Yosemite National Park on Monday. Tyler Tompkins, 24, was found Monday near Yosemite Falls by rock climbers. Park officials believe he died from a fall while hiking on Friday. The area where his body was found isn't frequented by park visitors, park officials said. To read more, click here .

--The DWP website shows LA has kept track of the ongoing snow this spring. In fact, their graphs show Mammoth Pass snow sensors at 341% of normal, as of Wednesday. The snowpack at Mammoth Pass, which is the bellwether for the season, now sits at 40.3 inches of water. That hits above the long-term average. And indeed, more snow is predicted! To read more, click here .

Desert Southwest
Red Rock Canyon's Mount Wilson
Photo by Jason Martin

--First Lady Michelle Obama visited Red Rock Canyon with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Tuesday. The first three pullouts were closed for the visit and the Las Vegas Review Journal has posted a picture of the First Lady and Senator Reid in front of the Sandstone Quarry Boulder. We wondered if they sent the sick offwidth in the center of the boulder, but that no one got a shot of it... Speaking of photos, the photographer for the Obama/Reid photo was an American Alpine Institute Denali climber a few years back. To read more, click here .

--Las Vegas developer Jim Rhodes, back in the headlines with his plan to develop housing on a 1,700-acre mesa overlooking Red Rock Canyon, has always been a controversial figure. It appears that the individual threatening one of the most popular climbing areas in America has been involved in 53 lawsuits in the Las Vegas Metropolitan area. To read more, click here .

--A 51-year-old hiker trying to escape attacking bees Wednesday morning on Camelback Mountain injured his leg, a fire official said. Fire crews responded to a call made by a friend of the man around 5:45 a.m. The man and his friend were hiking up the mountain when the bees attacked them, said Captain Scott Walker, a Phoenix Fire Department spokesman. The man was trying to escape when he fell and hurt his knee. To read more, click here .


--Two climbers, both of them residents of Toronto, have died in an avalanche in Alaska's Denali National Park and Preserve. Park officials say 39-year-old Andrew Herzenberg and 42-year-old Avner Magen were descending a steep gully of Ruth Gorge on the weekend when they were swept away by the slide. To read more, click here .

An American Alpine Institute Camp at 14,000 feet on Denali
Archive Photo by Jason Martin

--The American Alpine Institute currently has a variety of trips running in both the Alaska and the St. Elias ranges . Both our first and our second Denali trips were tremendously successful. The first expedition placed five climbers on the summit and the second expedition placed nine climbers on the summit. Two other expeditions are currently on the mountain and are working their way to the summit. To read current dispatches from the expeditions (including a Bolivia expedition), please click here .

A Male Grizzly or as they call them in Alaska, a Brownie

--Two backpackers, a man and a woman, encountered a grizzly bear Friday evening while hiking in the dense brush along the edge of Tattler Creek in Denali National Park. The man, who was in the lead, drew a .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol when they heard a noise coming from the brush. When the bear emerged from the thicket and ran toward the other hiker, he fired approximately nine rounds in its general direction. The bear stopped, turned and walked back into the brush where it quickly disappeared from view. To read more, click here .


--A British climber has died of frostbite and exhaustion in bitter weather only hours after he reached the summit of Mount Everest. Peter Kinloch, 28, a civilian IT specialist with Merseyside Police, was aiming to complete the Seven Summits Challenge where explorers climb the world’s seven highest peaks. To read more, click here .

--Sherpa mountaineers in Nepal say a rise in the rate of snow and ice melt on Mount Everest has exposed bare rock faces and made it dangerous to climb. They say crampons and ice axes, usually used on Mount Everest, are now becoming hazardous equipment. The climbers say if the ice continues to melt at the same rate, it will threaten future expeditions. To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--Yellowstone National Park officials say rescue crews have recovered the bodies of two Montana men who died while trying to climb a frozen waterfall below the rim of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River. Park spokesman Al Nash says the men have been identified as 28-year-old Mark Ehrich and 29-year-old Michael Kellch, both of Bozeman. To read more, click here .

--A search is underway in Yellowstone National Park for an Oklahoma City, Oklahoma man who has been missing since Monday, according to a news release from the park. Peter Louis Kastner, 25, is 6 foot 1 inch tall, weighs 185 pounds and has brown hair and hazel eyes. During a routine patrol early Monday morning, rangers found a 2010 Red Cadillac STS sedan with Oklahoma license plates parked at the Hellroaring Trailhead, 3.5 miles west of Tower Junction. The vehicle, which had obviously been parked overnight, was not associated with an overnight backcountry permit. A check showed Kastner had rented the vehicle several days earlier. To read more, click here .

--Active Interest Media has completed an agreement to purchase Skram Media’s Climbing magazine and Urban Climber magazine, adding them to the recently formed Outdoor Group, which currently includes Backpacker, SNEWS, and National Parks Interactive, a tourism-focused media network that produces print publications and websites for national park vacationers. Longtime climbing writer Dougald MacDonald will take the lead as editor of the two magazines. To read more, click here.

Cerro Torre
Photo from Wikipedia

--Dave Lama and Daniel Steuer had a mission. They were going to be the first to free Cerro Torre's classic and controversial Compressor Route. In the process of their failed ascent they added sixty bolts to the route and revived the most famous bolt debate in the world. The comments after the article are well worth reading. To read more, click here .

--A Kansas man was injured Sunday when he was swept down Colorado's Hagerman Peak, triggering a rescue effort to transport the climber to Aspen Valley Hospital, and from there to a Denver hospital. To read more, click here .

--It appears that the Five Colors Mountain in the Sichuan Provence saw a first ascent in late February. The team encountered eighteen pitches up to 5.9+ on the nearly 18,000 foot peak. To read more, click here .

--Stuart McAleese, Mark Thomas and Mike Turner climbed a new big-wall route in the Stewart Valley of Baffin Island in Canada. In a satellite phone call, the team claimed to have reached the summit of the undisclosed peak on May 24th. To read more, click here .

--On the heels of an important new paper that links children’s time in nature to their overall health , First Lady Michelle Obama has strengthened her Task Force on Childhood Obesity ’s message about the importance of unstructured outdoor play, including play in nature. An official announcement of the news is scheduled for June 1 in Nevada with the First Lady and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid . To read more, click here.
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