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Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 8/19/10

Posted Aug 19 2010 6:00am

--A 47-year-old man from Western Washington was killed after falling about 15 feet into a waterfall on Asgaard Pass, between the Enchantments and Colchuck Lake on Friday, authorities said. The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office will release the man’s name and hometown after family members are notified, said Sgt. Chris Foreman. To read more, click here .

--A 55-year-old man suffering from possible heat-related injuries at the base of Mount St. Helens on Monday was rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter dispatched from Oregon. The man’s name was not released. A HH-60J Jayhawk from Air Station Astoria was dispatched Monday at 7:30 p.m. by 911 operators in Cowlitz County to retrieve the man from the Toutle River area at the mountain’s base, according to a bulletin issued by the Coast Guard. To read more, click here .

--Congratulations to AAI Guide Kurt Hicks. Kurt tied the knot over the weekend and is now happily married!

--Drug officers have removed about 1,300 marijuana plants found in an outdoor grow operation in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest of southwest Washington. Spokesman Mike Cooke of the Clark-Skamania Drug Task Force says the street value of the plants in a cultivated state is estimated at $1.5 million. The plants were removed last Wednesday. To read more, click here .

Desert Southwest:

--Joshua Tree National Park is in the process of updating the park's General Management Plan. At this point, they are looking for public input on how the park should be managed and/or run for the next 15-20 years. To read more, click here .


--It's one of mountaineering's most fiercely debated claims; that Geroge Mallory and Andrew Irvine were the first men to reach the summit of Mount Everest. But new research suggests the pair could never have conquered the world’s highest mountain but were instead killed by a “perfect storm”. Experts claim that weather data collected at the time of the 1924 ascent shows the two Englishmen were enveloped in a blizzard which saw oxygen plunge to fatally low levels. The findings appear to confirm that New Zealander Sir Edmund Hilary and Tenzing Norgay were the first climbers to scale the 29,035ft peak, 29 years later. The conundrum can apparently be laid to rest following examination for the first time of meteorological measurements from the expedition. To read more, click here.

--Since the runaway success of Jon Krakauer's "Into Thin Air" in 1999, books about mountaineering have become their own subgenre of adventure lit. "The Last Man on the Mountain" focuses on an expedition that tried to be the first to climb K2 in 1939. Author Jennifer Jordan was at the base of the mountain in 2002 when she stumbled upon a grisly discovery: "There, laid out on the rocks and ice, was the very recognizable skeleton of a human being: the pelvis, two femurs, and scattered ribs." Jordan prefaces the book with that moment, then backtracks to tell the story from start to finish about how a wealthy American named Dudley Wolfe died alone in a tent 24,700 feet above sea level. To read more, click here .

Notes from All Over:

--A 20-year-old climber is dead after tumbling about 600 feet into a canyon near Aspen. Authorities identified the victims in Saturday’s accident as Spencer James Nelson, a student at the University of Colorado at Boulder and a member of its nationally-ranked ski team. Had had summited one of the 14,000-foot Maroon Peaks and was headed back down with seven other people, including his father, when he was hit by a rock from above and fell from the mountainside. To read more, click here .

-- A Lake Placid man fell to his death in a rock-climbing accident Monday evening. Dennis Murphy, 35, had reached the top of a climbing route on Upper Washbowl Cliffs in Keene Valley at about 6:10 p.m. when he lost his footing and fell more than 100 feet. To read more, click here .

--A three-day race to the top in a perfect weather window recently resulted in the first winter ascent of Torre Egger (8,809'). Swiss climbers Stephan Siegrist and Dani Arnold along with the German Thomas Senf completed the ascent earlier this month. To read more, click here .

--It appears that Gleb Sokolov and Alexander Kirikov, two strong Russian climbers, completed a new route on Khan Tengri on August 8th. The pair climbed the the second highest peak in the Tien Shan region of China in six days. To read more, click here .

Mount Kilimanjaro
Photo by Shawn Olson

--Three American veterans from three different wars had only one good leg among them. But that didn't stop them from climbing Africa's highest mountain. The three soldiers — veterans of Afghanistan, Iraq and Vietnam — scrambled, clawed and plodded to the top of Tanzania's Mount Kilimanjaro , hiking on one human leg and five prosthetics made of titanium and carbon fiber. To read more, click here .

--Swedish historian and sport climber Cordelia Hess discovered that several of the names used for the crag in Gåseborg bore names with a Nazi theme such as "3rd Reich", "Swastika" and "Himmler", according to a report in the Dagens Nyheter daily. "I was there with my friends and doing a bit of climbing, and I thought it felt rather unpleasant to climb through the 'Crematorium' or say that 'now I am going to do Kristallnacht'," Hess told "The Local" newspaper. To read more, click here and here .

--The New York Times recently ran an interesting article on how the brain gets to "rest" in the wilderness. In other words, there are no text messages, tweets, or cell phones. Psychologists are studying how the brain changes between the world of computers and Blackberrys and the world of nature and silence. To read more, click here .

CRAG-VT is thrilled to announce the acquisition of one of Vermont’s best sport climbing cliffs: the Carcass Crag! This winter, CRAG-VT signed a purchase and sale agreement to annex the cliff through a boundary line adjustment on their Bolton Quarry climbing area. With the support of the Access Fund and local climbers, CRAG-VT completed the land purchase in early July. This acquisition adds three additional acres of rock to the Bolton Quarry property and permanently secures public access the cliff. It is the fourth property that CRAG-VT has acquired to ensure public access to climbing and the preservation of the natural environment. To read more, click here .

Please click on this map to view a large version. This is an accurate hiking map.

--The comedy website, recently posted a series of accurate maps about hiking trails and campsites. The legend includes thinks like, "Sections that seem like you'll be done when you get to the top of it," and "Firepit for cooking food, melting random objects and seeing how big a fire you can make." To see the post, click here .
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