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Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 8/26/10

Posted Aug 26 2010 6:00am

--Search and Rescue crews have now covered the entire length of the Boise Creek Trail near Squamish, where missing hiker Tyler Wright was last seen, with no sign of him. It’s been 12 days since the 35-year-old Vancouver resident took off for a 50-kilometre hike starting 35 kilometres up the MacMillan Bloedel Forest Service Road on route to Pitt Lake, Coquitlam Lake or Indian Arm. To read more, click here and here .

--The Clackamas County Sheriff's Search and Rescue team will ascend Mount Hood in the near future to recover human remains that may be those of a Longview climber who died there in December. Clackamas County Sheriff's spokesman Jim Strovink said Monday the remains have not been positively identified, but the family of Anthony Vietti of Longview believes they could be his. Vietti, 25, climbed Mount Hood Dec. 11 with two friends, Katie Nolan and Luke Gulberg. They reached the summit but didn't return. Gulberg, 26, of Des Moines, Wash., was found dead of hypothermia the next day. No trace was found of Vietti or Nolan, 29, of Portland. To read more, click here and here .

--A husband and wife were rescued on Friday about 1,000 feet below the Mt. Adams summit, a point they reached only to get stuck late Thursday on their way down when terrain turned icy, authorities said. At about 10:42 p.m., crews were called on to rescue the husband and wife who were stranded by bad weather and dealing with medical complications, according to emergency police scanners monitored at The Columbian. A search and rescue official said Thursday night the twosome was poorly equipped, cold and likely dehydrated. To read more, click here .

President Obama
Photo by Alasdair Turner

--AAI guide and photographer Alasdair Turner had an interesting assignment last week. Through a series of fortunate events, he was hired by the Washington State Democratic Party to photograph President Obama when he visited Seattle. To see a photo essay of Alasdair's work, click here .


--A hiker in the Horsehoe Lake are above Mammoth made a grim discovery over the weekend. The Mono Sheriff's Office reports that a hiker on the trail that circles around Horseshoe Lake came across the body of 78-year-old Real Balthazar of Mammoth Lakes. The Sheriff's Department said that the hiker found Mr. Balthazar lying in the middle of the trail. When Mr. Balthazar did not respond, the hhiker returned to his vehicle and called 911. The man also let Forest Service personnel in the area know of the incident. To read more, click here .

--The iconic Sierra climber Peter Croft and Matt Ciancio recently linked four major lines on the Incredible Hulk, a 1,200 foot granite peak in the Sierras, in a day. The speed of their ascent is amazing and is even more amazing when you consider that the approach takes a half a day. To read more, click here.

--From the Boston Globe to the New York Times, ABC, NBC, CBS and the Animal Planet - Steve Searles of Mammoth Lakes tops celebrity status with his unique brand of bear management. In his home town, it's not that simple. A recent Mammoth Wildlife Committee meeting once more revealed the schisms in agency perception of bear control. Mammoth Mayor Skip Harvey, who sits on the committee, has hope that all parties will find ways to work around each other's requirements. Mammoth politicians acknowledge Searles, who claims large popular support in town. At this week's Wildife Committee meeting, Fish and Game's Tim Taylor talked about bear population studies. Taylor did not give up information about Fish and Game's past destruction of bears, as requested. To read more, click here .

--Two rock climbers, trapped by the El Monte fire near El Capitan Reservoir east of Lakeside, California, were rescued by a helicopter that could not land at their location, but hovered close enough that the climbers could step into the helicopter. To read more, click here .

Desert Southwest:

--A tip from an observant forest ranger led to the arrest of an Arizona prison escapee and his alleged accomplice who had been on the run since last month, authorities said late Thursday. John McCluskey and Casslyn Mae Welch were arrested at a campground on the edge of Apache and Sitgreaves National Forests in Springerville, Arizona, according to U.S. Marshal David Gonzales. To read more, click here .

--Two people were hospitalized in critical condition Wednesday after an early-morning motorcycle crash in Joshua Tree National Park, a California Highway Patrol spokesman said. The crash on Keys View Road just north of Juniper Flats Road was reported to the highway patrol about 3:15 a.m., according to a CHP dispatch system. To read more, click here .


--Colin Haily and Mike Schaefer recently completed an amazing Alaskan traverse. The pair linked every peak in the Devil's Thumb massif, including the summits of the Witches Tits, Cat's Ears Spires, and the Devil's Thumb itself. To read more, click here .

The Moose's Tooth Massif peaking through the Clouds
Photo by Jason Martin

--In mid-May Renan Ozturk, Zack Smith and Freddie Wilkinson attempted to complete a traverse of the entire Moose's Tooth massif. They completed a new route on the south face of the Moose's Tooth, but ultimately failed in their traverse. To read more, click here .


--On the soft snow above Everest Base Camp at 17,400 feet, Chad Kellogg is trudging uphill in trail-running shoes. Attempting to reach the summit of the world's highest mountain alone, without oxygen, and in record time, Kellogg is on a mission both physical and intensely personal. But it's not going well. Abnormally high temperatures this spring afternoon have turned the snow to slush, and for every step he takes forward, Kellogg is sliding half a step back. Most of the 140 climbers attempting the summit had left in the crisp early morning, wearing heavy plastic climbing boots with crampons. But if Kellogg was going to beat the speed record, he needed to avoid the crowds and go it alone. To read more, click here .

Notes from All Over:

--A man who was found dead this afternoon about a quarter-mile up Red Rock Trail at Settlers Park in west Boulder likely committed suicide, according to Boulder County sheriff's officials. Cmdr. Rick Brough said the man, 43, likely died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The victim's name was not immediately released. Boulder County sheriff's deputies and Rocky Mountain Rescue volunteers were still at the scene about 5 p.m, and had closed the trail. To read more, click here .

--An experienced climber and Boulder water rights lawyer was seriously injured in the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area west of Brainard Lake on Saturday morning and rescued via helicopter after a lengthy search of the area. Glenn Porzak, 64, was flown to St. Anthony's Central Hospital in Denver. He was in the surgical intensive care unit on Sunday, but the hospital would not provide information on his condition. To read more, click here .

--Rescuers last week brought a 17-year-old climber to safety off Huntington Ravine on New Hampshire's Mount Washington.Fish and Game Department officials said Sean McCarthy, of Exeter, N.H., was rock climbing in the Central Gulley of Huntington Ravine on Thursday morning when he fell. He came to rest about two-thirds of the way up the headwall and is believed to be seriously injured, officials said. To read more, click here .

--By this time, everybody and their grandmother knows the Aron Ralston story. That is the story of the young man who got his arm pinned behind a boulder in the Canyonlands and was forced to cut it off with a pocket knife. And perhaps some of you were aware that the academy award winning director Danny Boyle of Slumdog Millionaire fame was directing actor James Franco in a screen version of it. But I bet you didn't know that James Franco made an appearance at AAI Guide Kurt Hick's wedding last week. Yup, the actor is going out with Kurt's wife's take that Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon . In any case, the trailer to the new film can be viewed below

--Chad Kellogg and Dylan Johnson recently abandoned plans to climb All Along the Watchtower, a famous Grade VI on the west face of North Howser Tower in the Bugaboos of British Columbia to pluck a new line out nearby. The Simulator (5.11 C2, 19 pitches, 3,000') climbs the Southwest face of the peak. To read more, click here .

-- The national parks’ history is full of examples of misguided visitors feeding bears, putting children on buffalos for photos and dipping into geysers despite signs warning of scalding temperatures. But today, as an ever more wired and interconnected public visits the parks in rising numbers — July was a record month for visitors at Yellowstone — rangers say that technology often figures into such mishaps. People with cellphones call rangers from mountaintops to request refreshments or a guide; in Jackson Hole, Wyo., one lost hiker even asked for hot chocolate. A French teenager was injured after plunging 75 feet this month from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon when he backed up while taking pictures. And last fall, a group of hikers in the canyon called in rescue helicopters three times by pressing the emergency button on their satellite location device. When rangers arrived the second time, the hikers explained that their water supply “tasted salty.” To read more, click here.
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