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Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 9/22/11

Posted Sep 22 2011 9:01am

--The American Alpine Institute Gear Sale will take place on September 31st and October 1st. Join us in Bellingham for major deals and free climbing clinics!


--AAI Guide Chantel Astorga has really pushed the limits over the last year.  Late last summer she soloed Mescalito on El Capitan and last week she pushed the boundaries even further. Chantel now holds the female speed record on the Nose with a 10 hour, 40 minute time from bottom to top.  To read more, click here .

--On Friday September 9th, the Mono County Sheriff Search and Rescue Team responded to rescue an injured backpacker near Iceberg Lake. The initial report stated that his leg that was “broken from the knee down,” and that he was potentially going into shock. To read more, click here .

--An experienced climber took a lead fall in Owens River Gorge with the rope behind his leg, resulting in multiple injuries. To read more, click here .

Desert Southwest:

--Amos Richards, a sixty-four year-old North Carolina man, is lucky to be alive after spending four days and three nights crawling across the Utah desert with a broken leg before being rescued last Monday, National Park Traveler reports . To read more, click here .


--In late August, Mark Richey, Steve Swenson, and Freddie Wilkinson, completed a first of Saser Kangri II (24,665'), the world's second highest unclimbed peak.  To read more, click here .

Notes from All Over:

--AAI Guide Dawn Glanc, was married over the weekend. Congrats, Dawn!

--A 16-person rescue team on Wednesday successfully recovered the body of a climber who died Saturday while descending a rocky slope near Pyramid Peak in the Colorado Rockies. To read more, click here .

--A mountain climber from Calgary miraculously escaped with his life after tumbling 1300 feet from near the summit of Mount Lefroy on the weekend. The 27-year-old man reached the summit of the 11,230-foot peak with his climbing buddy around 1pm Saturday, had unroped and was looking for an alternate way down when he slipped and fell. To read more, click here .

--From October 1st through December 15th, the 2012 Mugs Stump Award will be accepting grant applications from small climbing teams with fast and light alpine objectives.To read more, click here .

--A new management plan is being developed for the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.  To learn more about it, click here.

--The American Alpine Club has created a very cool feature on their site.  They have created a "guidebook finder" for climbing areas in the United States.  Check it out, here .

--The two American hikers, Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, who were accused of spying by the Iranian government, were freed yesterday. To read more, click here .

--The Access Fund has recently announced the second round of grant recipients for 2011.  Following is a breakdown from their website
Red River Gorge Climbers Coalition — Graining Fork Nature Preserve (Roadside) Restoration
A grant was awarded to Red River Gorge Climbers Coalition (RRGCC) to help private land owners restore and address climber impacts at Roadside Crag in the Graining Fork Nature Preserve near Torrent, Kentucky. The owners closed the highly popular climbing area due to climber impacts and disrespect for rules, and this project will help address these impacts before public access is re-considered. Pending a plan for re-opening, the Access Fund and the RRGCC will work together with the landowners, using volunteer labor to implement trail improvements, stabilize base areas to address severe erosion, and install both an informational kiosk at the trailhead and other signage along the trail.

CRAG-Vermont — Bolton Quarry Access Road Repair
CRAG-Vermont was awarded a grant to help cover the cost of repairing the access road on their Bolton Quarry property after an unprecedented flood washed out the road in April and blocked off climbing access to the area. This grant follows an emergency stewardship loan by the Access Fund Land Conservation Campaign to help raise $16,295 to cover the cost of repairs completed in June and re-establish their long-term stewardship funds. CRAG-Vermont has successfully protected climbing access to six different crags in the Bolton area and this road provides access to three of those crags.

Utah Open Lands — Castleton Tower Toilet Installation
Utah Open Lands (UOL) was awarded a grant to help address waste management issues at the Castleton Tower Preserve Area. This favorite climbing destination has seen increased use and thus greater impact in recent years. The Access Fund is pleased to support UOL in conjunction with Friends of Indian Creek and Planet Granite to protect and steward Castle Valley. Together we will help keep this area fee free and protected for future generations.

Friends of Muir Valley — Muir Valley Parking Improvements/Expansion
A grant was awarded to Friends of Muir Valley to improve and expand parking at Muir Valley, which hosts over 20,000 visitor days each year and growing. Lack of parking was beginning to cause serious access issues, with the current lot overflowing and many climbers (some of whom traveled a great distance) having to turn away. This project will help expand and improve the current parking lot and build an auxiliary parking lot for an additional 27 vehicles, accommodating oversized vehicles such as buses and RVs. Much of the design and labor will be donated.

Yosemite Climbing Association — 2011 Yosemite Facelift
A grant was awarded to the Yosemite Climbing Association (YCA) to help fund outreach and volunteer appreciation at the annual Yosemite Facelift. The event will address impacts to trails, roadways, river corridors, campgrounds, lodging areas, and climbing areas. The 2011 Facelift will also feature special projects such as removal of abandoned infrastructure, non-native species removal, old dump site removal, and, new this year, climbing trail restoration.

New Mexico CRAG — Diablo Canyon Restoration and Recreational Enhancement
New Mexico CRAG (NM-CRAG) was awarded a grant to assist the BLM in an effort to enhance the recreational potential of the Buckman Area, including Diablo Canyon, a basalt climbing area outside Santa Fe, New Mexico. The grant money will help restore riparian and other important hydro-ecologic functions of the area, as well as assist the BLM with the development of parking, camping, trail infrastructure, and informative signage about climbing opportunities in Diablo Canyon.

Boulder Climbing Community — Startup and Structuring
A grant was awarded to the Boulder Climbing Community (BCC), which kicked off in 2010 to connect and support the many climbers and local climbing organizations in the Boulder, Colorado area. The grant will assist the BCC in the process of becoming a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization; establish a more formal structure that transcends any one individual and maximizes involvement from community members; and improve BCC’s branding through the development of visible materials such as banners and signs.

Friends of Indian Creek — Superbowl Toilet Installation
Earlier this year, Access Fund awarded an off-cycle grant to Friends of Indian Creek (FOIC) to install a toilet at the popular Superbowl Campground. This toilet installation is part of a larger conservation effort to manage waste and reduce human impacts in the fragile desert landscape of Indian Creek.

 --The Fresh Air Fund, an organization that helps kids get out to have real summer vacations, had another phenomenal year.  To learn more about the organization, please click here .
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