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Climbing News from Here and Abroad - 11/17/11

Posted Nov 17 2011 9:00am

--A weekend of peace and spirituality turned deadly for a Los Angeles area man whose shoeless body was found Sunday on the slopes of Mount Shasta after he apparently tried to climb the treacherous mountain on Saturday wearing only a t-shirt and sweat pants. The body of Michael Falvo, 19, was discovered around 1 p.m. Sunday near the 9,600-foot elevation of Mt. Shasta by a California Highway Patrol helicopter, a spokeswoman for the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office said today. To read more, click here .

--A 32-year-old climber from Bend was seriously injured Monday afternoon when he fell to a tall ledge on the Marsupial Rocks near Smith Rock State Park, prompting a six-hour rescue effort, authorities said. Deschutes County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue and sheriff’s deputies responded about 1 p.m. to the report of a hurt climber on the Wombat formation of the Marsupial Rocks climbing area near Smith Rock State Park, said Deputy Rhett Hemphill.  To read more, click here .

--Sales of a new Washington state park parking pass, the Discover Pass, is not raising the cash officials expected. Lawmakers have mostly cut off parks from taxpayers' help, whether or not the new $30 annual parking fee can fill the gap. If the program fails, the parks agency would have to find new money or close most of the state's 116 parks. To read more, click here .


Hans Florine

--Last week, rock climbers Hans Florine and Alex Honnold ascended the famed Nose route on Yosemite's El Capitan in 2 hours, 37 minutes, 30 seconds just 45 seconds slower than the existing record of 2:36:45 set by Dean Potter and Sean Leary in November 2010. Due to inclement weather and scheduling conflicts, the duo likely will have to postpone any future attempts until next summer. Florine spoke about speed climbing following the attempt while promoting the Reel Rock Film Tour. See more about the films at To read more, click here.

Desert Southwest:

--On October 26, 2011, the United States House of Representatives voted to pass the Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act of 2011 which would exchange approximately 2,400 acres of public land for 5,300 acres held by a multi-national mining company for the creation of a massive copper mine. The public land to be exchanged includes the Oak Flat campground, and a popular climbing area with hundreds of existing roped climbing routes and thousands of bouldering problems that for years was home of the historic Phoenix Bouldering Contest. Much of the Oak Flat area was protected from mining through an executive order made through the Eisenhower administration, but now Resolution Copper Mining (RCM) seeks to take possession of the land through an act of Congress. To read more, click here .

--Every year, more than four million visitors come to see the majesty of Grand Canyon National Park, they also see the plastic bottles strewn along the trail, the chipmunks chewing on twist-off bottle caps...  Plastic bottles are the biggest single source of trash found in the park, according to Stephen P. Martin, who formerly oversaw the Grand Canyon for the National Park Service. Martin had a smart plan to solve this problem by banning the sale of disposable water bottles inside the park. But according to the New York Times, that idea was crushed by higher-ups who were apparently worried about losing sponsorship money from Coca-Cola, which has donated more than $13 million to the National Park Foundation. The about-face is not just a concern for national park patrons. Money from Coke also adds life to California state parks. To read more, click here .

Notes from All Over:

--A world record-holding professional skier who once famously jumped off a 255-foot cliff jump died in a weekend avalanche in Utah while on a steep slope at a closed resort. Jamie Pierre, 38, was swept over a cliff Sunday at Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort in the Wasatch mountains about 30 miles southeast of Salt Lake City. To read more, click here . The following video details Pierre's famous jump.

--As Washington policymakers await action by the Congressional Super Committee, the nonprofit National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) released a new report titled “Made in America: Investing in National Parks for Our Heritage and Our Economy,” which details how national parks and visitors could be impacted if the Super Committee fails and mandatory across-the-board cuts are made to the federal budget. The report also finds that investing in national parks not only protects our national heritage, but is critical to supporting the livelihood of businesses and communities across the country. to read more, click here .

--This is our favorite headline from the last week, "Half-Naked Climber Rescued." It turns out the half-naked climber was strung out on some kind of hallucinogen.  To read more, click here and here and here .

--On November 4, 2011, in Seoul, Korea, Denis Urubko and Gennady Durov won the Piolets d'Or Asia in Seoul, Korea for their new line on Pik Pobeda (24,406'), which they established late in the summer. To read more, click here .

--In October British mountaineers Mick Fowler and Dave Turnbull completed a first ascent of the  Gojung (20,702') in Nepal.  The peak is in an extremely remote region, where just getting to the mountain is a great part of the adventure. To read more, click here .

--Leave No Trace is hiring.  To learn more, click here .
--A 38-year-old Morgan Hill, California man has been charged with being high on methamphetamine, owning a stash of sharp cockfighting ankle spikes, and skinning a bobcat before he ate it.  Henry Arnibal was not charged with eating a bobcat. That's not illegal, but killing one without a permit is against the law. To read more, click here .

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