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Climbing News from Here and Abroad -- August 30, 2009

Posted Jul 31 2009 11:40am
Northwest:
--AAI Guide Dawn Glanc was featured on the cover of Alpinist 27. Dawn is slowly becoming a minor celebrity in the world of climbing athleticism. She won first place in the women's division at the Ouray Ice Festival this year.

The National Park Service picks up an injured climber.
Photo by Alasdair Turner


--AAI Guide Alasdair Turner found an injured solo climber on the Ptarmigan Traverse this weekend. The weather was quite bad and included a number of lightning storms. Alasdair was not able to have the climber evacuated until after the weather cleared. To read about the rescue, click here.

--The Mount Baker - Snoqualmie National Forest will receive $1.2 million for "maintenance and renovation of trails and developed recreation sites" from the Federal Stimulus Package. Another $1.86 million has been slated for Pacific Crest Trail work in Oregon and Washington, routine maintenance and storm damage repair. To read more, click here.

The House Hope Stewardship Project, taken off the shelf with $1.4 million from President Obama's economic stimulus package, will thin and restore 890 acres. It's a tiny fraction of the 60 million to 80 million acres the U.S. Forest Service estimates need it nationwide, but people here feel as if this is a start — not only to grappling with the growing threat of wildfire in a warming climate, but in healing rifts between environmentalists, the timber industry and the Forest Service that have left the national forests in limbo. To read more, click here.

--The U.S. Forest service has developed a survey to increase the use and value of their visitor centers. To take the survey, click here.

Sierra:

--An excellent accident report was recently posted on Supertopo.com. A group of three climbers were involved in a significant rockfall accident on the Venison Blind (IV, 5.7). The group successfully evacuated an individual with a seriously broken leg. To read the report, click here.

The giant sequoia trees of the western Sierra.
Photo by Janet Kinsey

--Scientists in California have set up a unique experiment to track the life histories of some of the world's oldest and tallest trees. The project is designed to follow up research, in the Yosemite National Park, which suggests that giant trees are perishing as a result of climate change. To read more, click here.

--Disabled climbers Mark Wellman and Steve Muse made an appearance on the Today show last week. The video focuses on Mark's incredible climb of El Capitan with a broken back and how his ascent has helped to inspire many other climbers with disabilities. To see the clip, click on the video below.

-- The Forks Fire in the Bishop Creek drainage launched this fire season with a dramatic show. Fortunately, no homes or other structures were lost. The more than 3,000 acre fire did grab the attention of residents and visitors. Now, the Forest Service wants to drive home the message - protect your home and educate yourself before the next wildland fire. To read more, click here.

Alaska:

--Denali National Park reports that there were 682 summits of Denali out of 1161 climbers this year, or a 59 percent success rate. On Mount Foraker, 8 of 15 climbers reached summit, or 53 percent success rate.

Himalaya:

--Finnish climber Veikka Gustafsson recently climbed Gasherbrum I in Pakistan, his 14th 8,000-meter peak without supplementary oxygen. Gustafsson is the the ninth person in history to climb all fourteen 8,000 meter peaks. To read more, click here.

--A small team of British balloonists flew to 36,000 feet and took photos of Mount Everest. The phenomenal pictures that they took may be seen here.


--Mount Huashan is one of China’s five sacred mountains and is famous for its dramatic and precipitous faces. It has great cultural significance and is famous for being the birthplace of Taoism, which worships and upholds nature and morality. Leo Houlding, Carlos Suarez and their Chinese partner climbed the west face which is 6680 feet of mostly vertical granite. It took the team a whole day to complete the ascent and they were met at the top by a large group of Chinese media who had gathered to cover the climb which has aroused great interest in China. To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:


Mount Fuji from Lake Kawaguch
Photo from Wikipedia


--A US man has been found dead on the slopes of Japan's Mount Fuji, police said Friday, and a second body has been recovered in the area where he went missing with a climbing companion last week. American Jerry Yu, 30, was found near the summit of Japan's tallest mountain on Thursday, a police official said from Gotemba city at the base of the volcano about 100 kilometres (60 miles) southwest of Tokyo. To read more, click here.

--San Diego climber Mark Winslow took his own life on Friday morning. Mark will be remembered as a an outstanding climber and a gentle person. He had a number of first ascents in the San Diego area. To read more, click here and here.

--The International Climbers Festival took place in Lander, Wyoming over the weekend. The festival featured climbing, slideshows, slacklining, crate stacking, beer drinking, pizza eating and dancing. To read about the festival, click here. If you're wondering what crate stacking is from that list, check out the following clip:



----The Boston Globe ran an editorial yesterday about President Obama and the National Parks. The story calls our new president a champion of the parks, but says that Congress can do more to promote and preserve the parks. To read the editorial, click here.

--Jean Trillet, a 61-year-old Swiss-Canadian climber, completed a new route on the north face of the Matterhorn with French climbers Martial Dumas and Jean-Yves Fredriksen. The new line is found between the 1935 and 1965 routes and climbs nearly continuous overhanging terrain. To read more, click here.


--Smokey the Bear was born in August 1944, sired by a committee of ad men and government bureaucrats hoping to safeguard a key war material: wood. Smokey today remains the face of the longest-running public service campaign in U.S. history -- a simple message delivered by an anthropomorphic bear. But Smokey's story is anything but simple. His uncompromising stance -- "Only you can prevent forest fires" -- helped alter the landscape by reinforcing the idea that fire was an enemy that should be eliminated, that the price to be paid for living in the path of wildfire was vigilance and will. Smokey's critics say decades of fire suppression helped create forests unnaturally thick with fuel, setting the stage for the infernos that march across the West every year. To read more, click here.

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