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Climbing News from Here and Abroad -- June 25, 2009

Posted Jun 25 2009 1:58pm

--The Access Fund recently announced that an option agreement to purchase the 20-acre private inholding at the Lower Index Town Walls of Snohomish County, Washington has been secured. This popular climbing area boasts several hundred quality granite climbing routes and is only an hour drive from Seattle. Its proximity to a major metropolitan area and its short approach from the trailhead make this cliff line a popular after work or after school climbing destination for the Seattle-Everett area. To read more, click here.

--A three-year-old girl was out for a walk with her mom in their Squamish neighborhood at dinnertime Tuesday evening when she was attacked by a cougar. The child's father told CBC the girl thought the cougar was playing with her when it swiped at her from behind in Fisherman's Park near the Squamish River. She was in the hospital with lacerations Tuesday night but was expected to be okay. To read more, click here.

The North Side of Mount Baker Last Week
Photo by Jason Martin

--An injured climber was rescued Sunday afternoon from Mount Baker after falling 150 feet. The Whatcom County Sheriff's Office received a report of the injured climber at about 1:42 pm. Kenneth Capron, 56, of Spanaway, had fallen while descending the Railroad Grade -- a portion of the trail that follows the crest of a steep moraine. The climber was in and out of consciousness with head injuries until he was helicoptered off the mountain. To read more, click here.

--Mark Albrecht, a 22-year old hiker from Everett, went missing late last week. It appears that the young man missed a switchback in the fog while descending from Sahale Mountain near Cascade Pass. Once Albrecht realized he was lost, he pitched his tent and waited for the weather to clear. The decision to sit still likely saved his life. To read more, click here.

--Two hikers who were lost on Mount Pilchuck have been rescued. The Snohomish County Sheriff's office says a man and a woman who were hiking separately both became lost Sunday and then ran into each other. The man had a cell phone with a low battery but was able to call for help. Rescuers made contact with the pair Sunday night and helped them hike out early Monday. To read more, click here.

--Park visitation in Olympic National Park is way up. This apparently has little to do with frugal families in a down economy, but instead with a teeny bop fascination with the Stephanie Meyers Twilight vampire series. The books -- and film -- follow a teenage girl who lives on the fringes of the Olympic National Park in Forks, Washington. Fans have become enamored with both the town and with the National Park. To read more, click here.


--As many as 30 horrified onlookers watched as a male hiker fell from the cable route on Yosemite's Half Dome Cable Route on June 13th. It appears that rain may have contributed to the fatal slip on the popular "tourist" route to the top of the feature. To read more, click here and here.


The Alaska Volcano Observatory posted the following report this week on the Redoubt Volcano:

Early morning hutcam image shows snow accumulating on the upper reaches of Redoubts still-growing dome. The lack of heat on the higher slopes, and steam and blocky morphology of the margins and toe of the lava dome suggests the predominant growth is internal and radial; expanding outwards rather than extruding from the top center.

The 2009 eruption of Redoubt volcano continues. Seismicity has been low during the past week, but remains above background level. Seismicity is primarily comprised of small, discrete events associated with continued growth and instability of the lava dome.

Cloudy conditions have obscured most webcam and satellite images this week. Mostly clear webcam images today show continued steam and gas emissions from the dome. No ash signals have been observed in satellite or radar imagery.

Poor weather conditions throughout the week limited field work opportunities. One field crew was able to measure gas emissions from the plume and briefly observe the dome on Monday, June 15. The lava dome is now approximately 1,000 m in length, 460 m in width, and 200 m tall. Data suggest that the rate of dome growth may be slowing. This large mass of fresh lava remains unstable and could fail with little or no warning, leading to significant ash production and possible lahars in the Drift River valley.

AVO continues to monitor Redoubt's activity 24/7. AVO will provide frequent updates of the volcano's status and the earliest possible warning of significant explosive activity and other hazards.

Notes from All Over:

--Three American Climbers -- Majka Burhardt, Peter Doucette and Kate Rutherford -- recently completed two new big wall routes on the Orabeskopf Wall in Southeastern Africa. Southern Crossing clocks in at a solid 5.11+, Grade V and Painted Giraffe, clocks in at 5.9+, Grade V. To read more, click here.

AAI Guide Tim Connelly shows off a battlescar from the Maxidash
Tim was stung in the ear by a wasp while in the Competition

--Earlier this week we published an article on the Maxidash race in Kenya and one of our guide's involvment in the race. After 350 kilometers of driving and 16 routes in 24 hours AAI guide Tim Connelly and Lucas Gonzales won the event with 440 points. To read more, click here and here.

--Backcountry enthusiasts no longer have to forgo wine with dinner. Trek N' Eat is producing a dehydrated wine...which is kind of weird. The wine comes in a powder and has 8.2% alcoholic content. To read more, click here.

--The television show, Today, recently ran a piece on a couple of canyoneers who were videotaping a rappel in Zion National Park. During the descent, one of the climbers lost control and fell over 100 feet. To watch the segment, please click on the following link:

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