August 12, 2011

Canadian rock climber Sonnie Trotter     Photo: Ben Moon

Trotter & Caldwell Redpoint The Shining

Climbers take new route in Canadian Rockies

Climbers Sonnie Trotter and Tommy Caldwell made the first ascent of a new, hard route up Mt. Louie in the Canadian Rockies earlier this week. The route, called The Shining, climbs 15 pitches up Louie's sheer limestone Diamond Face. In an email sent this Tuesday to Black Diamond, which sponsors both climbers, Trotter said that the route came in at a difficulty of 5.13c/d, a full grade harder than the pair had expected. "We started our mission at 1am, and we both freed every pitch, and summited around 6pm, and [went] back to town for a steak dinner." Trotter wrote. Caldwell and Trotter bolted seven of the climb's fifteen pitches, all on lead.

Read more at Black Diamond

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Radiohead's Thom Yorke     Photo: radioedit/Flickr

Radiohead Sounds Off on Pipeline

Frontman Thom Yorke calls out Obama

Radiohead lead singer Thom Yorke voiced his opposition to the planned Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline on the band’s blog on Thursday. “President Obama is soon to make a decision on whether to press one of THE big red climate self destruct buttons,” Yorke wrote in reference to the planned 1,600-mile pipe that would carry oil from Alberta, Canada, across at least six states and two provinces, to the U.S. Gulf Coast. The House of Representatives has given the president until Nov. 1 to make a decision on the pipeline, but the Senate has not yet approved this legislation. Yorke went on to promote the upcoming “Stop the Pipeline!” sit-in protest scheduled for August 20-Sept. 3 in Washington D.C. Yorke joins actor Mark Ruffalo and Canadian musician Sarah Harmer in opposing the pipeline. The vast amount of oil beneath Alberta’s tar sands makes it an important source for the U.S., and a completed pipeline would carry more than 1 million barrels per day. Controversy has erupted over the ecological impacts of the pipeline itself, such as leaks and habitat destruction, as well as the increase in greenhouse gases that could result from easy access to so much oil. The U.S. State Department plans to release a statement about the impact this month. Keystone XL would be an addition to TransCanada’s existing Keystone pipeline, which has experienced several oil leaks this year.

Read more at Spinner.

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    Photo: Tony Harrington

2011 World Heli Champs Crowned

Event closes with multimedia flair

The World Heli Challenge announced its winners last night with the same multimedia flair that has defined the New Zealand ski event the last few years. Judges from around the world viewed online video from each day of compeition and partnered with on-site judges to pick the four winners of the helicopter assessed freestyle and extreme snowboarding and skiing competition. The winners included three New Zealanders (Sam Smoothy in men's ski, Janina Kuzma in women's ski, and Abby Lockhart in women's snowboard) and one Aussie (Benny Bright in men's snowboard). Two-time champion Ted Davenport, who injured his leg on a nasty fall during the Extreme Day of competition, joined in the ceremonies via Skype. Not one to be left out of the festivities, he performed some wheelchair tricks for the crowd in Wanaka, New Zealand. Judges also handed out five awards for the best photography and four awards for the best videography. If you missed the event, founder Tony Harrington and crew have arranged for all of the winning photos and videos to be up on worldhelichallenge.com by this afternoon.  

Read more at ESPN Go

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U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association     Photo: USSA

U.S. Team Kicks Off Skier

Athlete pissed on girl on JetBlue flight

In one of the more disgusting reasons for dismissal from a sports team due to conduct violations, the U.S. Ski Team kicked a member off its development squad after he peed on an 12-year-old girl during a JetBlue flight from Portland to New York. The team notified the AP of the dismissal via email today. Robert "Sandy" Vietze, of Warren, Vermont, took the Wednesday flight after a week-long training camp at Mount Hood. He consumed six beers and two rum and colas before the flight and sometime during it stumbled several rows ahead of his seat before relieving himself on the young girl. The victim was on the flight with her sister and father—a Stage 4 cancer patient. "F- -k that kid. I don't want him near my family!" yelled the father during the flight, according to the New York Post. Police at Kennedy National Airport detained the 18-year-old, but later let him go. Charges are pending. "I was drunk, and I did not realize I was pissing on her leg," the skier told cops, according to the New York Post .

Read More at the AP

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Alps Glacier     Photo: Andrea Bertaglia/Flickr

Climber's Remains Found 54 Years Later

Police in Austria shocked by findings

Authorities in Austria on Thursday found the remains of a mountain climber they believe went missing 54 years ago. Police alerted the Austria Press Agency that they uncovered the remains, a partial skeleton, in the Tyrolean Alps after a hiker had turned in human bones and a hiking boot he'd found near a glacier. The remains, found at an altitude of 8,200 feet, are thought to belong to a man from the nearby town of Matrei in Osttirol, near the Italian border, who went missing while hiking in 1957.

Read more at the Associated Press

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