November 14, 2011

Snowbird Ski Resort     Photo: Lietmotiv/Flickr

Jamie Pierre Dies In Utah Avalanche

Well-known skier pulled down rocky slope

Extreme skier Jamie Pierre died in Utah Sunday afternoon when he triggered an avalanche near Snowbird Shi Resort and was swept "hundreds of feet" through rocky terrain. According to news reports, Pierre, 38, was snowboarding out of bounds in the South Chute area, a section of backcountry at Snowbird, after having traversed from nearby Alta Ski Area. Both mountains plan to open to the public within the next several weeks but have not yet begun avalanche control for the season. On Sunday, the Utah Avalanche Center warned that a recent snowfall on top of a degraded early season base posed significant avalanche risk. "Make no doubt," the Center wrote early yesterday, "conditions are ripe for someone to get caught in an avalanche." At least 12 slides were record in Utah on Sunday. Pierre, who lived in Montana, frequently appeared in major ski films from Warren Miller, Teton Gravity Research, and Matchstick Productions. He set a world record for biggest cliff jump in 2006 when he skied off a 255-foot face at Wyoming's Grand Targee. He is the first avalanche fatality in the United States this season.

Read more at The Desert News

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Adam Ondra     Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Ondra Sends New V16 Boulder Problem

First to boulder and sport climb at top level

Czech climber Adam Ondra opened one of the world's hardest boulders on Friday with the first ascent of a new V16-graded problem near his home in the Czech Republic. Ondra, 18, spent a total of 12 days working the climb, a 12-move traverse that crosses the bottom of a limestone sport crag in Holstejn. In posts online, Ondra said that Terranova was "undoubtedly harder" than any V15 he had climbed in the past, but admitted that the low traverse might "not be motivating at all" for most climbers. The grade is sure to be controversial: there are only a small handful of proposed V16s in the world, and none of them have yet received a second ascent. If it sticks, Ondra will be the first climber ever to send both a boulder problem and a sport route at the highest existing level of difficulty.

Read more at Climbing Narc

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Wolf in Alaska     Photo: BlackburnPhoto/Flickr

Alaska Considering Wolf Kill for Hunters

Cull would aim to raise moose population

State officials in Alaska are debating whether to shoot wolves from airplanes in an effort to give hunters more opportunities to kill moose. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game believes that the Kenai Peninsula's wolves, which number between 90 and 135, have pushed the moose population of 5,000 well under the department's target. Killing wolves by plane, which is illegal under federal law except for population management, is a highly contentious issue in Alaska. The peninsula is immediately south of Anchorage and has long been a popular destination for moose hunters. A decision on whether to proceed with the plan is expected early this week.

Read more at Reuters

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Parking Garage     Photo: Seth Anderson/Flickr

Marathoner Loses Car After Race

Man couldn't find parking garage in NYC

A man who ran the New York City Marathon lost his car for two days when he couldn't remember where he had parked his car before the race. Charles Petraske, 34, had driven from his home near Albany and parked in a parking garage in midtown Manhattan. He ran the race in 3 hours and 16 minutes, but, disoriented after finishing and carrying only his keys and $40, couldn't remember where he had parked and was forced to call his wife for a ride. Two days later, Petraske tracked down his car by calling an advertising service and describing the advertisements he remembered seeing at a nearby bus stop.

Read more at the New York Post

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Cory Richards     Photo: Cory Richards

Richards Named Adventurer of the Year

Nat Geo honors climber, "Cold" filmmaker

On Friday, National Geographic named climber and filmmaker Cory Richards their 2012 Adventurer of the Year in the climbing category. Richards became the first American to complete a winter ascent of an 8,000-meter peak when he climbed Gasherbrum II last February. The accolade capped a banner week for Richards, whose film Cold swept the Banff Mountain Film Festival on November 6th, winning awards for excellence in Audio Post Production, Best Climbing Film, and the festival's Grand Prize.  

Read more at National Geographic

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