Free-Solo Climber Falls to Death Near Boulder

The formation features slabs of rock at less-than-vertical angles. It’s an easy ascent for many—but after topping out, climbers must then down-climb the backside, which is vertical.     Photo: b k / Flickr

Free-Solo Climber Falls to Death Near Boulder

Popular climbing area is infamous for accidents

A climber’s body was found on a hiking trail near Boulder, Colorado, on September 27, the AP reports. Angus Moloney, 22, was reportedly free-solo climbing the Fifth Pinnacle above the Gregory Canyon Trail, which is part of Boulder’s Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP), and fell the day before his body was discovered.

“It’s easy to get onto some of these very challenging formations,” Phillip Yates, spokesperson for the OSMP, told Outside on Wednesday. “[Some climbers] don’t even know their limits when they access these areas, and that creates problems.”

Free soloing, the practice of climbing without rope or a harness, is common in the area, Malcolm Daly, an employee at Neptune Mountaineering, a specialty climbing shop in Boulder, told Outside. The formation features slabs of rock at less-than-vertical angles. It’s an easy ascent for many—someone once climbed the nearby Third Flatiron wearing clamp-on roller skates—but after topping out, climbers must then down-climb the backside, which is vertical.

“When they get to the top, it’s like, ‘Oh shit, now what do we do?’” Daly said. “That’s the scene of a lot of epic accidents.” 

Moloney’s mother, Jean Palmer-Moloney, told the Daily Star that her son was an experienced climber but wasn’t wearing a helmet at the time of his accident. 

“I think young men, especially in their 20s, feel invincible,” Palmer-Moloney said to the Star. “But they have to know that they need to be safe.” 

According to an obituary published in the Carteret County News-Times, a memorial service for Moloney is planned on October 24 in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina.


Kuriki Pushes for Everest Summit Again

Kuriki is the first climber to attempt to summit Everest since the earthquake that killed almost 9,000 in April.     Photo: lampertron / Flickr

Kuriki Pushes for Everest Summit Again

Expects to reach the top by Thursday

Nobukazu Kuriki, a Japanese mountaineer attempting to be the first to summit Mount Everest since the April earthquake in Nepal, reached the South Col between Everest and Lhotse late Tuesday night, according to ExplorersWeb. He is now making the final push for the top.

“It’s windy and very cold, but my condition is good,” Kuriki wrote on a Facebook post at about midnight on Thursday, Nepal time, after leaving the final camp. “Estimated time to reach the summit would be from tomorrow morning till noon.”

As Outside reported in late September, Kuriki was forced to abandon an earlier summit attempt due to heavy snow, but he did not descend lower than Base Camp and said he would try again within a few days—this time, as a solo climber, and without supplemental oxygen.



JetBlue Airways will start a farm at John F. Kennedy International Airport.     Photo: Joe Shlabotnik / Flickr

JetBlue to Open Urban Farm

To grow produce at JFK

JetBlue Airways is opening a 24,000-square-foot farm outside Terminal 5 at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, according to the AP. The project is primarily intended to educate people about farming and sustainability, but JetBlue hopes eventually to provide produce for farm-to-terminal restaurants.

The farm will focus on growing potatoes, carrots, basil, chives, and other produce that will not attract wildlife. 

“Most people have probably not been to a potato farm,” Jared Simon, senior marketing director for natural food company Hain Celestial, told the AP. “It’s really about the education. There’s such a desire from consumers to connect what they are eating with where it is from.”

Environmental group GrowNYC has partnered with JetBlue on the farm project. GrowNYC is a “nonprofit that supports local agriculture and farmers’ markets,” according to JetBlue’s website. “JetBlue now offers GrowNYC products in our Terminal 5 at JFK.”

The farm will initially be closed to the public. JetBlue plans to invite students to educational programs on the farm, beginning in the spring, the AP reports. The airline also hopes to allow travelers to visit the farm by signing up in advance.