L.A. City Council Backs Olympic Bid

In a 15-0 vote, the council granted negotiation rights to Mayor Eric Garcetti to formally begin the negotiations process with the United States Olympic Committee.     Photo: Nserrano / Wikipedia

L.A. City Council Backs Olympic Bid

For U.S. selection for 2024

This story was updated on September 1 to reflect a change in development.

The Los Angeles City Council announced on Tuesday it would back the city’s bid for hosting the 2024 Olympics, according to the AP. In a 15-0 vote, the council granted negotiation rights to Mayor Eric Garcetti to formally begin the negotiations process with the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC). 

Los Angeles became the lead city to represent the U.S. in its bid for the 2024 Games after USOC-elect Boston, selected in January, dropped out of contention in July due to lack of resident and mayoral support. Concern largely centered around overage costs for the games being the responsibility of the host city. 

The LA24 proposal, released on August 25, stated that hosting the games would cost a projected $4.6 billion and generate $161 million in profits. Garcetti said that the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the parent organization of the Games, will commit between $1.5 billion and $2 billion to the budget, Los Angeles Daily News reported. He also has said that profit projections are conservative.  

“I think it’s much, much more probable that we’ll have a lot of revenue sources that come from [hosting the Olympics] than worrying about the loss,” Garcetti told Los Angeles Daily News prior to the vote.

The USOC must formally confirm Los Angeles as its selection to the IOC by September 15. The city would then join Rome, Hamburg, Paris, and Budapest in contention for host site, with an expected selection in 2017.

UPDATE: September 1, 17:00 MDT: The U.S. Olympic Committee named Los Angeles as the U.S. bid to host the 2024 Olympics on Tuesday afternoon, according to the AP.


Obama Calls for Accelerated Timeline for Icebreakers

The U.S. Coast Guard currently has a fleet of three active vessels, only one of which is a heavy-duty vessel.     Photo: U.S. Geological Survey / Flickr

Obama Calls for Accelerated Timeline for Icebreakers

For year-round access to the Arctic

On Tuesday, President Obama proposed moving up the timetable for buying a new U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker from 2022 to 2020, according to a White House press release. He also called for planning to begin on construction of additional icebreakers to allow the U.S. more access to the Arctic.

Marine traffic to the Arctic has increased with melting sea ice, which reached a record low this February. The accelerated timeline would help the U.S. develop the capacity for year-round access to further regions of the Arctic, maintain control of shipping routes and fishing grounds, and protect pristine habitats. 

The Coast Guard currently has a fleet of three active vessels, only one of which is a heavy-duty vessel. Russia, which also has claims to the Arctic, has 40 vessels, with 11 others planned or under constriction. 

The release calls for Congress to provide resources to fund the construction of addition icebreakers, each of which will cost around $1 billion, according to Reuters.

“The growth of human activity in the Arctic region will require highly engaged stewardship to maintain the open seas necessary for global commerce and scientific research, allow for search and rescue activities, and provide for regional peace and stability,” the release said.


Freeride World Qualifier Will Take Place in Argentina

While Penitentes is a three-hour drive from Mendoza, Argentina, the location is somewhat isolated.     Photo: Notimix / Flickr

Freeride World Qualifier Will Take Place in Argentina

Big mountain competition at Penitentes

Ski organizers in South America announced a last-minute Freeride World Qualifier race to take place September 4 and 5 at Penitentes, Argentina, Powder reported on Monday. To take advantage of the area’s snowfall this year, the late-season Southern Hemisphere event will be open to all skiers (with a cap of 80 participants).

Tom Winter, the Freeride World Tour Americas manager, told Powder that the site at Penitentes—where South America's only big mountain skiing competition this year will take place—was chosen for its remoteness and variety of terrain. “The entire valley is spectacular, and while the ski area is small, there are tons of hike-to options, both immediately above and adjacent to the resort as well as along the highway,” he told Powder. “It’s really a hidden gem and I’m really impressed with the potential here.”

Penitentes is a three-hour drive from Mendoza, Argentina, and somewhat isolated, according to Powder. Most businesses are cash-only, cell service is limited, and travelers arriving in Argentina from Chile will have to cross the border during regularly scheduled times (between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.), which are subject to change due to weather or other concerns.


Climbing Accident Leaves 2 Dead in Wind River Range

The climbers fell while rappelling down 11,884-foot Pingora Peak in the Cirque of Towers area of the Wind River Range.     Photo: Doug Letterman / Flickr

Climbing Accident Leaves 2 Dead in Wind River Range

Second double fatality in Wyoming in 1 week

Two men died while climbing in the Wind River Range in western Wyoming on Friday afternoon, six days after a double climbing fatality in Grand Teton National Park, according to the AP. The victims were identified by the Fremont County coroner’s office as Keith Murray Henderson (57) of Lander, Wyoming, and Scottsbluff, Nebraska, and Jonathan Peter MacDonald (23) of Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Fremont County Undersheriff Ryan D. Lee told the AP another climber witnessed the two fall while rappelling down the 11,884-foot-tall Pingora Peak in the Cirque of Towers area. The bodies were transported by helicopter to Lander, Wyoming, on Friday afternoon.

Lee told the AP that the climbers were experienced and Fremont County Search and Rescue is inspecting their gear.

“We're looking at everything, whether it was technique, the way things were rigged up, or whether it was a failure in a piece of equipment," Lee told the AP.

Less than a week earlier, two women fell approximately 200 feet to their deaths while climbing Teewinot Mountain in Grand Teton National Park.


U.S. Ski Team

The U.S. Ski Team holds their first on-snow camp for 2016 season.     Photo: Kiwi Discovery Queenstown / Flickr

WATCH: U.S. Ski Team Trains in New Zealand

First on-snow camp of 2016 season

Last week, the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association uploaded a YouTube video of Ted Ligety, Mikaela Shiffrin, and the rest of the U.S. Ski Team training at Coronet Peak in Queenstown, New Zealand. The video includes close-up slow-motion shots, and bird's-eye views of the team. Check out the video released by Cape Productions: