Czech Government Offers to Pay for Torres del Paine Forest Fire in Chile

Reuters reports the Czech government is offering to help pay for a fire at Chile’s most famous national park Torres del Paine in Patagonia after one of its citizen started it by kicking over a campstove. The fire burned in about 55 square miles out of the park’s total area of 700 square miles The imposing granite spires and vast glaciers in Torres del Paine are a magnet for foreign tourists, especially during the Southern Hemisphere summer from December-February. Dozens of campers were evacuated when the fire was at its height earlier this week. Smoke obscured the park’s spectacular views, but the fire never reached the most popular parts of the park, which lies near the bottom of the continent. Explorer Web reports that two climbers are still missing in the fire. There’s a lot of info on the park via Google.


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5 Killed in Mount Menalos Avalanche in Greece

The BBC report British journalist Diana Seale and four Greek climbers from the Greek Mountaineering Club of Athens were killed in an avalanche in the southern Peloponnese mountains in Greece. They were with a group of 28 climbing Mount Menalos. The other 23 escaped with minor injuries. Reports say the avalanche is thought to have happened when the group was at 1,500m (4,920 ft) and on the way down the mountain.


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Urban Legend?: Man Pees His Way Out Of Avalanche in Slovak Tatra Mountains

Update Feburary 3, 2004:
This is being discussed in our Forum and it was reported to Snopes to see if it is an urban legend. Snopes still calls it “undertermined” but notes there earlier was Czech story along the same lines that was mailed across Europe. A Slovak News Agency has never heard the story.
—- (more…)


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At Least 4 Killed in Austria Avalanches

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports an avalanche at St. Anton in Austri killed 3 at St. Anton in Austria. The avalanche, whose width was estimated as roughly equal to the length of three football fields laid end to end, struck at an elevation of about 7,550 feet in an off-trail area popular with thrill-seekers looking for deep powder. A second, even larger avalanche later Saturday struck a party of five Germans snowboarding in the Gargellen region of the southwestern province of Vorarlberg, killing one and critically injuring two others


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7 Rescued in Ice Storm on Portugal's Mainland Highpoint Serra da Estrela

Terradaily reports that seven hikers were rescued with exhaustion and hypothermia on Portugal’s highest mountain Serra da Estrela mountain, which tops out at 1,193 metres (3,937 feet). Serra de Estrela is the highpoint on the Portugal mainland. Our European web page lists Ponta do Pico (Pico or Pico Alto) on Ilha do Pico as the highest at 7,713 feet but it is in the Azores.


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2 Fatalities Feared on Irelands Carrantuohill

The Irish Examiner report authorities fear that two men have perished on Ireland’s Carrantuohill. A man in his 40’s fell several hundred feet on Beenkeragh Ridge to his death on the MacGillycuddy Reeks. Authorities have also called off the search for a 22-year-old Swedish man, Olas Jansen after a week. Weather conditions were described as atrocious, with very high winds and rain. The Jansen search involved more than 180 climbers and walkers from clubs north of the border, a Coastguard helicopter, Civil Defence, gardaí and seven sniffer dogs. The team expressed cause for concern about the large numbers of people that climb Carrantuohill during the festive season, especially on St Stephen’s Day.


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Tradition of Climbing Ireland's Highest Point on Dec. 26

Ireland On-Line warns that hikers should be prepared for winter weather for the traditional St. Stephens Day Hike of Carauntoohil which attracts thousands of hikers.


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French Dedicate World's Tallest Road Bridge (886 Feet) — Taller Than Eiffle Tower

Bloomberg repots that the French have dedicated the world’s highest road bridge which is taller than the Eiffle Tower.

The Millau Viaduct carries the highway from Paris to the Mediterranean some 270 meters (886 feet) above the Tarn River. Stretching for 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles), the bridge took three years to build at a cost of 320 million euros ($426 million). Motorists will be charged 4.9 euros to drive over it.

Built by French construction company Eiffage SA to Foster’s design, the bridge’s highest pylon measures 343 meters. That’s about 20 meters taller than the Eiffel Tower in Paris, which Eiffage helped build for the 1889 World’s Fair.


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Swiss Monks Sell Last of St. Bernard Dogs

Swiss Monks Sell Last of St. Bernard Dogs


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1967 Restored Film About Descent Following Accident Wins Banff Top Prize

1967 Restored Film About Descent Following Accident Wins Banff Top Prize


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