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

Soloist Survives 100 Foot Fall on Keyhole Route on Long’s Peak

The NPS reports: A 28-year-old man from Aurora, Colorado, fell about 100 feet from the Narrows section of the Keyhole Route on Longs Peak around 10 a.m. on the morning of Thursday, January 20th, knocking himself unconscious. When he regained consciousness, he climbed and pulled himself back to the Keyhole Route, then crawled and hobbled four miles to Chasm Junction, resting at one point in the Agnes Vaille Shelter near the Boulderfield. A local guide and his client heard cries for help around 6:30 p.m. that evening, found the man, and notified the park. A group of rescuers reached him just before midnight. Eight members of the park’s staff and nine members of Larimer County SAR stayed with him through the night. Plans to fly him out at sunrise the next morning had to be scratched due to high winds, so he was evacuated by a litter team, then taken by ambulance to Estes Park Medical Center. He was stable and alert with numerous injuries at the time of the report. [Submitted by Kyle Patterson, Public Affairs Specialist

Number of Rainier Climbers Decreased For Fourth Year in Row

The Rainier climbing report for 2004 is out. It notes that registed climbers on Rainier have decreased each year since its high of 13,114 in 2000 to 9,251 in 2004. The overwhelming number (5,400 went up Disappointment Cleaver) while 1,700 went up Emmons. The other routes were numbered in the hundreds. There was nearly a 54% summit percentage success rate (higher than the 46% success rate in 2000).
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Harnish Gowns Blog of Attempt to Climb all Coloroado Fourteeners in One Calendar Winter

Various newspapers including Arizona Central report that 28-year-old Harnish Gowans of Colorado Springs is seeking to be the first person to climb all 54 Colorado Fourteeners in the same calendar winter. His blog is on the Wild Snow website .

He calls is endeavor: The “54:14:1 project” or “Fourteeneramma Gran’ Slamma Winta Jamma,”
Gowans scheduled his climbs so he will hit the drier eastern mountains before too much snow piles up, then swing over to the southwestern peaks once a settling snowpack has lowered the risk of slides. To do this he quit his job as a bartender and moved out of his house. On his first peak — Longs Peak — he lost two toenails to frostbite. He says his months climbed a 14er when she was 7 months pregnant with him.

Mytopo Gets Big Coverage Prior to NFC Championship Game

Mytopo.com is about to get the highest attention I’ve ever seen for a topo mapmaker. Their maps are to be used immediately prior to the NFC Championship game on Sunday between Philadelphia and Atlanta during CBS Coverage of the Subaru Primal Quest adventure race. You can download .pdf maps at the mytopo web site. They are the actual maps you buy. I have always said mytopo maps are the coolest of all mapping options given their waterproof quality and ability to combine quads to your specific needs. We have links to the Mytopo maps for highpoints on americasroof guide page. At topozone.com you always have the option to print mytopo maps.

Lack of Attention to 1983 Borah Earthquake Raised in Idaho Gold Mine Controversy

The Boise Weekly reports Idaho has received its first application in more than 10 years for a new cyanidation gold mining facility. Desert Mineral Mining’s proposed small facility is located a 15-mile crow’s flight from downtown Boise off of Blacks Creek Road in northwest Elmore County. The article notes that 90 percent of the gold mined in the U.S.uses cyanide. The article criticizes the application because it is not even mention the earthquake hazard of the Borah 7.3 quake in 1983.
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Curwood Inches Up on Arvon in Vertcon Ranking

In calculating the datum shift from the NGVD 29 to NAVD 88, I notice that Mount Curwood is closer in height to Mount Arvon using the new data. Mount Curwood at 1,978 feet had long been considered the Michigan highpoint until surveyors in 1979 found Mount Arvon at 1,979 was a foot taller. However in 1988 the USGS said its height calculations were wrong because the measuring instruments had not taken into account the impact of gravity and mass. In the majority of the cases the mountains still maintain the same relative height ranking. However for mountains that are close in height there could be a flip flopping of the rankings. So running the two mountains through the NOAA Vertcon cacluator we find that Mount Curwood 0.06 metres or 2.362205 inches taller while Mount Arvon is 0.049 metres or 1.929134 inches taller. This means Curwood has a net gain of 0.433071 inch on Arvon. That’s still not enougth for Curwood to gain the foot difference between the mountains to begin with. The USGS tables are rounded off to feet. Conceivably this could place both mountains in a “statistical rounded” tie (although all this comes into play only if the difference between the mountains in less than half an inch). Does anybody have the exact heights of the mountains?

Beacon Journal Busts Ohio Rumor: Akron Is Not The State (or even County) Highpoint

The Beacon-Journal has a very funny story on Akron myths including this:
Claim: Akron is the highest place in Ohio. Reality: Akron isn’t even the highest place in Summit County. Yes, the name is derived from the Greek word “akros,” which means “high place,” but it was selected because the town was the highest point on the Ohio & Erie Canal. A spot near Goodyear Heights Reservoir is Akron’s highest point at 1,206 feet above sea level. The highest elevation in Summit County — 1,320 feet above sea level — is near Broadview and Brush roads in Richfield. If you really want to visit the highest place in Ohio, climb Campbell Hill in Logan County’s Bellefontaine. It’s 1,549 feet above sea level.

Cops on Top Kilimanjaro Audio Blog Wows ‘Em At Slashdot

Cops on Top Expedition has gotten notice of the ultimate geek site slashdot.org because of its use of its audio blog via satellite phone (you can listen via mp3) of its expedition up Kilimanjaro. There’s an interesting debate there on the use of blogs for outdoor events. The technolgy interest may be underscored because of San Francisco involvement.

Links:
Our earlier article on the Cops Corporate Sponsorship of the 7 summit bid.
Slashdot Article
Cops on top summit report
Their audilog:

Fall on Frankenstein Cliff in New Hampshire

The Union Leader reports Gerald Prutsman, 53, was ice climbing on what’s known as the Chia Route on Frankenstein’s Cliff in Hart’s Location , along with Ryan Roach, 18, when he fell 30 feet. About 25 other climbers were nearby including including Dr. Brian Irwin who is with the Mountain Rescue Service. He was taken to the hospital where he was released.