Fox11 in Arizona reports that 32 members of a running club were stung by Africanized bees in Saguaro National Park. Two who were hospitalized with anaphylactic shock, authorities said. THe hikers scattered from the location and a helicopter search had to find four of them.
KSL TV reports two experienced were stuck on a 1,500 foot cliff for 4 days in Zion National Park. Rescue efforts were thwarted by bad weather. The climbers were hungry and cold but did not need hospitalization.
Here’s the NPS Report on the incident:
Zion National Park (UT)
Two Climbers Rescued from Streaked Wall
On Friday, January 7th, climbers Krzysztof Belczynski and Cheryl Seger were rescued from ZionÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Streaked Wall after being stranded there in a winter storm for four days. The two had successfully ascended the Latitudes route, a difficult (5.9, A4+) 1,500-foot overhanging big wall route, reaching the top on January 2nd after an eight-day climb. They began their descent the next day, but chose the wrong route. During the descent, they experienced whiteout conditions and heavy snow, which iced up the steep slickrock slabs they were navigating. They realized that they had gone the wrong way, but were unable to retreat due to terrain and weather. Rangers were notified that the climbers were overdue on January 4th; the storm cleared enough to perform an aerial recon on January 6th. The two climbers were located on steep icy slabs late in the day during a weather window which opened just long enough for rangers to drop them a package containing a radio and food. The climbers called on the radio and reported that they had been without food for three days, were relying on snow melt for water, and were wet and cold. Fortunately, they had brought their portaledge (a device that functions as a “portable ledge” for sleeping, resting, or belaying) along as insurance against bad weather. The National Weather Service predicted clear conditions for the morning of January 7th, but with the proviso that they would deteriorate rapidly by noon. Arrangements were made for Grand Canyon to send a short haul helicopter and crew at first light. The uninjured climbers were extracted by short haul early that morning; the storm, which forecasters said would bring heavy snow and last four days, arrived as scheduled. [Submitted by Kevin Killian, Canyon District Ranger]
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, gardaÃƒÂ 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 StephenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Day.
The Conway Daily Sun has an an interesting article on climbing Mount Washington as part of a New Year’s Tradition. Among the factual items is a note that four full time people are assigned to the summit now.
The Press Herald reports that the Trust for Public Land and land preservationist Roxanne Quimby are working on a land swap to 18,000 acres including Katahdin Lake to Baxter State Park. Katahdin Lake was on the original 1921 map Gov. Percival Baxter drew up however it has remained in private hands. It is a ccessible only by foot or by seaplane, it offers spectacular views of Mount Katahdin. The swap is with logging contractor William Gardner. Gardner would give up 18,361 acres he owns next to Baxter State Park, including the Wassataquoik Stream valley. In return, he would get $3 million and about 14,400 acres of Township 5 Range 8, the township that Quimby and her Elliotsville Plantation Inc. bought for $12 million two years ago.
The Wautaga Democrat reports that authorities are targeting Memorial Day for the re-opening the NC 80 to Mount Mitchell section of the Blue Ridge Parkway. It was closed after the spate of 2004 hurricanes created rock slides. The article also notes the National Park Service Budget increased $100 million to $1.7 Billion. Here’s the thread in the forum.
A press release on the business wire says Cops On Top have gotten sponsorship for a bid for the cops to visit the 7 summits. 2005 plan directs expeditions on behalf of fallen comrades to three of the world’s Seven Summits: Mount Kilimanjaro, Denali and Mount Elbrus. Since its inaugural climb, the Dale Claxton Denali Memorial Expedition in 1999, Cops on Top has had a three-fold commitment – to provide tangible aid for the grieving and healing process of those who have lost a loved one, to support organizations dedicated to this cause, and to project a positive image of law enforcement officers. The Cops on Top team is comprised of largely self-funded law enforcement officer volunteer climbers. The sponsors is VF Corporation through its Horace Small and North Face Brands.
The Honolulu Advertiser reports that a deal has been finalized to build on Maui’s Haleakala the second most expensive telescope in the world. The $161 million Advanced Technology Solar Telescope will be the world’s largest optical solar telescope and was developed by the U.S. Solar Research Observatory. The $300 million Subaru telescope on Mauna Kea is on the most expensive. In addition to the Mees Solar Observatory, the Haleakala summit is home to the Air Force’s Advanced Electro-Optical System telescope; Japan’s 80-inch MAGNUM Telescope; the 80-inch Faulkes Telescope, devoted to education of students and teachers in Hawai’i and the United Kingdom; and the SOLAR-C, a 20-inch telescope and spectrograph developed to observe the sun’s activities and corona.
The Washington Post reports Dennis and Cindy Davidson have filed a $26.5MM suit against the mining operators after a boulder fell from Black Mountain and killed their toddler Jeremy in their home in Appalachia, Virginia. The article there is increasing resistance to strip mining which had been the live blood of the region. Now more than one in four of Appalachia’s residents lives below the poverty line. The accident occured at 2:30 a.m. on Aug. 19, 2004, when an employee from A&G Coal Company was widening a road at Strip Number 13 pushed soil over a berm prompting the microwave size rock to fall 649 feet down the mountain. The Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy fined A&G $15,000 (the maximum $5,000 penalty for three violations — negligence for doing the work at night above occupied dwellings and using an inexperienced bulldozer operator working without adequate lighting. The Department that the maximum fines be increased to $70,000 for each incident. The Davidsons would like this to be called “Jeremy’s Law.” Coal produces more than half the electricity generated in the United States. More coal-fired power plants have been announced in the last 12 months than in the previous 12 years, according to the National Mining Association.
Update January 11, 2005
Mark S. in the forum notes that Penn-Virginia, owners of the Black Mountain highpoint, owns the mineral rights for the mine in question is part of the suit.
Australian newspapers have had several articles about Marc David Freeman who died after falling 50 metres into a crevasse on Mount Aspiring in New Zealand. The area known as “The Ramp” on the Bonar was the site last year of an accident where two of three climbers who fell died. The Ramp is the most popular way of climbing the 3,027-metre Mount Aspiring. Other articles noted that Marc David Freeman was just concluding a round the world expedition when the accident occurred.
The Honolulu Star Bulletin reports that storms with subzero temperatures and 80 mph winds dumped 6 to 12 inches of snow on the Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa summits prompting closing of the road. The storms also resulted in 30 foot waves on Oahu’s north coast and pushed a foot of sand onto the road leading into Kaena Point State Park
The American Observatory webpage has links to some dramatic webcams of the snow.
Mauna Kea link on Forum.
The Northwest Arkansas News reports that a boy touched off a massive 100 person and helicopter search on Mount Magazine after he told a construction worker near the summit on a two-radio that his dad was hurt and he needed help. He could not identify where he was but said he saw something white which authorities thought was a tower or inn near the south side of the mountain. He wouldn’t give his name and the boy was never located. The search was called off after authorities heard him telling a girl about the exploits. Item was also posted on the forum.