The PJStar reports a hiker at Starved Rock State Park was ticketed for unlawful hiking off trail and entering a restricted area after he had to be rescued following a 50 foot fall. Police say Brian Hack, 29, had been drinking before the accident.
The Sun Times reports Mark Thomas rode an avalanche feet first down Mount Nebo for 1,000 feet and survived with minor scratches.
The News Observer reports the Tubbs Snowshoe factory in Stowe, Vermont, is moving to China. Founded in Norway, Maine, in 1906, Tubbs once supplied snowshoes to the South Pole expedition of Richard Byrd and to the U.S. armed forces during World War II. Hunters and woodsmen made up the bulk of the customers for many years. Owner Ed Kiniry, who said production last year was 110,000, was named Vermont’s “Exporter of the Year” by the state’s Chamber of Commerce two years ago. The move occurred after he sold the company to K2. Incidentally, tubbssnowshoes.com still lists Stowe as its contact number.
The Anchorage Daily News that the NPS has abandoned a search for Johnny Soderstrom, a guide for Alaska Mountaineering School in Talkeetna, who is feared to have died in an avalanche during a first winter attempt to climb 12,240-foot Mount Huntington in Denali National Park. His partner Reichert, 37, a Park Service mountaineering ranger survived. They were approaching the summit by the West Face Couloir route.
The Union Leader reports the Mount Washington Commission is considering installing a powerline next the to cog railway (below ground to treeline and above ground thereafter). More controversial is a plan to replace the gutted former WMTW-TV generating building with a 3,700 square foot building for a backup generator. The manager of the Autoroad and the Appalachian Mountain Club have expressed concern about the building which has grown from 2,000 feet has being too large. The building is to have an observation deck looking into Tuckerman Ravine. Officials also note the summit has 104 days a year with winds exceeding hurricane force. If approved officials want to let bids by the end of February, begin construction in May and finish by the end of summer.
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.
The Olympian reports Natalie Ann Chambers fell 350 feet after attempting to rescue her dog who had fallen on the trail near Mud Mountain Dam. She fell onto the ledge with her dog 15 feet below the trail before falling further. The dog survived.
Newsday reports 3 t.v. stations plan to replace the t.v. towers on Mount Mansfield. The Fox affiliate WPTZ from Plattsburgh, NY, plans to WCAX, Vermont Public Television and WVNY on the mountain. Plans call for two narrow monopole towers and a third tower with a wider base and monopole at top. They would be 165 to 173 feet tall. If they are taller than 200 feet they would have to be lit which officials note they do not want to do. If they are lower they would put radio frequency energy on the Mansfield Nose. Several years ago the trail had to be closed because of microwave hazards on the Nose. Officials note for three or four years the three new towers and the three old towers will be on the WCAX Building which is also going to be expanded in the $4 million project.
Google has unveiled the beta version of its online map program. It has the usual Google niceties — no ads and astonishingly fast. One of the coolest features is that you can drag the map to move it making it even easier to use than even disk based maps. It doesn’t publicize it but you can also get longitude/latitude maps simply by searching latitude/longitude pairs. For instance to find Cheaha you would enter the pairs.
NPR has a dramatic photo of the mine in relation to the house where a child was killed from a boulder from a Black Mountain strip mine. You can listen to it to the report on the site. I was particularly interested in this comment:
The couple said they had never driven up on the mountain behind their home to look down on the vast stripping operation, with the ridges carved away to get to the coal – and they didn’t realize how close the bulldozers had come.