Hiker Airlifted After Snow on AT in the Smokies

AP stories report Matthew Shultz was airlifted after attempting to hike 71 miles of the Appalachian Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park when he became incoherent after rain and snow got the hiking group unprepared.. They had started at Fontana Lake, NC. 8 inches of snow was on the ground at the rescue site at the Derrick Knob Shelter at 4,880 feet). Snow blew into the shelter, freezing their supplies and the hiker became incoherent. Three hikers stayed behind with while two others hiked 8 miles out to get help

Update March 10:
Pennsylvania newspapers are playing up the story with headlines along the lines of “Messiah group rescues hikers” in referring to the stranded hikers were met initially by a group Messiah College near Lancaster.

TV News Copter In Rescue on Mount Bierstadt

The DenverChannel reports a Channel 7 helicopter plucked 42-year-old hiker from Littleton, Colo., off 14,060 foot Mount Bierstadt. Wendy Dean had gotten caught in white out conditions and a search was in progress. Dean said she became disoriented in the snowstorm, fell and lost her snowshoes. She was stranded for more than 8 hours while her two friends made it back down to the top of Guanella Pass and called for help. The helicopter rescued her at at the 12,600 foot level and of course the whole thing was videotaped. The copter pilot noted, “We missed the 6 p.m. newscast,” said Westra. “I’m sure I’ll hear bout it from the boss, but I feel that we did get her home.”

Climber in Fatal Fall in 80th Birthday Attempt to Climb Mount Taranaki in New Zealand

Stuff reports Harold Henry Vernon attempting to celebrate his 80th birthday on top of Mount Taranaki in New Zealand fell to his death. The climber, who had been living in the US but was born in Wales, was reportedly ill-prepared for the ascent despite more than 50 years of climbing experience in New Zealand. He reportedly had attempted the mountain on four consecutive days prior to the accident but was beaten back by weather.

Snowmaking Approved at Arizona Snowbowl

KPHO reports Coconino National Forest Supervisor Nora Rasure has approved a proposal that will authorize snowmaking at the Arizona Snowbowl as well as other improvements. The Forest Service had received 10,000 comments. Arizona Snowbowl encompasses 777 acres of national forest lands (approximately one percent of the San Francisco Peaks), and operates under a Special Use Permit issued by the Coconino National Forest. The FEIS, Response to Comments, Record of Decision and other information about this project can be obtained on the internet at www.fs.fed.us/r3/coconino/nepa. In addition, hard copies are available for review at the Peaks Ranger District, the Coconino National Forest Supervisor’s Office, the Flagstaff Public Library and the NAU Cline Library government documents section. Hard copies and CDs are also available upon request. There will be a 45-day appeal period that begins after a legal notice appears in the Arizona Daily Sun. Any appeals will be filed with the Regional Forester of the Southwestern Region in Albuquerque, NM.

Canada Plans World’s Highest Hockey Game at Everest Base Camp

Beerleaguehockey.com reports a 17-member Canadian expedition Dr Sean Egan, a professor in the School of Human Kinetics at University of Ottawa, and Peter Luk, director, School of Business Management, Ryerson University, plan to set the record of the highest hockey by playing on the Khumbu Glacier near Everst base camp (5,400 meters). What else did you expect from a Canada expedition?

New Analysis Shows Denmark Highpoint Changes for Ejer-Bavne to Mllehj

The highest point of Denmark was until now Ejer-Bavne with a “record”-height of 170.89 meters. A group of experts under the lead of the geographical institute, after having made extensiv measurements and even drillings, came to the conclusion that this value is wrong and that the correct height is 170.35 meters above sea level. As a consequence of this loss in height of 0.54 meters Ejer-Bavne is not the highest point of the country. The highest point of Denmark is a hill called Mllehj with a height of 170.86 meters. (This is about an inch less than the previous highest point.). This was discussed in our forum.

Chinese Climbers to Measure Everest Have No Mountaineering Experience

MountEverest.Net reports: Four climbers from SBSM have now been selected for the summit attempt: Huagang BAI (27), Xining LIU (28), Xiubo REN (26) and Tianlu BAI (26) (from left to right in picture). None of them had previous mountaineering experience, so CMA (China Mountaineering Association) have provided training for them since December 2004. The mission will be carried out with the assistance of Tibetan Mountaineering Association, in a joint expedition with the All-Women China-Japan Expedition.

2 Treated for Hypothermia After Snow Catches Grayson Hikers Unaware

WXII reports two hikers are being treated for hypothermia and dehydration at a Bristol, TN, hospital after being caught in a snow storm in Grayson Highlands State Park. Temperatures were in the 60s on Sunday but dropped to 0 windchill and 8 to 12 inches of snow. When they did not return as planned on Monday the search was launched and they were discovered by helicopter at a shelter. The website has a video about the rescue and shows the earlier rescue of a snowbound Scout Troop at Grayson.

Corruption Charges About Overcrowding on Kilimanjaro’s Marangu Trail

AllAfrica tells a story of corruption regarding Kilimanjaro permits causing overcrowding on the mountain. More than 25,000 tourists climb Kilimanjaro each year, often paying thousands of dollars for the privilege, and each of the three routes up the mountain is supposed to have a set limit of climbers each day. But the Marangu trail in particular, which has a daily limit of 67 people, often had double that number in this February. The result has been overcrowding in the huts, long waits for food and worst of all, porters being forced to sleep outside in freezing temperatures, which sometimes drop to as low as minus 12 centigrade. But the Tanzania National Parks (Tanapa) Director General, Gerald Bigurube said he has received no such complaints. The complaints note that guides are not sharing tips with the porters who often carry more than the legal limit of 110 pounds (50 kg) One Western company, Exodus, has stopped using the Marangu route because of these problems, describing it as the “Coca-Cola route.” The Marangu trail is particularly popular as it is quicker and the only one with huts for sleeping in.

Denali Park Alpha Female Wolf Killed

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that the popular alpha female in the Toklat wolf pack, which has delighted visitors to Denali National Park and Preserve for years, was killed by a trapper outside park boundaries. The radio-collared wolf was killed Feb. 11 by a trapper on state land on the Savage River within a few hundred feet of the park’s northeast boundary and on the outside edge of a wolf buffer zone created in 2001.
The 10 remaining wolves in the Toklat wolf pack, including the dead wolf’s mate and eight young produced in 2003 and 2004, went almost straightaway to the group’s den 13 miles away. The pack also includes an unrelated female that joined up last summer.
Denning this time of year is unusual, Haber said, and was likely an indication of confusion and stress within the pack.
Haber returned to the area the next day and saw the pack headed to the trapping area again. Once there, the alpha male headed to a ridge and howled repeatedly. “The next day they came right back to the trapping area again, with the alpha male leading… call-howling his mate,” he said.
It is likely the remaining wolves will continue to return to the area between now and the end of trapping season April 30.
Haber said he tried to convince the trapper to remove his traps but was not successful.