2 Fatalities on Most Difficult Ushba Route in Georgia’s Caucasus

Ushba Civil.de reports two Georgian climbers from a Georgian-Dutch expedition perished on the 4,710-meter Ushba mountain in Georgia’s Caucasus Mountains.
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5 Alps Fatalities (Including on Mont Blanc and Eiger)

Various reports indicate five people died in recent accidents in the Alps including 3 fatalities on Mont Blanc and Eiger.
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3 Fatalities as 16,000 Including President Climb Ukraine’s Highest Mountain Hoverla

KVIPost reports three people died while climbing Ukraine’s highest point Hoverla to celebrate the 15th anniversary of this ex-Soviet republic’s declaration of sovereignty.
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Trio Plans Nude Hike Across Britain

The Daily Dispatch reports Stephen Gough, 46, the naked rambler who walked end to end in Britain in 2003/04 is planning a repeat performance but this time will be accompanied by 33-year-old girlfriend Melanie Roberts and a librarian who does not want to be named.


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170,000 To Form Human Ring Around Armenian Highpoint Aragats

Panamerian.net reports 170,000 people are to form a living chair around Armenia’s highest point — Aragats.
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The Gendarme Peak on Grand Sasso Named John Paul II’s Peak

The Catholic News and other publications report a The Gendarme peak on the Grand Sasso in Italy’s Appennines has been renamed John Paul’s Peak.
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Woman Falls 500 Feet With Boyfriend on Ben Nevis

Evening News reports Amy Rudge, 29, from the Shawlands area of Glasgow, fell about 500 feet in the Aonach Beag area of Ben Nevis.
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RMI Expands Guide Service to 5 of 7 Summits

The News Tribune reports that Rainier Mountaineering Inc. which will lose its monoply to Rainier guided climbs in 2006 plans to leads trip to 5 of the 7 summits.
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Wales Climbing Instructor Fined After Belayers Mistake Let Go of Rope Command

ICWales reports climbing instructor John McDermott was fined £1,500 after a woman was paralyzed from the waist down after belayers let go of a rope after hearing his command which was intended to the climber.

Lisa Brennin was attending a course led by McDermott when he shouted “let go of the rope” as a confidence building exercise to lean back and have confidence in her fellow climbers. Instead her belayers let go of the ropes at Trevor Rocks, near Llangollen and she fell 30 feet.


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Austria To Wrap Snow With Foil to Prevent Melting

The Taipei Times reports that Austrian ski resorts plan to wrap their snow with plastic foil to decrease melting.
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Peak on Appennines Highest Massif in Italy to Be Named “John Paul’s Peak”

Various news sources report that a peak on the Gran Sasso is to be named “John Paul’s Peak” on May 18 — the Pope’s 85th birthday. The Gran Sasso is the highest massif in the Appennines range which runs along Italian peninsula. The articles do not give the specific coordinates of the peak to be named but report it is 2,424 metres (7,900 feet). There are several higher peaks on the massif including the highest 2,914 metre Corno Grande peak. The coordinates for Corno Grande is 42° 28′ N; 13° 34′ E
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Avalanche Kills 3 in French Alps

News24 reports 3 climbers in the in the Ecole en Bauges region of Savoie in the French Alps near Grenoble were swept to their deaths by an avalanche, Local officials in Savoie said an investigation would be carried out into the circumstances of the worst single mountain accident of the season.


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Fatal Avalanche on Grossglockner – Austria’s highest mountain

The AP reports an avalanche on Grossglockner – Austria’s highest mountain – swept away two Hungarian backcountry skiers killing one. There were avalanches throughout Europe. A 48-year-old German man was found dead after he and his son were swept away by an avalanche as they were skiing Sunday in the resort of Saalbach in the Salzburg province (his son survived). A Czech man was killed in a separate snow slide near the resort of Bad Gastein, also in the Salzburg province.


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Proposal for $10 Million Snowdon Summit Cafe Stalls

Snowdon Hut The BBC reports officials are unable to raise nearly $4 Million to replace the Showdon Cafe which was once labelled a “slum” by Prince Charles.
The current concrete block cafe is nearly 70 years old and deteriorating. Snowdonia National Park Authority says it needs to raise the funds by June or the new cafe will not be built. The new cafe to be completed by 2007 would be a stone and glass building. It is estimated that 350,000 visitors make the trek to the top of Wales’ highest mountain every year by train or on foot. The original cafe was built in 1935 by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, the creator of the tourist Italianate village of Portmeirion on the north Wales coast.
– have all stalled because of a lack of cash. More than $8 Million has already been raise ($6 Million from the Assembly Government and $2 Million from the Wales Tourist Board, Welsh Development Agency and Snowdon Mountain Railway.

Links:
Hightrek Page on Snowdon Cafe (source of image above)


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Late Starting Climbers Rescued on Ben Nevis

Icliverpool reports Bob Neale and Billy Rimmer on Ben Nevis were rescued in a snow by sending a text message to a man who called 999 (the European equivalent of 911). A helicopter was dispatched to Tower Ridge but had to turn back because of bad weather. A rescue crew was dispatched and accompanied the hikers down. A spokesman for Fort William police said: “The two climbers, although reasonably well equipped, were inexperienced for the route chosen, and failed to allow adequate time to complete the route. Accident statistics show that solo climbing and starting late on Tower Ridge are the greatest hazards to mountaineers on Ben Nevis. The climbers had started their ascent at 3 p.m.


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