UELI STECK PLANS BOLD NEW ROUTE ON EVEREST
Three separate pairs of climbers are preparing to attempt aggressive new routes on Mt. Everest this spring. Success on any one of these attempts would be a major development in Everest’s climbing history, particularly if they succeed in pure alpine style, without supplemental oxygen. Ueli Steck (Switzerland) and Simone Moro (Italy) will try a new route from the south. Moro has climbed Everest several times and has done three first winter ascents of three 8,000-meter peaks. Steck, best known for his speed climbs in the Alps and hard technical routes in the Himalaya, also has climbed Everest. Also attempting Everest from the Nepali side will be the powerful Kazakh-Russian pair of Denis Urubko and Alexey Bolotov, who, with various other partners and teams, have done some of the hardest new routes in the Himalaya and Karakoram. The two men will try a line on the steep southwest face. Meanwhile, a pair of Russians, Gleb Sokolov and Alexander Kirikov, are planning to attempt a new route on Everest’s daunting Kangshung Face, to the right of the two existing routes on the peak’s east side. Via Climbing.
JUDGE REJECTS PLEA BY ROAD RAGER AGAINST CYCLISTS
The driver of an SUV who relentlessly honked at and harassed two road cyclists outside Boulder, Colorado, last fall isn’t going to get off easy. James Ernst had negotiated a deal with Boulder County prosecutors to plead guilty to two counts of harassment and two counts of improper use of a horn, but Boulder County Judge Noel Blum said he would not accept the deal, that the victims had to be notified first and agree to accept the plea arrangement. To recap: Two cyclists recorded a video of Ernst driving his SUV behind them while wailing on his horn. The men put the video online, garnering lots of attention and the Colorado State Patrol tracked down Ernst and busted him for six misdemeanors. Ernst, for his part, claims that the cyclists were on a road “too narrow” for cyclists, with a double line he somehow believed he couldn’t cross, despite video evidence that shows miles of passing room. Via Boulder Daily Camera.
SINGLETRACK FOR ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK?
There’s a plan in its infancy to add a mountain bike trail to Rocky Mountain National Park. Or, kinda. The details are fuzzy because the 15.5-mile-long trail for use by hikers and cyclists that would run from the Fall River Entrance to Sprague Lake is still just one option. One of the goals RMNP officials have is to tie new trail networks to the existing and extensive ones in nearby Estes Park and the Estes Valley Recreation and Park District. But there are a lot of maybes still to be settled. For example, there’s talk of paving the path to make it more multi-user friendly, the issue of whether horses would be allowed, and the usual concerns of managing multiple user groups. But hey, at least they’re talking about it. Via National Parks Traveler.
GASP – UTAH SENATOR WANTS TO PROTECT LAND
Are you sitting down? You better be: A Utah lawmaker is calling for the protection by the federal government of 1.5 million acres near Canyonlands National Park. Yes, the state that reignited the Sagebrush Rebellion and consistently has to be threatened with economic blackmail by the outdoor industry to keep from further trashing its lands actually has an elected representative that doesn’t want to develop every single acre. Okay, he’s a Democratic state senator (a Dem in Utah — who knew?), but Jim Dabakis has proposed a resolution that would set aside the lands in exchange for opening land in eastern Utah to develop. You knew there’d be a quid pro quo, didn’t you? “The recreation people aren’t going to be happy, the drill-baby-drill crowd isn’t going to be happy,” he said. “But it will be a giant victory with some individual losses.” The odds of the resolution getting out of commitment? Slim and none. But still. Via NY Times.