A fairly large oil spill, 47,000 barrels worth, has been spilled in the Louisiana wetlands. While a fairly 'modest' spill, it was enough to close 40 miles of the channel where it was spilt/spilled.
The June 19 spill at a Citgo Petroleum Corp. refinery in Lake Charles forced the closure of the Calcasieu Ship Channel, a key lane for transporting petroleum in and out of the region's four refineries. About 11 miles of the channel remained closed Thursday. The entire 40 miles to the Gulf of Mexico had been closed.
Whoa, this happened on the 19 of June and they're reporting about it now?†
So by now if you havenít heard of Aron Ralston, you were probably either not born yet or are dead, because it was perhaps the most over exposed outdoor accident after Into Thin Air. And perhaps it should have been. But regardless, while you may know about the guy who cut his own hand off, you may not know about the guy who had to go out and pick it up and bring back to home for proper disposal e.g. cremation. Strange that this was Aronís wish. Iíd have asked to have it dried out so I could wear it around my neck like a necklace to remind me never to put my hand between a rock and a hard place. The article, by Vince Welch, mixes thoughts on the West, Edward Abbey quotes, and the story of Bego, the guy who retrieved the hand. Itís an engaging and well written read. If a bit pedantic. Itís not online yet at Mountain Gazette, so pick up a free copy at your nearest outdoor place of biz or wait for the online edition.
Update: The Hand is now online. Check it out here.
As the GetOutdoors editorial team wrote a while back, the David Sharp tragedy will only get bigger as more and more people have time to interview participants and write about it. There is no question this was preventable and that David's death leaves a dark, dark shadow on commercial climbing on Everest. One of the best reports yet comes from MountEverest.net. It makes several good point including the fact that Russel Brice (owner/operator of Himex guide service, one of the groups that left Sharp to die) contradicts his own guides regarding contact with Sharp and that ironically Brice's own guides were rescued from 8700 meters in similar circumstances in 2001. Obviously all the blame cannot be put on Brice's shoulders alone, but he deserves a fair share. He is shining symbol of the commercialism that is Everest. EverestNews estimates the company's sales at 10 million USD. Select quotes after the jump.
I'm Sue's sister. Thanks for all of your kind wishes. I love hearing Sue and Karen stories (although I didn't know Karen personally). You are all invited to Sue's celebration of life ceremony in Vail June 18th at 1pm. More later.
Wow, News10/KXTV is reporting that Hwy 140 may be closed for more than a year:
The main route into Yosemite National Park may be closed for more than a year due to a huge, unstable rockslide, according to authorities.
What began as a trickle of rocks onto Highway 140 about 10 miles west of Yosemite in late April grew large enough to force the road's closure last month. Clean-up crews re-opened the road in late May but increased slide activity over the Memorial Day weekend forced another shutdown. A segment of the highway is under an estimated 250-300 tons of debris that is nearly 600 feet long and 600 feet wide.
The slide has threatened two power lines carrying electricity to the park and the nearby town of El Portal.
An assessment by a disaster management team has concluded that crews will not clear the rocks at this time and may instead build bridges, other roads or tunnels through the area.
We could not confirm this report on the Yosemite site, but if you look at the pictures of the slide, it seems quite plausible. If this is confirmed, than this will likely be a huge economic hit for the cities along 140, especially Mariposa. The impact on Yosemite visitation will also be interesting to watch.
I still haven't seen the movie on principal. I mean com'on, this guy was petting bears for pete sake. Plus I know he gets eaten, so really, what's the point? But after watching the two trailers below, including the mock trailer, I may change my mind. Via OutdoorsPro.
Patagonia apologized today for their action/inaction around Potter's climb. And Potter explained his climb and apologized for inconveniencing Patagonia. Nowhere as good as the masturbating monkey story, but what can you do. Weird. Complete apology after the jump jump. Via The Piton.
Since May 7 we at Patagonia have had
much discussion and debate about where the company stands on Deanís
controversial climb. Historically, we have always stood by our
Ambassadors and their actions. Our Ambassadors are a part of
Patagoniaís close-knit family, and we trust them to act in ways that
they deem responsible. However, over the past few weeks, our internal
conversations have enlightened us to the reality of this unfortunate
situation. We strongly believe that Deanís actions warrant a public
Ken "Chicken Skinner" Yager from Yosemite Mountaineering took somes pics (posted on SuperTopo) of the slide closing 140 access to Yosemite. If you look at the pics closely you gotta imagine it's going to be a while before the road is opened. Looks like a the whole road was basically pushed sideways. What a mess.
Wow, Potter's climb is a lesson in how to go from being one of the most revered climbers in the world to one of the most reviled basically overnight. Must be nice to have so many people turn on you so quickly. Perhaps Dean would like to join the GoBlog family, we're about as popular as Lyme disease. Well, eBomb and myself, the other bloggers play nicey, nice. Anyway, Outside Online has a good anlaysis of the climb (pic from Outside Mag taken by Andy Anderson)):
What did Dean Potter do on Delicate Arch, and how did he do it? Those questions have percolated in the climbing world since May 7, when Potteróa 34-year-old professional climber who splits his time between Moab, Utah, and Yosemite National Parkóscampered to the top of Delicate Arch, a fragile landmark in southern Utah's Arches National Park. Potter's climb touched off a storm that has led to condemnation from close friends and mentors, virulent criticism from many climbers, and strict new climbing regulations in the park itself. What has remained a mystery, though, is exactly how Potter conducted the climb, and whether it was quite as delicate as many believe. As Outside has learned, it wasn't, and there's even a chance Potter did permanent damage to Delicate Arch's famously soft sandstone.
Dean, buddy, couldn't you have chosen something a bit more interesting to get headlines? Maybe humped gas up to the compressor and started it? Regardless, you f*&cked up. But I forgive you. As eBomb put it, the outdoor industry is acting like a bunch of hypocrites. You can't build an industry on rebelliousness and lack of respect for authority and not expect people to overstep it once in a while. So Potter f*&cked up. And all you guys sell to the military which destroys the environment 100 times over each day, send out millions of catalogs on poorly or non-recycled paper, and generally behave like you're oil companies not outdoor companies. The NPS getting all high and mighty is a joke given their string of ridiculous proposals and mismanaged budgets. And Outside Mag had better step up and write an editorial that at least feigns some support for Potter as they've sold hundreds of thousands of mags because of marketing himlike a male model (see pic above). Give it a break. Forgive. Move on. He didn't kill anyone or walk by them as they lay dying on Everest.
Now this is one way to reduce crowds in Yosemite. Close Hwy 140, the major road in and out of Yosemite. That leaves Hwy 120 and 41 as the only open roads into Yosemite. Now if we could only figure out a way to shut those roads, summer in Yosemite would be heaven. From the AP:
The main road to Yosemite National Park was closed after a rock slide buried it under 300 feet of debris and threatened to knock out electricity to the park, officials said.
No one was injured in the slide about 12 miles west of the park on Highway 140, but rocks continued to fall Thursday, preventing crews from removing an estimated 250-300 tons of debris, fire officials said. It was not clear when the road would reopen.