The Adventure Guys

The inside story on outside recreation for South Puget Sound and beyond

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Archives: Dec. 2011

Dec.
29th

Snow still falling at Paradise but snowplay area still closed

While Paradise did not receive as much snow as expected, the area popular winter play area at Mount Rainier National Park has been receiving fresh snow.

The current snowpack level is 64 inches, according to weather telemetry this morning.

The park announced a short time ago that the snowplay area has not opened yet.

I’m awaiting word from the park’s chief ranger on whether a target date has been set.

Dec.
27th

No change in Paradise snowplay area status, yet

Thanks to new snow overnight, there is now 62 inches of snow on the ground at Paradise.

Mount Rainier National Park officials said this morning, however, that the snowplay area at Paradise remains closed. The area was scheduled to open Dec. 17 but there was not enough snow.

They like to have a minimum of 60 inches on the ground so they can create safe sledding runs, and also to protect the vegetation beneath the snowplay area.

If the forecast holds true, the area could open soon. The National Weather Service is calling for 7-15 inches of new snow

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Dec.
25th

Big Bear, Calif., 15-year-old claims to be youngest to climb Seven Summits

From the Associated Press:

BIG BEAR, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California teenager became the youngest person to successfully climb to the summit of the seven tallest mountains on Earth’s seven continents, according to his website.
Jordan Romero, 15, called his mother Leigh Ann Drake on Saturday to confirm that he’d achieved his goal of reaching the top of Mt. Vinson Massif in Antarctica.
The Big Bear, Calif.-native beat the record previously held by British climber George Atkinson, who completed the ascents at age 16 in May.
Romero’s team began the climb Wednesday. Romero’s Facebook page, “Find

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Dec.
22nd

Bents Old Fort employee indicted for embezzlement

From the National Park Service. Bents Old Fort National Historic Site is located near La Juncta, Colo.:

After discovering discrepancies in the audit of gas receipts for park vehicles, Bents Old Fort employees contacted an NPS special agent to help in the investigation. Video surveillance from a local gas station confirmed that the acting facility manager from Bents Old Fort had been using six fleet cards to purchase gas and auto parts for personal use for an amount over $1,000.  The employee was indicted in federal court on October 3rd and pled guilty on December 16th to one count 18 USC

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Dec.
21st

Rare Ross’s gull seen in Okanogan County

A Ross’s gull has been spotted on Palmer Lake in Okanogan County by state Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist Jeff Heinlen.

Here is the rest of the news release:

The Ross’s gull (Rhodostethia rosea), an East Siberian arctic species that normally winters at sea, has only been documented one previous time in the state- in late November and early December of 1994, near McNary Dam on the Columbia River.

“This is like a holiday present for bird watchers,” said Heinlen of Omak. “This is arguably the rarest bird currently in the state, and definitely worth a trip to the

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Dec.
19th

Injured climber rescued after fall at Joshua Tree National Park

From the National Park Service:

A 65-year-old man fell 30 feet and suffered injuries to his lower extremities while rock climbing in the Saddle Rock area on the afternoon of Friday, December 16th.  Rangers learned of the accident around noon. Ten members of JOSAR, the park’s search and rescue team, responded. They were assisted by emergency personnel from San Bernardino County Fire Engine 36, Morongo Basin Ambulance, and a Mercy Air helicopter. The victim was carried from the base of Saddle Rock to the park road, where he was loaded into an ambulance and taken a short distance to the

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Dec.
16th

Mount Rainier snowplay area opening delayed

The word is official, the opening of the snowplay area at Mount Rainier National Park has been delayed. There just isn’t enough snow on the ground to allow the area to open Saturday as planned.

While the Paradise area has received some new snow in the last two days, it’s not enough to allow the area to open.

Park officials like to have a minimum base of 60 inches before they groom the runs. That is for visitor safety and to protect the subalpine vegetation underneath the play area.

As of this morning, there are 56 inches of snow

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Dec.
16th

State OKs razor clam dig for Dec. 22-23

Clam diggers will get the chance to dig for razor clams during the school winter break with an opening Dec. 22-23 at four ocean beaches.

Thestate Department of Fish and Wildlife has OK’s an evening dig at Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks beaches after marine toxin tests showed that the clams on those beaches are safe to eat.

Evening low tides during the dig will be at 4:40 p.m. Dec. 22 and at 5:29 p.m. on Dec. 23. No digging will be allowed at any beach before noon.

Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager, recommends that diggers hit the

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