Ear to the Ground

Ear to the Ground: Oct / Nov 2015

Ear to the Ground: Oct / Nov 2015

Outdoor News and Notes for the California Region Outdoor community loses two beloved members Bela Vadasz on Mt. Huntington. Respected ski and climbing guide Bela Vadasz, passed away unexpectedly at the age of 62 in a medical procedure on September 15. Vadasz founded California’s Alpine Skills International with his wife, Mimi, in 1979 and played a crucial role in creating the ski certification process in American mountain guiding, leading to American guides. For almost twenty years, he and Mimi ran a low-cost lodge at the top of Donner Pass near Truckee. Of many achievements, his proudest was the first American ascent (with Mimi )of the Peuterey Integral, an extremely challenging climb up Mont Blanc. Vasasz was presented with the AMGA’s Lifetime Achievement Ward in 2008. In addition to his wife, he leaves behind two sons and countless other loved ones. Less than two weeks after Vasasz’s sudden death, well-known action...
Ear to the Ground: August / September 2015

Ear to the Ground: August / September 2015

Outdoor News and Notes for the California Region USA Cycling MTB Championships Enduro Pro Women podium. 1st (Gold) Jill Kintner, 2nd (Silver) Georgia Gould, 3rd (Bronze) Lauren Gregg, 4th Rachel Throop, 5th Amy Rambacher (Pierce Moran). Jill Kintner sweeps gravity disciplines at MTB championships Red Bull / Norco Bicycles pro rider Jill Kintner came out on top at the 2015 USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships at Mammoth Mountain in July, taking first place in all three gravity races: dual slalom, downhill and enduro. Kintner’s fellow champions include Chloe Woodruff (cross country and short track pro women) Aaron Gwin (downhill pro men), Mitch Ropelato (enduro pro men), Luca Cometti (dual slalom pro men), Howard Grotts (cross country pro men), and Russell Finsterwald (short track pro men). For the first time in five years, the same venue hosted all mountain bike disciplines during a single event. Mammoth Senior Vice President and...
Ear to the Ground: June / July 2015

Ear to the Ground: June / July 2015

Outdoor News and Notes for the California Region mikeyschaeferphotography.com Dean Potter dies in BASE jumping accident in Yosemite Legendary climber Dean Potter and his friend Graham Hunt died May 16 in a wingsuit jump accident at Yosemite National Park. The free-spirited 43-year old Potter was well known for his daring expression of what he referred to as “outdoor arts” which include solo climbing, wingsuit flying and slacklining. After being let go by sponsor Clif Bar last fall, Potter questioned the “homogenization” of the outdoor industry. ”Outdoor Arts are beyond sport and for many of us it’s our spirituality. The wilderness is infinite in what it offers. Shouldn’t we question when the leaders of our community try to manipulate our culture into a monocrop?” Yosemite has banned BASE jumping since 1980, but that has not deterred those passionate about the activity. Potter professed to BASE jump not to flaunt the law...
Ear to the Ground

Ear to the Ground

Outdoor News and Notes for the California Region Marco Osborne sends it long and low to a 1st place pro men finish at the 2014 Northstar Livewire Classic Enduro. Photo: Mary DiNapoli California Enduro Series’ (CES) Northstar Enduro makes history California Enduro Series (CES) Round 6 — the Northstar Enduro at Northstar California Resort — makes history as the first-ever California race on the North American Enduro Tour (NAET). CES and Northstar Enduro organizers are working hard to organize an extraordinary event, and are excited to welcome NAET riders to this year’s course. The two day Enduro race takes place Saturday and Sunday, August 29-30, 2015. As one of the most prominent mountain bike parks, Northstar is the perfect location for an epic and memorable multi-day Enduro. “Mountain bikers consistently rank our park among the best in the world,” says Northstar’s Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Bill Rock....
Ear to the Ground – February 2015

Ear to the Ground – February 2015

Outdoor News and Notes for the California Region Kevin Jorgeson and Tommy Caldwell after free climbing the Dawn Wall on El Capitan. Photo courtesy Patagonia. First free ascent of the Dawn Wall sent by Caldwell and Jorgeson Patagonia climbing ambassador Tommy Caldwell and partner Kevin Jorgeson made history free climbing the Dawn Wall, the hardest route up El Capitan in Yosemite Valley. They summited after 19 days on the wall on January 14. Caldwell first conceived the idea of the climb in 2007 and has been working towards it ever since. The Dawn Wall, considered to be one of the hardest climbs in the world due to its extremely blank face, has never been free climbed. “When we first climbed the North American Wall on El Cap in 1964, we thought, ‘Well, that proves that any big wall in the world can be climbed.’ We never dreamed they could be...
Ear to the Ground, Dec 2014

Ear to the Ground, Dec 2014

Outdoor News and Notes for the California Region Alex Honnold, speed climbing on El Cap. Photo: Gabriel Mange Clif Bar responds to controversy In early November Clif Bar announced they were dropping sponsorship support of Alex Honnold, Dean Potter, Steph Davis, Cedar Wright, and Timmy O’Neill due to their decision to no longer support those who free solo, BASE jump or highline. What followed was a spirited debate on social media filled with strong opinions on both sides of the issue. On the ASJ Facebook page, some felt that Clif Bar was completely hypocritical for “drawing a line in the sand” and marginalizing people like Honnold—who has been on the cover of National Geographic—when their brand identity is so closely aligned with climbing. After all, they noted, there is a climber on the package of most Clif Bar products, albeit a roped climber. Others felt that Clif Bar was standing...
Ear to the Ground

Ear to the Ground

Outdoor News and Notes for the California Region Oct/Nov 2014 issue Ecology Action wins EPiC sustainability award The EPiC program (Environmental Partnership Campaign) is ASJ’s way to highlight the exemplary work of some California non-profits. We are proud to announce that our first featured EPiC recipient is Ecology Action. Headquartered in Santa Cruz, Ecology Action was launched on Earth Day in 1970 as an all-volunteer, unmanned recycling donation depot for bottles and cans. Forty years later, they’ve become one of California’s thought-leaders with regard to sustainability and driving behavior change in water conservation, energy management, and alternative transportation. Over the past four decades, Ecology Action had the staying power that some well-intentioned non-profits lacked. The organization has persevered through the conservative backlash of the ‘80s—where the state froze over half a million dollars of their grant contracts—and the recession of 2007-2009. Even in the face of these setbacks, Ecology Action’s...
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