Payson McElveen crashes in the season opener and more stories to start your week

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From the inspiring to the tragic, here’s GearJunkie’s roundup of the week’s exploration and adventure news. Here’s what you missed and a few things to look forward to.

Disappointing start to the season for gravel cyclist extraordinaire and optimistic chiller Payson McElveen. The reigning Middle South 100 The champ looked set to win Saturday’s race until a rut at mile 90 sidelined him with a fractured collarbone and thumb.

Predictably, McElveen took to Instagram with an upbeat sense of humor shortly after the collision, joking that he would “give this weekend a frail thumbs up” and thanking his fiancee , Nichole Baker, to be his “ghost writer” on social media.

Men’s Cole Paton and Women’s Lauren De Crescenzo won this year’s Mid South 100 Mile.

Busy week in the climbing world, here are some of the lows (or highs, technically speaking).

First, the kind of information you hate to report – March 6, a climber was killed and another seriously injured while attempting to climb the west face of Mount Hood. According to the local sheriff’s office, Pradnya Mohite and Lei Wang fell approximately 200 feet from Leuthold Hallway. Mohite perished in the accident. Although immobilized, Wang was able to call for help via his Garmin inReach device.

Winds up to 70mph and two avalanches pushed search and rescue efforts late Monday night. Wang was airlifted to a nearby hospital.

“Mt. Hood is…completely exposed to weather and the elements without any buffering, and therefore the mountain is dangerous,” volunteer rescuer Dr. Christopher Van Tilburg says Climbing. “My recommendation is don’t be a first-time climber on Mount Hood; let yourself be guided.

Two climbers fell 200 feet while attempting to climb Mount Hood (11,250′) on March 6, 2022. Thirty-two SAR rescuers participated in the 20 hour rescue and recovery; (photo/Clackamas County Sheriff)

In lighter news, British climber Hazel Findlay sent her first sport climb in 5.14d, “Esclatamasters”, in Lleida, Spain. She is only the second British woman and one of the few female climbers in the world to rise through the ranks. “Esclatamasters” (9a/5.14d) is just the latest mega feat of Findlay’s long climbing career. She ticked off some of Yosemite’s toughest big wall routes, landed the Squamish trad line overall FA, “Tainted Love” (5.13d R), and became the first British lady to send E9 trad.

Meanwhile, in Austria…

Olympic gold medalist Janja Ganbret pocketed her first outdoor V14 block. The highball problem, “Bügeleisen”, became the second V14 in the world when Klem Loskot created it in 2001, and only one block, “Dreamtime” by Fred Nicole, V15, was more difficult.

Ganbret also became the first woman to see 5.14b in November 2021.

The California Outdoor Hall of Fame recently announced a list of legends of inductees for 2022. See the schedule below, then head to cohof.org for more information on the accomplishments and contributions of each great outdoors inductee:

  • Heather Anderson – Ultrarunner, Hiker, Renowned Mountain Athlete and 2019 Nat Geo Adventurer of the Year. Anderson holds fastest known time (FKT) self-propelled, Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) as well as Women’s Self-propelled FKT on the Appalachian Trail (AT) and the Arizona Trail. She is notably the only woman to have traveled three times the AT, the PCT and the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail.
  • Jessie Benton Fremont – Key player in the creation of Yosemite National Park. adventure diary writes: “In 1864, at the height of the Civil War, following his personal entreaties…Lincoln signed the Yosemite Grant, the first case of land set aside specifically for its preservation and public use by a national government.”
  • Bill Jennings – Famous fisherman and defender of fishing conservation. Jennings has received a litany of awards and recognition for his wildlife advocacy.
  • Greg Le Mond – Several times winner of the Tour de France (and the only recognized American champion of the TdF) and Olympic cyclist. After retiring from racing, he founded LeMond Cycles and LeMond Composites – cycleries that were (and continue to be) key players in the carbon fiber revolution. In 2020, LeMond has expanded to carbon fiber e-bikes.
  • Bob Sims – Radio host for decades The Outdoor Show with Bob Simms. Simms uses his media chair to advocate for wildlife conservation and stewardship, access to public lands, and sustainable resource management. His show has long been more than just an outdoor informational special – it’s also a comprehensive resource for anglers, backcountry hikers, campers, hikers and hunters.
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The powder season is still on and the Red Bull Raid 2022 is here for it. On Friday, March 18, hardcore mountain athletes from all over will gather at the Palisades Tahoe resort. Red Bull describes the Raid as “part hiking party, part big mountain freeriding” and “the most comprehensive winter sports competition in the Sierra”.

Learn more and, if you dare, sign up to climb and descend the mountainside at redbull.com/red-bull-raid-2022.

Red Bull Raid March 18, 2022
(Photo/Ming Poon via Red Bull Content Pool)
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