Your outdoor news for March 21, 2013:

New Routes Go Up in the New River Gorge

In a great post on DPM Climbing, Mike Williams reports that new trad routes are going up in the New River Gorge. Focusing on popular Thunder Buttress of Beauty Mountain, Williams tells the tale of how Pat Goodman claimed the first ascent of Gun Control, a variation off of the established Gun Club. It’s great to see new things being done in a place like the New, where folks have been climbing since the 80’s; refreshing to know that there still remains undiscovered and unconquered territory out there. One of the things I love about climbing pieces is the names of the routes. Some highlights from this post are: The Thundering Herd, The Golden Bullet, In Gold Blood, and That’s What She Said. I also love stories written by climbers for all the climbing jargon and especially this one because it tells the story of a first ascent through the history of the place and the lives of the people who climb it.

Snowboarding Industry Summit

So reports from this winter indicate that the snowboard industry is in decline, while the ski industry is ticking up, meaning that young peoples in general are picking up skiing and sticking with it longer than snowboarding. When those in the industry learned this, some flew off the handle, but most took the news calmly enough even if they were tearing out their eyeballs in private about the death of snowboarding AS WE KNOW IT! A decline in snowboarding interest is especially important on the East Coast where the sport has traditionally been as popular – if not more popular- than skiing because it was cool and different. But now that the two styles/attitudes/punks have leaked into each discipline, the lines are blurred and snowboarding is losing out. The leaders of the industry met in Deer Valley last week at the TransWorld Conference to hash out what the sport has to do to keep growing and stop retracting. This was no emergency Situation Room type of thing – it happens every year – but the emphasis this year was definitely on the sport as a whole and not just the brands behind the curtain. We’ll see what the big players come up with next season to reflect this trend. This past season we saw Burton launch a huge “Learn to Ride” program for the kids, so expect more of that. Get ’em hooked young.

You can read the full recap of the conference here.

Public Support for Keystone Waning

According to a new poll for the Center of Biological Diversity by Public Policy Polling, 61 percent of those who voted for President Obama in the last election would be “disappointed” or “betrayed” if he goes ahead with the Keystone XL Pipeline. Almost 75 percent of the general public thought the Keystone XL is not in the U.S.’s “best interest.” Plenty more numbers in this story from the Sierra Club.