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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  Outdoors

Out & About: Annapurna a reality for Jess Roskelley

OUTCLIMB – Jess Roskelley of Spokane departed for Nepal this week with climbing partner Benjamin Erdmann of Alaska and a film crew to attempt an ascent of the world’s 10th-highest peak.

Roskelley, who climbed Mount Everest as a 20-year-old in 2003 with his father and internationally acclaimed mountaineer John Roskelley, has been specializing in difficult ascents and ice climbs in recent years.

The invitation to climb a 26,545-foot peak came out of thin air.

“I can’t really tell you too much, but producers wanted some young climbers for filming the expedition as a reality show,” Roskelley said.

The reality, of course, is that the mountain is big, prone to major storms and avalanche and offers no guaranteed summit.

The expedition could last two months.

Roskelley said Monday that he doesn’t know too much about Annapurna, but he’s taking a crash course. During the flights to the Himalaya he plans to read as much as possible, including the book “Annapurna,” by Maurice Herzog, an epic adventure tale of the 1950 first-ascent expedition.

“I’ve learned that friends and families back home are affected by what mountaineers do on these major climbs,” he said. “I’ll be keeping that in mind.”

Roskelley’s fiancée, Allison Spencer, gave the climb a big thumbs up on Facebook:

“I couldn’t be more proud and excited for these boys for the amazing opportunity that they’ve been given to show the world how tough, talented and dedicated they are to fulfilling their passion and living out their dreams.”

Public welcome on Buttercup Hike

OUTDO – The 49th Annual Buttercup Hike in the Dishman Hills Natural Area is set for a Saturday, 1 p.m. start from Camp Caro, 625 S. Sargent Road.

The three-hour educational walking tour will be led by Michael Hamilton, former Dishman Hills Conservancy president, retired geologist and resident naturalist.

Register: dishmanhills.org.

Sportsmen donate robotic deer decoys

OUTLAW – Robotic white-tailed deer decoys and metal detectors costing more than $5,000 have been donated by the Spokane Valley-based Northwest Sportsman’s Club for use by state wildlife police.

The remotely-controlled decoys and equipment will be used by Spokane-area officers to bag poachers. 

In the past the club has donated night-vision goggles, paintball guns for wildlife conflict work, and a winch for moving tranquilized moose and other large animals.

Club members have assisted in bighorn sheep and Turnbull elk research projects, fish fin-clipping and kids fishing events.

“We appreciate the support of this small, local group,” Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife officer Mike Sprecher said. “Community involvement is crucial to our mission” to protect wildlife.

An annual fundraising auction held in January allows the group to support the department and many other environmental, educational and charitable organizations, said Theresa Belknap, club spokeswoman.

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