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Wyoming in brief

Mercury soars over 100 in northern WyomingIt was a scorcher across Wyoming on Thursday with temperatures topping 100 at several locations.

Greybull and Sheridan both hit 102 degrees, while Worland and Gillette peaked at 101.

Buffalo and Casper reached 99, while Douglas and Lander topped out at 98.

One of the coolest spots was Jackson, which still reached 86.

The National Weather Service predicted highs Friday would not be quite as warm.BLM to inventory pioneer trails with helicoptersROCK SPRINGS, Wyo. — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management will use helicopters to pinpoint locations of pioneer trails across Wyoming.

The study will help update BLM planning documents regarding management of the congressionally designated National Historic Trails on public lands, official said.

The flights will be low enough to allow BLM officials to use global position systems to determine latitude and longitude of the trails, which will include the Oregon, California, Mormon Pioneer and Pony Express trails.

Variants, including the Lander Road, Sublette Cutoff, Slate Creek Cutoff and the Dempsey-Hockaday trails will also be included.

BLM officials said some flights over private lands will be unavoidable, but teams will try to avoid flying low over livestock and have no plans to land on private property.

Landowners with questions are asked to contact Russ Tanner at the Rock Springs BLM Field Office, (307) 352-0223.

The flights are expected to be completed by the end of July.Jackson man pioneers route on Mount McKinleyJACKSON, Wyo. — Fighting off hunger and fatigue, a Jackson man and his Slovenian climbing partner completed a new line on the south face of North America’s highest peak.

The route, which they dubbed Light Traveler, took 39 hours and ends near the 20,320-foot summit of Mount McKinley in Denali National Park in Alaska.

“It was incredibly trying, mentally draining,” said Stephen Koch of Jackson. “It was painfully slow, hideous. We knew we had to get to the top of the ridge. We just wanted to sleep, but we couldn’t. You just have to keep going.”

The line is next to a ridge pioneered in 1961 by Italian alpinist Riccardo Cassin. The new route is about as difficult as a rock climb of 5.10 and 5.11.

“We were moving real slow,” Koch said of the June 17 ascent. “Ten steps, stop, nod off ’til you feel yourself falling back, wake up.”

Koch, 32, began his mountaineering career as a snowboarder seeking radical new routes. His partner on Mount McKinley was Marko Prezlj, 36, a veteran climber.

The team has also climbed most of the Moonflower Buttress on nearby Mount Hunter and created a new route on the Mini Moonflower Buttress, which they called Mini Luna.

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