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Author Topic: No skiing below Pebble Creek  (Read 57739 times)
skipole
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No skiing below Pebble Creek
« on: 07/21/08, 10:56 AM »

I am the volunteer who was telling people to not ski below Pebble Creek yesterday, 7/20.  I had intended to go out on skis myself and was told by a ranger at the visitor center that no one was to be skiing below Pebble Creek.  On the way up toward Pan Point the first visitor I encountered on skis insisted that I get confirmation of this restriction, which I did from a different ranger than the one who had told me before.

The reason for the rule is that the snowpack has gotten too thin in too many places.  The park is concerned about damage to vegetation and creation of social trails.  The park spends thousands of dollars and hundreds of man-hours of volunteer time each year addressing the impacts of people traveling where they shouldn't, especially in the Paradise area.  While not all of this is caused by irresponsible skiers there is certainly some cost to the park (and taxpayers) from skiers on low snowpack.   It costs the park service $18 per square foot to re-vegetate an area once it is impacted.  It takes 1-3 off-trail impacts to cause the damage.

In the Paradise area now snowpack can go from 5 feet down to zero within short distances.  A skier can think he's acting responsibly by staying on snow while still damaging plants below.   In addition to weight impacts on low growing vegetation like glacier lillies the edges of skis damage woody plants like tree seedlings and heather.  When skiers go short distances off-trail between patches of snow they create social trails that other visitors follow, which makes the social trail look more like a real trail, and so the impacts multiply.  The Paradise area is particularly vulnerable because it's at an elevation where plantlife is still lush, there's a very short growing season and there's a very high number of visitors.

A post from yesterday comments he heard about the restriction and ignored it.  I think that was a poor choice. 

I told about a half dozen people about the restriction.  While most accepted it grudgingly one visitor was particularly offensive, attacking me verbally for enforcing it as well as cussing out the park service and accusing them of ulterior motives.   Unfortunately some people can't get beyond their selfish desires to see the bigger picture.
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Scotsman
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Re: No skiing below Pebble Creek
« Reply #1 on: 07/21/08, 01:47 PM »

  While most accepted it grudgingly one visitor was particularly offensive, attacking me verbally for enforcing it as well as cussing out the park service and accusing them of ulterior motives. 

Although I agree that  whomever attacked you verbally was wrong  I'm a firm believer in cussing out the park service on a daily basis.They deserve it. I spend at least 5 minutes every day cussing them out.  A more inept and bureaucratic group ( collectively, not as individuals) would be hard to find. As a volunteer can you do anything about getting Sunrise opened earlier next year? Thanks.
« Last Edit: 07/21/08, 01:51 PM by Scotsman » Logged

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korup
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Re: No skiing below Pebble Creek
« Reply #2 on: 07/21/08, 02:07 PM »

Does the NPS seriously consider the area around Paradise a pristine alpine ecosystem? I am not suggesting that's a good reason to trash the vegetation but last time I checked, there was a paved trail there along with 10,000 tourists dropping trash and stomping all over,  which already means, well, you know...  Wink
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Scotsman
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Re: No skiing below Pebble Creek
« Reply #3 on: 07/21/08, 02:13 PM »

Further thoughts; backcountry skiers and climbers have always been a fairly anti-establishment  types and getting told by a stranger not to do something never sits well. Maybe people would obey your instructions more if you had a badge or a hat. As a volunteer do you get a badge or a hat? I think it would help!
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Randy
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Re: No skiing below Pebble Creek
« Reply #4 on: 07/21/08, 03:12 PM »

Does the NPS seriously consider the area around Paradise a pristine alpine ecosystem? I am not suggesting that's a good reason to trash the vegetation but last time I checked, there was a paved trail there along with 10,000 tourists dropping trash and stomping all over,  which already means, well, you know...  Wink
The area around Paradise is certainly not pristine -- but the park service has and does go to great lengths to preserve the beauty of the area as much as possible.   With 10,000+ vistors this is a huge challenge -- particularly when summer busloads of know nothing tourists are getting disgorged in the parking lot.   The park uses teams of volunteers ("meadow rovers") to as much as possible keep vistors on existing trails and minimize the damage.  Those paved trails are needed to handle the huge amount of traffic that occurs within 1 mile of the parking lot without eroding into a deep dusty ditch.

The flower fields around Paradise are (IMHO) actually in better condition than they were back in the '60s and '70s -- beacuse of the efforts to get vistors to stick to established trails.

I find it a bit ironic that some people get so annoyed with having to deal with restrictions on their activities in what is probably the busiest mountain site in the state -- if you want to be free of annoying crowds, rangers and volunteer rangers -- go else where -- even if it is just over to the Tatoosh -- which is much less busy than Paradise.

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Andrew Carey
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Re: No skiing below Pebble Creek
« Reply #5 on: 07/21/08, 03:24 PM »

This is interesting.  I read it and I checked the MORA website--no mention of it; I called the MORA telephone line and went thru their answering tree--no mention of it; earlier today I rode my motorcycle up to Paradise to check snow conditions in the event I would go skiing tomorrow--I saw no signs saying no skiing and what appeared to be sufficient snow to protect the veg on the normal route up Mazama from 4th crossing.  

I know from past years they "recommend" [language on the website] not skiing in less than 5 feet of snow; and i don't ski where veg is visible thru the snow; if the snow is skimpy I take my skis off and hike the trail til the snow is deep.  I have no desire to damage the plants.  In fact, last year I left my skis at home when the snow got skimpy and went hiking and stopped a MORA-volunteer-somenone skiing on vegetation between patches of snow below Alta Vista and told them they could get a citation  for that and that person said they had been skiing  in the same spot the day before with the woman in charge of revegetation ... etc.  So, what to believe?  And what should the park visitor do, when in good faith they check the website (including the park regulations) and the phone line and find nothing about restrictions and drive several hours to get to Paradise and get the gear ready and begin going up and then are told "oh, btw, you can't do that ... there's now an unwritten general rule of no skiing below Pebble Creek ..."

What does no skiing below Pebble Creek mean? Below that elevation?  Between Pebble Creek and Paradise? Can you ski (on snow) below McClure Rock, to the Paradise River on Mazama Ridge (in snow)? Can you ski the Paradise Glacier?  Last week I skied to Cowlitz Rocks, plenty of snow, all below Pebble Creek.

My main question is when is MORA going to start handing out customer satisfaction cards to be mailed in to a central office like many USFS offices were required to do--MORA management really needs some stockholder feedback.
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Andy Carey, Nisqually Park, 3500 feet below Paradise
Randy
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Re: No skiing below Pebble Creek
« Reply #6 on: 07/21/08, 03:53 PM »

This is interesting.  I read it and I checked the MORA website--no mention of it; I called the MORA telephone line and went thru their answering tree--no mention of it; earlier today I rode my motorcycle up to Paradise to check snow conditions in the event I would go skiing tomorrow--I saw no signs saying no skiing and what appeared to be sufficient snow to protect the veg on the normal route up Mazama from 4th crossing.  

I know from past years they "recommend" [language on the website] not skiing in less than 5 feet of snow; and i don't ski where veg is visible thru the snow; if the snow is skimpy I take my skis off and hike the trail til the snow is deep.  I have no desire to damage the plants.  In fact, last year I left my skis at home when the snow got skimpy and went hiking and stopped a MORA-volunteer-somenone skiing on vegetation between patches of snow below Alta Vista and told them they could get a citation  for that and that person said they had been skiing  in the same spot the day before with the woman in charge of revegetation ... etc.  So, what to believe?  And what should the park visitor do, when in good faith they check the website (including the park regulations) and the phone line and find nothing about restrictions and drive several hours to get to Paradise and get the gear ready and begin going up and then are told "oh, btw, you can't do that ... there's now an unwritten general rule of no skiing below Pebble Creek ..."

What does no skiing below Pebble Creek mean? Below that elevation?  Between Pebble Creek and Paradise? Can you ski (on snow) below McClure Rock, to the Paradise River on Mazama Ridge (in snow)? Can you ski the Paradise Glacier?  Last week I skied to Cowlitz Rocks, plenty of snow, all below Pebble Creek.

My main question is when is MORA going to start handing out customer satisfaction cards to be mailed in to a central office like many USFS offices were required to do--MORA management really needs some stockholder feedback.

I agree that there is fair amount of chaos among the park system volunteers and that you aren't going to get a consistent story from all the volunteers (or even the rangers).   The park doesn't really have the resources to perform extensive education, training or screening of the volunteers.   Occasionally volunteers will make mistakes.

If you have a problem with a volunteer ranger that seems misinformed or rude -- contact Kevin_Bacher@nps.gov -- he is the volunteer coordinator.

If you feel inclined to help the park -- check-out http://rainiervolunteers.blogspot.com/

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Andrew Carey
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Re: No skiing below Pebble Creek
« Reply #7 on: 07/21/08, 04:25 PM »

The park doesn't really have the resources ... If you feel inclined to help the park -- check-out http://rainiervolunteers.blogspot.com/

They do have the resources to update their phone messages and website; it takes only minutes.  I do feel inclined to help the park--I pay my taxes (very substantial ones, I pay my fees, and I have assisted rangers when they needed it and the befuddled public as well (lost/turned around/in the wrong place at the wrong time) on multiple occasions. 

Unfortunately, I don't perceive the park management as feeling "inclined to help" the public ... particularly the public that prefers muscle-powered backcountry experiences in the winter/snow season ... in fact many of their actions seem designed to spite the public (as discussed here before).
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Andy Carey, Nisqually Park, 3500 feet below Paradise
skipole
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Re: No skiing below Pebble Creek
« Reply #8 on: 07/21/08, 04:36 PM »

As a volunteer can you do anything about getting Sunrise opened earlier next year? Thanks.
 

I would agree to work on it if the skier community agreed to act responsibly.  However I can tell you that the park's past experience with the skier community has not been good.  Burroughs Mountain is a rare, isolated arctic tundra plant community that has remained since the last ice age.  Skiers regularly go off trail ruining the vegetation there in order to get to snow patches.  The park service would need to know that this would not be occurring.  It only takes a few noncompliant skiers to mess it up for everyone.
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skipole
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Re: No skiing below Pebble Creek
« Reply #9 on: 07/21/08, 04:53 PM »

Further thoughts; backcountry skiers and climbers have always been a fairly anti-establishment  types and getting told by a stranger not to do something never sits well. Maybe people would obey your instructions more if you had a badge or a hat. As a volunteer do you get a badge or a hat? I think it would help!

I had both a park-issued shirt with badges on each sleeve and a hat with official badge.  The rude visitor additionally saw my communication over a park-issued radio and heard it from the ranger.  Now anyone reading this thread is on notice that you shouldn't ski there.

There's at least 2 subjects I'm bringing up: 1) At least 2 park rangers have determined that under the current snow conditions that visitors should not be skiing until they get to Pebble Creek. and 2) the right thing to do is to not ski until you get to Pebble Creek. 

I agree that the park should and could do more to communicate the policy more broadly and more clearly.   But those responding in this thread have ignored the second point - it's the right thing to do to not ski in a heavily used area where even if skiing on the snow you could be damaging the vegetation or creating social trails.
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jdclimber
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Re: No skiing below Pebble Creek
« Reply #10 on: 07/21/08, 05:32 PM »

 The Park Service would be more respected if they had a bit more credibility.
The rangers are not the problem, but rather the policies of the upper management of the park, the rangers are just the public face of the backwards rules and policies. When they ticket people for riding their bicycles on closed paved roads (Sunrise, last year), and they close Paradise for everyone except for guided clients and construction workers because the toilets are broken they lose credibility (this winter). When they force you to work within their limited administrative hours for climbing permits, yet they enforce the use of permits on the upper mountain 24/7, they are not winning any supporters.
After such stupid policy edicts from the Park Service, when they make a perfectly reasonable suggestion of "no skiing on the flowers" it falls on deaf ears because they have abused their arbitrary administrative power and have proclaimed so many stupid rules for so long. They are not taken seriously as stewards of OUR public lands, because they have not taken good care of OUR resources in so many different ways for so long.
I think the blame falls as much on the Park Service as it falls on the taxpayer who is using their park.
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Charlie Hagedorn
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Re: No skiing below Pebble Creek
« Reply #11 on: 07/21/08, 05:55 PM »

And so another mini-tempest begins...

The NPS does a pretty good job of managing the crowds and preserving a semblance of tundra in the meadows. The paved trail does a nice job of resisting the pounding of many feet. It's critical that many many people/citizens/voters get enough of a taste of our superlative wild places to want to continue to preserve them. It's a fabulous place up there. The way NPS manages it could be far, far worse.

It'll raise the hackles of a lot of skiers, myself included, to tell them that they can't ski on existing snow on public land. Making absolute moral statements about what's "right" won't help matters.

There are a lot of places to ski that aren't at Paradise.
« Last Edit: 07/21/08, 06:00 PM by trumpetsailor » Logged

Jason_H.
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Re: No skiing below Pebble Creek
« Reply #12 on: 07/21/08, 06:06 PM »

If there is a paved trail and hundreds of hikers, it doesn't make sense to me to de-ski when you are skinning up a paved track with snow on it, but I can understand hiking down in places if the snow is thin, especially in a highly used area like Paradise. But a blanket rule with less than 5-ft of snow as a standard...that seems excessive as 5-ft of snow is a lot. Most places in the country don't even see that much snow FWIW and how a skier affects undergrowth from so far up, I'm at a loss to understand, but educate me since I could be in the wrong.

I remember when rules like this were first communicated to me. It began when many skiers/boarders began yo, yoing slopes near the car. Building jumps mostly. I saw a lot of damage occurring by most, but not all. It was unfortunate. Nowadays it is becoming more prevalent since there are so many more skiers at paradise than there ever used to be, especially in the summer and early fall/winter months. When you become a large user group there comes with that distinction more oversight of your impact. Thus blanket rules like this.
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Andrew Carey
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Re: No skiing below Pebble Creek
« Reply #13 on: 07/21/08, 07:23 PM »

=There are a lot of places to ski that aren't at Paradise.

I don't think the 5-ft rule applies solely to Paradise.  I think the concern about damage to subalpine and alpine vegetation is throughout the park, including the Tatoosh.  Paradise just gets more hiker/climber/skier/boarder use, and thus damage, and thus requiring more rehabilitation work ... but there is lots of rehab going on at Mazama Ridge.  In essence, skiing is pretty much over except above 7,000-7,500 ft asl or much higher and to get there and back the park wants you to hike, not skin or ski.  In the past, this time of year, I pretty much carried up to above Pebble and down, but my spouse would take the skis on and ove to ski the patches of snow.  I could not quarrel with her skiing the patches when they were thick enough (say 2 ft with no veg visible thru the translucent snow; IMHO as a certified senior ecologist with over 40 yrs experience) but I don't think it is especially helpful to lightly skin/ski-step across the thinner patches or gaps between patches (one traverse may not hurt, but multiple would) or to ski over protruding shrub or tree tips.  I really don't see a connection between ski tracks and social trails, however.  Social trails are a problem, but most skin tracks tend to follow the established trails (although as mentioned above there have been lots of exceptions, increasing in recent years).  But as soon as school's out and the summer tourism begins, social trails are all over the place with kids looking for snow patches to play and slide in (skiers looking for Muir).

As far as Sunrise goes, I haven't been there in the last few years and I haven't seen the park management-park ownership conflict.  When I did ski there, we generally carried our skis and followed trails til we got to snow.
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... want your own private skintrack? Better move to the yukon dude. (B'ham Allen, 2011).
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Andy Carey, Nisqually Park, 3500 feet below Paradise
Scotsman
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Re: No skiing below Pebble Creek
« Reply #14 on: 07/21/08, 07:44 PM »

 

I would agree to work on it if the skier community agreed to act responsibly.  However I can tell you that the park's past experience with the skier community has not been good.  Burroughs Mountain is a rare, isolated arctic tundra plant community that has remained since the last ice age.  Skiers regularly go off trail ruining the vegetation there in order to get to snow patches.  The park service would need to know that this would not be occurring.  It only takes a few noncompliant skiers to mess it up for everyone.

You seem well informed and pretty much confirmed what we all thought in that there was a conscious decision to open Sunrise late when all the snow was gone. As you can tell from many of the responses, the NPS has lost the respect of many of the backcountry skiers with it's arbitrary and stupid policies and attempts to close the Crystal boundary.
A skier was recently warned at Chinook Pass for building a snow kicker and told that it was against the rules which is absolute BS.

  I was up at Chinook one day and there where 6 park rangers driving back and forward in NPS pickups and that superintendent strutting around.  I absolutely love MRNP and as an immigrant to the USA ,think America's national parks are it's crown jewels. Any complaint about the service we get from the staff and volunteers is responded to with" we only have limited resources". WE ALL HAVE LIMITED RESOURCES but we learn to use them wisely and efficiently, something the NPS has not learnt to do.

I'm trying to not make this a personal attack on you but on the NPS, but find it very hard to ignore the sense of superiority and arrogance contained in the statement that you will help open Sunrise earlier if you deem the the behaviour of the skier community improved.
Information and discussion is good, moral edicts from "superior beings" I find laughable!




« Last Edit: 07/21/08, 07:49 PM by Scotsman » Logged

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skipole
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Re: No skiing below Pebble Creek
« Reply #15 on: 07/21/08, 07:53 PM »

If there is a paved trail and hundreds of hikers, it doesn't make sense to me to de-ski when you are skinning up a paved track with snow on it, but I can understand hiking down in places if the snow is thin, especially in a highly used area like Paradise. But a blanket rule with less than 5-ft of snow as a standard...that seems excessive as 5-ft of snow is a lot. 

Despite wanding the trail so that folks would be going on top of paved trail in many places the wands didn't follow the pavement.  It's really difficult to stay on pavement with snow over it.

I don't understand it to be a rule of 5 feet of snow.  The problem now is that it's 5 feet in one place and almost nothing very close by appearing to be coverage when it's really not.
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Scotsman
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Re: No skiing below Pebble Creek
« Reply #16 on: 07/21/08, 07:59 PM »

  Now anyone reading this thread is on notice that you shouldn't ski there.

Don't you think you are doing more harm for your cause with statements like that.Huh?
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skipole
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Re: No skiing below Pebble Creek
« Reply #17 on: 07/21/08, 08:08 PM »

You seem well informed and pretty much confirmed what we all thought in that there was a conscious decision to open Sunrise late when all the snow was gone.

I certainly am not in a position to represent any "conscious decision" of the park.  However it is elementary that the park's concerns include preservation as well as the desires of user groups.


I'm trying to not make this a personal attack on you but on the NPS, but find it very hard to ignore the sense of superiority and arrogance contained in the statement that you will help open Sunrise earlier if you deem the the behaviour of the skier community improved.
Information and discussion is good, moral edicts from "superior beings" I find laughable!
 
I  retain the prerogative to put my efforts where I want when I want and don't give a fig whether you approve.  And I don't have a desire to further narrow parochial interests at the expense of the bigger picture of preserving what makes a place so special. 




« Last Edit: 07/21/08, 08:17 PM by skipole » Logged
vogtski
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Re: No skiing below Pebble Creek
« Reply #18 on: 07/21/08, 08:38 PM »

jdclimber hit the nail right on the head.  Well said, sir!  The National Parks are one of our country’s best ideas, but the National Park Service has become just another bloated, wasteful, arrogant, self-serving, out of touch federal agency.

I know from long personal experience that the NPS has a very high proportion of dedicated employees in the ranks; for many, it’s not just a job, it’s a religion.  Obviously, the Parks are mismanaged, but the real management problem is that the Parks have been captured by Congress for it’s pork barrel re-election schemes.  Rep. Dimwit will trumpet his vote against Interior operating budgets to the homefolks as ‘shrinking government’, but won’t hesitate to establish and lavishly fund ‘Dismal Seepage Historical Site’ in his district.  It’s not surprising that a class of managers has evolved in response that emphasizes unnecessary development over real maintenance or improved access.  It doesn’t help that they usually have to transfer to be promoted, and so leave just about the time they start to know half as much about their Parks as many of the rank and file, or even local visitors.

The new Paradise Visitor Center is a good example of unnecessary development, because it’s main justification is to replace the previous development fubar (Jackson VC).  The primary reason the road has been plowed in winter since the 60’s is to deliver fuel oil to prevent snow from crushing the VC, not to provide access to the fantastic skiing.  Assuming little is spent heating the new building, how many years of pro-rated fuel savings will it take to justify spending tens of millions on new construction?  The high-priced landscape architects apparently didn’t spend much time at the site in winter, or they might not have chosen the deepest drift in the area, or located the large, steep roof so as to present an avalanche hazard to the public.  I predict additional snow removal difficulties around the new VC and even more opening delays and bogus closures in future winters.  Good examples of real maintenance ignored were the disgraceful spills of thousands of gallons of heating oil at Ohanapecosh and Narada Falls in recent years.

Speaking of real maintenance, it would be a lot easier to accept being told not to ski if more effort were made by the NPS to actually relocate the snowy cattle track above the trail.   In the 70’s, with much smaller staff & budget, we daily packed soot up to darken & melt out desired routes and shoveled fresh snow on the off-trail sections.  My experience, based on decades of subalpine trail restoration, is that the thousands of near misses by slightly off trail hikers are orders of magnitude more damaging to vegetation than a few random ski (or even boot) tracks.  Surely a vibram boot sole breaks more woody stems and compacts or erodes more soil than a ski.   Randy is correct that vegetative impacts are much reduced from previous decades, but the overwhelming majority of the ongoing resource problems around Paradise are caused by hikers, not skiers, and the NPS could do a much better job of managing the trail melt-out..  Many of the remaining damaged sections around Paradise, such as the Skyline trail between Pan Pt & Mazama Ridge, are mostly the result of management approved concession pack strings avoiding lingering snow patches throughout the 1950’s and 60’s.   

acarey makes an excellent point about the vagueness of this policy.  Is it just for the trail corridor to Muir, or am I supposed to boot across the Stevens Creek snowbridges or the lower Paradise Glacier crevasses at increased risk of breaking in just because I’m below some arbitrary point?
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Re: No skiing below Pebble Creek
« Reply #19 on: 07/21/08, 09:16 PM »

I certainly am not in a position to represent any "conscious decision" of the park.  However it is elementary that the park's concerns include preservation as well as the desires of user groups.

I  retain the prerogative to put my efforts where I want when I want and don't give a fig whether you approve.  And I don't have a desire to further narrow parochial interests at the expense of the bigger picture of preserving what makes a place so special. 


Backcountry skiing at MRNP has had a long history as has mountaineering and general visitor " sightseeing". Perhaps you should read some of Lowell Skoog's writing to discover the long history of skiing in the park. The 10th Mountain Division trained there before moving to Colorado.

 The park has made great strides in accommodating climbers and minimizing their obvious environmental footprint( ever been to Muir on  a hot day and smelt the feces) and the high respect that the community has for Gator shows what can be done when there is communication between the groups. The communication between the mountaineering community and the NPS has been aided by the commercial guide companies who have an obvious stake in co-operation. Skiers do not possess such advocates.

 Many backcountry skiers feel that the Park system is deliberately closing down our access, (crystal boundary closure, West side road, deliberate late opening of Sunrise, fears of Paradise road being closed in winter when the new VC is complete). We are historical stakeholders in the park and worthy of a voice in it's future and management not a narrow parochial special interest group.

Rather than effectively denying  access to areas such as Sunrise , the park should reach out to the skiing community to discuss the issues  and come up with solutions .

 Not even I, who loathes the NPS, has argued with your original premise that vegetation can be damaged by skiers, just your crude officious delivery and evident air of superiority.

Last time you had a discussion about Sunrise on this discussion board, you chirped in and  told us all to stop whining and volunteer to dig out the toilets and help open it.

Seems pretty callous when you, as it evident by your statements above, knew that it was being deliberately kept closed so there would be no snow to ski on!!!
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Randy
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Re: No skiing below Pebble Creek
« Reply #20 on: 07/21/08, 09:42 PM »

The new Paradise Visitor Center is a good example of unnecessary development, because it’s main justification is to replace the previous development fubar (Jackson VC).  The primary reason the road has been plowed in winter since the 60’s is to deliver fuel oil to prevent snow from crushing the VC, not to provide access to the fantastic skiing.  Assuming little is spent heating the new building, how many years of pro-rated fuel savings will it take to justify spending tens of millions on new construction? 

The crazy thing is that it looks like the new VC will actually save money in very few years -- I recall the construction budget was around $2.5 million -- but that the two years ago the annual heating/snow melt budget was around $0.5 million -- given the current increase in fuel oil costs cost should be recouped in just a few years.

My big concern is that when the park service no long must keep the road open through the winter -- congress will cut the budget and the road will be closed during the winter which would be sad.
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vogtski
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Re: No skiing below Pebble Creek
« Reply #21 on: 07/21/08, 10:12 PM »

"...the construction budget was $2.5 million."  Really?!  Scotsman, or anyone know how to document this cost?  I'd have guessed ten times that amount by the time the existing VC is demolished & paved, not to mention twenty miles of road damage from all the heavy trucks.  Heck they spent more than that remodeling the JVC not so many years ago...
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Joedabaker
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Re: No skiing below Pebble Creek
« Reply #22 on: 07/21/08, 11:13 PM »

Last time you had a discussion about Sunrise on this discussion board, you chirped in and  told us all to stop whining and volunteer to dig out the toilets and help open it.

Seems pretty callous when you, as it evident by your statements above, knew that it was being deliberately kept closed so there would be no snow to ski on!!!
That is some nice work councelor Scotsman, forgot about that jab.
It's hard to believe that a group so unorganized could come up with such a diabolical plan.  Wink

We skiers/boarders have come a long way to the point where we are viewed as organized enough to come up with a consensus decision to stay off all budding flora.  Huh and to think that an agreement  treaty would give us our Sunrise skiing back, that is pretty absurd.
I think the same agreement should be made to the thousands of tourists that take their first step off the tour bus right into the Lupine meadows or the endless flock of Summer visitors from Seattle, Lubbock, Grand Rapids or Cleveland who rightfully wander carelessly up the 1st Burroughs trampling the last floral descendants of that last ice age to get a better glimpse of Rainier.
It does not matter if the trampling comes early Spring or late Summer, it is going to happen by humans or wildlife. To pin all the blame on the skiers is pretty coward and penalizing one interest group is a selfish abuse of power that needs to STOP NOW!
I have been in parts of the park that nary see a person, yet the terrain is zigzagged and scarred by the trampling of wildlife, what has been done to control the animals from destroying their own vegetation?
Or how about the countless biologist and botanists that go on their off trail treks in the park to do research? Certainly there could be a case that in their efforts to study that they are damaging the park? No, they are going to write reports that say there is evidence to support more research and concern for a certain cause, like skier damage to milk the system.
My God, I know it's bold to say but from my experiences the Park does all in its power to protect their image and jobs that can be enjoyed by it's caretakers rather than it's owners.

 
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Scotsman
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Re: No skiing below Pebble Creek
« Reply #23 on: 07/21/08, 11:18 PM »

"...the construction budget was $2.5 million."  Really?!  Scotsman, or anyone know how to document this cost?  I'd have guessed ten times that amount by the time the existing VC is demolished & paved, not to mention twenty miles of road damage from all the heavy trucks.  Heck they spent more than that remodeling the JVC not so many years ago...

Freedom of Information act. Budgets and construction bids for Federal projects are public and any document can be requested if you invoke the FOI Act. They charge you for the research and copying and you have to be fairly specific and have much patience and perserverance. Always amazing what can be found with advanced googling though. I thought I heard the building and renovation of the Paradise lodge was much higher but could be wrong.

If you call the NPS I'm sure they have a peson or department that would be able to tell you.

Love to invoke the FOI to get my hands on some internal documents/memos/emails that must discuss the long term planning regarding keeping the Paradise road open or closed during future winters. Like Rusty, I have grave fears for the future of Paradise winter skiing.There must be discussion papers, reports or anaysis regarding this issue.

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Jonathan_S.
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Re: No skiing below Pebble Creek
« Reply #24 on: 07/22/08, 06:25 AM »

The crazy thing is that it looks like the new VC will actually save money in very few years -- I recall the construction budget was around $2.5 million [...]
Yes, I did find a reference that the VC cost about $2 million . . . in 1966!
The combined budget for both the new VC and the Inn upgrades is about $30 million.
The only estimate I found for VC-only costs was $11 million, but that was way back in 1999.

Two questions:
1. At this time of year, what is the approximate ratio below-treeline of foot traffic (i.e., hikers and climbers combined) to skiers (or I suppose, attempted skiers, illegal skiers, etc.).

2. Back at the end of October, when I was helping a friend's friend keep his monthly streak going:
http://picasaweb.google.com/jshefftz/MuirOct31
(yes, he was really cutting it close that month!), although the road had been clear for several straight days, the gate didn't open until some absurdly late hour in the morning.  Given the early sunset that time of year, such a late opening cuts short any daytripper's safety margin.  (Oh, plus the VC bathrooms were closed, even the ones accessed from the outside.)  I think that NPS actions & attitudes like that contribute to the opinions expressed in this thread. 
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