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Author Topic: No skiing below Pebble Creek  (Read 22494 times)
Scotsman
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Re: No skiing below Pebble Creek
« Reply #50 on: 07/22/08, 07:50 PM »

I snowboard; what's all the fuss is about.   Roll Eyes

Hey Mike, I know you're well regarded by the skiing community and your blog is highly admired as what the NPS could be but I'd like to ask you a few questions or at least get some direction.

Why ( in my opinion) is the park so good at accommodating the needs of climbers and general visitors but so negative towards the issues effecting skiers? It can't be environmental damage as nobody can argue that general mountaineering has had an incredible effect on the park. Muir toilets, fixed ropes etc etc.
Why has the park superintendent tried to close the Crystal boundary and why was Sunrise opened so late. I read Kevin's reply about Sunrise and it's the party line but I have it on good authority( from two other park rangers) who told me  in person that it's BS and that the road was snow-free for at least a month before they opened it. They said ( the rangers) that East side didn't talk to Westside, that the maintenance department ran the show at Sunrise and that with a couple of portaloos they didn't understand why it couldn't have been opened earlier. This is uniformed rangers talking not vollys.
I hate to put you on the spot but to whom can we talk to. Filling out visitor comment forms just ain't going to cut it. How does an individual or group get a meeting  with the Superintendent?
Thanks  man. Your blog and attitude give some of us hope!
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Re: No skiing below Pebble Creek
« Reply #51 on: 07/22/08, 09:53 PM »

First of all, thanks to RangerKevin and Mike Gauthier whom are willing to take part in said discussion.

I just thought I'd throw a word(s) of encouragement out there as far as this question is concerned:
Why (in my opinion) is the park so good at accommodating the needs of climbers and general visitors but so negative towards the issues effecting skiers?

I like to go to work with stuff from TAY to chew on...today I just happened to have The Challenge of Rainier with me, and in light of the ongoing thread, I read a very interesting part.  Being a climber first, skier second, I've been mesmerized by the Willis Wall since I first saw it.  After reading the history behind it, it made me draw some parallels to the skiing community. 

The first 2 routes (West Rib ('61,'62 Bell); Upper Curtis Ridge ('62 Cooper/Swayne)) were done without NPS approval, and then this is what the book describes:

"By 1960, following successful ascents of most major ridges and cirque headwalls on Rainier, climbers finally turned their eyes and ambitions toward the conquest of Willis Wall proper.  In the tradition of discouraging what for many years was considered suicidal, the National Park Service long turned down all requests for permission to attempt the climb, but mounting pressures and a growing public acceptance of the appeals of mountaineering eventually resulted in a more permissive attitude...after the late-spring ascents of Willis Wall, and opening of the mountain to year-round climbing without restrictions on routes, a number of climbers examined the vast slope under winter conditions." (Wickwire, Bertulis, Cooper, Swayne, Mahre, etc.)

I'm not saying look to break the rules - I just think that we're on the right path by getting the attention diverted towards an effort that will hopefully in the long run, allow for a great outcome for both sides.
« Last Edit: 07/22/08, 09:57 PM by Stugie » Logged

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olymm
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Re: No skiing below Pebble Creek
« Reply #52 on: 07/23/08, 06:28 AM »

It looks like at least one of your posts showed up.  http://www.ohranger.com/info/coming-soon.

Reading through the thread, one thing that is not clear to me - is there a definitive answer on whether you can ski below Pebble Creek?  If not, when did it officially go into effect? 

And, what's the criteria for when its allowed (i.e., for the fall/early winter is it date based, snowpack based or some other criteria)?

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Andrew Carey
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Re: No skiing below Pebble Creek
« Reply #53 on: 07/23/08, 06:57 AM »

It looks like at least one of your posts showed up.  http://www.ohranger.com/info/coming-soon.


Man, if the rejected post was vitriolic and this post was not, the 1st must have been pretty informative :-)
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Andy Carey, Nisqually Park, 3500 feet below Paradise
Scotsman
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Re: No skiing below Pebble Creek
« Reply #54 on: 07/23/08, 08:40 AM »

Man, if the rejected post was vitriolic and this post was not, the 1st must have been pretty informative :-)

No, that was my first post and I'm surprised they let it through eventualy. Kudos to them for allowing some dissent. I purposely made it vitiolic to test their tolerance for free speech!
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Stugie
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Re: No skiing below Pebble Creek
« Reply #55 on: 07/23/08, 09:59 AM »

In case you didn't check out the website (rainiervolunteers.blogspot.com) given by RangerKevin below, this is what the website says:

"And finally, don't miss the vigorous discussion going on at turns-all-year.com, initiated by an unidentified Meadow Rover who attempted to explain why skiing can create problems on the lower elevation trails at Paradise this time of year (due to thin snow, large crowds, and the need to establish routes where the trails will be as they melt out). The discussion is lively and wide-ranging; hopefully, it will lead to a better understanding of why we have regulations in place to protect the meadows, and ideas about how we can better convey that message to people visiting the park.

Clearly, our Meadow Rovers are playing a vital role right now--not always an easy one, or even a universally popular one. But you have only to look at Hank and Judy's pictures above to see why it's so important. Thank you all for your hard work on behalf of our Mountain!"


*edit*






Looks pretty obvious to me that the damage was DEFINITELY cause by those ski/snowboarder folk... Roll Eyes
« Last Edit: 07/23/08, 10:05 AM by Stugie » Logged

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Scotsman
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Re: No skiing below Pebble Creek
« Reply #56 on: 07/23/08, 10:09 AM »

Yep, just what you would expect. Self-congratulatory.
We finally get a response from Kevin at NPS. We are so delighted, we effuse over their kindness to have replied and then when you want to expand the conversation they retreat.
I've worked for the government( on construciton projects for them) for nearly 20 years and the only thing that makes them listen and change is to carry a big stick and use it.
The big stick being their funding scource, litigation and negative PR.
« Last Edit: 07/23/08, 10:14 AM by Scotsman » Logged

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Re: No skiing below Pebble Creek
« Reply #57 on: 07/23/08, 10:38 AM »

I don't mean to stir the pot too vigorously, but the second of those photos (I had to go to the blog to see a larger version) depicts a scene in which the obvious snow patches are easily connected with what appear to be meadow-protecting and solid isthmuses.

Anyone got any photos of the usual line down from the base of Pan Point to the visitor's center, which I assume is the primary concern? Discussions like this one are often improved with the addition of solid and agreed-upon data.

I concur with Scotsman's general assessment that squeaky wheels receive grease. Reasoned dialog's awesome whenever user groups/resource demands come into conflict.

Thanks to the rangers for their replies!
« Last Edit: 07/23/08, 10:44 AM by trumpetsailor » Logged

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Re: No skiing below Pebble Creek
« Reply #58 on: 07/23/08, 11:43 AM »

Hello again -- a common theme in these postings is how to effectively communicate with those who have the authority to explain or modify park policy. Let me provide a few suggestions.

First, the caveat: all of us are extremely busy, especially this time of year, and it's hard to keep up with our e-mail and phone messages, so please don't take offense if it takes a while to get a response from someone. It's not disregard, it's just lack of time. Your concerns are very important, but we also are busy keeping the park running day-to-day as well. (I've been interrupted by about five phone calls in the short time I've been writing this.) Plus, we're the government, and so things inherently move slower than they do in the real world.  Wink Please be patient! (The winter season is often a better time to discuss policy, because we have fewer distractions from front-line operations.)

Now, the names and numbers: Our Wilderness Manager is Steve Klump, 360-569-2211 ext. 3304. He coordinates policy and enforcement parkwide and is the best person to talk to with your concerns. My recommendation would be to elect one person to do so rather than having a dozen people call him about the same thing! He should be open to chatting with you or setting up a time to do so, either by phone or even in person. I can't guarantee that he'll promptly change any policies, but he's a good guy and I'm fairly certain he'll give you an honest hearing.

Steve's boss is our Chief Ranger, Chuck Young, 360-569-2211 ext. 3300. But he'll probably just refer you to Steve if you haven't talked to him already. Chuck will get involved if you have issues involving changing park policy. His boss is Superintendent Dave Uberuaga, 360-569-2211 ext. 2301. Dave is incredibly busy, and again will refer you down the chain of command if you haven't talked to them already. But he has the final say about park-level regulations (those that aren't superceded by, say, Federal regulations or legislation).

There are many ways to contribute to a discussion of issues. This is a great forum, and once we're alerted that something relevant to our operation is being discussed, we do follow the discussion. My volunteer program blog at rainiervolunteers.blogspot.com permits comments on the topics posted there, and I welcome feedback; I've also set up a Yahoo discussion group for volunteers, which is linked on the right-hand side, where you can discuss your own issues related to volunteering just as you can here on topics related to skiing. Some of us, like Gator and I, feel that this is where we need to go for a more responsive government. But it does take time and a shift in work priorities to keep up with, and again, we're the federal government, so change comes slowly!

I've avoided answering some of the specific questions that have been posted here because, frankly, I don't know the answers with enough certainty. I recommend contacting Steve and getting the answers to your satisfaction, then posting them here. Good luck and keep the conversation going!
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Scotsman
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Re: No skiing below Pebble Creek
« Reply #59 on: 07/23/08, 01:32 PM »

Thanks for the information.
Do you have e-mail addresses for the following gentlemen you mention.
Steve Klump
Chuck Young
Dave Uberuaga
It's difficult to get through at times on the phone and the whole world seems to communicate by e-mail these days.
Thanks
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dkoelle
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Re: No skiing below Pebble Creek
« Reply #60 on: 07/23/08, 03:16 PM »

I sent a comment to OhRanger.

One potential issue that seems legit: you know how when  you are skiing down snowfields that "almost" connect and you are forced to either all-terrain ski, or even de-ski and hike a few feet, to link up between snowfields?  In a very high use area, this could be harmful to fragile plants.  Also, if viewed by hikers, this activity could set a bad precedent.  So I guess I think the regulation is ridiculous if continuous skiing is available, or if the link-ups only involve trail, but perhaps has some merit to minimize off-trail contact of boots or skiis with dirt/rock/plants.
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Scotsman
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Re: No skiing below Pebble Creek
« Reply #61 on: 07/23/08, 08:33 PM »

I've been thinking about this thread and feeling a bit uneasy and so I sat down today and decided to try and educate myself on the issues rather than just rant and rave(  trying to be mature is a so much more work, and being immature is so much more fun).

I found the NPS plan for the park on-line and printed and started reading all 450 pages. It's a difficult read as it's laid out kinda funny but I started plowing though it. It talks about shuttle buses, west side road, paradise etc etc. It's all there.

Skiing is mentioned frequently and always coupled with snowshoeing and snowboarding. It is usually referred to as cross-country skiing and is ALWAYS talked about as a WINTER activity. There is even a paragraph where somebody proposes banning snowboarding as being inappropriate for the park but that is quickly discarded and there is no mention of skiing in the same context.

That's when it struck me that neither the NPS or ourselves could have imagined the growth and direction the sport we call backcountry skiing has developed and how we have even promoted it as a YEAR ROUND activity. No wonder conflict exists. Neither we nor the NPs has caught up how our sport has developed from the concept of  winter cross-country skiing to year round back-country and ski mountaineering on high performance technical gear.

This prompted me to think about what I do ,and my code of ethics. The question I asked myself was this. It's spring, Nisqually chute has corn. There is no snow until above Pan point. I hike on the trail carrying skis to Pebble Creek. I skin to the top of the chute, I ski the chute but o get back to Glacier Vista I have to hike through an area of sub-alpine flowers to get back to the Glacier Vista trail. Acceptable or not??? Here's another thought producer. Ten years from now, extreme sledding has become the passion. Hundreds of people converge on Paradise in the spring and summer. High performance sleds with steering mechanisms are on sale by Black Diamond and the sport is easy to learn. People are wandering all over the park dragging sleds to get to ribbons of snow. Acceptable or not?Huh

Back-country skiers ( with exceptions of course ) behave differently from climbers. climbers will take the easy marked trails to permanent snow and then start their ascent. Skiers will leave the trial to go to a bowl or ribbon of skiable snow that climbers will normally never go to.

I guess I discovered that the issue for me is more complicated than I thought and I think both skiers and the NPS haven't caught up with the issues that year round and certainly extended season skiing is going to produce.

I am still deeply suspicious of other parts of the report especially the crystal boundary issue. It drones on about how development at Crystal will promote more skiers being visible on the ridge lines and skiing into the park and destroying the visitors wilderness experience. It then goes on to say that in winter there is nobody out there as  the roads are all closed. I still suspect it has something to do with the park residences in that area or else a political play to get the Forest Service to do a land swap.

That being said, I recommend you read it. It's making me think about some of my past positions.

I would also like to say I was pretty hard on Skipole and although I still have issues with his/her tone and delivery, I think it takes cojones to do what he/she did in posting what he/she thought important and take the knocks that followed and I admire that.




« Last Edit: 07/24/08, 10:09 AM by Scotsman » Logged

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Larry_Trotter
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Re: No skiing below Pebble Creek
« Reply #62 on: 07/23/08, 09:50 PM »

MRNP has quite a history of struggling with/against skiers...   

Mt. Rainer Administrative History:
http://www.nps.gov/archive/mora/adhi/adhit.htm

Especially: XIV. THE PROBLEM OF WINTER USE
Quote
....In the decade and a half following World War II, the NPS wrestled with the problem of winter use at Mount Rainier National Park. The heart of the problem was this: to what extent should skiers shape the physical development and budget priorities of the national park? The problem concerned several other national parks as well--notably the California parks--but nowhere was the situation more vexing than at Mount Rainier.....


They felt that they could get out of the ski business with the development of ski resorts in Washington.  Lots of mention of cross country skiers...  it seems they still don't understand Alpine Touring.... (my opinion)



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alpentalcorey
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Re: No skiing below Pebble Creek
« Reply #63 on: 07/23/08, 09:55 PM »

Great post Scotsman.  I am regretting my earlier comments, I was out of line.

Ultimately instead of complaining about over-regulation I could easily choose to go to a less-regulated area or accept the rules.  There's no argument I can make that fragile meadows should be trampled.

Maybe it was the anonymity that bothered me?  In any case skipole I am sorry.  
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Re: No skiing below Pebble Creek
« Reply #64 on: 07/23/08, 11:00 PM »

I agree with Ron that Scotsman would be the perfect Acting Spokesman until an advocacy group can get better organized.  I was especially impressed at his restraint in not mentioning his higher duty on the weekend of the ‘Sunrise Snub’. We need someone who can call BS when necessary and who won’t be co-opted.  Maybe he’d reconsider if I offered to help with the scut-work behind the scenes?  Lodging in Ashford on powder weekends?

His list of concerns is a great starting point, but I think the emphasis regarding Paradise should be on speeding up the ever-slower winter gate opening.  If the Park Service could accomplish that, I think it would show they were serious about serving winter visitors better and calm fears of total winter closures.

During the world-record snow years of the early 70’s, I estimated that the average plowing time required was about one hour past 8AM for every six inches of new snow at Paradise.  There were quite a few days, but never extended periods, when the road would not open.  At that time the road crew was using mostly surplus plows and trucks from Bremerton that the Navy had given up on and the road foreman had the only four-wheel drive light vehicle in the Park.  The Rangers drove 2WD GSA station wagons rigged as ambulances and chained-up just like the public.

In recent years, I’ve been forced to revise my estimates.  Despite less snow, newer & more powerful equipment, and a fleet of SUVs that would make a Saudi prince blush, about one hour past 8 for every three inches of new snow seems the current norm, and non-openings and extended closures are much more common.

Since I’ve indulged myself in a number of criticisms of the National Park Service, I feel compelled to offer the following:

SOME SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVING PARADISE WINTER OPERATIONS

CONTINUE RECENT IMPROVEMENTS IN PHONE MESSAGE.  For years, this was really frustrating because of no updates or updates that didn’t mention what day they were recorded.  These problems have been corrected.  Even the new estimated opening time is fairly reliable.  Hats off to whoever was responsible.  It would be convenient for us locals if the message could be updated when the Paradise gate actually opens.  A real improvement would be to make the open/no open decision sooner, so that people could make alternate plans before wasting most of the day waiting for the gate.  The weather phone message offers ‘current conditions’, but is really just a summary of the generally available forecast.  Perhaps the standard script could refer callers to the webcams, or how hard is it to just update the weather conditions a few times a day?  At least the recording no longer prattles on about the total snow amount compared to the previous year.  More useful to those without web access would be the amount of new snow overnight & perhaps a wind summary, since they affect trip choice, trail breaking difficulty, time management, and avalanche hazard. I don’t understand why the current avalanche hazard is not on the recording each winter day.     

START SNOW REMOVAL EARLIER on weekends and holidays.  Model A’s kept the road plowed almost to Narada by working all night.  Starting a couple hours earlier would give backcountry travelers more safety cushion on short winter days.

PARTIAL OPENINGS ON WEEKDAYS.  In the seventies, the Paradise gate was opened when the lower (JVC) lot was cleared, unless there were too many cars waiting in Longmire.  A volunteer (often me) would keep people away from the plows while the upper lot was finished. As long as the parking capacity is not exceeded, I don’t see why it can’t be SOP that the road is opened to Cougar Rock, Glacier Bridge, Narada and the lower Paradise lot as the plows reach them.  All it would take is a few cones & barricades.  It looks like some of the so-called Rangers could use a little exercise getting in out of their vehicles more often anyway.

COUNT VEHICLES AT THE ENTRANCE ON BUSY DAYS with late openings.  Hold vehicles there until the Paradise gate opens when parking places in Longmire and the lower turnouts are full.  Sooner or later, a TV crew is going to air news footage of the annual holiday gridlock semi-riot to the Park’s considerable embarrassment, or at least I hope so.  Speaking of Longmire gridlock, why not have a red/green light on the museum and Inn (or even a semaphore signal) to show the gate status and reduce the cruising and premature lineups?

INSTALL A WINTER EMERGENCY PHONE AT NARADA comfort station.  This could make a real difference in case of a Mazama or Tatoosh accident.

MARK THE DOWNHILL LANE WHEN THE CHAINUP LOCATION CHANGES.  A simple portable sign:  “End Chain Requirement” would save chains, tires, gas and the pavement.

USE THE GUIDED SNOWSHOE WALKS TO EDUCATE VISITORS about potential conflicts such as walking/webbing in XC ski tracks.  At  Olympic NP there are small, simple signs at the parking lot:  “Skiers & snowshoers please make separate tracks”.

HAVE A CHILDREN’S SNOW PLAY AT COUGAR ROCK OR LONGMIRE CG.  Why not store a heap of gravel before it snows or use the plows to build a small sliding hill so kids wouldn’t be so disappointed if Paradise couldn’t be opened?  A lot of parents might appreciate not having to brave the drive to Paradise as well.  Of course, this would require a couple portable toilets on a low trailer, but the Park should already have that setup.  They could put them on the Westside Road in the summer or developed areas in an emergency.

LET STEVENS CANYON AND THE VALLEY ROAD MELT OUT NATURALLY.  Or at least delay the premature plowing of recent years.  Besides saving dozens of more trees from being snapped off by bulldozers, the Park could use the equipment time and money saved to open Cayuse and Sunrise sooner.

EXPLORE COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS WITH THE STATE AND USFS to try to keep Skate Creek road open as much as possible in winter.  Most of the road is lower than Longmire and is on the books as a future State highway.  This would be a PR coup for the Park and a real boost for local businesses.  With a shorter route to White Pass, snowplayers would have another option if the Park was unable to open Paradise and snowmobilers could better access their traditional terrain in the years of high snowline that seem to be in our future.

WHAT THE HEY; MIGHT AS WELL SHOOT FOR THE MOON…
Eliminate the NPS Regional Offices; retire the landscape architects, assistant superintendents, project coordinators, contracting officers and all the other paraphernalia of development.  As Scotsman said, learn to deal with limited resources, especially when visitation has been declining since the 90’s.  Use the savings to retain the seasonal backcountry rangers and trail crew normally cut first in budgetary hard times.  There might even be enough left over to buy a couple more plows and add a trained avalanche specialist to the Park’s stable of scientists.


Please excuse this long post, but this is the most hopeful thread in my brief time on this site.  Others must have better ideas; let’s hear them!  Poor skipole was just trying to do his/her duty, but has done all of us a favor.  Thanks.
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Re: No skiing below Pebble Creek
« Reply #65 on: 07/24/08, 09:50 AM »

I agree with Ron that Scotsman would be the perfect Acting Spokesman until an advocacy group can get better organized. I was especially impressed at his restraint in not mentioning his higher duty on the weekend of the ‘Sunrise Snub’. We need someone who can call BS when necessary and who won’t be co-opted. Maybe he’d reconsider if I offered to help with the scut-work behind the scenes? Lodging in Ashford on powder weekends?

There you go, Scotty.  Gary has already volunteered to help and even provide you with an "Ashford headquarters"; I will help you and I'll bet there is a plethora of other folks that would help as long as they didn't have to be point man. I wouldn't even be surprised if Skipole would help, considering your recent commendable, study/thought provoked, well crafted, even handed and apologetic post above (as long as you didn't continue to get her/his screen handle wrong Wink).
Besides, you're already "kind of" leading the charge as it is.  The only thing left is for you and Gary to go sit down with the super (or his designee) and offer some suggestions.

Gary, GREAT suggestions!!
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Re: No skiing below Pebble Creek
« Reply #66 on: 07/24/08, 10:09 AM »

Ron thanks , but I am not trying to be coy like some Vice Presidential candidate wanting the nomination but pretending not to. I'll help but I'm NOT the right person for the job. My views are too extreme and although moderated occasionally by infrequent attacks of maturity, my knowledge base of the issues is not sufficient.

Larry Trotter picked up on what I think is paramount to any conversation with the NPS and my point in my previous post in that the NPS (especially when you read their plan) just doesn't understand  extended season Alpine Touring.

Others are more knowledgeable. People like Joedebaker have been working on issues like this for years and where involved in the original fight over the Crystal Boundary. We need respected voices like that.  Picture this, unlighted cigarette in my mouth, creepy Scottish accent as snow bell calls it , says" OK Superintendent, lets cut the BS and talk turkey, dude" Grin

I do however think, now is the time to form a group to get ready to discuss issues with the NPS during the coming winter months when they will have more time. It would be a shame it we let the momentum slip and apathy take over. Maybe we should convene a meeting by invitation on this board to establish what the consensus IS on what we want to talk to the NPS about and see how many attend!
Want to take up this baton Gary, RonJ??

READ LARRY TROTTERS LINK to the history of skier/Park conflicts. It's amazing and if you think extended season Alpine Touring is guaranteed to be allowed in the park without advocacy on it's behalf, this history of Park /Sker conflict should  change your views.
« Last Edit: 07/24/08, 10:37 AM by Scotsman » Logged

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Re: No skiing below Pebble Creek
« Reply #67 on: 07/24/08, 10:11 AM »

Thanks for the information.
Do you have e-mail addresses for the following gentlemen you mention.
Steve Klump
Chuck Young
Dave Uberuaga
It's difficult to get through at times on the phone and the whole world seems to communicate by e-mail these days.
Thanks
All are in the format firstname_lastname@nps.gov, and this is true of most of us in the NPS directory. (In the case of a few names you have to decide between "Jim" or "James," and those with common names sometimes have the middle initial added. But all of the above names follow the standard format.)

Just FYI, even though it's sometimes hard to track them down, you'll probably get a more satisfying response if you call than if you e-mail.
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Darryl
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Re: No skiing below Pebble Creek
« Reply #68 on: 07/24/08, 12:44 PM »

Scotty - thanks for investigating this issue.

This prompted me to think about what I do ,and my code of ethics. The question I asked myself was this. It's spring, Nisqually chute has corn. There is no snow until above Pan point. I hike on the trail carrying skis to Pebble Creek. I skin to the top of the chute, I ski the chute but o get back to Glacier Vista I have to hike through an area of sub-alpine flowers to get back to the Glacier Vista trail. Acceptable or not???

Your question of ethics also applies to the Slush Cup on the Pinnacle snowfield.
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Scotsman
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Re: No skiing below Pebble Creek
« Reply #69 on: 07/24/08, 01:01 PM »

 A mathematical formula I think best illustrates my personal feelings on the slushcup

slushcup=women in cold water and teeshirts= too much fun therefore>ethics. Wink
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Lowell_Skoog
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Re: No skiing below Pebble Creek
« Reply #70 on: 07/24/08, 01:58 PM »

READ LARRY TROTTERS LINK to the history of skier/Park conflicts. It's amazing and if you think extended season Alpine Touring is guaranteed to be allowed in the park without advocacy on it's behalf, this history of Park/Skier conflict should change your views.

Here's the direct link to the administrative history chapter about skiing:

http://www.nps.gov/archive/mora/adhi/adhi14.htm

It's important to remember that this chapter describes a time when Mt Rainier was making the transition from being the premiere lift-served ski resort in Washington (in the 1930s) to being a place for dispersed and non-mechanized recreation in winter (today's situation). The lessons aren't a direct parallel to the present.

I think it's a good idea for skiers to make their interests known to the park service. Extended season skiing is not new at Mt Rainier. In the 1930 Mountaineer Annual, Bill Maxwell wrote an article about "Skiing Eight Months a Year" on Rainier and elsewhere. This article was quoted in Lou Dawson's Wild Snow book, where Maxwell writes about the "wild ecstasy of speed". Today, of course, we know that people ski twelve months a year. Here are a few notes from the article:

http://www.alpenglow.org/ski-history/notes/period/mtneer-a/mtneer-a-1930-39.html#mtneer-a-1930-p53

Quote
Mountaineer Annual, 1930, p. 53, Maxwell, W.J., "Skiing Eight Months a Year"

The author observes that a few years earlier the Puget Sound skiing season ran from Christmas through Washington's Birthday, while now it extends from early November through late June. He describes tours done around Mt Rainier: Indian Henry's Hunting Ground, Cowlitz Rocks to the Paradise River, Pinnacle-Castle saddle, Camp Muir, Paradise to the Nisqually glacier snout, and from Steamboat Prow (Interglacier) to Storbo mining camp in Glacier basin. He also describes tours around Mt Baker: Table Mountain, Shuksan Arm, Lake Ann, Kulshan Ridge, Coleman Glacier, Chain Lakes and mentions the recent ski ascent of Baker itself. He includes a colorful description of the descent from Steamboat Prow and mentions that most of these trips have been done as a "week-end holiday." Quote: "The snow peaks of Washington offer an infinite variety of ski trips, that some day will lure to the Northwest skiers from distant places."
« Last Edit: 07/24/08, 02:07 PM by Lowell_Skoog » Logged
Scotsman
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Re: No skiing below Pebble Creek
« Reply #71 on: 07/24/08, 02:21 PM »

Thanks  Lowell as always for the excellent references.
Your point is well taken and it's not an exact parallel but I guess my point is that NPS policies change over time based upon what the public is perceived to want or what the NPS considers is causing  damage to the Park.

Sure extended season Alpine Touring or even all year skiing in the park is not new but not in the numbers that are presently doing it or the growth that is expected. Also bureaucracies by their very nature have a history of creating new rules all the time whose end result may or not be fully realized at the time.

I would refer you to your post about the ranger stopping GregSimon from building kickers. It seems a silly thing initially until you expand upon what that could mean or be further interpreted by the over zealous as your comments in that post correctly ,in my opinion, point out.

Thanks for your support on a group to talk to the NPS. You are recognised and respected leader in the backcountry skiing community. Want to volunteer?
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Lowell_Skoog
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Re: No skiing below Pebble Creek
« Reply #72 on: 07/24/08, 02:42 PM »

Thanks for your support on a group to talk to the NPS. You are recognised and respected leader in the backcountry skiing community. Want to volunteer?

I'm willing to contribute as an advisor, but I'm not willing to lead the effort. I'm currently involved in something like eight projects as team leader, team member, or advisor, including a couple engineering projects that are my "real job." I don't feel able to take on more commitments right now.
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Scotsman
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Re: No skiing below Pebble Creek
« Reply #73 on: 07/24/08, 02:47 PM »

I'm willing to contribute as an advisor, but I'm not willing to lead the effort.

I think any group would be well served to take you up on your offer of advisor . Now if we could only find a person willing to head up this thing and organize a meeting to kick it off.
 Hello out there!
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Joedabaker
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Re: No skiing below Pebble Creek
« Reply #74 on: 07/24/08, 10:00 PM »

Others are more knowledgeable. People like Joedabaker have been working on issues like this for years and where involved in the original fight over the Crystal Boundary. We need respected voices like that. 

Well, uh...Like, thanks, but I'm in agreement of the idea of a Skier Advocacy Group, but fundamentally I have problems with leading a consortium. IMHO the intent is right and should be pursued in some capacity, but an organization turns into it's own entity that always needs to be fueled and flows in other directions than the original purpose.  There needs to be a clear definition of the goals and direction of the group as to keep the focus on Skier Advocacy pure and not get lead into other interests.
The success that we had on the Crystal Mountain boundary came from the fact that we (our small group) read the rules ands the park did not know their own rules. So long story short, we won because the park did not know their own rules.
From my experience and research there is a lot more than meets the eye down the road in the park. I read a 5 year plan a while back that MRNP had which would allow private vendors to operate in the park. Hiking guide services and others I can't quite remember. This got me thinking, Crystal's operations on the edge of the park are legal, but skiers entering the park jeopardize agreements for future contracted vendors in the park. Since Crystal is an outside vendor allowing (NOT ENCOURAGING THEM) skiers access inside the park in theory extends their boundary of the area. Therefore Crystal is theoretically benefiting from Government owned lands, and not having to pay fees to the park for their service. I wonder why the park is trying to close access?? Wink
The vendor service I talked about earlier is a win-win for the park as it offers more recreational services as long as the vendors stay within the park's guidelines. But the park benefits financially from the vendors and vistitors.
If Crystal skiers use the park from the lifts, MRNP vendors could rebuke and say how come Crystal is getting away with free access for their customers and ours have to pay? Good question?
So there is one of the underlying snakes not really reported to the public and one reason that the park has gone to so much effort to designate the adjacent park sections to Crystal as Pristine Wilderness. By rules of the park it is designed to reduce visitor numbers to that area of the park, because it is now "Pristine" and somewhere around 24 persons are allowed in the zone per day and no groups more than 12. Powder Mag article that covers some of the meeting HERE,
This whole process has been well thought out by the park and very underhanded to undermine skier access in my opinion, they just missed on one thing the courage and tenacity of a few skiers to blow their plan out of the water. But it is good to know that the Park spent a ton of our money in attorney fees to fight us and ended up losing in the end.

So as long as the intentions of the Skier Advocacy Group is pure without extended agendas, stays focused on the issues and the rules, and not greedy I believe it will survive.
« Last Edit: 07/24/08, 10:04 PM by Joedabaker » Logged
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