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Author Topic: 1-20-14-Muir to Paradise via the Nisqually Chutes  (Read 21596 times)
vogtski
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Re: 1-20-14-Muir to Paradise via the Nisqually Chutes
« Reply #25 on: 01/25/14, 08:23 AM »

You need a permit for overnight camping.  Parking allowed only at Narada & Paradise. 
http://www.nps.gov/mora/planyourvisit/upload/Winter-Camping-Nov13-Wmap.pdf

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I feel like I'm diagonally parked in a parallel universe.
savegondor
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Re: 1-20-14-Muir to Paradise via the Nisqually Chutes
« Reply #26 on: 01/27/14, 12:11 PM »

Was up there this weekend and every parking spot was filled.  Cars were still driving up at 3pm, folks were having fun sledding and snowshoeing and the NPS was using labor hours in the form of one NPS worker to inform each and every car that went up that they had to be back down before 5pm.

In my pent up frustrations I did ask when this policy was going to end and the nice NPS gal said, "maybe not till late April.  We'd like to stay open according to sunlight but we are underfunded and understaffed." 

Essentially no guarantees.   This is clearly in my opinion an issue about how to manage whom and not about safety.  On my Sunday excursion I observed NPS employees renting snowshoes.  I observed them leading short snowshoe hikes.  I observed people overseeing safety on the sledding hill.  Then of course there were the armed officers and I'm sure also there were all the employees needed to open and staff the lodge and cafeteria. 

While I do not think skiers should be favored over the masses in regards to access to the parking lot and surrounding terrain, I also do not think the hours for when the gate is open should be cut before other services like the sub-par and completely unnecessary kitchen at Paradise.  The sledders need help with safety and everybody needs the bathrooms open, but most people were enjoying picknicks and sun. 

I say keep the gate open and close that cafeteria.  Provide water, coffee, safety services, cut the snowshoe classes work with REI, RMI to lead those services. 

Seriously there had to be a dozen or more unnecessary 'shifts' going on up there...and surely one or more of them could be devoted to keeping the gate open during good weather days. 
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clymbon
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Re: 1-20-14-Muir to Paradise via the Nisqually Chutes
« Reply #27 on: 01/27/14, 01:52 PM »

You need a permit for overnight camping.  Parking allowed only at Narada & Paradise. 
http://www.nps.gov/mora/planyourvisit/upload/Winter-Camping-Nov13-Wmap.pdf



Do they let you sleep in your vehicle?  (I have a VW Camper.)  That might be the solution to the gate problem - drive up in the evening before 5:00 pm, sleep in the van, get up early and go skiing. 

How hard is it to get a permit?  Anyone know?
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Pete A
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Re: 1-20-14-Muir to Paradise via the Nisqually Chutes
« Reply #28 on: 01/27/14, 02:23 PM »

camping permits are free... you get them at Longmire...and the paperwork only takes about 5 minutes.    (climbing permits cost money though)

Last I heard, car camping isn't officially allowed in the parking lot (though I think the boy scouts regularly do large group campouts that are only a stones throw from the parking lot).   

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blackdog102395
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Re: 1-20-14-Muir to Paradise via the Nisqually Chutes
« Reply #29 on: 01/27/14, 02:33 PM »

You need a permit for overnight camping.  Parking allowed only at Narada & Paradise. 
http://www.nps.gov/mora/planyourvisit/upload/Winter-Camping-Nov13-Wmap.pdf



So, if you obtain an overnight camping permit, but for whatever reason you decide to come after 5PM but prior to 9AM, have you  broken the rules? Hmm...
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vogtski
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Re: 1-20-14-Muir to Paradise via the Nisqually Chutes
« Reply #30 on: 01/27/14, 04:27 PM »

 ...This is clearly in my opinion an issue about how to manage whom and not about safety.  On my Sunday excursion I observed NPS employees renting snowshoes.  I observed them leading short snowshoe hikes.  I observed people overseeing safety on the sledding hill.  Then of course there were the armed officers and I'm sure also there were all the employees needed to open and staff the lodge and cafeteria. 

While I do not think skiers should be favored over the masses in regards to access to the parking lot and surrounding terrain, I also do not think the hours for when the gate is open should be cut before other services like the sub-par and completely unnecessary kitchen at Paradise.  The sledders need help with safety and everybody needs the bathrooms open, but most people were enjoying picknicks and sun. 

I say keep the gate open and close that cafeteria.  Provide water, coffee, safety services, cut the snowshoe classes work with REI, RMI to lead those services. 

Seriously there had to be a dozen or more unnecessary 'shifts' going on up there...and surely one or more of them could be devoted to keeping the gate open during good weather days. 

The Paradise Visitor Center ('lodge') cafeteria and gift shop are monopoly concessions run by Guest Services, Inc., the operator of the Longmire and Paradise Inns, so those are not NPS employees.  GSI's main business is the numerous government cafeterias in D.C; more than one former employee has described their Rainier operation as a tax write-off.

I doubt most of the ranger-naturalists leading the snowshoe walks have skills that would contribute much to opening the road, plus they are some of the lowest-paid permanents in the NPS.  I think the tubing supervisors are volunteers.    If you're looking to trim some fat, try Tahoma Woods HQ between Elbe and Ashford, where there are both a Geographer and Supervisory Geographer in their stable of dozens of 'Resource Managers'.

I couldn't find a specific prohibition against sleeping in cars at Paradise, but the winter camping link states:  "Camping on snow is allowed ...300 feet from plowed roads and parking areas..."  Groups like the boy scouts are restricted to specific locations and in my experience commonly violate the prohibitions against using the restrooms for dishwashing and clothes drying, let alone sleeping.  If I was busted for sleeping in my car, I'd claim my snowcave had collapsed...    Smiley

Driving down between 7-9 am is a real bad idea because the plows often operate on the wrong side when the road is closed.
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savegondor
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Re: 1-20-14-Muir to Paradise via the Nisqually Chutes
« Reply #31 on: 01/28/14, 10:09 AM »

well that's some good info.  my opinions are limited to blue-bird days when lower paid employees could manage keeping gate open.  when the weather hits greater skills are required. 

The Paradise Visitor Center ('lodge') cafeteria and gift shop are monopoly concessions run by Guest Services, Inc., the operator of the Longmire and Paradise Inns, so those are not NPS employees.  GSI's main business is the numerous government cafeterias in D.C; more than one former employee has described their Rainier operation as a tax write-off.

I doubt most of the ranger-naturalists leading the snowshoe walks have skills that would contribute much to opening the road, plus they are some of the lowest-paid permanents in the NPS.  I think the tubing supervisors are volunteers.    If you're looking to trim some fat, try Tahoma Woods HQ between Elbe and Ashford, where there are both a Geographer and Supervisory Geographer in their stable of dozens of 'Resource Managers'.

I couldn't find a specific prohibition against sleeping in cars at Paradise, but the winter camping link states:  "Camping on snow is allowed ...300 feet from plowed roads and parking areas..."  Groups like the boy scouts are restricted to specific locations and in my experience commonly violate the prohibitions against using the restrooms for dishwashing and clothes drying, let alone sleeping.  If I was busted for sleeping in my car, I'd claim my snowcave had collapsed...    Smiley

Driving down between 7-9 am is a real bad idea because the plows often operate on the wrong side when the road is closed.
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clymbon
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Re: 1-20-14-Muir to Paradise via the Nisqually Chutes
« Reply #32 on: 01/28/14, 01:36 PM »

Do they let you sleep in your vehicle?  (I have a VW Camper.)  That might be the solution to the gate problem - drive up in the evening before 5:00 pm, sleep in the van, get up early and go skiing. 

How hard is it to get a permit?  Anyone know?


OK, answering my own question here.  I called the NPS and asked, and here's what they told me.

They do not allow sleeping in your vehicle.  You could park in the overnight lot but you have to go find a place to camp elsewhere (at least 300 ft off the road).  Also, you have to go in person to Longmire to get the permit.  It would suck to drive all the way there and not be able to get a permit.  But the person I spoke to (very helpful and friendly, by the way) said they rarely fill up at Paradise or Narada Falls.

So maybe if we ever get some decent snow and I get the time to do it I'll dig out my snow camping gear and give it a shot.

:-)
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