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Mountaineering Fee Increases: Denali/Rainier

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Postby kevin trieu » Fri Sep 10, 2010 7:28 pm

redneck wrote:I have never understood the outrage over access fees. People who think nothing of paying $10 to sit in a crowded cinema to watch a pretty mediocre film, or pay close to $100 for a single dinner for two in a restaurant, FREAK THE FUCK OUT when they are asked to pay $50 to spend three or four days in a wilderness.

Can't get my head around it.


it isn't the increase in fee, it is the lack of notification of the increase. government entities shouldn't be allowed to do whatever/whenever the they want. question authority, dammit! i'll make donations to the Access Fund and AAC to fight a good fight.

everything in this world comes down to money. it is the cause and solution to all of life's problems.
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Postby Clark_Griswold » Fri Sep 10, 2010 7:33 pm

kevin trieu wrote:
everything in this world comes down to money. it is the cause and solution to all of life's problems.


I thought that was alcohol?
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Postby 96avs01 » Fri Sep 10, 2010 10:08 pm

Mr Leghorn wrote:
kevin trieu wrote:
everything in this world comes down to money. it is the cause and solution to all of life's problems.


I thought that was alcohol?


only the solution part :wink:
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Postby Brad Marshall » Fri Sep 10, 2010 11:01 pm

Mr Leghorn wrote:
kevin trieu wrote:
everything in this world comes down to money. it is the cause and solution to all of life's problems.


I thought that was alcohol?


Actually, according to Homer Simpson alcohol is the cause of and solution to all life's problems.

As for the increase aren't these folks a little behind the times? Attempts on Denali have been on the decline since 2005.

http://www.nps.gov/dena/planyourvisit/u ... BERS-2.pdf
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Postby Matt Worster » Sat Sep 11, 2010 12:41 am

simonov wrote:I have never understood the outrage over access fees. People who think nothing of paying $10 to sit in a crowded cinema to watch a pretty mediocre film, or pay close to $100 for a single dinner for two in a restaurant, FREAK THE FUCK OUT when they are asked to pay $50 to spend three or four days in a wilderness.

Can't get my head around it.


right there with you. Sometime around 25 years old I figured out that $3 to park in the White Mountain Nat'l Forest was a freakin' bargain when I started to think about all the trails, road maintenance, trash pick-up and everything else they do that allow me to experience the area as I wanted to experience it. Take away all those services and most areas will go the hell pretty fast because of the minority--or in many cases natural causes--that trash it. Is the Denali fee too (ahem) steep? Maybe. There is a discussion for IF fees and HOW MUCH fees. I feel they are separate.

edited, I just didn't feel like being a jerk now that I'm out of the office.
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2 cents

Postby timfoltz » Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm

Just a thought...what are your opinions of maintaining the fee increase on the most popular routes such as the west butt while keeping the current/previous fee for more difficult seldom frequented routes. In this way it would seem those who are most likely to need assistance or are guided are paying the larger portion of the permit while those who typically spend the least amount of time on the mountain and are typically more experienced are not punished (relative term). Thoughts?

Tim
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Re: 2 cents

Postby 96avs01 » Tue Sep 14, 2010 3:07 am

timfoltz wrote:In this way it would seem those who are most likely to need assistance or are guided are paying the larger portion of the permit while those who typically spend the least amount of time on the mountain and are typically more experienced are not punished (relative term).


Do you have any data to support your view that those most likely to need assistance are on the West Butt route? If so, is the cost of rescue the same $-wise for all the routes?...doubtful

Without even considering the hassle with implementing such a permit structure, you may find that people trying to save money tackle a harder route above their skill level, and could possibly then wind up needing assistance.
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Re:

Postby fsclimb » Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:01 pm

Matt Worster wrote:right there with you. Sometime around 25 years old I figured out that $3 to park in the White Mountain Nat'l Forest was a freakin' bargain when I started to think about all the trails, trash pick-up and everything else they do that allow me to experience the area as I wanted to experience it. Take away all those services and most areas will go the hell pretty fast because of the minority--or in many cases natural causes--that trash it. Is the Denali fee too (ahem) steep? Maybe. There is a discussion for IF fees and HOW MUCH fees. I feel they are separate.


sorry you still are being a jerk...and a misinformed jerk

"about all the trails"- done by volunteers
"road maintenance",- taken care of by the state DOT
"trash pick-up" - they don't do that, they are all carry in carry out.
"everything else they do"- like put up signs telling you about the fees? and fee tubes to collect the $$. And more employees to collect said fees?
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Re: 2 cents

Postby Damien Gildea » Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:42 pm

timfoltz wrote:...maintaining the fee increase on the most popular routes such as the west butt while keeping the current/previous fee for more difficult seldom frequented routes.


Many people attempting harder routes like the Cassin, South Face and even West Rib use the West Butt for acclimatisation, and often for descent. This makes their attempts on the hard routes, and descents from those routes, safer, thus reducing the likelihood of them needing assistance/rescue. Deterring them from acclimatising on the West Butt may encourage such climbers to get on their hard routes with insufficient preparation, or try to descend a more dangerous way, though of course that decision is ultimately up to them and any consequences all their own doing. Foraker is just across the street.

Not that I disagree with anything FortMental has said above (though I doubt that even that many Americans could find Louisiana), even with the increase (which I think sux), the fee is a small part of the total cost of a Denali expedition for most, because so many now do it commercially guided, thus there would be little real opposition, or reduction in numbers, from that segment of the community, apart from token outcry. The NPS looks at these people, all decked out in Eddie Buyer Last Ascent, sees they've spent thousands of dollars flying there, as preparation to spend thousands more flying somewhere even more expensive, and thinks, "WTF, these guys can afford a few hundred more" and there you go ...

Such are the consequences of the proliferation of commercial mountain guiding, and the Seven Summits tick-list mentality. Did anyone really think that there would be no consequences for the wider climbing community? The Slippery Slope may be a logical fallacy in the debating chamber or laboratory, but out in the real world it's as real and as inexorable as the endless soft snow up Heartbreak Hill. Just wait until you can't get any insurance that covers climbing unless you're going with a guide - it's already happening.
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Re: Mountaineering Fee Increases: Denali/Rainier

Postby jordansahls » Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:56 pm

I have not looked at the recent data, but I seem to remember the whole "increase in rescue costs" thing being settled after the Mount Hood "rescue" a few years back. The media jumped on the bandwagon and there was a large rucus about climbers costing the taxpayers a boatload of money. Groups like Portland mountain rescue and the Mountain Rescue Association supported the fact that recues involving climbers are actually not all that common, and most of the money is going towards lost hikers and the like.

Also, I have volunteered with a mountain rescue unit and worked with navy pilots and rescue crews. They jump on the chance to take part in mountain rescues because its real training for them. People seem to have the assumption that a large amount of the taxpayer money is going to pay for expensive resources such as a helicopter and crew. In reality, if there wasn't a rescue, the crews would still be out flying around logging flight hours and training.

Also, I am a local to Washington state. There are many many great climbs that don't cost a dime in use fees. Still, when I climb Rainier I am usually not climbing a "cattle" route. Baker is a great mountain, but you can only climb so many routes before you want to get on something a little bigger. However, I don't suppose I can really complain because 50 bucks gives me access to the mountain for the whole climbing season.

I wouldn't feel so irritated If there was something to show for the increases. It feels like access around the North Cascades has become less and less. Roads that used to be open are now being gated. Gates are being opened later and later every year. I used to be able to at least see how far I could make it up a certain road, but no more. I guess thats what happens when liability becomes an issue. And what fee is going to increase next without consulting the populous? Its a slippery slope.
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Re:

Postby phydeux » Fri Jan 21, 2011 2:57 pm

The Chief wrote:
redneck wrote:The Chief makes excellent points. My reading of the newspapers these days also suggests another huge cost area: salaries and pensions (especially pensions) for public employees. These costs appear to be rising faster than anything else out there.


The folks constantly putting their asses on the line doing ALL these rescues, deserve every penny of any pension they receive for sticking around and doing the dirty deed for over 20 years. Most are not NPS employees btw. Most get paid shit for their deeds.

Alaska Air Guard

Washington Air Guard

Clearly Redneck, folks as yourself would know this had they done so, first hand and not from reading those newspapers.

Edit: Additions.


Apples and oranges, guys. Most of those backcountry rescue folks are volunteers and don't get paid squat or pensions. California govt pensions are a different matter, of which I have my own opinion (after working for a fire dept for a few years).

A little off-topic, but for more on it keep an eye on the City of Vallejo (CA); they got to the point where 80% of the city budget was going to fire & police costs, including ever-increasing pension costs, tried to get some consessions from the fire/police unions (who said no), so filed for bankruptcy protection in late 2009. They just submitted their exit plan this past Tuesday (Jan 18). It'll be interesting to see what's in the plan and if the court allows the City to reduce pensions/orders the unions to accept a reduction (whether the police & fire unions like it or not). All other California local govts are watching this as a test case in case they have to go the BK route.
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Re: Mountaineering Fee Increases: Denali/Rainier

Postby phydeux » Sat Jan 22, 2011 9:07 pm

Memory might be a little foggy, but I believe these are correct: Fee for Denali back in 1996 was $150/person, Rainier was $15/person in 1988, $20/person in 1993.

How about this for California: I'd be interested to see the permit fee on Mt. Whitney raised, especially for the main trail. urrently its only $15/person, and the NPS has so many applicants that they have a lottery each year to dole out the permits! A permit fee increase would not only make folks think twice about applying if they're only thinking about a hike up Whitney (quite a few don't show up on their permit date) and it would help pay for the extra manpower needed to patrol and deal with the rogue hikers, trash, and damage in the Whitney zone. Think of it as 'market pricing'; such a big demand can surely demand a premium fee. All the do-goody groups (scouts, etc) might complain about the cost, but they can be directed to other peaks/areas in the Sierra Nevada Mtns besides Mt. Whitney.
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Re: Mountaineering Fee Increases: Denali/Rainier

Postby DersuUzala » Sat Jan 22, 2011 11:55 pm

Go climb in Bolivia, those pesos go a long way!!!
You've gotta be crazy to be sane
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