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Trash in the wilderness

Minimally moderated forum for climbing related hearsay, misinformation, and lies.
 

Postby Buz Groshong » Wed Aug 11, 2010 6:18 pm

I once carried an old tire (white wall, non radial, but no doubt a bit less than fifty years old at the time) out of Shenandoah National Park - it was pretty far from any road or former road. A week or two ago I picked up two MREs (or is that MsRE) and a roll of first aid tape not far off the trail - on the uphill side.
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Postby gregorpatsch » Wed Aug 11, 2010 7:11 pm

Cigarette butts may be one of the worst things found on the trail. They are more than just an eye sore, but inevitably end up in waterways where the filtered toxins leach out. Fortunately, they are probably the easiest sort of litter to pack out.

http://pollution-control.suite101.com/article.cfm/toxic-litter-butts
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Postby Charles » Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:03 am

Gary Schenk wrote:I'm ashamed to admit I don't pick up toilet paper.

Can I suggest a pair of Travel Tongs, light, telescopic and Teflon coated.
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Postby chrismarks » Thu Aug 19, 2010 9:55 pm

Gary Schenk wrote:
charles wrote:
Gary Schenk wrote:I'm ashamed to admit I don't pick up toilet paper.

Can I suggest a pair of Travel Tongs, light, telescopic and Teflon coated.


Excellent suggestion. Thanks, Charles.


Just don't use them to stir your freeze-dried chili.

I think the worst I've seen is a wag bag, on my trip up Mt. Whitney, caught right in some rocks at the top of a little cascade. Pretty disrespectful. I have to admit I didn't pack it out with me but I at least moved it away from any water sources and off the trail.
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Postby mrchad9 » Thu Aug 19, 2010 10:48 pm

Last weekend I got a record haul...

Two rubber balloons and two mylar balloons, spread between three different locations.

From this year's graduating class. Selfish, inconsiderate senior class...
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Postby Edgewood » Thu Aug 19, 2010 11:51 pm

I usually rate my trips by the number of balloons I find. The more remote, the more balloons.
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Postby Charles » Fri Aug 20, 2010 7:28 am

chrismarks wrote:
Gary Schenk wrote:
charles wrote:
Gary Schenk wrote:I'm ashamed to admit I don't pick up toilet paper.

Can I suggest a pair of Travel Tongs, light, telescopic and Teflon coated.


Excellent suggestion. Thanks, Charles.


Just don't use them to stir your freeze-dried chili.

Yes, a real danger - then I would suggest they be colour coded to remove that risk of inadvertently mixing them up with the chilli mixing tongs.
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Postby MoapaPk » Fri Aug 20, 2010 8:39 am

Saw a very-nearly-empty jetboil canister left next to a trail at 10900'. Written on it in magic marker: "Still some fuel left! Can't take it on the plane!"

No, but you could carry it back down to the dumpster.
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Postby mrchad9 » Fri Aug 20, 2010 8:44 am

MoapaPk wrote:Saw a very-nearly-empty jetboil canister left next to a trail at 10900'. Written on it in magic marker: "Still some fuel left! Can't take it on the plane!"

No, but you could carry it back down to the dumpster.

That is an asshole. Common courtesy would leave them to deposit it in the back of a random pickup in the airport parking lot.
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Postby The Chief » Fri Aug 20, 2010 1:32 pm

Headed back up to Whitney this morning for a three day g-gig. Let's see how many left behind Wag's I/we haul down this time.....

My record last year was 12 on one outing with a total of 43 for the season.

So far, the NFLP Rangers have brought out 62 this season.
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Postby Day Hiker » Fri Aug 20, 2010 2:30 pm

The Chief wrote:Headed back up to Whitney this morning for a three day g-gig. Let's see how many left behind Wag's I/we haul down this time.....

My record last year was 12 on one outing with a total of 43 for the season.

So far, the NFLP Rangers have brought out 62 this season.


Does anyone know the approximate annual cost of maintaining two sets of pit toilets, you know, like the two they actually went to the trouble and expense of removing from Outpost Camp and Trail Camp? It seems the couple-hundred grand they collect annually from that Whitney-permit scam would cover the cost of maintaining those things, but I'm no expert on toilet-maintenence costs.

Where is all that Whitney-permit-fee money going anyway, other than to pay rangers to collect the Whitney permit fees? Is the Whitney trail THAT much more expensive to maintain, over any other Sierra trail, that it requires an additional two-hundred grand of revenue annually?
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Postby dskoon » Fri Aug 20, 2010 3:58 pm

Day Hiker wrote:
The Chief wrote:Headed back up to Whitney this morning for a three day g-gig. Let's see how many left behind Wag's I/we haul down this time.....

My record last year was 12 on one outing with a total of 43 for the season.

So far, the NFLP Rangers have brought out 62 this season.


Does anyone know the approximate annual cost of maintaining two sets of pit toilets, you know, like the two they actually went to the trouble and expense of removing from Outpost Camp and Trail Camp? It seems the couple-hundred grand they collect annually from that Whitney-permit scam would cover the cost of maintaining those things, but I'm no expert on toilet-maintenence costs.

Where is all that Whitney-permit-fee money going anyway, other than to pay rangers to collect the Whitney permit fees? Is the Whitney trail THAT much more expensive to maintain, over any other Sierra trail, that it requires an additional two-hundred grand of revenue annually?


Good f-ing points! Ridiculous.
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Postby mrchad9 » Fri Aug 20, 2010 4:21 pm

Day Hiker wrote:
The Chief wrote:Headed back up to Whitney this morning for a three day g-gig. Let's see how many left behind Wag's I/we haul down this time.....

My record last year was 12 on one outing with a total of 43 for the season.

So far, the NFLP Rangers have brought out 62 this season.


Does anyone know the approximate annual cost of maintaining two sets of pit toilets, you know, like the two they actually went to the trouble and expense of removing from Outpost Camp and Trail Camp? It seems the couple-hundred grand they collect annually from that Whitney-permit scam would cover the cost of maintaining those things, but I'm no expert on toilet-maintenence costs.

Where is all that Whitney-permit-fee money going anyway, other than to pay rangers to collect the Whitney permit fees? Is the Whitney trail THAT much more expensive to maintain, over any other Sierra trail, that it requires an additional two-hundred grand of revenue annually?

Of course not, which is why the removal of the toilets in question is so absurd.

The only solution perhaps is to deposit the contents of you wag bag on the doorstep of the requisite ranger station.
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Postby MoapaPk » Fri Aug 20, 2010 4:29 pm

mrchad9 wrote:
The only solution perhaps is to deposit the contents of you wag bag on the doorstep of the requisite ranger station.


Light it on fire first, then ring the doorbell...
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Postby Day Hiker » Fri Aug 20, 2010 5:29 pm

Well, tell me what you guys recommend.

I want to dayhike the Whitney trail this summer, as I have done since 1996.

I know there are other peaks and other trails, lots of them, and I would like to do them. But I want to hike Whitney also. I like that set of peaks up there around Whitney, and I enjoy the hike.

Even with the "crowds," I don't care; I like that hike. (In the late afternoon, it's not very crowded up there, by the way.) I don't mind the people on the Whitney trail. If I desire solitude on a trail, there are hundreds of other places I can go, and the Whitney trail would be an absurd choice.

Earlier this year, I figured I would have some weekdays free this summer, so I thought I could just show up during the week sometime, and they would have space available on some weekday, if not the day after I arrive then maybe two days after. In the past, the weekdays had available permits, and the daily quota basically prevented large spikes in the number of hikers on popular days, mainly weekends. But now it's just ridiculous. They have that quota so clamped down in relation to the number of people desiring to go that it is fucking filled every single day for the next several weeks: (USFS site, PDF)

One annoying problem is that they charge everyone fifteen bucks to reserve the permit, but there is no refund for those who do not use the permit. So if some group pays $120 for 8 permits, and only 5 people show up for whatever reason, there is absolutely no incentive for the permit holder to return the 3 unused permits. Even a partial refund would provide enough incentive. But it's zero; you get nothing if you return unused permits.

The other annoying problem is, of course, the Whitney quota itself. The USFS wants to limit the number of people on that trail. For what reason? Is the Whitney trail an experience of wilderness and solitude? Ha ha, yeah right. If solitude on a hike is that important to you, you're not going to choose the goddamn Whitney trail in the first place!

Because it's the highest peak in the contiguous U.S., and it's a walk-up trail, it will always be very popular, and there will always be an assload of people wanting to hike it. The USFS needs to get on-board with this fact.

News bulletin: You are going to see a lot of other people on the Whitney trail. If you're an anti-social mountaineering psychopath and can't handle being around other people, the Whitney trail is not the choice for you.

The quota does nothing more than piss off a bunch of people who want to hike the thing but now can't. And now those brainiacs at the Forest Service have the MR lumped into the same quota, so it pisses off anyone wanting to do that route as well.

So, for the advice. Do I just go hike the thing without a permit? Do I hide from the ranger, or do I just tell him to fuck off if he tries to stop me? I have never hiked Whitney without a permit, and I would rather not, actually. But every year the quota and permit situation up there gets more and more ridiculous.
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