Favorite National Parks

Post general questions and discuss issues related to climbing.
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Ejnar Fjerdingstad

 
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by Ejnar Fjerdingstad » Sun Jul 11, 2010 12:13 pm

In France the Parc National de Mercantour in the Alpes Maritîmes is run in a quite different way. There are no buildings in the park, you may not sleep anywhere, not even in a tent, and there is no cell phone connection, which considering that it has the highest pass road in the Alps may be overdoing it. If your car breaks down, you may have to walk 20 miles to the nearest village before you can call for assistance. We once saved an elderly German couple who was facing exactly that.

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John Duffield

 
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by John Duffield » Sun Jul 11, 2010 12:17 pm

I've been to most of the National Parks in the USA, about half of the ones in Canada, and many others around the world. Even MT Everest is in a National Park.

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I agree with many of the things said here having just gone through this thread. National Parks have been developed heavily in my lifetime. Not a totally good thing but in a democracy that wants to have them accessible to all, probably inevitable.

There are many other parks, in the USA, that are special as well. I liked Organ Pipe NM - Arizona, Dead Horse SP - Utah, and Custer SP - South Dakota very much.

I find the most remote spots are private land posted like hell. I got nailed for that just last weekend but worth it nonetheless. Somehow seems wrong for someone to own that much.

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builttospill

 
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by builttospill » Sun Jul 11, 2010 6:45 pm

redneck wrote:
builttospill wrote:I think the problem comes when we see more oil and gas leases and extractive action, while additional fees are being imposed. I'm not sure what the reality is in terms of whether leases have become more common, but there is certainly a perception among people I know that they have, despite rising user fees. If we can't have it both ways (I agree, we can't), then USFS can't either.


I don't have any numbers handy, but whatever is going on in the oil and gas world, we all know that timber harvesting in western National Forests has been scaled way back.


I didn't really know that. I kind of wondered, but I haven't paid attention for long enough to know for sure. I doubt that most people are truly aware of the trend line in this kind of thing, to be honest.

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Tbenner

 
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by Tbenner » Sun Jul 11, 2010 10:42 pm

Tongass National forest / Juneau Icefield (where I live)
Banff / Jasper
North Cascades

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James_W

 
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by James_W » Mon Jul 12, 2010 12:07 am

Mark Doiron wrote:
Arthur Digbee wrote:... For decades it was Parks Canada policy to have a golf course in every park ...

Yeah, watch out for that #12 hole at Yosemite ...

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FORE!!!!


They would probably need to put it on top considering the other side of it.

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AshwinNarayan

 
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by AshwinNarayan » Mon Jul 12, 2010 12:46 am

Kings Canyon will always remain my personal favorite- i should thank this alluring park video which inspired my first visit !

http://www.nps.gov/featurecontent/seki/ ... 40x480.flv

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Dow Williams

 
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by Dow Williams » Mon Jul 12, 2010 4:39 pm

I think I see P. Valchev in there somewhere? the tall guy with an ice cream cone.
James_W wrote:They would probably need to put it on top considering the other side of it.

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mrchad9

 
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by mrchad9 » Mon Jul 12, 2010 5:18 pm

"Unfortunately" I was out in a fantastic non-national park over the weekend- including Friday- so I missed the throw-down here. I'd have to agree completely with Chief and some of the others here though on the supposed benefits of national park status.

Becoming a national park is far from the only way to preserve an area from develop- if you can even accept the arguement that is does that. For example Grand Teton recently opened a 22,000 square foot $21.6 million visior center, so you can explore the outdoors while inside. I've been and failed to see how it preserved anything, but it does have a nice big parkinglot with plenty of bus spaces. How much value do folks here put on the somewhat recently build circuitous sidewalk to Yosemite Falls? Millions of dollars?

Wilderness areas do a much better job of preservation and do so without attracting the excessive crowds that the national park name does- and I suspect many of the places Chief cares about are in those areas. A year or two ago the county highpointer group was going on about what area they would like to see become a national park and someone mentioned Shasta. I cannot think of anything worse becoming of such a fantastic area. Sure there is a lot of logging around it but if that is what folks want to address there are other ways to do it.

Just compare the process to get a climbing permit to spend time on Shasta, Hood, Baker, Jefferson, to the process on Mt Ranier, and you will see what I mean. Four of those are much more wild and free than the other.

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mconnell

 
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by mconnell » Mon Jul 12, 2010 8:10 pm

mrchad9 wrote:Just compare the process to get a climbing permit to spend time on Shasta, Hood, Baker, Jefferson, to the process on Mt Ranier, and you will see what I mean. Four of those are much more wild and free than the other.


On Shasta: Walk in, give them your money, walk out with a permit.
On Rainier: Walk in, give them your money, walk out with a permit.

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mrchad9

 
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by mrchad9 » Mon Jul 12, 2010 8:57 pm

mconnell wrote:
mrchad9 wrote:Just compare the process to get a climbing permit to spend time on Shasta, Hood, Baker, Jefferson, to the process on Mt Ranier, and you will see what I mean. Four of those are much more wild and free than the other.


On Shasta: Walk in, give them your money, walk out with a permit.
On Rainier: Walk in, give them your money, walk out with a permit.


Get a clue...

Mount Ranier National Park Climbing Reservation Policies wrote:Fees, Changes and Refund Policy

Reservations cost $20 per party (1-12 people) per climb (up to 14 consecutive nights). Reservation fees are non-refundable.
All climbers pay a flat fee of $30, whether they climb one time or numerous times. This fee must be paid at the time the reservation is made (or when registering for your first climb of the year if no reservation has been made). This climbing fee is valid for an entire calendar year--i.e. fees paid in 2007 will expire December 31, 2007.
Climbing Pass fees are non-refundable.
One change may be made to a climbing reservation after it is confirmed at no additional fee. Each subsequent change requires an additional charge of $20. Changes include altering climbing itinerary and increasing party size.
Each climber must present a Mount Rainier Climbing Pass and valid photo I.D. at the time they register for their climb. Failure to provide the climbing pass and I.D. will result in the climber being charged the climbing fee.
Climbing parties with one or more members who have already purchased a Mount Rainier Climbing Pass for the current year must also complete and submit a Climbing Party Supplemental Form. This additional form ensures that your party is not charged climbing fees for those already possessing a valid climbing pass when requesting reservations.
Reservations can be made only by fax or mail beginning March 15th. Faxes sent or letters postmarked before March 15th will not be accepted. Phone reservations are also not accepted. Travel here to submit your request for a climbing or backpacking reservation. Complete the reservation form (and the Climbing Party Supplemental Form if applicable) and FAX it to (360) 569-3131 (360) 569-3131, or mail it to:

Longmire Wilderness Information Center
Mount Rainier National Park
55210 238th Avenue East
Ashford, WA 98304

Reservations can also be made in person at the Longmire Wilderness Information Center beginning Memorial Day weekend. Reservations cannot be confirmed until payment is received. The park accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover credit cards. A confirmation letter will be sent if the trip can be accommodated, or a letter of rejection will be sent if the trip cannot be accommodated.

Reservations that are not picked up by 10:00 a.m. on the first day of the trip will be cancelled unless the party has called any park Ranger Station and requested a late pick up. Additionally, a late pick up can be requested when a reservation is made by writing a note on the reservation form indicating late pickup.

You are obviously unfamiliar with the two processes if you think they are anything close to being identical.

You also thought BP wasn't a British company, so I guess I should not be surprised.

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Diggler

 
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by Diggler » Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:01 pm

One of my favorite national parks.

Image

Ol' Muir had a good idea.

While it's obvious that a national park is going to draw more people than a non-national park, proper management is perhaps the best management policy. While both Zion & Yosemite Valleys are breathtaking natural wonders, Zion has a policy of not allowing cars in during times of peak usage. While the climber in me tells me that this is a great inconvenience (I want to climb WHERE I want WHEN I want & HOW I want!), it would be pretty amazing to see The Valley free of cars during one of those sublime spring days...

Besides, if you don't like the crowds in Yosemite Valley, just go to SEKI, where it's bound to be practically empty...

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rhyang

 
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by rhyang » Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:02 pm

mconnell wrote:
mrchad9 wrote:Just compare the process to get a climbing permit to spend time on Shasta, Hood, Baker, Jefferson, to the process on Mt Ranier, and you will see what I mean. Four of those are much more wild and free than the other.


On Shasta: Walk in, give them your money, walk out with a permit.
On Rainier: Walk in, give them your money, walk out with a permit.


Mt. Shasta is a USFS wilderness area. Mt. Rainier is a national park.

You have to pay to get into MRNP. Then you have to pay to get a summit pass, if you are climbing above 10000'. Wilderness permit reservations will also cost you. Whether or not you want a reservation depends on where you are going -- when mcconnell and I did the Kautz we didn't bother with one, but if we were doing the Emmons or DC maybe we'd like one.

Mt. Shasta wilderness permits are free and there is (currently) no quota. They only charge for the summit pass if you are climbing above 10000'. And as telewoman has pointed out in the past, dayhikers to Helen Lake (10400') are considered exempt.

But as I understand it, summit pass fees are the same federal program -- fee demo. It's the same program that the USFS uses to charge people for parking in southern california (Adventure Pass) and in the Pacific NW (NW Adventure Pass) and for wilderness permits in Sequoia NP ($15 a pop).

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mrchad9

 
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by mrchad9 » Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:09 pm

rhyang wrote:
mconnell wrote:
mrchad9 wrote:Just compare the process to get a climbing permit to spend time on Shasta, Hood, Baker, Jefferson, to the process on Mt Ranier, and you will see what I mean. Four of those are much more wild and free than the other.


On Shasta: Walk in, give them your money, walk out with a permit.
On Rainier: Walk in, give them your money, walk out with a permit.


Mt. Shasta is a USFS wilderness area. Mt. Rainier is a national park.

You have to pay to get into MRNP. Then you have to pay to get a summit pass, if you are climbing above 10000'. Wilderness permit reservations will also cost you. Whether or not you want a reservation depends on where you are going -- when mcconnell and I did the Kautz we didn't bother with one, but if we were doing the Emmons or DC maybe we'd like one.

Mt. Shasta wilderness permits are free and there is (currently) no quota. They only charge for the summit pass if you are climbing above 10000'. And as telewoman has pointed out in the past, dayhikers to Helen Lake (10400') are considered exempt.

But as I understand it, summit pass fees are the same federal program -- fee demo. It's the same program that the USFS uses to charge people for parking in southern california (Adventure Pass) and in the Pacific NW (NW Adventure Pass) and for wilderness permits in Sequoia NP ($15 a pop).

Correct Rob- see my last post- I was obviously talking about the entire permit and reservation process. If Mr. McConnell thinks they are the same on both mountains he is clearly misguided at best.

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mconnell

 
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by mconnell » Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:40 pm

mrchad9 wrote:If Mr. McConnell thinks they are the same on both mountains he is clearly misguided at best.


Since I am so misguided, please let me know how my experiences were different getting the two permits. I understand that there are differences, I just have yet to see why the NP system is any worse than the NF system.

My experience getting permits at Rainier was the same at Grand Teton, Rocky Mountain, Glacier, SeKi, Mesa Verde, and Yosemite as well as several national monuments. I did have a little more trouble getting a permit for the Grand Canyon, where I had to delay my start for a day to stay at the camp site I wanted. I have had much more trouble getting permits for NF wilderness areas than I have in national parks.

In general, I don't spend a lot of time in National Parks for a lot of the reasons discussed here, but they serve a purpose and do a fairly good job of it.

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Castlereagh

 
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by Castlereagh » Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:42 pm

For everyone bitching about all the tourists and lines etc in the National Parks, think back a bit, and recall the first time you visited...say...Yosemite? What did you do? Did you climb a 5.9 route up El Capitan, or go on a multi-day backpacking trip in Tenaya Canyon? Or did you take the typical daytrip, drive around the valley, take pictures of El Capitan and Half Dome and the waterfalls before finishing the day at Glacier Point?

Most people on this site probably appreciate the wildnerness more than the casual tourist (or think they do). Some members probably appreciate it more than others. But we all start out as casual tourists. Some never move beyond that stage. Does that make them bad people? Do you expect a 6 year old kid visiting the Grand Canyon for the first time to backpack Rim to Rim to Rim (Scott P's family aside)? An elderly couple who have worked hard their whole lives, they save up enough money to buy an RV, retire, and drive to Glacier. Do you expect them climb Mt. Cleveland? An army vet returns from overseas sans leg or arm. He's always wanted to see the Tetons. Do you expect him to free solo Direct Exum?

It's all about choice when it comes to our public lands. If Joshua Tree were all privately owned, none of us would even have the choice to drive it, or hike it, or climb it. We're lucky to have these Parks available to us, so that we have that choice to hang with the crowds at the popular overlooks, or to leave them behind on a trail or up a river. We have the choice to forego the park too, and spend a week instead on some BLM or forest or other wilderness area, such as the Bob, where we wouldn't see a soul for a week. All of us can be exasperated by crowds, tourists, and traffic jams and what not. Consider an SP'er driving up to Yosemite to spend a weekend in the backcountry and Joe Tourist driving there with his family to stay at the Lodge, play some golf, and enjoy all the comforts of home in a spectacular natural setting. Does the SP'er, the hiker, the climber really have more of a right or claim to the park than Joe Tourist, assuming neither party litters, vandalizes the park, exploits it, etc?

I know my love of the outdoors comes from traveling with my parents as a kid, visiting places like Yellowstone and the Tetons, Zion and Bryce Canyon, Yosemite and Sequoia, doing the casual tourist thing. Decades later I feel the urge to return to these places and visit them on my own terms, with my own agenda. I'm sure my experience is hardly unique; rather, it applies to many of us here at this website. If all the purists had their way, would any of us have had the chance to have grown to love and cherish the great outdoors in the first place?

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