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BigBrunyon
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PostSun Sep 13, 2020 9:28 am 
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water wrote:
one small caveat I can offer with the 'unprecedented' use I've seen is that going past places or arriving at trailheads - yes things are busier. But for myself and other I know what would have been a 1 or 2 vehicle trip is now 2, 3, 4, 5 vehicles for the same sized party due to people driving separate.

that massive 'line' of cars at previously less busy trailheads has not always translated to as equal 'crowding' on the trails as I'd have expected given the vehicle traffic. Just seeing the vehicle overflow from places can be demoralizing and make it seem like there are radically more people than usual when in fact it may be a modest uptick (at some places).

I was advocatin' for this back in January, pre-COVID as a strategy to get lower numbers up on the ski slopes at stevens pass!!!

Don't carpool! Drive 'lone!! Fill up these lots!!

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Dick B
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PostSun Sep 13, 2020 9:55 am 
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Back in my serious hiking days there was the 8 mile rule of thumb. You had to go in at least 8 miles to avoid the crowds. This seemed to play out, at least on the many hikes I took thru the Olympics and the Cascades. Is this still applicable today?
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coldrain108
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PostSun Sep 13, 2020 11:10 am 
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Dick B wrote:
Back in my serious hiking days there was the 8 mile rule of thumb. You had to go in at least 8 miles to avoid the crowds. This seemed to play out, at least on the many hikes I took thru the Olympics and the Cascades. Is this still applicable today?

It is now the 12 mile rule.  More if a lake is involved.

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"The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch and do nothing"  - Albert Einstein
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Randito
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PostSun Sep 13, 2020 2:06 pm 
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It's not so much the mileage as it is the total travel time from Seattle.   E.g.  8 miles from a trailhead 1 hours from Seattle and you've got plenty of company.    However 8 miles in from a trailhead a 8 hour drive from Seattle and the count of humans drops off considerably.   

Or drive 16 hours to the Beartooths in Mt and find "Enchantments" type terrain,  only 100x the acreage and far fewer people.
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paddington
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PostSun Sep 13, 2020 7:00 pm 
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Oh man thanks for the good laugh, I needed it!
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BigBrunyon
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PostSun Sep 13, 2020 10:26 pm 
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Randito wrote:
"Enchantments" type terrain

This is the "main terrain" that is currently being sought in the Intermountain west as well as rocky mountain and cascade regions.

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markweth
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PostMon Sep 14, 2020 12:37 pm 
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Randito wrote:
Or drive 16 hours to the Beartooths in Mt and find "Enchantments" type terrain,  only 100x the acreage and far fewer people.

Even then, it is less and less of a sure thing (at least for the more popular areas) to avoid crowds by heading out for the hinterlands . . . I've heard reports out of the Wind Rivers and the Sawtooths (Idaho) that those areas were busier than they've ever been. Some of the popular lakes sounded almost as bad as Tuck and Robin. Geographical isolation is less of a barrier than it used to be.

More and more people want to backpack in amazing scenery and have discovered (thanks in part to social media) that national parks don't have a monopoly on stunning landscapes. So they head to wilderness areas that don't require permits, go to the most popular places because they didn't bother to search out lesser-visited locations (which actually used to be a recommendation of LNT), and then those areas get hammered -- then eventually they go to permitted entry after the place is trashed.
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coldrain108
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PostFri Sep 18, 2020 8:53 am 
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Someone on a music site posted this due to the rendition of Waltzing Matilda, but the river fishing scene made me think of this thread...


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"The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch and do nothing"  - Albert Einstein
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Randito
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PostFri Sep 18, 2020 9:07 am 
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markweth wrote:
then eventually they go to permitted entry after the place is trashed.

If that was true -- Tuck and Robin would have had a quota/permit system instituited a decade ago.

I'm more in favor of adopting "pack it all out" policies in popular areas, where users have to "blue bag" their poop and pack it out over quotas.

This seems to be working reasonably well on for example the south route on Mt Adams -- which sometimes has hundreds of climbers camping around the Lunch Counter.

Of course not everyone will follow those rules -- so life will need to imitate art as in the Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy:

Douglas Adams wrote:
Bethselamin
A fabulously beautiful planet, Bethselamin is now so worried about the cumulative eroision by ten billion visiting tourists a year that any net imbalance between the amount you eat and the amount you excrete whilst on the planet is surgically removed from your bodyweight when you leave: so every time you go to the lavatory there it is vitally important to get a receipt.
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Chief Joseph
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PostFri Sep 18, 2020 9:42 am 
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Did 3 hikes this week in North Idaho, did not see one single person, although it is off season, mid week and smoky.

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Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostFri Sep 18, 2020 9:45 am 
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Randito wrote:
Of course not everyone will follow those rules -- so life will need to imitate art as in the Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy:

Douglas Adams wrote:
Bethselamin
A fabulously beautiful planet, Bethselamin is now so worried about the cumulative eroision by ten billion visiting tourists a year that any net imbalance between the amount you eat and the amount you excrete whilst on the planet is surgically removed from your bodyweight when you leave: so every time you go to the lavatory there it is vitally important to get a receipt.



That part didn't make it into the movie adaptation.
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TV Climber
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PostFri Sep 18, 2020 10:50 am 
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Quick thoughts:

Instead of thinking how can we avoid people maybe we should figure out ways to improve the experience for everyone.   Possible ideas - Helping advocate for more trail building and road improvements.  Helping out with education programs for the outdoors, building better in roads for communities of different backgrounds, and lastly the need to build better hiking list and ideas sites for everyone.  The current model of using the internet doesn't work well.  People read the most recent hike report or one that keeps coming up and that generates more folks to go.  We actually need to share more content and help improve everyone's experience.  Covid aside the hiking community has the opportunity to grow and improve itself.  Since logging is no longer building road access and trails are not being built we are actually losing access to wilderness and the number of hikes have gone down (just look at your old collection of hiking books and trails lost). 

Lets see this as a need to clean up overgrown trails of the past, develop better hiking resources, educate, and Advocate for access.  In the time of renew interest in forest management, it time to stop complaining. 

Maybe NWhikers could build a thread of over looked hikes.

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TV Climber -> Happy Trailing since 1982
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altasnob
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PostFri Sep 18, 2020 10:58 am 
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Randito wrote:
I'm more in favor of adopting "pack it all out" policies in popular areas, where users have to "blue bag" their poop and pack it out over quotas.

This seems to be working reasonably well on for example the south route on Mt Adams -- which sometimes has hundreds of climbers camping around the Lunch Counter.

The blue bag rules on volcanoes has more to do with the fact poop won't biodegrade fast (or at all) on the glacier than it does with high use. Even in rampantly overrun places like Tuck and Robin lakes, if everyone pooped correctly (at least 200 ft from all water sources, hole 6 to 12 inches down, ect) the evirnoment can adequately and safely biodegrade said poop. I personally would have no problem if we started imposing blue bag laws in high use areas (because not everyone does follow proper poop protocol) but I know the freedom lovers would jump all over this rule. You got to pick your battles.
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Matt Lemke
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PostFri Sep 18, 2020 6:40 pm 
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Randito wrote:
Or drive 16 hours to the Beartooths in Mt and find "Enchantments" type terrain,  only 100x the acreage and far fewer people.

Shhh keep the Beartooths out of this! That's my special hideout!

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