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Tsolo
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PostWed Mar 13, 2002 6:45 pm 
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Most of us would agree that the guidebooks are, unavoidably, a mixed blessing. The question is would we have been better off overall without them (granted, an impossible scenario). I believe The Mountaineers (the first and most prolific publisher of them) would say “We support strong and continued preservation of the natural areas of this state in view of the increasing population and the increasing development pressures, and by publishing guidebooks we help that goal by getting more citizens out into those areas and thus turning them into advocates for preservation and protection. There will be more people out there because of the guidebooks (beyond the increase just because of population increase), but by vastly increasing the number of documented places to go, we are also spreading people out so that the overall impact to individual areas is reduced as much as possible.”

We all may have secret little places that have become less secret (which would have happened anyway, but to a lesser degree than with the guidebooks), but more important in the larger picture, we have preserved many wild areas in the past 30 years, indirectly due to these very guidebooks. Just my perspective...
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Heather
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PostWed Mar 13, 2002 6:47 pm 
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Hi, my name is Heather. Please, I want to know where all the "other hidden places" are, so I can write a book and have a web site for that too. Thus, gaining fame and money by marketing the info. Can you all tell me where such places (other hidden places) exist and some routes to include in my new book and on my web site?
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Malachai Constant
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PostWed Mar 13, 2002 8:07 pm 
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I propose a "bonfire of the vanities" in which all descriptions of "secret locations" be publicly burnt. That way we could be sure that only the purest of the pure could access our cherished locations. Prime suspects would be the afore mentioned book and R & R along with "Lakes of Washington". all could be feted with filets of spotted owl and arctic grayling. Only by a proposal such as this can we stop the propigation of information to those willing to venture throug devils club and slide alder for 4000' gain. dizzy.gif

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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mb
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PostFri Mar 15, 2002 10:20 pm 
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Guidebooks.
I'm actually in Thailand right now and have been travlelling around this part of the world for the past few months, and came across this site while sitting in an internet cafe not feeling well.

The same issue is here.  You need a guidebook to get started, then you move to what other people say, just like with hiking. Guidebooks have the exact same reputation here as they do in the hiking world. For a place to be interesting, it should have the right amount of traffic--enough that you can get facilities (in truly small areas, there aren't even restaurants), but not so much that it's all high rise 4-star hotels and strip clubs with locals who see you only as a source of cash.

Once something gets a write up in a guidebook, you can be sure it will be different. Lower quality or higher prices or just 10 copies which try to look identical. Even word of mouth changes things, many places are small enough that the impact is quite fast in a year or two of word of mouth.

Consider it the quantum effect. It's part of life. Observation and reporting changes what you have observed.

(BTW, there is a Lonely Planet guide to hiking the USA... the Pacific NW section claims most hikers spend their lifetime going to different trails every time. At least that isn't likely to change any time soon.)
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tp
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PostFri Mar 15, 2002 10:57 pm 
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I'm in a teepee on the Sauk reservation right now and came across this site while sitting around a yak dung fire sipping mint juleps and discussing the yeti population in upper Mongolia.

Ever since the Footsore books came out, the Pilchuck Vista route has been over run with at least one or two visitors a year. Moss covers the venerable tread that Harvey "I'm not a white rabbit" Manning wrote about a couple decades ago. Ever since Routes and Rocks came out in the mid 60's, the Fortress High route has been pounded to death with countless deer and marmots. Ever since Beckey published the route up Jumbo Peak, hoards of climbers have summited this auspicious peak in search of glory -- although only a few each year manage to sign the register.

Eh... people will stick to the tried and true Big Destination hikes like Snow Lake and Panorama Point. Quit worrying so much!
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