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Brian Curtis
Trail Blazer/HiLaker



Joined: 16 Dec 2001
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Location: Silverdale, WA
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Trail Blazer/HiLaker
PostSun Mar 10, 2002 5:03 pm 
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Beckey's CAG are bad then?

Since I'm not a peak bagger I don't have all that much experience with evaluating impact that Beckey's books might have caused. I'll leave this question to the climbers in the crowd.

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that elitist from silverdale wanted to tell me that all carnes are bad--Studebaker Hoch
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#19
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PostSun Mar 10, 2002 5:12 pm 
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Maybe I missed it, but I've never seen anyone here complain about discovering a boot path or campsite through some meadow where there wasn't one years before.

Beckey's guides clearly don't meet the criteria you mentioned, because his books have obviuosly helped MANY find approaches and routes where no infrastructure exists.
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catwoman
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PostSun Mar 10, 2002 5:19 pm 
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I want to say one more thing...... the 'impact' that guidebooks have had on the wilderness is minimal compared to the awesome 'impact' the wilderness has had on me (and many, many other people).  A select few do not own it.  It's there to be shared.  People just need to have good sense and be respectful of it and others.  Why don't we stop arguing about who should be able to go where and start educating as to how to be respectful?

What good is the wilderness if it's beauty is not embraced?
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Brian Curtis
Trail Blazer/HiLaker



Joined: 16 Dec 2001
Posts: 1511 | TRs
Location: Silverdale, WA
Brian Curtis
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Trail Blazer/HiLaker
PostSun Mar 10, 2002 5:21 pm 
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I have!! It is just less common to see the problem in random meadows.

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that elitist from silverdale wanted to tell me that all carnes are bad--Studebaker Hoch
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#19
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PostSun Mar 10, 2002 5:27 pm 
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catwoman, you're correct in many ways.  

I might be naive, but I don't think most of the folks that participate in this forum are careless in how they treat the wilderness.  Thus, we are the educated.  

I NEVER expect anyone to tell about anywhere they aren't comfortable with.  I just don't think there is anything wrong with this new book.
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McPilchuck
Wild Bagger



Joined: 17 Dec 2001
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Location: near Snohomish, Wa.
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Wild Bagger
PostSun Mar 10, 2002 5:43 pm 
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Here's something of interest whether it's related to this topic or not, 'tis interesting about some things with regard to recreation:

http://www.fs.fed.us/recreation/recuse/reports/year1/R6_MBS_final.htm

McPil

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in the granite high-wild alpine land . . .
www.alpinequest.com
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Brian Curtis
Trail Blazer/HiLaker



Joined: 16 Dec 2001
Posts: 1511 | TRs
Location: Silverdale, WA
Brian Curtis
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Trail Blazer/HiLaker
PostSun Mar 10, 2002 6:06 pm 
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I certainly agree that most of the folks who participate in this forum aren't careless in how they use the wilderness. But if I post a trip report to a sensitive location then I have no control over who sees that trip report and I have no idea if they will exhibit the same respect. Contact me one on one and I'll be happy to talk.

It is exactly my view, Catwoman, that the wilderness is there to be shared. I really don't understand your comment that "a select few do not own it." Who in this thread thinks they own the wilderness? That being said, I agree 100% that our time would be better spent in educating as to how to be respectful.

I've never seen this new book so I will not comment on it specifically. It has been reported here that officially off trail locations like Rainy Lake are in the book and if that is the case then that is something I do have a problem with.

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that elitist from silverdale wanted to tell me that all carnes are bad--Studebaker Hoch
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lopper
off-route



Joined: 22 Jan 2002
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off-route
PostSun Mar 10, 2002 6:59 pm 
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Rainy Lake might be regarded as officially offtrail, but as late as 1970 it was a numbered USFS trail (1006 I think).  It shows on up on the North Bend RD map of that year.

I believe the loss of the Camp Brown cable bridge was the event that started its 25-year-long break from all but hardcore nutso visitors.

Karen's book might motivate some to go to Rainy that may have otherwise not known about it.  Map-readers knew about it already, of course.

Having been a 'system trail' once, it is now a defacto 'system trail' again.
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polarbear
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PostSun Mar 10, 2002 7:08 pm 
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The demographic data in McPilchuck's link is pretty interesting as far as age and ethnicity goes.

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...and a window that looks out on Corcovado...  Corcovado Hill
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Brian Curtis
Trail Blazer/HiLaker



Joined: 16 Dec 2001
Posts: 1511 | TRs
Location: Silverdale, WA
Brian Curtis
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Trail Blazer/HiLaker
PostSun Mar 10, 2002 7:17 pm 
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Lopper, I went up to Rainy in the early to mid-seventies. That trail had not been there for many, many years. There was absolutely no sign of it except for a bit of rotten puncheon near the bottom that appeared never to  have been connected to a trail. Plus, the trail never actually went to the lake. The current guides are not just following the old trail.

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that elitist from silverdale wanted to tell me that all carnes are bad--Studebaker Hoch
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Scrooge
Famous Grouse



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Famous Grouse
PostSun Mar 10, 2002 7:32 pm 
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This is always one of our most divisive issues. As discussion slides into argument, we tend to forget that we are all way off towards one end of the scale in our attitudes towards wilderness and in the way we behave when we're out there. The small differences in our individual interests get magnified into "positions" and we forget where we actually stand with respect to other forum members.

More importantly, we forget that we are only an infinitesimal minority in a huge population of people who are going to stay interested in the outdoors, their way, and they're not going to go away. For every one of us that would like to see trails and guidebooks done away with, there are a thousand others who want them - and will have them.

Actually, we should be very glad that the guidebook authors are as responsible as they are. All I've seen do their very best to educate their readers as to good hiking and camping practices, knowing that the vast majority discover an interest in the outdoors by accident, discover the guidebooks next, and then start using the trails. The authors do their best to teach their audience how to use the trails with sensitivity.

We all have had different experiences with people being told about obscure trails and special destinations. Things like the backdoor route to Rampart Ridge will be found over and over again, whether or not anybody talks about it. On the other hand, routes like the fading fisherman's trail to Delta Lake will apparently remain unused (no matter how much publicity I attempt to give it).

Places like East Boardman Lake fall somewhere in between. As the number of people in the outdoors grows, more people will go there. On the other hand, it's just too darned hard to get to to attract any but the most dedicated - most of whom, if not members of this group, are likely to be the same kind of people with the same kinds of concerns.

I can't speak for the offtrail hunters and fishermen. Maybe some of them are careless destoyers - but not the ones I've met, and I've met a lot more of them offtrail than I have hikers.

Someplaces are too fragile to be talked about, or even returned to. I know a lake somewhere in the westcentral Cascades  wink.gif  with what looks like a beautiful green lawn around the edge. It's not a lawn; it's the softest sort of bog. One visitor mars the shore and a half dozen would destroy it. I don't tell people about it and I don't go back.

Places that won't be harmed by visitors, I talk about. I was over fifty when I started hiking in the Cascades, after twentyfive years of doing nothing. I needed the guidebooks to give me suggestions of where I might go and what I could probably handle. Later, one or two trip reports  biggrin.gif  gave me ideas about places that weren't in the guidebooks - and private conversations gave me ideas about places that weren't even in the reports.

I found places on the maps, too, but I'd be much poorer if I hadn't had all the suggestions from all the different sources. I greatly appreciate all the help I've had along the way - and it pleases me to be able to give something back.

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Something lost behind the ranges. Lost and waiting for you....... Go and find it. Go!
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borank
Lake dork



Joined: 16 Dec 2001
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Lake dork
PostSun Mar 10, 2002 8:17 pm 
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Scrooge – You make a point I like to make, but from the other side.  I don’t wish to exclude anyone, but my question is, how many guidebooks are necessary?  There are already hundreds of locations listed in guidebooks.  Adding new locations increases the usage of those areas and forces the current users to go elsewhere in an ever decreasing area.  Of course anyone has the right to go anywhere they want, but I seriously doubt the majority of people who buy these guidebooks would ever see any of those locations without the guidebook.  And how does that improve their wilderness skills or mountain savvy?  Ideally, as beginners develop their skills, they can strike out on their own, discover new places, and learn the skills necessary to actually go anywhere they want, trail or no.

Pappy - The difference in the Bath Lakes High Route before and after publication of the CAG is a great example of extreme negative impact directly related to the CAG.  It seems somewhat illogical to assume that numerous parties visiting Bath Lakes just decide to go down the ridge to Canyon Lake on a whim, yet there is now a well worn tread. Hmm…..
It may be arguable the impact created by 100 hikes, CAG, et al, could not be foreseen when they were published.  But the impacts are obvious now, although that hasn’t changed publication production one iota.
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Off-Trail Challenge
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Off-Trail Challenge
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PostSun Mar 10, 2002 8:58 pm 
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McP's website reminds us of these wise words on how to respect the land.

"When you step off a wilderness trail and head out cross-country, you are leaving a path built for the convenience of hikers like yourself.  Just a few feet outside the trail corridor you will enter a wild and often inhospitable landscape.  Here you will find no alterations to the terrain intended to make travel and camping easier, no signs pointing the way.  This is no-trace country!  Don't mark your path.  In the pathless wilderness "routes" should stay in your head or on a map, not on the ground or by leaving flagging everywhere.  When you go, be prepared and take essential items to survive in conditions that might not be favorable, and know your limitations.  Remember you're entering a last remnant of wild America.  Treat it with respect.  If we all strive to leave no sign of our visit, it will remain permanently untamed for all to enjoy.  
(Thanks to Phil Leatherman and Mark Boyle for content in the Off Trail Challenge brochure produced in cooperation with the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.)"
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#19
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PostMon Mar 11, 2002 5:47 am 
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Borank, so what you're saying is that we'd have more true wilderness in this state if all the guide books were never published?  I agree.  But I also know that 100's of thousands of people would never have enjoyed the mountains without them. It's trade off.

These mountains a relatively small areas bordered by a very large and growing population.  It's naive to believe things would or could have ended up any different that they have.

I think we still have it pretty good here.  And there are plenty of off-trail challenges waiting for you if you know where to look.
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borank
Lake dork



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Lake dork
PostMon Mar 11, 2002 9:10 am 
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Pappy – I agree.  The difficulty I see is that the wear and tear on the mountains has increased much more than the population.  
This link would suggest that the Puget Sound area population has doubled since 1960.  If recreational usage of the mountains had only doubled since 1960, I doubt these kinds of conversations would take place.  But it seems pretty clear to me that the use trend far exceeds the population growth trend.
There are still plenty of off-trail challenges, but far, far fewer than there were 30 years ago.  I don’t expect the publisher to remove the guidebooks and everything will be okay.  But I wonder when enough is enough.  I wonder what the off-trail challenges will be in another 30 years with the continued dumbing down of the wilderness.
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