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Thread: Cog looking at running snow cats to the summit

  1. #31
    Senior Member TCD's Avatar
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    Maybe someone's trying to make a political point without appearing "political?"

    I'm no expert on Mt. Washington, but I also can't understand what this is getting at...

  2. #32
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    Today's (12/12)Berlin Daily Sun https://www.dropbox.com/s/7ff3tpa1u2...erlin.pdf?dl=0 has an interesting article regarding the owner of the Cog pushing back on the challenge against the Cog building a road on top of the utility trench. He has elected to go after the Mt Washington Observatories ongoing and expanding "commercialization" of the summit by a non profit. Edit, here is direct line to the article https://www.conwaydailysun.com/news/...2d82340f7.html

    Its been a open joke for many years that the Obs is actively using off season summit access for significant fund raising. It started out as edutrips and then expanded to hosting commercial climbing groups and then further expanded to day trips via snow cats. More than a few former observers in private make comments about the "Mt Washington B&B" and push back from the staff along with high turnover led to bringing up additional summit volunteers to support the fund raising efforts by catering to the many guests. Realistically off season access to the summit appears to be a valuable commodity and several parties want to get a taste of it. I expect that if the AMC wasnt constrained by the limited federal use permit for Lake of the Clouds that they would have figured out a way of expanding use of LOC off season.

    The autoroad has traditionally been ultraconservative on their business approach and even they actively run snowcat trips to treeline. The cog with its conversion to diesel locomotives have fundamentally changed the economics of the operation with a substantial increase in associated cash flow and profits. I expect both legitimately are unhappy where they have substantial investments to access the summit and are locked out of any potential of the summit for off season use.

    I expect the public hearing tomorrow evening will be interesting. The board chair is most likely going to try to restrict the discussion to the matter at hand but expect both parties will try to expand the debate into a much wider discussion.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 12-12-2017 at 07:04 PM. Reason: added direct link to article

  3. #33
    Senior Member Raven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom_Murphy View Post
    .
    The concern that either company providing this winter service to the summit would enable less experienced skiers to attempt to ski Tucks is probably a valid concern (and an interesting parallel to cell phones, GPSs, SPOTs, and PLBs allowing hikers to get themselves in trouble) but I don't understand how it can be legally disallowed if a very similar activity is allowed in the summer.
    Legalities aside, this is my concern. Mount Washington is not out west. It's a few hours drive from major population centers filled with potentially eager, inexperienced skiers. I can only imagine the winter rescues this could potentially add to the 200+ already done annually. You better be one hell of a skier to drop over that headwall. Most of us are not, myself included.

    High angle, winter rescues are not easy from my understanding. Probably good the summit buildings just acquired two new rescue ropes. Be nice if they never needed them!
    Last edited by Raven; 12-12-2017 at 06:13 AM.
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  4. #34
    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    Its been a open joke for many years that the Obs is actively using off season summit access for significant fund raising.
    The autoroad has traditionally been ultraconservative on their business approach and even they actively run snowcat trips to treeline.
    Exactly.

    So if you're Wayne Presby you think:

    Hey, the Obs runs a hotel all winter on the summit. And the AMC runs a hotel the rest of the year at the Lakes. Why the hell can't I run a hotel too, and on my own land to boot?

    And short of that, why can't I run a cat on my road just like the Auto Road does on its road?

    Fair questions Wayne!

    WRT the Obs: I am not sure what its mission is anymore. Most of the observers seem to be starry-eyed kids having the adventure of their young lives (read the Observer Comments section of the Web site).

    No real, hard research is being done, and in this age of automation, I bet 90% of what the humans do on the summit could be quickly and easily automated with telemetry down-linked to NWS in Gray ME.

    I predict the Obs as we know it will not exist in 5 years because the numbers just don't work.

    cb
    Last edited by ChrisB; 12-12-2017 at 08:18 PM.
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  5. #35
    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post
    Exactly.

    So if you're Wayne Presby you think:

    Hey, the Obs runs a hotel all winter on the summit. And the AMC runs a hotel the rest of the year at the Lakes. Why the hell can't I run a hotel too, and on my own land to boot?

    And short of that, why can't I run a cat on my road just like the Auto Road does on its road?

    Fair questions Wayne!

    WRT the Obs: I am not sure what its mission is anymore. Most of the observers seem to be starry-eyed kids having the adventure of their young lives (read the Observer Comments section of the Web site).

    No real, hard research is being done, and in this age of automation, I bet 90% of what the humans do on the summit could be quickly and easily automated with telemetry down-linked to NWS in Gray ME.

    I predict the Obs as we know it will not exist in 5 years because the numbers just don't work.

    cb
    The rationale of 'someone else did something bad so it's ok if I do it too' is juvenile at best. The proposal should be evaluated on its own merits.

    As for the MWOBS, I am curious which numbers don't add up?

    I rely on their forecasts, so they provide a valuable service for me. So far as I can tell their B&B service hasn't added to their footprint (unlike adding a new hotel). I don't really have an issue if the cog wants to run snow cats, but the skier issue is interesting. Maybe the FS will start doing any blasting?
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  6. #36
    Senior Member Raven's Avatar
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    The MWO has a very successful fundraiser yearly that brings in a large amount of donations. Large. Seek the Peak.

    With the history of severe weather on the mountain, the title of world's most dangerous small mountain, holder of the highest wind speed on Earth, etc and so on, my guess is the MWO is not going anywhere.
    Humankind has not woven the web of life.
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  7. #37
    Senior Member TCD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJsName View Post
    The rationale of 'someone else did something bad so it's ok if I do it too' is juvenile at best. The proposal should be evaluated on its own merits.
    Problem is, that reasoning is circular - you start with the assumption that these various activities are "bad." What is good or bad legally is determined by the courts. And legal precedent is a legitimate legal concept.

  8. #38
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raven View Post
    The MWO has a very successful fundraiser yearly that brings in a large amount of donations. Large. Seek the Peak.

    With the history of severe weather on the mountain, the title of world's most dangerous small mountain, holder of the highest wind speed on Earth, etc and so on, my guess is the MWO is not going anywhere.
    Having non-profit status helps just a bit too.
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  9. #39
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    Results of Coos County Commissioners meeting

    https://www.berlindailysun.com/newsx...ard-for-review

    Looks like will got the planning board.

  10. #40
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    Planning board decided the work on the path to the summit at the COG didn't violate COOS country zoning

    https://www.conwaydailysun.com/news/...c12814028.html

    Unless a whole lot of clarity came to the board up between the last meeting and this meeting, I expect there is probably opportunities to appeal. No matter the outcome of this ruling its putting the cog on the Coos county planning board "radar".

    Combine this with the recent shot by Presby at the Summit Commission, I expect the Cog is going to be in the news.

    An interesting aside is that during a recent marketing pitch tied in with the Cog opening this past week, there was a mention of a seasons pass for the cog. It was described as "popular with hikers". I really got to wonder why a hiker would want to buy a seasons pass to use the cog?

  11. #41
    Senior Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    An interesting aside is that during a recent marketing pitch tied in with the Cog opening this past week, there was a mention of a seasons pass for the cog. It was described as "popular with hikers". I really got to wonder why a hiker would want to buy a seasons pass to use the cog?
    Maybe to watch other hikers moon the cog. I wonder how long it'll be before that appears on Facebook ... a new app feature, butt recognition.

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