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View Full Version : Canadian Hiker Shuttle Lincoln Lafayette Route



peakbagger
04-13-2014, 07:48 AM
A observation and good reason to hike early. There appears to be hiker shuttle from Montreal that routinely makes runs down to the this trail most weekends in the spring and appears to discharge its passengers in the Lafayette lot around 9:30 to 10 am. The hikers are inevitably poorly equipped college aged folks. The footwear of choice is brightly colored sneakers with contrasting dirty girl type gaiters. If they do have daypacks they tend to be on the fashion accessory side.

Granted this loop attracts a similar demographic from south of the whites but general not an apparently schedule bus line. I guess hike safe NH just doesn't seem to get a lot of traction north of the border.

Neil
04-13-2014, 01:06 PM
Do you have any idea where they are from?

peakbagger
04-13-2014, 03:37 PM
Not at this point, it looks like a commercial shuttle service. I ran into the groups a couple of times last spring on this route and the buses seem to get larger as the weather warms up. French is definitely their primary language.

Neil
04-13-2014, 04:59 PM
In the Dacks there is a reg that restricts group sizes to 15 for day hikes and IIRC 10 for overnights. Anything like that in the works for the Whites?

(We just had a bit of a kerfuffle but thanks to an advanced warning system :D managed to prevent a group of 70-80 hikers from doing the Jay range on Saturday.)

peakbagger
04-13-2014, 05:07 PM
The FS is very lax in regulating group size. In theory the shuttle bus is just transporting people, discharging them at Lafayette place (state of NH property) and then picking up passengers later in the day. Thus I expect that the outfitter guide rule would be difficult to enforce as unless its an organized group its actually a bunch of individuals who just happen to be sharing a ride. At no point does the hike cross into a wilderness area so is no group size limit.

Neil
04-13-2014, 05:10 PM
What is the group size limit in a wilderness area?

Lefty E
04-13-2014, 06:23 PM
What is the group size limit in a wilderness area?

The group size is 10 (White Mt. Guide page xiv near end of first paragraph).

MadRiver
04-14-2014, 11:09 AM
I've seen this shuttle a few time over the years. They also run a shuttle to FW/OBP trailhead that usually arrives about 4:00pm. They do the loop in headlamps.

Neil
04-14-2014, 01:07 PM
I've seen this shuttle a few time over the years. They also run a shuttle to FW/OBP trailhead that usually arrives about 4:00pm. They do the loop in headlamps.
That sounds like an outfit called "Detour Nature". The group described in the OP sounds quite different from them.

bcborder
04-14-2014, 01:52 PM
It's a bummer getting stuck behind a large group on the trail. That said, way better for the environment that 40 people take a bus instead of driving 15 to 30 cars to the trail head. Buses are great for other people ;)

peakbagger
04-14-2014, 02:16 PM
Neil, I think you won the proverbial "chicken dinner", I think the bus was marked Detour Nature. I didn't see the group get into or out of the bus so it may not be the group I have encountered on the trail in the past. Surprisingly the parking lot wasn't full (very rare for spring weekends). I didn't count seats but expect it was 20 passenger but believe I have seen larger versions in the past.

I checked the Hike Safe NH website and there doesn't appears to be any attempt to posting a french language version and if I remember correctly the green sign posted at trailheads is in English only so it may be that NH is dropping the ball in educating the French speaking portion of the tourist base. This was flagged as an issue previously after a few high profile incidents on the east side Mt Washington and there are no French language warnings. Of course, I find it quite rare to find a French Canadian that doesn't have at least a limited ability to read English.

Here is their translated required gear list for an upcoming April 27th loop (repeated in May) from their website http://www.detournature.com/

Equipment
•Passport if U.S. destinations
•Valid proof of insurance in the United States
•First aid kit basic
•Body clothing made of synthetic fabrics (Cotton forbidden!)
•Fleece jacket
•Waterproof windbreaker (style 'Gore Tex') or breathable
•Your lunch and 2 liters of water
•Flashlight (preferably front)
•Boots or walking shoes (preferably boots) (please note, no mention of traction)•Two walking sticks, 1 or 2 (optional)
•Backpack Day
•Clothes for the return trip (you can leave the bus)
•Whistle, sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, a few U.S. dollars for trips to the United States

And now the hike safe ten essentials from Hike Safe NH website . (items in bold are my emphasis as lacking on the detour nature list). I expect the guides are expecting they will supply bold items

Map
Compass
Warm Clothing :: Fleece and/or Insulated Jacket, Long Pants (wool or synthetic, NOT cotton), Hat (wool)
Extra Food and Water
Flashlight or Headlamp
Matches/Firestarters
First Aid Kit/Repair Kit
Whistle
Rain/Wind Jacket & Pants
Pocket Knife

Please note NHF&G has a far more extensive winter list, but I believe that the 10 essentials list is probably more applicable given the use of guides and the loop itself.

Would anyone fluent in French care to point out to Detour Nature the inconsistencies in their gear list compared to the recommended gear list ? I realize that on spring weekends, poor gear decisions are the norm on the loop but if they are running these hikes at $79 (Can) a pop it would make sense that they would require a USFS outfitter guide permit, which most likely would preclude group sizes over 10 and follow the state of NH recommendations for gear as it would most likely expose them to additional liability.

Do note outfitter guide does not inherently require sub 10 group sizes but generally as a condition of issuance, there are conditions attached. For many years commercial entities were severely limited in access to the Pemi at all and the ones that did get allowed in were held strictly to group size. I would be seriously surprised if a group size of over 10 would be allowed on the Lincoln Lafayette route via an outfitter guide.

Neil
04-14-2014, 03:10 PM
The hikers are inevitably poorly equipped college aged folks. The footwear of choice is brightly colored sneakers with contrasting dirty girl type gaiters. If they do have daypacks they tend to be on the fashion accessory side.
This part of the OP doesn't sound like "Detour Nature". Sounds like it might be an outing club from a university.

Detour nature used to drive 40 plus seat buses to the Adirondacks and disgorge everybody at one trailhead. The DEC got them to mend their ways. Could be they send those buses to Franconia Ridge these nowadays.