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Nate
09-22-2005, 11:34 AM
For the trailless 3k peaks in New England, do most of them have register jars on their summits? Is it well known which peaks don't? Is there a particular group that maintains these registers (AMC?)? How good are they about replacing missing registers? I ask because in my boredom, if I happen to attack some of these peaks, my fear is that I'll reach some wooded, viewless summit, and there won't even be a slip of paper to sign my name to (I know, I'm horribly OCD about these things), or that there isn't a register because I've inadvertantly ascended to a subsidary peak (and I assume the register is missing, rather than know that I'm not quite at my desitination because I haven't encountered the register yet).

arghman
09-22-2005, 11:53 AM
I ask because in my boredom, if I happen to attack some of these peaks, my fear is that I'll reach some wooded, viewless summit, and there won't even be a slip of paper to sign my name tobring a small plastic gatorade bottle and some paper and some string and a fluorescent ribbon and a GPS. :D

my not-to-be-repeated bushwhack to Mt Kelsey two years ago led a friend & I to the jar there but the lid had rusted through & there was no paper.

Double Bow
09-22-2005, 12:38 PM
Speaking strictly of the trailless 3Ks,

This is, again, part of the adventure, not knowing what to expecct. A lot of peaks have them. Some don't. Most have a sign at the summit. Some don't. There is no list of which ones have what and which peaks might not have anything at all.

The pursuit of the NH or NE 3Ks is infinately less "official" that the pursuit of their taller bretheren. The cannisters that are there were put there by AMC folks awhile ago but, their maintainence and upkeep are not frequently addressed.

With the sheer number of peaks and the effort that goes into climbing some of these remote, viewless, wooded, think spruce covered mountains, you have to be a little "off" :rolleyes: to find this to be a worthwhile endevour. Fortunately for me, the cheese fell off my cracker a loooong time ago! :D

(BTW, I always bring index cards, Ziplock baggies, and something to write with whenever I go hiking or bushwhacking for a variety of reasons.)

bill bowden
09-22-2005, 12:42 PM
It is pretty much a labor of love placing registers on trailless summits. there is a somewhat organized effort to have registers on the NEHH peaks but the 3000 footers and NHHH have registers primarily placed by presumably public spirited hikers.
Within wilderness areas, these registers are at least occasionally removed by National Forest personnel. So there is essentialy no guarantee yea or nay about registers. I found three on Kancamagus, there are rumored to 6 on South Hitchcock. The multiple registers on Fool Killer have apparently been removed (Thanks pb).
If you suffer from more than the normal sort of need to validate your climb by finding a register (and what bushwhacker is normal?); try Vermont where the only peak I didn't find a register on was East Dorset (last purported sentence may need the gibberish to english translation) Round was a close second, I found the register but couldn't open it and had the frustration of reading Dennis Crispo's name without adding my own.

dms
09-22-2005, 12:47 PM
Many of the 3k registers were placed by Dennis C. years ago, and from my experience the attrition rate is higher in ME, than in NH and VT. I think fewer people are doing the ME peaks. Many of the registers are deteriorated or broken. I always try to bring a spare replacement register with me. Even if it is broken you can usually see some remenant of string or tape where it had been tied to a tree. On my most recent trip to ME we did 3 very remote peaks and on two we found registers, the third was missing, so I placed a new one there.

Nate
09-22-2005, 09:40 PM
Dennis Crispo's name has come up in posts every once in awhile - it sounds like he was really involved in the bushwhacking scene, especially with all the canisters it sounds like he installed. Whatever happened to him? Does he still wander the trailless peaks of New England, or have they stopped letting him out of the home? (the one for crazy hiker types) :D

dms
09-22-2005, 09:46 PM
Dennis is definitely one of the "legends" of peakbagging, he's done it all. The first completers marked a tree on the summit with an ax cut, I think Dennis pioneered the use of the 3k summit registers. a very enjoyable guy to hike with.

Nate
09-22-2005, 09:55 PM
Who else are considered some of the local legends of bushwhacking? Are there any interesting stories relating to any of them and their accomplishments?

dms
09-22-2005, 10:02 PM
I hope Roy S. will read this thread, he's more qualified than me to name those folks, because he is certainly high on the list. Just for starters, Tom and Diane Sawyer, who have done the NE 3k's in WINTER!! How do you top that??

Tom Rankin
09-22-2005, 10:25 PM
Who else are considered some of the local legends of bushwhacking? Are there any interesting stories relating to any of them and their accomplishments?

Mr. Swanson, take a bow! :D

John has also done all the NE 770's

dms
09-22-2005, 10:29 PM
Tom, also on that short list, is Dennis Crispo and Sue Eilers. With all due respect to all the ones I've hiked with, no one, and I mean no one, is better with a map and compass than John H. Swanson.

dr_wu002
09-22-2005, 10:37 PM
Well, a local legend for me would have to be Tom Wheeler (Dalraida on VFTT). He might not be a huge peak bagger but it seems like he knows nearly every old logging road & camp, abandonned trail, weird feature and obscure historical fact about the Whites that I could ever want to know. If you ever see him posting a trip, jump on board. He's always got a fun story or something to point off to in the distance.

-Dr. Wu

Raymond
09-23-2005, 01:37 AM
And don't forget Erik "The" Schlimmer. He's done the 770, too.

post'r boy
09-23-2005, 04:37 AM
The "Missin' Link" is up and comin'. dude can smell a cannister 1 mile away!
plus he's 6'6" tall. great fer scopin' higher terrain!! :eek:

audrey
09-23-2005, 05:31 AM
We didn't find a register on East Bear in Maine. I claim credit because we spent almost on hour trying to find it. Glad to hear that East Dorset doesn't have one - that was a long search too; nice open woods, though!

Dennis C.
09-24-2005, 03:01 PM
Nate, life's a series of stages, and with the Northeast 770 completed, it was time to move on to other challenges. In more recent years it's been a push for the state high points and a lot of trail work outings both in the White Mtns (AMC Adopt-A-Trail) and locally in Andover (MA) reservations. Trail work is very rewarding and something we never run out of! But that doesn't mean I won't get out on occasion to do another peak or two.

What I really enjoy the most on VFTT is sharing information about the off trail peak approaches and encouraging the next generation to pursue these 3000 footers. It's an incredible adventure! The toughest part was not the climbing, but the long distance driving. Bushwhacking is something best done with others, and you can cut costs and share driving chores. Also, bring register replacements for those New England 3000s.

RoySwkr
09-26-2005, 06:22 PM
I hope Roy S. will read this thread, he's more qualified than me to name those folks, because he is certainly high on the list. Just for starters, Tom and Diane Sawyer, who have done the NE 3k's in WINTER!! How do you top that??
The 770 in winter of course :-)

The first 3 on the NH 3k were Tom Sawyer, Ray Chaput, and Bev Nolan who were all rushing to be first and did not usually hike with each other. Ray put a wood sign on most peaks but they are mostly gone, Bev put a register on most peaks with a "Brunswick Recreation" felt-tip pen whose ink turned out to vanish in sunlight so after a few years you could reuse the pages :-) Ray later hiked the length of NH and is still putting signs on small peaks near Twin Mtn such as Flat Top and South Sugarloaf, Bev found a new honey and went back to 4k with him.

I'm not sure who was first on the VT 3K, it might have been Deane Morrison.

For the NE/ME 3K, Tom Sawyer was far and away the first, while Gene Daniell, Deane Morrison, Frank Pilar, and Sam Hagner agreed to complete together. Several years later, Dennis Crispo was #6 after climbing both No.6 Mtn and nearby #6.5 "Crispo Peak".

To show how fleeting fame as a peakbagger is, I'll bet there are few people on this board who have even heard of some of these people, who were mostly using 2wd vehicles and 15' quads that didn't even show the mountains accurately much less the roads.

post'r boy
09-26-2005, 06:40 PM
what about narsico torres from denmark me???
anybody know him??? he's in all the jars!!! :D

dms
09-26-2005, 07:10 PM
I've done several 3's with Narcisso, a great guy. He did a lot of solo 3's. In fact, I just got off the phone with him for advice on the Spruces and Big Shanty, which I'am doing this Wednesday. Like most wackers he has absolute and total recall of his routes for those peaks!!

post'r boy
09-26-2005, 07:13 PM
cool! everytime i see his name i wonder .... who is this guy!!!! :D
tell him i say hi!!
p.s. he doesn't know me :)

dms
09-26-2005, 07:18 PM
Within the last year or so, he and his son also completed the AT!!! He still is helping out folks working on the 3's.

David Metsky
09-26-2005, 09:25 PM
I just visited my first NH3K bushwack peak (South Engine) and found many names in the register whose exploits I've heard of here online and occasionally in person. Not sure I'm going to drink the Bushwacking Kool-Aid just yet, but it was a fun day. :)

-dave-

dms
09-26-2005, 09:32 PM
Classic view of Stairs from there! No views from NH 3k peaks, right! Drink up Dave!

Dennis C.
09-27-2005, 02:34 PM
Here's another statistic for the RoySwkr list: "dms" (Dennis S.) is one of only a few hikers who has been bagging New England 3000s in each of the last 3 (or 4?) decades! I'm sure he knows more climbers, past and present, than any of us. How close are you to finishing, Dennis? I know I'd like to be there when you do.

post'r boy
09-27-2005, 03:53 PM
if i'm not mistakin' he's in the single digits to the very low teens!! can i go too???
only on a weekend for me though.

onestep
09-27-2005, 04:42 PM
Just got back from doing both Long & Puzzle Mtn's in Maine. From the canister log on Puzzle:

03-29-87 Dennis Crispo
06-11-88 Roy Schweiker
03-??-89 Narciso Torres

fast forward to the last few years

MJ, missin link, post'r boy...

Onestep

RoySwkr
09-28-2005, 05:13 PM
Because bushwhacking is about making your own route rather than following a trail laid out by somebody else, there is some logic to saying that the top bushwhackers are those who make up their own lists rather than just being the first to do somebody else's. Of course the list should be both imaginative in scope and challenging to hike. I don't know much about either people or mountains in New York, but here are some of the top bushwhackers in New England:

* Guy Waterman, who climbed each NH 4000-footer from 4 different directions in winter. While there are some such as Jefferson that offer 4 good trail routes, the majority require bushwhacking often quite extensive. Those who find Garfield challenging enough from the N in winter might consider the long approach to climb it from the S, ending with a serious cliff to get up. He was sensitive about the environmental impact of copycats and apparently never published a full account of this project although snippets have made their way into his other writings.

* George Pearlstein, who climbed the highpoint of every town in Vermont, over 200 of them, incidentally becoming the first to complete the county highpoints of Vermont. Like other bushwhackers, he also did trail hiking, he was at one time director of the Long Trail Patrol and is now rehiking all the side trails of the Long Trail except those leading to Georgia and Maine. He was perhaps the first to hike the Long Trail in winter which probably meant a lot of bushwhacking trying to find it back in the '50s.

* Nebushwacker (initials JP, full name hidden to keep his clients from Googling him), who is within about 20 of finishing the New England 1000 highest. He leaves a register with golf pencil on bushwhack peaks without one, and is on his 3rd box of 144 pencils.

* The PeakMaster (AVJ), probably New England's most diverse hiker who as of
2001 had climbed over 3200 different peaks, named summits, and bumps in New England including over 1500 in New Hampshire. He is planning to retire in a couple years and then those totals might really climb, yet he will never finish all the Peaks of the Universe. (Dennis C asked why he didn't call it peaks of the earth, but agreed that if he ever flew to the moon he also would want to climb a peak there. Olympus Mons, anyone?)

And no, I don't think any of these lists are online, but that's not the point - to be listed here you have to make your own!

SherpaKroto
09-28-2005, 07:45 PM
A mention should go to our own post'rboy. Not a peakbagger, just a more than frequent visitor to these peaks. I'll guess over 400 of them :eek:

And then there are Pat, Audrey and bogorshis, well into their 300's if I recall.

post'r boy
09-29-2005, 04:28 AM
[QUOTE=SherpaKroto]A mention should go to our own post'rboy. Not a peakbagger, just a more than frequent visitor to these peaks. I'll guess over 400 of them :eek:

well,thanks and i wish it were true but your estimate is i little high. it's a secret for now. :D
i'll just keep chippin away,and soon enough i'll have finished.
just as my theory on the trail this past summer was,
all i have to do is walk and i'll get there. :D

dms
09-29-2005, 07:05 AM
Just back from Big Spruce, Little Spruce and Big Shanty, and all 3 registers are there, but two were in bad shape, we were able to replace one, and added a new ziplock bag to the other. So if'n you are doing the 3's please always bring a new register bottle, paper, pencil and string with you, cuz the original registers are failing fast. Hey Dennis thanks for the kind words, only 12 to go, I hope to finish on Big Squaw next year! But you know with my pace it might still be two more years before I get there!

MarkJ
09-29-2005, 07:26 PM
Seeing the usual names in lot's of jars inspires me and reminds me that when I was doing trails back in the day ,these guy's were gettin it done.Not to mention peaks that were trailless and now have trails today.....I have a way's to go ,but the 770 will be done......MJ :D

onestep
09-30-2005, 06:49 AM
and all 3 registers are there, but two were in bad shape, we were able to replace one, and added a new ziplock bag to the other. So if'n you are doing the 3's please always bring a new register bottle, paper, pencil and string with you, cuz the original registers are failing fast.

From what I've seen this week I sure do agree. I found the canister on Long Mtn lying on the ground. The shoelace/string that attached it to the tree had rotted away. I tied it back in place the best I could.

The ziplocks on Black, & Wheeler are torn and need replacing. The register on E Bear doesn't have one.

I'll start packing a "repair kit" with me.

spencer
09-30-2005, 07:19 AM
I always carry extra ziplocs with me but when I was on B & W I looked around in my bag and could only find one.

It was pouring rain and I needed it for my camera!

I am now saving PB and jelly jars and whatnot so I can carry the "repair" kit. I added a gatorade bottle on one of the Bakers.

spencer

Dennis C.
09-30-2005, 11:33 AM
Collecting jars to use for registers was rather easy when I first started placing registers on New England 3000 footer bushwhack peaks. The 18 oz. PB jar was the standard size I used. At that time nearly all were made of glass. Now most are made of plastic. Non-breakable is better of course, but the critters like to chew on them. To discourage this, I'd put a couple moth balls in the jar along with the plastic bag, paper and pencil. I used to cut out comic strips with mountain humor topics, make copies and use them as cover sheets for the stapled paper booklets. For those of you that climb NY 3000s, be advised that canister (as they're called there) placement is discouraged except those officially sanctioned by clubs (in the Catskills, for example).

sierra
10-03-2005, 05:51 PM
I just remembered one of the coolest registers Ive ever found. ON Mt. Willard in Crawford notch is the Devils Den ( located 3/4 of the way up the face you can see the shallow entrance) anywho inside the cave was a very old tabbaco can, it contained some signed papers that unfortunatlt where so deteriated I could not read them but it was cool non the less.
P.S> the rumors of the cave having bones in it are true.

dms
10-10-2005, 03:58 PM
Erik, I'd like to add Bob Matsko to the list of completers of the New England 3k's. I think he finished about 15 years ago on Sisk with Dennis C..

mavs00
10-10-2005, 08:01 PM
I know the initial question was about the NE registers, and drifted to NE bushwhacking legends. But I thought I'd throw a little love out to the the bushwhacking legends father west in the ADK's........

Please forgive the incompleteness of this list. There is no registry, registers or other acknowledgement of completion for the ADK100, so it's basically word of mouth and guesswork as to who has finished. Indeed, there are even several lists used......... History is nothing unless its written I suppose. :rolleyes:

In additions to the already mentioned legends such as - John Swanson, Dennis Crispo, Sue Eilers & Erik Schlimmer, I believe these additional folks have also finished the ADK100 (and as such are ADK buschwhacking LEGENDS): Tom Haskins, Barb Harris, Inge Aiken, Alain Chevrette & Jim Close are also finishers.

Soon, a couple more VFTTers should join that list as Peak_bgr & Bushwhacker should finish within days (they sit at 99 now and hope to finish this w/e). There are others so please feel free to add them to this list if I missed them. Like I said, it's really guesswork at this point.

As for registers on the ADK lower summits, they are currently classified by the DEC as "Non conforming structures" and discouraged. On occasion, you'll see renegades, but it's haphazzard at best. So if your OCD will have you freaking out afterword and questioning if you really climbed the right bump and can count the peak, I suggest staying out of NY. Best I can guess, I THINK I've done about 70 ;)

Nate
10-10-2005, 10:01 PM
Erik, thank you so much for the information. Also, considering you cited specific numbers of 3k peaks for northern New England, are those lists available anywhere? Even though these might be unofficial lists, are there at least semi-definitive lists out there?

Pete_Hickey
10-11-2005, 05:57 AM
Even though these might be unofficial lists, are there at least semi-definitive lists out there?

What makes a list an "official list"?

dr_wu002
10-11-2005, 09:25 AM
And Dr. Wu asked a fine question, who can have "any more power to make their list more 'official'" that someone else?" I have no idea how one group has more power over the other. It's apparent that clubs feel that have the list in their files. For example, the 111-R's (the club for people who hike the 4,000-footers of the Northeast) should actually be called the 110-R's, if going by my list, while others feel the club most accurately would be called the 115-R's.

And yes, DMS, I forgot to list Bob Matsko. Thanks for adding that name.

Sorry for such a long response as usual but seeing I put in only 0.11 messages per day I feel obligated to write 850-word responses to very simple questions such as the one above.
Nice Post!

I deleted mine because I realized it was not well thought out and seemed like I was pointing the finger while I didn't intend it to be that way.

My point is that 200' is an arbitrary, although legit, number. Change it to 100' or 300' and you have different lists. I was not questioning the FTFC necessarily, more asking the people who follow the lists what makes the FTFC (or any other committee) have the right to say this list is 'official' and that isn't.

:)

-Dr. Wu

carole
10-11-2005, 09:37 AM
Well, I think you guys have cured me!! I don't think I'll look at another list again. :eek:

mavs00
10-11-2005, 10:26 AM
Right now there are several different versions of just about every peakbagging list you can think of. What it most often comes down to is what rules are in place to make a peak a peak. For example, whoever thinks they have the "official" Adirondack 100 highest came up with it this way:

1. The official 100 highest list is the one in the back of the ADK guidebook.
2. No, the list consists of the top 100 peaks that rise at least 200 feet on all sides.
3. Sorry, the list consists of the top 100 peaks that may rise 200 feet on all sides. We count all marginal peaks.
4. No, I have the list. The list consists of the top 100 peaks that may rise at least 200 feet on all sides, and we will count Mt. Emmons, Mt. Donaldson, Nye Mtn., Grey Peak and Armstrong Mtn., though there's no way they can possibly rise 200 feet.
5. You are all wrong. The official list consists of the top 100 peaks that clearly rise 200 feet (we will not count marginal peaks) plus the five peaks on list No. 4 above.


Great points, but even if you think you have the right list, there still may be issues with it. This whole subject came up a few months back on another forum. One of the lists I'm working on is the ADK100 and for sheer "map laziness" on my part, I've chosen #1 (the one listed in the ADK book) as my official list.

During map recon and general studies, it soon became apparent that parts of the list seemed off and appeared to omit peaks that "appeared" to meet the qualifications listed in the book. I decided to ask Tony Goodwin (the author of the list) and he gave a very detailed response. (for those interested in that discussion, read the thread -HERE- (http://www.adkhighpeaks.com/forums/showthread.php?t=122)).

What is boils down to is even the very maps we use to generate lists are likely faulty as well, at least in the ADK's. Who the heck knows what to use. For me, and several friends I like to hike with, our "official" list for the ADK 100 will, in actuality, consist of 102 (possibly 103) peaks. The original list (found in the book) plus Wilmington and Bullhead. I personally may also add Unnamed, Hornet Notch, because my personal thoughts have it at .75 miles from Blue Ridge (E of Hoffman) thus qualifying to be included on the list. I may be the only one to think that way, but hey, isn't that part of the beauty of the whole exercise ;).

RoySwkr
10-11-2005, 06:33 PM
It's probably not 100 percent accurate since people finish and new accomplishments are revealed but it's pretty close.

I would say this is at most 75% accurate :-)

About 26 people have climbed the ~451 3,000-footers of New England. Listed below are the 22 names that I know of from various sources, including summit registers.
Obviously you're not trying very hard, since you leave out 2 of the #2 finishers listed in my previous note. In fact you seem to be missing 5 of the first 10, including a guy from Sanford ME and a couple from Hartland VT. Then there are two state highpointers from Chelmsford & Arlington MA whom I believe have finished the NH 3k in winter and are working on the NE 3k, not sure whether they already did them in summer. And the guy from Kingston NH who made the first NE 3K list from 7.5' maps unlike Gene's list which was partly based on 15'. And I thought there were more of Anne Gwynne's cronies which would put the total well over 30.

Peakbagr
10-11-2005, 09:08 PM
Does anyone have names of those who've finished the ADK Hundred Highest besides those mentioned so far, and a good estimate of how many have done so?

dms
10-11-2005, 09:18 PM
Two more names for the NE 3k list, Dan and Eleanor Comstock from VT. I think the only navigational aid they used was the Delorme for the state they were hiking in.

dms
10-11-2005, 09:38 PM
Another name for the NE 3k list is John McHugh of Plaistow, NH. I did close to 20 peaks with John, he finished on Belvidere on 10-14-89. I guess that brings the total to over 30.

Eric Savage
10-11-2005, 10:26 PM
I was not questioning the FTFC necessarily, more asking the people who follow the lists what makes the FTFC (or any other committee) have the right to say this list is 'official' and that isn't.
The FTFC does acknowledge that we operate with one particular set of rules and that others are welcome to define their own "game" differently if they so choose. We only ask that those who apply for membership in our club, follow our rules and hike our lists. Our lists are only "official" relative to receiving recognition (patches, scrolls, etc.) from us.

If another group formed to recognize a different set of 4000-footers, they would have just as much claim to the word "official" since it would be relative to recognition by them. This has, in fact, already happened with the Trailwrights, although they are primarily a trail work organization for whom the list is only a partial focus. Check them out at http://www.trailwrights.org/.

My sense is that the FTFC is considered official not because we insist on it (we don't) but that it is a matter of public perception aided by the fact that
- we are the only group so far to use the phrase "four thousand footer" in our name
- we have the longest history (almost 50 years) and the most members (over 8000)
- our primary focus is on recognizing the lists (though we strongly encourage trail work and contribute to trail maintenance projects)
- we are affiliated with one of the best known outdoor organizations in the area which publishes the most comprehensive guide to the White Mountains and includes information about us in an appendix
- it seems unlikely that anyone would form another club with a very similar list just because of a few feet of elevation or potential errors in the USGS maps (The Trailwrights list is radically different - for one thing, not all of them have trails.)
In other words, we are the club everyone thinks of when they think of 4000-footers in New England. And I hope that we will continue to be good stewards of that reputation.

Doc McPeak
10-12-2005, 08:53 AM
Does anyone have names of those who've finished the ADK Hundred Highest besides those mentioned so far, and a good estimate of how many have done so?

I've met and/or hiked with several others, including Mike Bush. I've heard estimates that 50-100 have done the list. I know of at least a dozen who right now are in the mid 90's on the list. I'd bet more than 100? I've also heard estimates of 1000 to as many as 5000 unregistered 46ers, so no one will ever know the real numbers. Kind of nice. I know the 100ers I hike with rarely, as in almost never, talk about the 100.

bill bowden
10-12-2005, 11:43 AM
A few years ago, Gene Daniell sent me a note with his list of NHHH and NE3000 footer finishers. By my count there were 27 finishers for the 3000 footers and 75 for the NHHH.

I'd emphasize I have no claim for completeness since the list was limited to those who filled out some sort of form and sent their names in. Of course, it also missed the names of more recent finishers as well.

At this time, I maintain a highly unofficial roster of finshers for both the above lists (and have patches for both) and would be happy to hear from finishers or interested parties.

Peakbagr
10-12-2005, 12:52 PM
To that list you can add:
Kathy Gill
Barbara Harris
Inge Aiken

And about to add #99ers, Brian Yordon and Spencer Morrissey who are about to finish.

The old "peanut butter jars" contain the names of other who may have completed them such as: Sonny Martineau, Art Robinson, Gene Daniell, Friedel Scrhunk, Bob Brainard, "Mr Natural", Nat Wells, Ray Fotte, Bruce O'Neil, Scott Stanford, Chris Noble, Paul Sirtoli, Bill Cranker, Stephen Nicols, Will Coonradt and Bill Kozel. Some of the names date back from 1980 thru the early '90s.

My guess is that Eric is close on his estimates. Probably 25-35 finishers, perhaps a few more. With the increased interest in these peaks, and many who are actively climbing them, the number of finishers is certainly going to rise significantly in the next 3-4 years.
I hadn't noticed the debate getting fierce, though. Most of the folks I know who have completed them or actively working these are following Tony Goodwin's list in the back of the ADK HP guide. Folks like Alain, Tom, Schlimmer, Swanson, Eilers, Crispo and some others are doing their own variations. The latter group are from another planet in terms of a level of commitment, endurance and fortitude that most others won't approach.

mavs00
10-12-2005, 02:13 PM
This list is getting pretty popular and there is a fierce debate about getting the list more "established." Most of the more experienced hikers, including those that have finished this list, are against more establishment while the "younger" peakbaggers often feel the opposite. Funny how hiking lists of mountains can be so debatable. For instance, more than 1,500 people have looked at this thread, which contains more than 50 responses. Where is John Swason is all of this?

Wonderful thoughts.......... as one of the Johnny-come-lately's, I would fall into the latter category which you state. Of course, I am not a completer, so perhaps I have no standing in the matter and my voice is deservedly small. We (you and I) have had a small amount of discourse in this in the past and I left my thoughts undone (and I just realized, I owe you a communique :o ).

I think it may be an oversimplification that us "younger" crowd wants to see an "establishment" of this list, at least in my case. Perhaps 10 years ago, the traffic seen on these peaks allowed for some measure of "don't ask, don't tell". I've been pecking at them in the last couple, and even more so listening to traffic about these peaks increase exponentially in the last couple years. Lots more traffic about them is on this forum and another forum I am a big part of.

Like it or not.......... and for whatever reason, these peaks are seeing more traffic. Things like cut views, trespassing, herd paths, route-cutting all concern ME A GREAT DEAL. The closer I get to finishing and more summits I reach (and I'm not close) the more worried I get. Recently as I sat in the rain on Little Santanoni, my first though was not "I'm one peak closer to 100", It was instead of -THIS THREAD- (http://www.vftt.org/forums/showthread.php?t=5795&highlight=Santanoni). Perhaps it was the desolation and calming embrace of the tree'd summit, but it gave me a truer appreciation of the Adirondacks that ANY of the higher open summits EVER DID. The thought that untold hundreds are looking towards this mountain and others like, perhaps with LESS appreciation and respect than I have............. makes me SCARED for the FUTURE of these summits. (envision in Dances with Wolves when Kevin Cosner finnally tells the chief just how MANY white men are coming)

In my opinion, if we continue to ignore the fact these peak are MORE ACCESSIBLE (any ole idiot with a GPS can get to em, and I am proof of that 70 times over), and are becoming MORE attractive to future adventures, then we do so at our OWN peril. Unsightly herd Paths, wanton trespassing (which I DISDAIN), cutting trees to improve the views, blazing trees and routes will all collide one day to decimate these very special places. I used to tremble in awe at the thought of "facing the mighty Sawtooth Range", now I'm told to expect cut views, signs and the other trappings of humans. I almost could care less about going now, and that my friend, is very sad :(

Does any of this convey that I think there should be a further "establishment" of this list, not at all. I have no vested interest, I wouldn't be on any "established lists" anyway. No-one will mistake me for a pioneer hiker :rolleyes: .

Do I think that those that have a true appreciation for these places need to take a more active stand in the protecting the "spirit" they represent to all of us. Yup, I most assuredly do. Also, I believe there is only one way to gain this appreciation as well. ;)

Once again, I mean no disrespect to you pioneers, and I truly marvel at your woodcraft and back-country skills. I really think the schools of thought mentioned by Eric are really not all that far apart, only in methodology. If this steps on any of your toes, my apologies. I really do understand my place as a neophyte among giants. My passion sometimes gets the best of me and words are not always my strong suit. I hope I have at least partially shed some light on my thinking. I think others share my thoughts too.

mavs00
10-12-2005, 09:58 PM
Yes, excellent points made by Mavs00. Personally, I agree with all of them and have just as much concern about these peaks becoming trashed. I especially like the Dances With Wolves analogy.

It's good to know we agree on many points. It seems to me from this discussion, and others I've seen, that there are a few good people that advocate that the spirit and integrity of these remote places be maintained, sot they do not become the next societal "sacrifice areas" of tomorow.

I'll ask a rhetorical, but thought provoking question........ What will like minded souls do that we agree and understand that the traffic on these summits is increasing (and the accompanying problems this traffic brings will manifest even moreso in the furure)?

I'm probably overthinking it and I certainly don't have the answers, but It seems that the current path of apathy on all our parts could bring us right to where (many of us) don't want to be - Following some crappy, poorly designed, badly eroded herd path to the artificially created view on Lewey Mountain's summit.

Just like the multitudes chasing the fallacy of the 21 "trailless" 46er summits do right now.

John H Swanson
10-13-2005, 06:57 AM
...Where is John Swason is all of this?

Counting all the different variations of the Adirondack 100 highest list, these are the completers I know of for sure:

1. John Swason
2. Dennis Crispo
3. Sue Eilers
4. Erik Schlimmer
5. Alain Chevrette
6. "DB Cooper"
7. Tom Haskins
8. Jim Close
9. William Coonradt
10. Bill Cranker
11. Bill Kozel
12. "Mr. Natural"
13. Barb Harris
14. Inge Aiken
15. Kathy Gill


When I finished the 100 highest in the mid-1990's there were clearly less than 20 people who have hiked the list and I didn't hear of the "possible's" above. But that was nearly a decade ago.

I believe that there cannot possibly be forty or more completers today. But after all, it is not about who did it but what they experienced.

....hugh? I guess I was sleeping thru this one. Not sure why my name is listed first... as with any list, I find it interesting to view the date of completion or order of completion. Now generating that list would be more of a challenge but with much reward from the conversations needed to get the details. Much the way reading a register with so few entries from 10 or 20 yrs previous always grabs me.

In example, reading Tom Sawyer's winter entries from the NEng 3s have raised his image to godlike status in my eyes. I remember reading his winter entry on one remote bushwhack peak in ME. He got there after 3pm (that was the third peak of the day, running a ridge further and further from the road), in January, during -20 weather, alone. Ever break trail bushwhacking alone? Now imagine your really in the middle of no where. His comment was "morale is high" By the way, when does the sun go down in January in northern ME? You have to be there to really appreciate the intensity of his situation. Doing the 770 is nothing compared to the stories he must have! Okay, that's why I like canisters.

I would add Lee Barry and Jim Boomer to the list shown as they both finished the ADKHH and ADK3s (300ft col) in the 70s. Lee was a founding member of the RWMS. Perhaps an ol'timer in the RWMS can review the list and add a few names. It seems that Lee and Jim were early participants in the game of climbing little ones. In my conversation with Lee, a number of years ago, he mentioned the need to determine climbing routes and did not mention others working on the adk3s at the same time, though I never posed that specific question.

He gave me the impression that they were pioneering the way for that era. Of course we all know that we were not the first to summit any given peak, but so many times, in the dacks, I had the impression that no one had been to these peaks in at least 5-10 years before I arrived - based on the lack of disturbance of the moss cover and duff. By contrast, most NEng 3s are trashed from logging or frequently visited and just look like their one step away from having a condo development ... (wow, where did that come from and who knows why I broght it up ?!) Oh yeah. our list show the people that we know to have climbed the peaks, but very posibly others have done it that we don't know.

Pete_Hickey
10-13-2005, 07:27 AM
While publishing a list seems to encourage more climbing, to 'complete the list', does publishing a list of names who have done it further encourage it?

spencer
10-13-2005, 07:48 AM
John's last sentence reminds me of an obvious point I wanted to make:

for the common lists like the NH 48, etc, I think we can all agree that the number of registered completers is a gross underestimation of the total number.

however for the 3K list and other such relatively obscure lists, I suspect the number of "registered" completers (i.e. those listed here, plus the few stragglers that are suspected to be finished but that we don't know about for sure) is much closer to the actual number of people who climb them all.

A confession:

I really struggle with the notion that the 3ks and other obscure lists get so much publicity lately on VFTT (and probably elsewhere, although I don't spend much time "elsewhere"). I like to discuss the fun aspects of the peaks with others and I certainly have emailed some of you "old-timers" for tidbits of info and I definitely enjoy reading the canisters. However, I find I get extremely curmudgeon about the whole letting the cat out of the bag. Of course I'm being selfish, but I can't help worry that when everyone starts hiking the peaks, they get easy. I hike the 3ks b/c I enjoy the challenge of planning routes, the actual routefinding, reading about those who came before me, seeing views that very few others get to see, and of course seeing the forest itself (it's what I do)...

I think back to when I started reading VFTT (~ '98?) and how much information there was. Sure, you could find trail conditions reports for most peaks in the Whites. Sure, there were people you could ask about most places. But now, I see so many websites that give detailed directions, extreme minutiae, and gps plots of every damn peak that person has climbed. While I appreciate the desire to share information with others (I do it lots and it's a natural progression we as a society desire) I somehow struggle with it all.

What the hell fun is it if you can look it up on a website, see a picture of every view you will likely see, see the elevation profile, etc, etc. Now I've moaned to some of you before about this, but I find myself thinking more and more about it. I don't have an answer, I'm just voicing my concern.

As I alluded to not very long ago, it's not crazy to think that the 3ks will become overpopulated (relative term) in the future. Do you think the early pioneers of our hobby thought Owl's Head would be a mundane trip to future peakbaggers?

Exercise:

1) Go to Google and type in something like "hike redington"
2) Compare the response you get to the frequency with which people asked how to get to Redington about 5-10 years ago on VFTT.
3) Now go to Redington and see the herdpath that has developed between it and Crocker (disclaimer - I myself have not been on the herd path but it is frequently referred to here on VFTT)

Maybe I should have saved you all my rambling and just posted the exercise to make my point.

respectfully submitted for your consideraton,
spencer

dms
10-13-2005, 07:49 AM
John, I absolutely agree with your comments on Tom Sawyer. When I read his winter entries in the 3k registers in ME, I am in awe! Some of the ME peaks are brutal with no snow, doing them in the dead of winter truly is an amazing physical and mental feat! He's definitely at the top of my list of wacking legends.

dms
10-13-2005, 08:01 AM
Spencer, your Redington example is right on the money. When I did it in the eighties, CV Road was gated at the AT crossing, so the hike started there. There was no herdpath, it was a total bushwack, and the register was one of Dennis C.'s pb jars. But at that time, it was just a 3k peak. The only info we had was word of mouth from are other bw friends on what they thought was the "best" approach. This is really a trail hike now.

John H Swanson
10-13-2005, 08:49 AM
John, I absolutely agree with your comments on Tom Sawyer. When I read his winter entries in the 3k registers in ME, I am in awe! Some of the ME peaks are brutal with no snow, doing them in the dead of winter truly is an amazing physical and mental feat! He's definitely at the top of my list of wacking legends.

On some days winter peaks can be easier if you get good hard pack snow then you're above the crap. But considering he had 451 winter peaks you know he was doing them in a variety of conditions. In one conversation he mentioned that he would follow the moose postholes because the heat from the moose had firmed up the snow somewhat and made it easier. Ever follow moose postholes? It's a little like regular postholes - ankle twisting, snowshoe breaking purgatory. Except they wander, taking twice the distance to get somewhere. Now imagine that you're doing this because it's actually easier than the alternative!

There's a reason that his #1 for winter 451 has stood as a "one-and-only" for so long. Of course there may be one or two others now.

Neil
10-13-2005, 09:29 AM
A perfect example: me.
Before finishing the ADK 46 I had already hiked 15 of the ADK100 including some of the more obscure ones. Where do you think I heard of the list? The internet. Where have I gotten my beta? Either from the internet or electronically from friends I have made over the internet. Am I going to finish it? Damned right. Would I have gotten to the list sans the 'net? I think so but it would have taken me a little longer and my beta would be restricted to the USGS quads and word of mouth.

Do I worry about the trailless lower 54? Not a lot, I believe they will always be kind of obscure and quirky. Does that mean they don't need some sort of organized "protection"? Absolutely not. And to keep going in question mode...Where will that protection/self-policing come from? You guessed it. The internet. Where else? The genie's out of the bottle, better to work from there.

Another question I ask myself: why havn't you bushwhacked up Marcy? Answer: for a reason similar to why I'll probably never hike Washington again. (allthough I have to admit, I'm curious about the big W. in winter....)

mavs00
10-13-2005, 10:11 AM
John's last sentence reminds me of an obvious point I wanted to make:

** SNIP **

I really struggle with the notion that the 3ks and other obscure lists get so much publicity lately on VFTT (and probably elsewhere, although I don't spend much time "elsewhere"). I like to discuss the fun aspects of the peaks with others and I certainly have emailed some of you "old-timers" for tidbits of info and I definitely enjoy reading the canisters. However, I find I get extremely curmudgeon about the whole letting the cat out of the bag. Of course I'm being selfish, but I can't help worry that when everyone starts hiking the peaks, they get easy. I hike the 3ks b/c I enjoy the challenge of planning routes, the actual routefinding, reading about those who came before me, seeing views that very few others get to see, and of course seeing the forest itself (it's what I do)...

I think back to when I started reading VFTT (~ '98?) and how much information there was. Sure, you could find trail conditions reports for most peaks in the Whites. Sure, there were people you could ask about most places. But now, I see so many websites that give detailed directions, extreme minutiae, and gps plots of every damn peak that person has climbed. While I appreciate the desire to share information with others (I do it lots and it's a natural progression we as a society desire) I somehow struggle with it all.

WOW, That is eerie. I almost feel as if I wrote that myself. Which probably seems weird because I also could be one of the people Spencer it talking about. I'm gonna do something I don't usually do...... (talk about my site here....feel free to delete it Darren/peakbgr if it inapropriete) I am a sharer I have a website with forums (on a much smaller scale than this). One section of my forums is dedicated to the ADK 100......... It's in a members only section, so it's not available for the whole would, but still......... easy enough

I struggle mightily (daily sometimes) on whether or its the right thing to do.... I've been told by at least one of the posters on this thread (the legends) that it probably contains more info about these peaks than any other site......... That scares me and ALWAYS make me proceed with caution. I keep it up and running primary for reasons I'll try to explain (I hope I can) .......... First you must understand my frame of reference, my post #54 (http://www.vftt.org/forums/showpost.php?p=107063&postcount=54) is about as close as I can articulate.

I know that these peaks are getting more traffic. For whatever reason, I get lots of stuff (e-mail, PM's) from people sharing stuff with me and some of it can be quite frightning.

Example - Earlier this summer, I got an unsolicited e-mail from someone with a GPS track log to a peak in the Fishing Brook Range (Private Property). I wrote back and basically said "cool, how did you get permission from the Minerva Hunt Club to get through". I got, in essence, a "I didn't, I just went early in the AM and didn't see a soul all day" :eek: There was not a hint that anything they did was wrong

I was MORTIFIED........ Perhaps blitzing peaks was fine back in the day, but with increased traffic and more "boots on the ground" so to speak, I believe PP rights are being ignored and disregarded and IMO that needs to be addressed. This is just ONE of several concerns I see.

So with all this, I (encouraged by a few others) keep my section open for the simple fact that, if people (who are interested in the peaks already) are gonna get info, then they need to GET ALL THE INFO, like private property, information on LNT, thoughtful debates about other issues like canister, flagging whatever. I would rather have more knowledgeable, thoughtful folks that bring more than just a GPS into the woods. If my site (or this one, or any) gives people more info about cautionary issues like PP, LNT, the perils of Route cutting, view creation..... whatever, then perhaps there can be a small (I fully understand my place :) ) shift in the ratio of "so-whaters" (as Eric called them) and responsible, knowledgeable hikers that will have a greater global understanding that "collectively" we must treat these areas differently.

I could by 100% wrong and I expect you'll tell me if you think I am..... (and thats okay too). Please understand though, it not driven by any "look what I can do" crap. Because quite honestly, with a GPS, it really is NOTHING these days to get to the summit of N. River other than a fun day walking in the woods. Getting there LEGALLY (w/permission) in a manner that respects not only the environment, but also maintains the ethereal integrity of the summit area is a much greater challenge. And, if I might add, gave me much more satisfaction than just reaching the summit ever did.

As for some of the other things Spencer said....... I can't agree enough and a glance at my rules #7 and #8 should prove it.


7) There will be no public posting of specific GPS data for any Adirondack backcountry location. This specifically includes tracklog data. Individual waypoint data is fine so long as multiple waypoint data is is a least .75 miles separate from each other. General verbal route description are fine, but please refrain from specific route data unless it is in the done in a non-puplic way (PM or E-mail). This rule is enacted in an specific attempt to prevent "herd path" formation along specific Adirondack bushwhack routes.

8) Adkhighpeaks.com is a strong supporter of Leave No Trace (LNT) principles and we do not condone or advocate ANY alteration to the Adirondack backcountry as it pertains to information found here. It is understood that if any information from this forum leads you into the backcountry of the park, you will travel, camp and otherwise practice responsible LNT principles when doing so. Any evidence route cutting, view improvement or other significant permanent unnatural alterations/destruction discovered to have been done as the result of information gathered here will result in a automatic lifetime ban from the site and referral (including e-mail) to the NYS DEC.

Sorry :( if this seems like grandstanding, but I think that it's important for people to understand that providing information/education in and of itself is NOT always a bad thing, so long as do so respectfully and with the understanding of the responsibilities that go with it.

Sorry if this is too long and please understand, I fully know that I do not have ANY answers these questions. I'm fully aware that I am just a schmuck that likes to hike and probably overthinks these issues WAY to much. Perhaps if I had a life :) it would help.

Neil
10-13-2005, 10:15 AM
Like I said (actually it was Bigmoose), the genie's out of the bottle. The next step in the discussion is: what to do now?

imarchant
10-13-2005, 11:06 AM
wow, some really great posts here! It really is inspiring and educational. Mavs, I believe that your posting and forums are a real service. You speak loud and clear about the importance of stewardship for the mountains and backwoods. I year or so ago I thought you were a little fanatical on the subject. ie. not posting routes, etc. The more I read about these subjects from you and the peakbagging legends, the more I see the points you are making and the importance of them. Keep it up!

mavs00
10-13-2005, 11:43 AM
The more I read about these subjects from you and the other peakbagging legends, the more I see the points you are making and the importance of them. Keep it up!

Thanks....................... But please, I must CORRECT this line "from you and the other peakbagging legends".

I do NOT nor WILL I EVER deserve mention among the Legends mentioned here on this thread or elsewhere. I have strong opinions, am vocal and freely post what I think and feel. You may even agree with some of the things I post, but that by NO means puts me in the league of some the others posting and mentioned in this thread. The mere thought makes me cringe, and does a real disservice to the accomplishments of those amazing pioneers of NE Bushwhacking. I hope and beleive that was a mistype on your part.

If you (everyone) take one thing from this thread, understand that there is a huge difference between true bushwhacking pioneers and some neophyte, frequent poster on a hiking BB, no matter how much you agree with my thoughts and feelings (which I appreciate greatly). We all may be similar in our love and passion for the these places, but any similarity between me and people like E. Schlimmer, Swanson, & D. Crispo ends there.

Sorry, I really needed to interject that............. Carry on, this is a phenomenal (and very important) debate. One that is LONG overdo in such a public way, IMO.

bill bowden
10-13-2005, 12:19 PM
In the past, the NHHH and NE 3000 footer lists were not widely disctributed because of concerns about excessive bushwhacking degrading the experience; inexperienced bushwhackers leading to more S&R activity and (my phrasing) people hiking the lists for the "wrong reasons"

For the NE 100, concern about excessive activity seems quite well-founded; although the limited numbers of people attempting the other peaks appear swamped out by befuddled cell phone users.

As for the "wrong reasons" one can have quite legitimate thoughts here. But I do wonder if my own reasons for bushwhacking might be considered as wrong, even what a "right" reason might consist of? :D

Papa Bear
10-13-2005, 12:19 PM
Very nice thread.

I hold myself to be a conservationist but also a "journalist". By that I mean not someone who works for a newspaper, but someone who writes journals. I take pride in my reports and I am pleased that many of you have found value in them

But I really write them for myself. It allows me to experience an adventure 3 (or more) times: first when I hike the hike, second when I write it down and third (and fourth, fifth, etc.) when I read it later. It's amazing when I reread something I did a few years ago how it all comes back and equally amazing how much of the details had fallen out of my working memory. In a way my reports are like (big) canisters where I can look in them and find stuff that happened on a peak long before (in this case it's what happened with me.)

Now the conflict is obvious to anyone who has read through this thread. My reports might make it too easy for someone to find a peak, choose a route, etc. and thereby contribute to the problem of overuse. I've thought about this conflict more and more over the last year or so.

I have no definitive answer, but in some ways I've changed my behavior: I never put in compass bearings, or any GPS data (although I may occasionally use a GPS and I would mention that fact in a report). In fact I wouldn't give this type of data to someone even if they asked. And I am being more and more vague about bushwhack routes. Where before (my Mendon Report for example) I might say something like "go up such-and-such road to the second left turn after the third stream crossing ...", now I might say "we went in from the southwest".

But should I "publish" my reports at all? That's a hard one. Now that I've finished a couple of lists of popular peaks and moved on to less popular ones, I will certainly be vague about routes and perhaps I won't post everything here. Maybe I will leave it at something like "Yesterday Spencer and I did the 2 Lily Bays and then drove up the Golden Road to Baxter and did Barren", and let folks ask me for details if they're interested.

In any case, I'm thinking about the right thing to do, whatever that is. Talking with hiking friends and reading things like this thread certainly helps with the process.

post'r boy
10-13-2005, 04:52 PM
i only post in trail conditions and am usually vague to the extreme as you might know from reading my report. i don't think routes and maps of routes should be put on websites. it's up to the bushwhacker to figure out his/her route in my eyes. i rarely even ask others for help with a peak,i figure just go and figure it out for myself. i have asked for some help from some folks but they usually give vague routes. (i.e.) from the cardinal points. i've yet to run into anyone out there when i'm whackin'.
boy, you really have to like whackin' to be out there to begin with. it ain't easy. :D :D :D :D :D

mavs00
10-14-2005, 09:34 AM
Got Mav to agree to let me repost his deletes. He has earned the right to contribute to this thread by word and deed.

Peakbagr

Peakbagr
10-14-2005, 10:06 AM
I'm going to give you a red square for saying that. You're the "eloquent voice" of the new generation of HH peakbaggers, and do a pretty mean job on the bushwacking end as well.

Say it ain't so, say it ain't so.

Rik
10-14-2005, 10:08 AM
Please disregard my prior postings............ I do not think I have earned the right to discuss the HH, nor will I ever :(

I think this is too bad. What gives someone the "right"? Do you have to climb a certain number of peaks? Be on one of the short lists? I think new and fresh ideas are good for the discussion. The variety of experiences on this forum is what makes it so good. I hope others don't feel like they "don't have the right". This has been one of the best threads I've read in a while.

John H Swanson
10-14-2005, 10:14 AM
i only post in trail conditions and am usually vague to the extreme as you might know from reading my report. i don't think routes and maps of routes should be put on websites. it's up to the bushwhacker to figure out his/her route in my eyes. i rarely even ask others for help with a peak,i figure just go and figure it out for myself. i have asked for some help from some folks but they usually give vague routes. (i.e.) from the cardinal points. i've yet to run into anyone out there when i'm whackin'.
boy, you really have to like whackin' to be out there to begin with. it ain't easy. :D :D :D :D :D

Intersting point, but from my experience, this action as an attempt to minimize inpact on the peaks will not succeed. Here's why: if someone is looking to climb a peak by the most easy route or should I say practical route, then the route selected will quite often be the same as one used by others. We all start from a road and often look to get close to the peak and preference existing paths or skidder routes. As long as hikers have these preferences, then nearly the same route will be used. Put a topo in front of an experience whacker and ask him/her to select the route thay would take to the summit and there will be a fairly high probability that close to the same route will be taken. Unless they are avoiding this route intentionally by choosing a different way.

Consider a micro example. You get to a large dense blowdown in the woods. It is perhaps 100 ft wide. No matter where you approach for that 100 ft wide obstacle, chances are you will pass within 5 ft of either end. Same example for a cliff band. When walking along the base of a cliff looking for a route up, odds are you will use the same route as a predessor. How else would I have found a Nalgene water bottle between Allen and McDonnell?

These obstacles small or large will repetively focus us on the same routes. Further to this point, as hikers nears the summit, they will be drawn to the center focal point.

With these few examples, paths will be formed and followed regardless of how obsure we are in describing routes.

...And while a single plant or tree may recover from impact, shallow forest duff and fragile moss can show our trace for quite some time.

Tom Rankin
10-14-2005, 10:25 AM
Now the conflict is obvious to anyone who has read through this thread. My reports might make it too easy for someone to find a peak, choose a route, etc. and thereby contribute to the problem of overuse. I've thought about this conflict more and more over the last year or so.

Personally, I do not think posting a route description makes it more likely that I will undertake a certain hike. I usually decide that I want to hike a certain peak first, and then start doing research on it afterwards.

spencer
10-14-2005, 10:50 AM
I'm not sure what I stirred up...

I just wanted to voice my concerns as I've been thinking about this stuff for a long while now. I meant not to be preachy, although I acknowledge that my viewpoint can't help but be somewhat selfish and johnny-come-lately. I think it's perfectly okay to look at ourselves with deep criticism and then think about if and how things could be different.

I think it's important that we are here discussing this stuff.

spencer

Rik
10-14-2005, 10:51 AM
It's pretty simply................ We're in this thread with people like D. Crispo, J. Swanson, and E. Schlimmer, who not only are ON these list but ARE these friggen lists. GIANTS people, and I have immense respect for them.

That said...... here I am................ maybe a couple, few dozen ADK HH B-whacks in and I spouting, we NEED to do THIS and and we NEED to do THAT..... Private Property this and cannister that....... When I re-read it a short bit ago, I said to my self, what an arrogant P****, then looked left and saw my name :eek:

Don't get me wrong, I love these places (probably unhealthily so), and I'm sure I not can even articulate the spiritual renewal and utter comfort I feel tucked away in some trees at 3480' on a plot of land that doesn't even have a name (wanna quess the range :eek:, sorry). But still, it came accross, to me (which is what counts to me) as awfully preacy. Rather than re-write every thing in new tone, with appropriete deference, I just thought it easier to NUKE EM I did not see it as that big a deal, I though many might agree with me actually.



I just read your posts as your opinion. Just as valid as anyone elses. I also have respect for the guys you listed, and the other pioneers mentioned earlier in the thread, and their input is very valuable to the discussion but part of the discussion is about what is happening now and in the future. People like you and I are going to keep climbing these peaks and it is worth talking about. Again I don't see what qualifies anyone to speak to this issue or for that matter what disqualifies someone. There is always someone that has climbed more peaks out there.

Rik
10-14-2005, 11:04 AM
Intersting point, but from my experience, this action as an attempt to minimize inpact on the peaks will not succeed. Here's why: if someone is looking to climb a peak by the most easy route or should I say practical route, then the route selected will quite often be the same as one used by others. We all start from a road and often look to get close to the peak and preference existing paths or skidder routes. As long as hikers have these preferences, then nearly the same route will be used. Put a topo in front of an experience whacker and ask him/her to select the route thay would take to the summit and there will be a fairly high probability that close to the same route will be taken. Unless they are avoiding this route intentionally by choosing a different way.

Consider a micro example. You get to a large dense blowdown in the woods. It is perhaps 100 ft wide. No matter where you approach for that 100 ft wide obstacle, chances are you will pass within 5 ft of either end. Same example for a cliff band. When walking along the base of a cliff looking for a route up, odds are you will use the same route as a predessor. How else would I have found a Nalgene water bottle between Allen and McDonnell?

These obstacles small or large will repetively focus us on the same routes. Further to this point, as hikers nears the summit, they will be drawn to the center focal point.

With these few examples, paths will be formed and followed regardless of how obsure we are in describing routes.

...And while a single plant or tree may recover from impact, shallow forest duff and fragile moss can show our trace for quite some time.

So to get the discussion back on track...

John, are you saying that it doesn't matter what info is out there or how detailed it is? It sounds like you are saying these paths are going to form regardless of what info is available or how cryptic we are in describing routes. Should, then, we be more detailed to concentrate traffic to a single route?

imarchant
10-14-2005, 11:27 AM
This thread and Dr. Wu's "Terminal List" Threads have really got me thinking a lot on these subjects. I was thinking, what about many years ago when there were no trails built. Were there arguments and discussions about the pros and cons of creating trails to the peaks? Are the peaks any the worse for the fact that there are now trails? My opionion is yes, to some degree, but I think that it is a good thing that people are able to get out and enjoy them.

I realize and respect the reverence for pristine wilderness. I also enjoy the feelings of being in a place very few others have been. That.s the catch 22 of the situation, as more people wish to enjoy such an experience they begin to degrade the very experience by doing so. Once this cycle starts there is resentment by those who wish to have the area pristine. How many people is this experience meant for? Who has the right to such and experience? It is impossible to have a answer to such a problem.

mavs00
10-14-2005, 11:52 AM
Oh no, I feel myself getting sucked back in :D


I just wanted to voice my concerns as I've been thinking about this stuff for a long while now. I meant not to be preachy, although I acknowledge that my viewpoint can't help but be somewhat selfish and johnny-come-lately. I think it's perfectly okay to look at ourselves with deep criticism and then think about if and how things could be different.


//////// ------------

You are very right and I think you voice perfectly what many of us feel inside. I re-read through this thread in it's entirety and I saw many examples of people saying, in essence, "I'm very careful in submitting public trip reports", which when you wipe that all away, simply means "HEY, I got some real concerns here." and "perhaps by being careful I've done my part, and can feel better baggin the next one" Is that enough to ease our personal concerns? Not if I read the rest of this thread correctly, it isn't.

I think that my earlier post screamed (and came) from a passionate place inside of me that really is afraid that my own actions (climbing), which I refuse to stop doing, is contributing to some of the very conditions I fear occurring on these same peaks. Talk about confliction. In my case, I thump my chest and say, "but I make it right, because have a website that "say's" your a bad boy/girl if you knock a few trees downs at the summit...". Is that enough? I don't know, I really don't

I sense alot of standing around and looking about for answers elsewhere, You know, the real answers to issues we ALL KNOW are there (or are around the corner). In my case, you all just witnessed me literally attempt to absolve myself of responsibility with a feeble - "Hey, If only climbed a mere 70, I can't possibly have the answers to these weighty issues, I better defer to the LEGENDS on this one, they'll have the answers for sure.". I mean no disrespect there, and they surely have an insight probably greater than many of us, but I just realized, they likely don't have the answers either.

In the end, the answers will collectively come from within US, ALL of us.......... and if there is one thing we can all take from this. Unless your like my mother, who hasn't set foot in the woods a day in her life, YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM, and you can only HOPE and PRAY that you can be part of the solution. These are MY thoughts on this matter, and mine alone, but I thank those of you that helped me see them clearer.

In the last 5 years on here, I'm not sure I've seen a more important topic or issues that blended both LEGEND and neophyte hikers together so nicely and by discussing it so candidly together, perhaps we've begon the process.

If we keep digging, we might even find an answer or two :)

------------ ////////

//////// ----This could all be a hippie flashback rant too ;) ------- ////////

Peakbagr
10-14-2005, 12:04 PM
What attracts me to the ADK HH is their remoteness, lack of human impact, no trails, and surprises at every turn. High rock cliffs standing right on the route you intended, acres of ferns in the middle of a sea of blowdown, moose tracks and dropping, and the beat-to-the-bone sense of accomplishment most days when we get back to the truck.

I don't think these sorts of discussions have taken place much in the past. Primarily as there was no medium to do this when the ADK high peaks were first being ascended. And because there wasn't the huge population then that had the time, money, Northway, or inclination. The fact that lists are being disseminated, and discussions like this taking place, means the time for these peaks to remain in their current state is limited.
If even 1% of the newcomers following this thread get inspired to climb them, the increase in traffic from them and their associates will be immense. There is a buzz of adventure in climbing these that the 46 no longer holds for me. But the irony is that as we speak about stewardship of the "little 54", we are attracting more attention to them.
John Swanson hit it right on the head. The "best" routes are the best routes. 9/10 experienced bushwackers will select the same way into and up these if starting from a similar direction.

mavs00
10-14-2005, 12:22 PM
There is a buzz of adventure in climbing these that the 46 no longer holds for me. But the irony is that as we speak about stewardship of the "little 54", we are attracting more attention to them.
John Swanson hit it right on the head. The "best" routes are the best routes. 9/10 experienced bushwackers will select the same way into and up these if starting from a similar direction.

If we continue to do nothing but talk............ yeah, you might be right........ It might help, but the additinal attention we've created could also create "SHAME" on all our parts too. If we cohese (is that a word), even in our thoughts and come up with something, anything, hell even a greater awareness to the sensitivities involved is a start.

Will some herd paths possibly start, or signs/cannisters ever be accepted as a way not to trash vast summit areas. Remember Stewart?????? .............. we crashed over 3 bumps, 2-3 friggin times only to decide that bump #2 was at least 5-6 feet higher than 1-2 two, never mind we killed 2-3 trees (at least) in the process. In a case like that (sorry eric) a little red tap might of saved a conifier of two...... Remember "valuable sacrifice".

Think forest fires, you might have to cut down a line of trees to save a whole forest ;).

Just more thoughts, not answers, just thoughts

Raymond
10-14-2005, 12:25 PM
I think everyone needs to take a stress tab and relax.

Susan and I were in the Catskills a couple weeks ago, hiking on trails. We encountered ten other hikers during our five hikes, nine of them on Hunter Mountain. So that was just one other person over 32 miles of trail.

We were the first people in ten days to sign in to the canister register on Big Indian, and the last person to sign in was someone who had been there three times already that month.

If hikers on popular mountains with trails are practically nonexistent, I doubt there are many bushwhacking to trailless ones. (If just one person bushwhacking to trailless ones is too many for you*, then I don't know how to assuage you. You'll just have to stay home yourself, I guess, rather than contribute to the degradation of everyone else's experience.**)

* This is just a general, nonspecific "you;" nobody in particular.

** I'm being facetious here.

Pete_Hickey
10-14-2005, 12:32 PM
One thing to remember is how powerful the net is. And how much ONE PERSON can do. I'm starting to realize the power of the net, when I see that google has stuff on ME, going back 21 years. Almost half my life on google!

Things get archived and indexed and are searchable. Copies are made as well. All it takes, is one person, posting the GPS waypoints to a route. IT is there! For everyone! There can be 10,000 people keeping quiet about something, but that one person can open it up. Given time, it will become a popular route. Not because it is good, but because it is easy.

Remember that.

And Eric. When you say the responsibility of making a mess is the person doing it, I'm not really sure you've hit on the problem. Look at the ADK 46 untrailled peaks. Look what has happened to them. It isn't the litter. It isn't the flagging. Their wilderness has been taken away.

If one person a year climbs a peak, that peak might be considered wild. If 100 a day climb it, it isn't. Where is does the white turn to gray turn to black?

What drives a person to want to share his hiking experience with another? We don't necessarily do this with other things we enjoy.

dr_wu002
10-14-2005, 12:48 PM
One thing to remember is how powerful the net is. And how much ONE PERSON can do.



So bushwhacking will only remain ok but only if few do it, herd paths are unsound pathways and trails, if built correctly, which is something hard to come by in the Northeast, are generally a good idea, but they do make wild land less wild and open up the chances for overuse and abuse.


The fact that lists are being disseminated, and discussions like this taking place, means the time for these peaks to remain in their current state is limited.


Once this cycle starts there is resentment by those who wish to have the area pristine. How many people is this experience meant for? Who has the right to such and experience? It is impossible to have a answer to such a problem.


I meant not to be preachy, although I acknowledge that my viewpoint can't help but be somewhat selfish and johnny-come-lately. I think it's perfectly okay to look at ourselves with deep criticism and then think about if and how things could be different.


boy, you really have to like whackin' to be out there to begin with. it ain't easy. :D :D :D :D :D


But should I "publish" my reports at all?


But it's true the best way to protect the woods we love is never to speak of them.

This is one of the best threads of 2005 on VFTT. Nice to see the civil discourse as well.

People here have made some excellent arguments. Itís nice to see some of the Ďexpertsí drawn out as well as well as the insightful posts by everyone posting here. However, lots of statements Ė are there solutions? What are possible outcomes for 10, 20 years from now?

Will people ever, in abundance, ever like bushwhacking enough or have the time, dedication & perseverance for the 451 or the 770 (hell, what about the NE US 2Kís!? :eek: ) that itíll mean much for the non-hundred highest peaks? Are the 100 Highest all destined to have trails? It seems like ~50 peaks is a good list for people to accomplish in a year. ~100 peaks may be the limit for most people as many of us also like to revisit our favorites. That leaves several 100 3Kís on the bottom of the list as well as 4Kís with insufficient col (<200í ie. NW Hancock, SW Twin). Will these peaks (lower peaks on various 3K lists) see dramatically increased travel? I still donít think so. But the lower 50 on the various 100 highest lists will demand solutions to various use/erosion problems. Iíd like to see what people have to say about solutions though.

-Dr. Wu

John H Swanson
10-14-2005, 12:52 PM
So to get the discussion back on track...

John, are you saying that it doesn't matter what info is out there or how detailed it is? It sounds like you are saying these paths are going to form regardless of what info is available or how cryptic we are in describing routes. Should, then, we be more detailed to concentrate traffic to a single route?

Tough call. Once the masses "find" an area (with internet information availability aka advertizing) then impact is inevitible. Once impact occurs then, perhaps a path or trail would save some of the wilderness from destruction.

Of course I also think that the best thing is to stay out completely. These words from my fingers is like the pot calling the kettle black. But it's true the best way to protect the woods we love is never to speak of them. Many outdoor magazine authors know this. Publish and it will be ruined. The folks out west call the book "the 100 best hikes in the Cascades" "the 100 ruined hikes."

When this subject comes up, I ask the question "If you knew an area that was pure wilderness, untouched by human, Would you go there?" Most of the time I ask this question I get a response, yes. All those people are drawn to the unspoiled unvisited area and that draw is what ruins it.

Neil
10-14-2005, 12:58 PM
Putting a map in front of several people and comparing their proposed routes is a fascinating idea (and could easily be done on-line). I bet we'd see widely varied route proposals on some mtns. and fairly similar ones on others.

On a recent trip up Avalanche Mtn. in the ADK's which sees a fair number of hikers for a trailless HH there was no sign of a trail except for an old tote road we followed for about 20 mins. At the top was a very faint trail over the last 50 feet. I know that at least 15 people have done it this year based on responses to my TR. It turns out we all went by completely different routes both up and down.
OTOH between Saddleback and Jay, descending Saddleback it was obvious which way previous people had detoured the cliffs we encountered. A peak to peak route increases the odds of everyboby following the same basic line I'm sure. In spite of that, once we cleared the cliffs we never saw any signs of previous travellers' passage.
The point is that when it is obvious which is the line of least resistance a trail will form. OTOH a mountain is a lot of real estate. If the relatively few people who hike them make up their own routes then these mountains can be enjoyed and maintained indefinitely in the state that makes them so attractive. Sometimes a trained eye can pick up the faintest of a whisper of a trail. Insted of following it instinctively maybe it should be studiously avoided.

I'm starting to wonder if there shouldn't be some sort of a "bushwacker/peakbagger suggested code" formulated so that people would be more sensitive to these issues. When I did my first true ADK bushwhack none of these questions ever crossed my mind. It's my exposure via the net that has raised my awareness. It's fairly simple isn't it? ie no one wants herd trails to form on those mtns. that are currently trailless. No view improvements or flagging (duh!) either.

Pete_Hickey
10-14-2005, 01:11 PM
This brings to mind a dilemna we (ADK, 46ers, DEC) are currently facing. It illustrates something that fits in here.

There is a herd path from Gray to Marcy. We (46ers, ADK, summit stewards) scouted it to try to find the best route over the alpine area. Our conclusion was that there was no best path. Our recomendation (so far) is that we do not recoment or encourage this route.

However, we KNOW that people will not follow our recomendation. EVen though it is not much longer to descend gray, then climb Marcy, it SEEMS a lot faster to cut straight across.

So, we let people continue, and let these multiple paths through the vegetation continue? Or do we mark the prefered path, to keep the destruction to one area.

Like I said, our preference would be that people do not take this route, but we know that will not work. Google on "Marcy to Gray".

Guy Waterman covers this fairly well in one of his chapters in Backwoods Ethics"

Also a thought on what will happen in the future. Just look at the past. And realize now, that technology is accelerating the time things have taken.

Has anyone ever had a remote untrailed unpopular peak they enjoyed.. years ago.. then found a path/trail cut? It is sad. Will your kids find such a peak? Will their kids? At least there are memories.

mavs00
10-14-2005, 01:33 PM
Tough call. Once the masses "find" an area (with internet information availability aka advertising) then impact is inevitable. Once impact occurs then, perhaps a path or trail would save some of the wilderness from destruction.

Of course I also think that the best thing is to stay out completely. These words from my fingers is like the pot calling the kettle black. But it's true the best way to protect the woods we love is never to speak of them. Many outdoor magazine authors know this. Publish and it will be ruined. The folks out west call the book "the 100 best hikes in the Cascades" "the 100 ruined hikes."

When this subject comes up, I ask the question "If you knew an area that was pure wilderness, untouched by human, Would you go there?" Most of the time I ask this question I get a response, yes. All those people are drawn to the unspoiled unvisited area and that draw is what ruins it.

Very true, but in the case of the HH......... It's my understanding It was put in the back of the ADK book, by Tony Goodwin (who I hope weighs in), for the express purpose taking boots off some mountains and placing them on others in order to spread out the devastating impact caused by overuse of first one. Thus creating/publishing one list in an effort to improve the another list.

Hiking registration has gone down in the last few years in the high peaks. WHY???? This may mean nothing, but..... In my case, Ive hike 23 peaks this year, 2 high peaks and 21 HH (including 16 bushwhacks). This year I've kinda focused on my current passion, but be assured, had I not been busy hiking LPP and TR, I would have been hiking something?? (say Seymour and Couch). So, in one one respect, my boots on LPP (which nature has long reclaimed), DID have a positive impact SOMEWHERE, albeit a small one.

I wonder if the solution is so easy that we just say, well "ABANDON SHIP" on numbers 1-46, so long as #47-100 are saved....... Are we willing to do that?

We can agree that the magical feeling of accomplishment and wildness are deep set and ingrained on some of the lower peaks, but that doesn't mean that pure eye-poetry that is the summit of Basin, Haystack et all, are not a very close second. After all, thats where most of us start. It was those spots that put me on the path of my current thinking after all. So perhaps next weeks hike up ST#5 will in some way spare one of the greater peaks my sizable 195# frame beating up on it for the day. I'm going hiking, and I'll be hiking SOMETHING. If it's not one, it's the other. Which choice is better?

Just thoughts......

Papa Bear
10-14-2005, 01:47 PM
The Unnamed Lake
- Frederick George Scott (1861-1944)

It sleeps among the thousand hills
Where no man ever trod,
And only nature's music fills
The silences of God.

Great mountains tower above its shore,
Green rushes fringe its brim,
And o're its breast for evermore
The wanton breezes skim.

Dark clouds that intercept the sun
Go there in Spring to weep,
And there, when Autumn days are done,
White mists lie down to sleep.

Sunrise and sunset crown with gold
The peaks of ageless stone,
Where winds have thundered from of old
And storms have set their throne.

No echoes of the world afar
Disturb it night or day,
The sun and shadow, moon and star
Pass and repass for aye.

'Twas in the grey of early dawn,
When first the lake we spied,
And fragments of a cloud were drawn
Half down the mountain side.

Along the shore a heron flew,
And from a speck on high,
That hovered in the deepening blue,
We heard the fish-hawk's cry.

Among the cloud-capt solitudes,
No sound the silence broke,
Save when, in whispers down the woods,
The guardian mountains spoke.

Through tangled brush and dewy brake,
Returning whence we came,
We passed in silence, and the lake
We left without a name.

blacklab2020
10-14-2005, 02:17 PM
A very humbling thread.

I came in late on it, and am taken aback how most of my thoughts and feelings about these peaks have been shared through the words of others that came before me.

Excellent.

Pete_Hickey
10-14-2005, 02:53 PM
and placing them on others in order to spread out the devastating impact caused by overuse of first one. .......

So, in one one respect, my boots on LPP (which nature has long reclaimed), DID have a positive impact SOMEWHERE, albeit a small one.

Unless you buy into the concept of 'sacrificial areas' (DEC does not).

Pave a road up Whiteface, and let it 'die' to keep the traffic out of other areas. Allow all kinds of camping at Marcy Dam. so that people won't be going to other places.

A different philosophy.

post'r boy
10-14-2005, 05:06 PM
Intersting point, but from my experience, this action as an attempt to minimize inpact on the peaks will not succeed. Here's why: if someone is looking to climb a peak by the most easy route or should I say practical route, then the route selected will quite often be the same as one used by others. We all start from a road and often look to get close to the peak and preference existing paths or skidder routes. As long as hikers have these preferences, then nearly the same route will be used. Put a topo in front of an experience whacker and ask him/her to select the route thay would take to the summit and there will be a fairly high probability that close to the same route will be taken. Unless they are avoiding this route intentionally by choosing a different way.

Consider a micro example. You get to a large dense blowdown in the woods. It is perhaps 100 ft wide. No matter where you approach for that 100 ft wide obstacle, chances are you will pass within 5 ft of either end. Same example for a cliff band. When walking along the base of a cliff looking for a route up, odds are you will use the same route as a predessor. How else would I have found a Nalgene water bottle between Allen and McDonnell?

These obstacles small or large will repetively focus us on the same routes. Further to this point, as hikers nears the summit, they will be drawn to the center focal point.

With these few examples, paths will be formed and followed regardless of how obsure we are in describing routes.

...And while a single plant or tree may recover from impact, shallow forest duff and fragile moss can show our trace for quite some time.

nor will passing out the list to other people protect these "sacred peaks". what percentage of people who read any of this will actually set out and whack these peaks, find the same route,damage the same ground,and how long would you guess that there will be no more wilderness on any of these peaks. by simply talking about this subject on this thread what do you think the impact will be for future generations? and do "any" of us belong on these mountains?? what do you think the moose think when they smell your scent on the branches you brush up against?
and your point is......???????
i very kind man offered me the 770 list through this website,actually a man who made the list. i accepted.
what do you suggest i do with it? :D :D :D :D
99.9% of my post's you'd be hard pressed to even find which way i went in from.
sample post
mountain name and trail= xyz mountain,no trail
special required equipment= human body + (whom ever i whacked it with)
comments= nice whack with x y and z.
think you could find the way i took up this trailless peak?? :D :D :D
all the best!! neighbor
p.s. one last question,
so,ultimately who is responsible for the demise of these peaks,the ones who have hiked them all and made a list, that inevitably gets passed around, or the ones that recieve the list and find it very interesting to go there?
by simply making the list sets a ball rolling. i personally am not trying to place blame on anyone who makes lists,hikes mountains,and the like. maybe we should all hike the mountains we see out there and never say a word about it.
how does anyone find out about anything without conversation. we've all been to places and thought what a beautiful place,glad i got here before the crowd did. then we all go home and talk about how we found this beautiful place and had it all to ourselves! what is spoiled,and what isn't spoiled??? when i get there all alone it's already spoiled,cause i'm there, wild no more,a human has been there. so who is anyone to say when and how much any place should be visited? i get the jist of everything said on this thread so far, here's a list of mountains that i've hiked, take it,hike it and don't tell anyone about the wonderful time you had. has anyone here been to a forgien country??? did you think it was beautiful? did you go there because it "wasn't touristy"? have you climbed the 7 summits" the 14er's? hiked any long distance trails? enjoyed a quiet beach? snorkeled a remote reef? how many of you have a cell phone, sat. dish,enjoy watching mountaineering documentries.then you're all part of a problem, it's called being human.:D :eek:
in posting anything about my journey to these peaks, i too wondered if i should post a report,asked around and got a sure why not from people in these bushwhacking circles. someone even said that those folks might like to here about my journey,a kind of revisiting of the peak for them,and seeing that the person they offered help to is actually hiking the peaks, not just sitting on the list.anyway, i'll be out there on all the mystery peaks of the world,and please.... don't interupt my solitude by showing up when i'm there...O.K.? :)

Dr. Dasypodidae
10-14-2005, 08:40 PM
John Swanson noted: The folks out west call the book "the 100 best hikes in the Cascades" "the 100 ruined hikes." Ditto in the rock climbing realm, where "50 Most Classic Climbs in North America" became "50 most Crowded Climbs..." If it is any indication for whackin', the membership in the Highpointers Club rocketed upwards for a few years after its foray onto the WWW, but I believe membership has leveled off the past couple of years.

bigmoose
10-14-2005, 08:57 PM
You bring up an interesting point, Post'r. As it is, you and I and several others are making entries in the "Trail Conditions" section about hikes in which there are no trails!!

Post'r gives no information about his route, so his entries don't qualify as "trail conditions." And, as such, he's no pied piper of peakbagging. So what's the harm of trumpeting another successful bushwack if it doesn't lead to successive bushwacks over the same route? No harm at all? Or is this moot, as "trail conditions" isn't part of the entry at all?

On occasion I've posted trail conditions up to the disembark point of the bushwack, then vague hints about the trailless continuation to the peak. Am I encouraging others to follow in my steps? Is Post'r?

With the profusion of discussion over 3k lists, hundred highest lists, sharing of tracklogs over the internet, and the perceived impending loss of wilderness on these heretofore seldom visited peaks, refraining from posting bushwacks as trail conditions - whether or not routes are disclosed - might result in others finding their own peaks and hike them their own way.

In any event, I think I'm done entering bushwacks under "trail conditions."
You may find me on occasion in "trip reports."
jt

MarkJ
10-14-2005, 10:09 PM
Most of the New England 3krs we wack were clearcut for lumber back in the day or burnt by a forest fire....it's all come back lookin' good..wack-wise ,you come across the same old thing ,over and over,Moose and deer paths along all 3k ridges;leading to the highpoints where we wack.We,as the visitors to these trailless peaks generally follow the animal paths.I see more damage from weather and natural progression done on these remote summits ,than human intervention.Wackers I know leave no trace of their hike up there except the jar sign in........MJ

Pete_Hickey
10-15-2005, 06:14 AM
Most of the New England 3krs we wack were clearcut for lumber back in the day or burnt by a forest fire....it's all come back lookin' good.
Recovery Time. Given sufficient time, anything will come back.


Wackers I know leave no trace of their hike up there except the jar sign in.
Not exactly true. And recovery time comes into play here. You do leave a trace. You compact the soil, break a few branches, etc. No sweat. The place wil recover from this quickly.... unless someone else comes along inflicting the same kind of 'damage' before the recovery time has elapsed.

Again, my analogy. Walk across a grass field. You've left no trace, right? Then go to some kind of campus, where everyone takes shortcuts across a grass field, and a path has been worn. Each one 'left no trace', but collectively, they left one heck of a trace. Similar in the woods. It's the numbers.

People will say that in the forest, everyone will take different routes. This isn't exactly true, either. At least their paths are not random. Consider this: You are in a certain place, and want to get 50 feet ahead. You choose a route: which tree to go around, under, etc. Why did you choose that route? Because it looked easiest or interesting. Now, if you choose that route, others will most likely do the same. A bit of a path develops. As a bit of a path develops. In time, there are a bunch of little paths, and they gradually get connected.

This is how herd paths in the Adirondacks developped. Not from someone marking or laying out a route (there are exceptions). Given enough people, IT DOES HAPPEN.

It's the numbers.

post'r boy
10-15-2005, 07:16 AM
One thing to remember is how powerful the net is. And how much ONE PERSON can do. I'm starting to realize the power of the net, when I see that google has stuff on ME, going back 21 years. Almost half my life on google!

Things get archived and indexed and are searchable. Copies are made as well. All it takes, is one person, posting the GPS waypoints to a route. IT is there! For everyone! There can be 10,000 people keeping quiet about something, but that one person can open it up. Given time, it will become a popular route. Not because it is good, but because it is easy.

Remember that.

And Eric. When you say the responsibility of making a mess is the person doing it, I'm not really sure you've hit on the problem. Look at the ADK 46 untrailled peaks. Look what has happened to them. It isn't the litter. It isn't the flagging. Their wilderness has been taken away.

If one person a year climbs a peak, that peak might be considered wild. If 100 a day climb it, it isn't. Where is does the white turn to gray turn to black?

What drives a person to want to share his hiking experience with another? We don't necessarily do this with other things we enjoy.
google new england 3k summits. should we stop talking now? should this thread be erased? it got 5 stars and great reviews from members on this site.
:eek: :confused:

mavs00
10-15-2005, 07:23 AM
This is how herd paths in the Adirondacks developed. Not from someone marking or laying out a route (there are exceptions). Given enough people, IT DOES HAPPEN.

It's the numbers.

Your points are reasoned and well taken. I also agree that it not only DOES HAPPEN, but it IS HAPPENING right now. But, what do WE DO about it is the real question. You cannot unring a bell and I do not believe that we'll all just say, "wow, this is a problem, we better stop whacking". So the question remains......... What can be done?

Most of us are collectively unwilling to completely abandon this bad habit of ours that has us bushwhacking to remote points/summits (be it part of some obscure list, or because you promised yourself "you will whack til you die" ;) ). The barn door is now open. So answers like "Stop publishing lists, don't form clubs, don't put a canister there or don't publish BW routes on VFTT" are really NOT PRACTICAL SOLUTIONS because (IMO) they aim at the fallacy that these peaks are done simple to check them off lists. IMO, This activity provides many of us with spiritual rejuvenation, or scratches an "adventurers" itch, or perhaps it just soothes the primeval wandering human spirit inside some of us that we no longer feel as strongly on trailed peaks. Lists may focus us and point the way, but they do not CAUSE us to engage in this activity, not for long anyway.

So if most of us are unwilling to stop, the question becomes..... What can we do to "LIMIT" the impact that our participation in this activity causes so that the integrity and spirit of why we do it in the first place isn't taken away from us BECAUSE we do it. I believe there is a balance, SOMEWHERE in there.

I also agree, it's not a huge issue right now (as some have said) because there may only be a handful (or less) hitting most of these places each year anyway and it'll take much more traffic before "real" herd paths become an issue. Thats true, and untrue at the same time. I see these issues partially cropping up NOW. It's totally true that on almost every b-whack I've done this summer, I saw almost NO TRACES (or only occasional ones) all the way up until I got within 25-50' (or more) of the actual summit. At about that point, pick up a little whisper of a very subtle path to a little "unnatural" clearing (only a few feet in some cases) that represents the summit. Perhaps there is a jar, or a little piece flagging there, but you KNOW, you ain't the first one here. As it stands, for the ADK HH whacks (I've been on anyway) you get pure b-whack delights right up til you get close to the summit, than you hit the inevitable (short) path to the "human zone", and you'll remain there until to leave the summit and re-enter the "forest" again to the , you might even crash around a bit "just in case" there is a view while in the "human zone" (thus extending it). You can take the flagging down, and you can bring the jar/canister down, but that alone will likely NOT erase this summit "human zone" nor the short path to get there.

Next year, when the next dozen that climb this peak they will likely extend this summit "human zone" from 25 feet to say 40 feet as those next hikers might recognize it faster (due to last years couple boots) and hit the scent of the path a little sooner........ Again, no big deal in and of itself/ After all, there is still alot of b-whack joy on the peak to get your fill. Eventually, as pete says, people can extend that summit "human zone" all the way back to a trail or where you parked your car in the form of a continuous herd path. This, I guess, is what happened after YEARS and YEARS on the trailless 46. So it's not "some theory", it's a when thing, not an if thing.

The problems magnify when someone brings a "sven saw" (or whatever it's called) and says "hey, if we just nip the top of that tree and this tree here, we'll get a tiny, unobtrusive (but REAL) little profile view of Mt. Huge. Just a little one" (might only be as innocent as pushing over a dead tree). Next guy comes along and say's "Ohhhhh, nifty little view, lets just push this other tree out of the way and we'll get both Mt. HUGE and HUGER in the picture. So on and so forth. The "human zone" expands.

My whole point is, none us us WANTS (and some even take great pains not to) cause "individual" harm, but we all might accidently cause "collective" harm along the way. We're not willing to stop apparently, so lets look to the reality of the situation and start our search for solutions there, rather than the fallacy of the situation and the pretend solutions can be found there (i.e. maybe if we pretend the list isn't there, or we remove every jar or piece of flagging, etc.... the human zone and the little path leading to em will all go away).

I don't know if this even make sense. I'm just typing at this point :D

Peakbagr
10-15-2005, 08:13 AM
The last post is right on the money. Further reinforced by JS's observation about the little paths that form around cliff faces, natural gullies, and open areas around blowdown.
Tim and others are correct when they observe the "genie being out of the bottle" on the ADK HH as the interest in these mountains is accelerating at a very quick pace.

We are clearly at a threshold and its important that understand that hikers are going to walk thru it. Do we observe or help direct?

Pete_Hickey
10-15-2005, 08:31 AM
So the question remains......... What can be done?
The first step, is to realize the consequence of our actions. We are not alone in this world. Realize, that 'chatting' on the Internet, is not the same as talking to a few friends around a campfite.


This, I guess, is what happened after YEARS and YEARS on the trailless 46.
Yes, but things are happening FASTER now. Technology, from GoreTex to GPS, is allowing people to do things more easily than in the past. Information travels fast. What was YEARS and YEARS, will just be years.

I remember, several years ago, the "bit-bit man" posted something about the Allen (winter) trail being broken. That weekend, there were 19 cars at the Allen trailhead. Another time, while staying/working with the caretaker at Johns Brook, he said to me. "Something strange is going on. In the past two weeks, I've met dozens of people climbing xxxxx slide. I don'T know why it suddenly became so popular. It had been posted on the net (here).

No, I don't use these as examples of damage, trace-leaving, but as examples of how fast the posting of something can have an effect. Twenty years ago, it took YEARS for word of mouth to spread things around.

Realizing the consequences of what you do is important. Back in the 70's we didn't, and we screwed up. Now, we are more aware. At least some of us.


"hey, if we just nip the top of that tree and this tree here, we'll get a tiny (but cool) little profile view
Not here, but someday, remind me to start a 'Historic views' thread.

slamdog
10-15-2005, 08:31 AM
This is something that I have not put a lot of thought into, but it causes me to step back and ponder many good points that have been brought up here. Ward and I have been working on (and recently completed) our adk46. We have been in constant awe of the trailwork doen by the crews. We had made the decision, that once we were done with our first "list" that it would be time to give back to the trails that have taken such good care of us. Although Ward and I are booked into camp until December 5th, we're ready to start working on our "work patches" that Pete Hickey mentioned. In fact while we were ascending Cliff last weekend, we said we were coming back with axes and saws to clean things up. As Ward is up at camp this weekend and away from the computer, I would like to also volunteer him to move the Uphill Brook privy. We've moved the the one at camp a few times, so he has practice!

So Pete, anytime after December 5th we'll take you up on the work offer. Just let us know. slamdog/Lance

post'r boy
10-15-2005, 08:33 AM
The last post is right on the money. Further reinforced by JS's observation about the little paths that form around cliff faces, natural gullies, and open areas around blowdown.
Tim and others are correct when they observe the "genie being out of the bottle" on the ADK HH as the interest in these mountains is accelerating at a very quick pace.

We are clearly at a threshold and its important that understand that hikers are going to walk thru it. Do we observe or help direct?
i will help take a definate action to help reduce travel to these peaks.
my "list" is as follows! :)
#1 i will no longer post trail conditions on the web.
#2 i will abandon my idea of doing the 770 x 12 :D
#3 i will post no "completion of any list" hikes anywhere on the web.(i always thought this was a silly idea anyway)
#4 i'm looking into buying 2 moose hoofs from a hunter and will figure out how to attach them to my sneakers. :eek:
#5 i always thought posting reports to bushwhack peaks in winter was bad. it's way to easy to follow someone elses broken route thus creating more damage in the same areas.
#6 i won't start a hiking website in my lifetime!
#7 i won't move north to be away from the inner city,i'll just put up with all the noise!
#8 list? what list? i'm lost!! please don't follow me,i have no idea where i am!! ;)
#9 even though i get seasick in the shower,i'm currently looking for swimming lists of the world. (less impact)
#10 will spend the rest of my life trying to invent a hovercraft whackin' hoof!! ;)
#11 i will refuse to go to "any" gatherings in the future(not that i went to them anyway),instead i will seek a life of solitude in the basement of my apartment!!
#12 i will propose to the next administration a national "stay the hell out of the woods week"! ;)

Neil
10-15-2005, 08:51 AM
Everybody seems to be in agreement on:
-herd trail formation on trailless peaks is undesirable.
-herd trails can form quickly and easily
-increasing numbers of people are doing the trailless peaks heightening the risk of trail formation
-internet is playing a role in publicizing these peaks and is partly (greatly?)responsible for the increase.
-the once trailless ADK 46er peaks are an example of what can happen to the now trailless peaks.

Whither now? One can attempt a passive effort. Ie. remain silent about one's own trips. The way things are now it looks like an active (proactive) effort is required. If the net is opening these areas up then it is an obvious medium for their preservation. I'm sure the idea of some sort of an internet based HH organization makes some people cringe (writhe in anger?). However an official,structured entity has a much better chance of influencing the course of events, contributing to the updating and creation of UMP's etc. than do a few posters on a forum.

The big question, as alluded to by Pete Hickey, is: would such an organization preserve the pristine nature of the Kilburns and Sawtooths or help ruin them through increased exposure?

mavs00
10-15-2005, 09:17 AM
Everybody seems to be in agreement on:
-herd trail formation on trailless peaks is undesirable.
-herd trails can form quickly and easily
-increasing numbers of people are doing the trailless peaks heightening the risk of trail formation
-internet is playing a role in publicizing these peaks and is partly (greatly?)responsible for the increase.
-the once trailless ADK 46er peaks are an example of what can happen to the now trailless peaks.

Whither now? One can attempt a passive effort. Ie. remain silent about one's own trips. The way things are now it looks like an active (proactive) effort is required. If the net is opening these areas up then it is an obvious medium for their preservation. I'm sure the idea of some sort of an internet based HH organization makes some people cringe (writhe in anger?). However an official,structured entity has a much better chance of influencing the course of events, contributing to the updating and creation of UMP's etc. than do a few posters on a forum.

The big question, as alluded to by Pete Hickey, is: would such an organization preserve the pristine nature of the Kilburns and Sawtooths or help ruin them through increased exposure?

Interesting.................... Do you mean like an Advocacy group?

Club to me pulls in some negative connotations. I think Erik is right to an extent........ Does the world really need a ADK HH / NE 770 club or any other club that forces you to stand in 100 / 770 different spots on the planet in order to "have a say" in things........ Hell if I want that, I'll geocache, at least I'll get cool little trinkets too :D. Don't get me wrong, I certainly think that anyone that achieves such an incredible feat, should be honored and recognized appropriately......... But, it really doesn't imply extra care or a willingness confront the hard issue facing us here..........

EX... I know someone that has climbed 95 of the HH and for various reasons will never make it to 100. Does that not mean that she, in her heart, is not every bit the HH finisher, steward and advocate of these places as those that climbed the other 5. While I think climbing them imparts the love and passion that fuels the desire to help, it by no means mean you don't "get it" before, at or after you climb the last peak.

Neil, look in the mirror, you yourself attained the Spirit behind the 46ers, long before last month............. right? (strictly my opinion). Did you really need to soil :eek: the last few peaks with your feet to get to this point of "caring". Then again, I know a couple that are working on their 2nd-3rd rounds and still ain't there yet and perhaps NEVER will be. :rolleyes:

So by club, you mean, group of advocates that will first and foremost be stewards and fierce loyalists to a given set of peaks (not to the ppl who climb them), Interesting concept I suppose.......... But, if you mean..... I'll go stand there, take a picture, get me a nifty patch, YIPPIEEEEE :rolleyes: ....... I'm not sure that would help that much, and I'd likely not be real interest (might even fight it actually) ... My thoughts anyway.

/////----- Another thought on HUMAN ZONES on remote peaks -----/////

Bushwhackers I know USE em'. Earlier this summer, on N. River, a remote peak thats rarely climbed, even by whackers (warning - PRIVATE PROPERTY ISSUE exist on it). Its a double hump peak meaning there are two lumps within the final contour line separated by a 15'-20' dip and maybe 75'. Both are maybe within 3-5 feet in elevation.

As we reached the first............ as experienced whackers (not me so much, but my partners, Bushwhacker and the peak twins - bagr & _bgr :cool: ) all knew at once, by the obvious lack of a "human zone" on bump #1, we wern't there yet. We headed over to bump #2 and immediately found our "human zone" and our true summit. Remember, you can count the annual summiters of this puppy on 1 hand, or 2 at most, and there might as well have been a sign there, it was obvious enough.

Granted, not a whisper till you were in it, but it was there. OTOH - Avalanche Mt (climbed more often but still pure whacking) you know your close as you get within 100 feet, by the subtle path pointing the way.

Neil
10-15-2005, 09:48 AM
I don't think a person has to ever have set foot in the Adirondacks to become a member of the ADK Mountain club. By the same token I don't think having to climb all 100 in a hypothetical HH advocacy group should be a pre-requisite for membership. That could exclude many potentially valuable participants.
Preservation, ecology, trees and birds, personal fortitude, respect, humility and legislation are all words that would fit in a statement of purpose.

Note that I'm only thinking out loud here as if we were all on a hike together: Personal glorification, speed records and such would be discouraged. The spiritual nature of hiking wilderness such as the HH precludes that sort of stuff anyhow. Obviously, when someone does finish, backslapping and congrats are normal. In the group I'm thinking about when you congratulate someone on such a life affirming experience you are also indirectly congratulating yourself for being a part of it all and getting it....A trip report would be more of a sharing your experience with brethren than anything else. For ex. Bigmoose and AlG posted on your forum wonderful TR's that had very spiritual rings to them. Their experience has to a certain extent become mine.

And so on. Over.

carole
10-15-2005, 10:16 AM
I enjoy reading the thoughts presented here...but why do I keep having visions of Cabbage Patch Dolls? :eek:

Pete_Hickey
10-15-2005, 10:31 AM
Simply put, the Adirondack Forty-Sixers are not a conservation club. They are a peakbagging club. They encourage people to hike specific peaks and in return the hikers will receive rewards
In the '70s, there was debate, discussions about disolving the 46ers. The argument that kept the club together was, "People will climb whether there is a club or not (look at all the other 'lists' out there, even in the west.. CO 14ers, etc.)" By maintaining the 46ers, and encouraging them to write as they start their climbs, we will get a hold of them early, and educate them." We won't stop the impact, but we will at least lessen it.


I applaud Pete Hickey and anyone else for getting out there to try to reverse the tide. But this causeway of work will never be enough to stop the tidalwave of impact.
I'm just content to slow things down.


how many have gotten a reward patch for putting in 46, 146 or 346 hours of trail work (myself not included, though I have built and maintained trails for the past seven years)? 10? 20? 40?
Much better than you think. 40 have received the 346 hour award, 35 have received 146 (numbers are NOT reversed) 146 (really) have received 46 hour. THis year, we have put in 1,422 man-hours, with over 100 different volunteers.


Perhaps they should follow what one forest ranger suggested: you get the patch and your name listed after (1) you climb the 46 peaks and (2) you put in 46 hours of trail work in the high peaks with any trail organization (ADK, Forty-Sixers, SCA, ATIS or DEC). Not a bad idea.
This has been seriously discussed at the board. I for one, am against it. At first I thought it was great, until I looked at my work crew one day. I had a team with me that enjoyed what they were doing, and were there because they wanted to be. I don'T want to be leading in people who are only doing it because they 'have' to.... Well, maybe getting them to move privys would be fun...

blacklab2020
10-15-2005, 10:49 AM
I don'T want to be leading in people who are only doing it because they 'have' to.... Well, maybe getting them to move privys would be fun...

Responsibility is not always fun, everyone out there hiking should be involved... maybe involvement teaches some people to appreciate the outdoors/trailwork more and gives them a chance to learn more about their impact.

bigmoose
10-15-2005, 10:50 AM
Back to this post's beginnings: canisters!
I had a thought. Maybe those jars atop the 3ks can help alleviate the apparent problem of too much information/too much internet regarding trip reports, trail conditions and the like.
For many of us, posting a successful climb is a way of trumpeting the accomplishment more than sharing information about muddy trails, blowdown, or broken bridges. How else to let everyone know what you've bagged? If you climb Brown Pond Peak solo, how would anyone ever know without an internet outlet to post upon??
This brings us back to the canisters. Simple little jars or tubes, innocuous really, serving to define the highest point of a peak. But also an affirmation for those signing in that they reached their goal. Whether or not anyone every reads their entry, it's been posted. But on paper instead of electronically. Hey, that system worked pretty well in the not-so-distant past. I've enjoyed seeing Steve Smith, Mike Dickerman, John Swanson, Dennis Crispo and other legendary names in some of those cans. I didn't read about their climbs on the internet.
Canisters are frowned upon in the Adks it seems, but most survive in New England, although the peanut butter jars' tops are rusting away. Would it make sense to encourage canisters and their maintenace in the hope it would obviate electronic posting of trips to those peaks?
Just a thought....
jt

mavs00
10-15-2005, 11:44 AM
Cabbage Patch Dolls?

Hmmmmmmmm. Not sure what that means.....


The big question, as alluded to by Pete Hickey, is: would such an organization preserve the pristine nature of the Kilburns and Sawtooths or help ruin them through increased exposure?

Oh yeah................. I can feel the pristine nature -SCREAMING- (http://www.adkbushwacks.com/images/sawtooth%202/IMG_0659.JPG) *** as I -GAZE- (http://www.adkbushwacks.com/images/sawtooth%202/IMG_0658.JPG) *** in wonder at what nature has bestowed me.................

Don't get me wrong, I'm told it's really no picnic to get there, and not a NOVICE b-whack, but here it is, the pristine nature of "THE HUMAN ZONE" that will reward your many hours of misery. We may have moved past the "Shhhhhhhh... we need to preserve the "untrammeled nature" of this area" point is all I'm saying.

Don't get me wrong, I personally can see value of signs or cannisters, I really can (and not really for any sentimental reasons). For me they, at very least, tell me that I can stop fighting (and damaging) the carnivious borreal conifers & pushing stuff over because I made it. :cool: .

The second one though, even with my limited bushwhacking skills, I understand that when I reach the summit of a thickly vegitated borreal peak in the most rugged of Adirondack areas, and find the trees have magically and completly parted for my perfectly framed view of the Sewards......... Something deceidedly UNNATURAL is occuring (look very closely at the dead tree in the very forefront center of that photo) :( .

Hey, maybe we do deserve a view (and I'm not kidding)............ It is after all just a couple trees in a sea of millions, and you DO have to work very hard to get there. That's really not my point. The real issue for me is, with nobody steering the ship............ 1-2 other people just decided that the rest did "in fact" want a view, and by remaining silent (IMO) I wonder do we offer tacit approval when they decide to do so on the next one too?

I wonder if I'm beating a dead horse now too, I just hate to see the important discussion disappear.

*** - Those pics were taken by a close friend, and I understand that posting them here might make some uncomfortable that people will miss my point and be inspired to see it for themselves, continuing the spiral. Or.............. if you just want me to shut up already...... I will understand, just PM me

Peakbagr
10-15-2005, 12:04 PM
Here's a quote from Kevin Rooney, a wise VFTT member, who gave me permission to quote from another thread:

"I think people are missing the larger point about pursuing any goal, and some of you are defensive about 'pursuing lists'. The issue isn't whether a particular goal is 'worthy', whether the goal be a list, a degree, a career, a whatever - only you can determine what is 'worthy' - never give up your power and let ANYONE determine what is 'worthy' on your behalf."

...and very appropos to this thread.

ps Tim, don't shut up...Keep the good posts coming

Greg
10-15-2005, 01:20 PM
Nice axe. What kind is it? I'm in the market for a new one.

Are that many people really interested in hiking all the 3000 footers? Maybe they'll do a few, but it seems like very few will attempt to do many of them, although, I guess if every hiker tries five of them, that is a lot of traffic.
Very interesting thread. It's a real love/hate thing going on here, but I do think that any route sharing at all is going to be detrimental to those wild areas.

RoySwkr
10-15-2005, 01:59 PM
you get the patch and your name listed after (1) you climb the 46 peaks and (2) you put in 46 hours of trail work in the high peaks with any trail organization
The Trailwrights 72 Club requires 72 peaks on separate trips and 72 hours of trail work. I wonder if that's why their membership in 15 years is about the same as finish the AMC 48 in a typical August.

RoySwkr
10-15-2005, 02:04 PM
Has anyone ever had a remote untrailed unpopular peak they enjoyed.. years ago.. then found a path/trail cut? It is sad. Will your kids find such a peak? Will their kids?
It happens to me all the time. Traveler in Baxter Park, Sunday River Whitecap in Grafton Notch, The Horn in Kilkenny, etc.

But I'm not sure that I'm that sad. People still impact only a small portion of that area, and there is less likelihood of clearcutting or ski areas.

post'r boy
10-15-2005, 02:05 PM
The Trailwrights 72 Club requires 72 peaks on separate trips and 72 hours of trail work. I wonder if that's why their membership in 15 years is about the same as finish the AMC 48 in a typical August.

they also require you to hike the wildcat/ carter /moriah ridge 12 times in order to complete just that range. after all that hiking by all those folks that wish to complete that list,I.M.O. some trail work is in order!!!! :eek: :D ;)
p.s. hi roy! :D
to add to roys post, puzzle and long mtns in maine too!

carole
10-15-2005, 02:21 PM
Hmmmmmmmm. Not sure what that means.....

google "Cabbage Patch Doll'



Is the question really: Are we ruining the earth or ruining the experience?

dms
10-15-2005, 04:44 PM
Back to this post's beginnings: canisters!
I had a thought. Maybe those jars atop the 3ks can help alleviate the apparent problem of too much information/too much internet regarding trip reports, trail conditions and the like. Would it make sense to encourage canisters and their maintenace in the hope it would obviate electronic posting of trips to those peaks?
Just a thought....
jt
All of the 3ks I've done in the past two years are in ME, so my comments are a reflection of that experience. In reading the registers on those peaks, there are on average one person, maybe two, signing in a year, in several registers it had been two years between visitors. These peaks are not "popular" and they are not showing any signs of human activity. I can not see any future increase in visits because of postings on this site.

Papa Bear
10-15-2005, 06:38 PM
All of the 3ks I've done in the past two years are in ME, so my comments are a reflection of that experience. In reading the registers on those peaks, there are on average one person, maybe two, signing in a year, in several registers it had been two years between visitors. These peaks are not "popular" and they are not showing any signs of human activity. I can not see any future increase in visits because of postings on this site.I have to agree with this.

One peak (West Caribou) had two visits in 5 years.

I think there is a tendency to make grand (and unwarrented) generalizations on this issue.

The big picture:

There are different classes of peaks with different problems and different types of potential soultions:

1) First tier: The new England 4ks, (the 67) the ADK 46, and the Catskill 35, popular peaks (Monadnock, Chocurua, etc.). These have lots of use and trails: Problem: crowds, Solution: trail work, public education, good rules enforcement on camping in fragile zones etc.

2) Second tier: NE HH, ADK HH, perhaps some state HH lists, some other popular peaks. These have trailless peaks that are becoming herd path peaks. This seems to be the problem most of the above posts are about. I would guess 20 - 50 visits per year. Problem: loss of wilderness. Increas use (but certainly no crowds). Solution: I don't know, keep posting ideas.

3) Third tier: remote 3ks, obscure lists, unlisted peaks. Typically 0-3 visits per year. Problem: no problem (yet). Solution: keep your eye on this group.

I don't believe postings to this site specifically encourage people to climb any of these peaks, especially the third tier. But the general availability of information may facilitate climbing of the second tier. The first tier is beyond the need for advertising here or elsewhere. I say facilitate the climb, but not motivate someone to do the climb in the first place.

The bigger picture:

In my opinion all of the above problems and most of what had been posted here are dwarfed by other environmental issues: developement, ATV and snowmoobile use, polution (acid rain, global warming, etc.) - ever think that driving your car, truck or SUV to the mountain may cause 10 - 100 times the environmental problem compared to contributing to the formation of a herd path? etc. etc. You know what this is all about.

So keep a balance. If everyone tried to help on something, somewhere, this would be a better planet.

bigmoose
10-15-2005, 07:51 PM
Once again, PapaBear's eloquence makes perfect sense. Right on! Might as well lock the thread!

Peakbagr
10-15-2005, 09:25 PM
Papa Bear,

Good post, but I disagree on 1 point. The ADK bottom 54 trailless really are
"trailless". They don't have herd paths yet, and from the NYS-ers point of view, thats the issue of the well-intentioned debate. Unlike the more formalized routes in NH, the ADK HH see only a tiny amount of traffic in a year. My guess is that the 5 Sawtooth Peaks, Cheney, North River, Little Santa, a number of the Blue Ridges, Fishing Brook, Sentinels, get very few visitors a year now and thats what the debate is about.
The cat is out of the bag in New England.

PB

post'r boy
10-15-2005, 09:25 PM
Once again, PapaBear's eloquence makes perfect sense. Right on! Might as well lock the thread!

unless someones gonna come up with a definite solution and post it.........
i agree with big moose!! :D

post'r boy
10-15-2005, 09:31 PM
Papa Bear,

Good post, but I disagree on 1 point. The ADK bottom 54 trailless really are
"trailless". They don't have herd paths yet, and from the NYS-ers point of view, thats the issue of the well-intentioned debate. Unlike the more formalized routes in NH, the ADK HH see only a tiny amount of traffic in a year. My guess is that the 5 Sawtooth Peaks, Cheney, North River, Little Santa, a number of the Blue Ridges, Fishing Brook, Sentinels, get very few visitors a year now and thats what the debate is about.
The cat is out of the bag in New England.

PB
i respectfully disagree about the "cat being out of the bag in new england"
there are numerous peaks in new england with no herd paths and are not printed in the back of any guide book, a heck of a lot more than 54. :D

Pete_Hickey
10-16-2005, 07:59 AM
Problem: no problem (yet).

Remember not to think linearly in a non-linear situation. Don't look at the traffic, look at the RATE OF INCREASE. If a given peak gets, say 10 visiters per year, that may not sound like much. But one must look at it in the larger picture. If that 10 is twice what it got, say 3 years ago, and that 5 three years ago, is twice what it got three years before that, its use is doubling every three years. This is much more significant than simply saying it is getting x visiters a year.

Bottom line, things are happening fast, and we have to be aware. Humans, in general, have a problem with non-linear thinking.


In my opinion all of the above problems and most of what had been posted here are dwarfed by other environmental issues.

Wilderness isn't exactly environmental. Environment is part of wilderness, but this issue is more of a wilderness issue than an environmental issue. A small path to a mountain (assuming no rare vegetation) does very little to the environment, but it does have a big effect on its wilderness.

The issue is preserving some wilderness for the next n generations, not keeping the plants pristine. Does every mountain need a name? Why is an unnamed mountain more 'wild' than a named one? Could Disney create a wilderness park?

Neil
10-16-2005, 08:29 AM
Anybody, please correct my inaccuracies.
The list of the ADK lower 54 has been whittled away quite a bit already.
Of the lower ADK 54 about a dozen are officially trailed and I'm told that one trailless one has a cell phone tower and a generator on it. (Averill) Jay has a heavily used herd trail and TR a well defined trail. MacNaughton may have a trail up it but I didn't see one from Wallface Pond. Of the truly pristine ones left quite a few (my guess = 5) have private property issues involving hunting and snowmobiling groups.

Papa Bear
10-16-2005, 08:58 AM
Once again, PapaBear's eloquence makes perfect sense. Right on! Might as well lock the thread!You are too kind bigmoose (or was that sarcasm?:)). I wasn't suggesting that I have answers that would settle this issue.

There certainly are so called "Bigger picture" issues, which are deserving of some very serious thought from all of us. But they are beyond the scope of this thread (and probably off-topic as well). But the key group:

2) Second tier: NE HH, ADK HH, perhaps some state HH lists, some other popular peaks. These have trailless peaks that are becoming herd path peaks. This seems to be the problem most of the above posts are about. I would guess 20 - 50 visits per year. Problem: loss of wilderness. Increas use (but certainly no crowds). Solution: I don't know, keep posting ideas. I din't mean there are no solutions for this category, but only that I don't know what they are. I think the discussions on this thread are helpful in getting the thought process moving, and perhaps the seeds of some solutions are to be found here.

But I do believe, as I said, that we should try to keep a balance and not over generalize. Aside from the big environmental issues, there are hiking issues that have (IMHO) some solutions at hand (my tier 1) and some that are still not a problem (tier 3), So let's work on where the biggest problems without clear solutions are, and keep the thoughts coming.

Peakbagr
10-16-2005, 10:09 AM
Of the lower 54, 39 or 40 are officially trailless.
By my very quick look, the 5 Sawteeth, 4 Sentinels, 4 Blue Ridges, Cheney/North River, Henderson, Green, Lewey, Wallface, Dun Brook, Fishing Brook, Fishing Brook Range, Little Santa, Puffer, Wolf Pond, Beull, Panther and Cellar have no discernable and continuous herd paths. These are the jewels we're discussing here, the one's I'd put in the pristine category.

There are permissions needed for a few of these, but alternative but sometimes impractical public land alternatives are available.

mavs00
10-16-2005, 10:46 AM
Of the lower 54, 39 or 40 are officially trailless.
By my very quick look, the 5 Sawteeth, 4 Sentinels, 4 Blue Ridges, Cheney/North River, Henderson, Green, Lewey, Wallface, Dun Brook, Fishing Brook, Fishing Brook Range, Little Santa, Puffer, Wolf Pond, Beull, Panther and Cellar have no discernable and continuous herd paths. These are the jewels we're discussing here, the one's I'd put in the pristine category.

There are permissions needed for a few of these, but alternative but sometimes impractical public land alternatives are available.

Add - Lost Pond Peak, Calamity, Avalanche, 3 Blue Ridges, Hoffman, Little Moose, Morgan (although I wouldn't call it a gem ;) ), Saddleback (Jay Range) , Averill and Unnamed Brown Pond.

post'r boy
10-16-2005, 11:33 AM
Of the lower 54, 39 or 40 are officially trailless.
By my very quick look, the 5 Sawteeth, 4 Sentinels, 4 Blue Ridges, Cheney/North River, Henderson, Green, Lewey, Wallface, Dun Brook, Fishing Brook, Fishing Brook Range, Little Santa, Puffer, Wolf Pond, Beull, Panther and Cellar have no discernable and continuous herd paths. These are the jewels we're discussing here, the one's I'd put in the pristine category.

There are permissions needed for a few of these, but alternative but sometimes impractical public land alternatives are available.

huh? :confused:
and all along i thought we were all discussing all the northeast 3k'S. sorry, hope you all get something figured out over there in NY,so by the time i get to those "pristine peaks" it'll look like you guys weren't there! ;) :D ;)
that's it for me. :)

Peakbagr
10-16-2005, 12:42 PM
Avalanche has a route/ partial herd path already, as do Saddleback and Hoffman.
Depending on the route, Brown Pond has a path as well, clearly to the Pond but a little less so to the top. Averill has a road up it. In haste, I forgot about Calamity, LPP and Lil' Moose. Again though, LM has an old woods road much of the way in, and its only a matter of time until the end of the road to the summit changes from a route to a herd path.

You raise a very interesting point about access and something what larger numbers may mean for access to private land. Heck, the summits of Panther and Buell already look like a hostile border zone, with the posted signs and paint blazes everywhere.

PB

mavs00
10-16-2005, 12:44 PM
Postr' Boy (and others)

I HEAR YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I apologize for my part in some of the thread decline here. I do notice the thread rating going down some 5 to 3 stars.

You are right, this thread is about all Northeast 3k's and it was intended to be that way. The western drift started with my post #38 (http://www.vftt.org/forums/showpost.php?p=106753&postcount=38)


This list is getting pretty popular and there is a debate about getting the list more "established." Most of the more experienced hikers, including those that have finished this list, are against more establishment while the "younger" peakbaggers often feel the opposite. Funny how hiking lists of mountains can be so debatable.

With this statement, E. Schlimmer (one of the legends of NE b-whacking) brought to the forefront a HUGE and (until now) quietly percolating confrontation (which is probably too strong a word) between the past, current and future of Adirondack HH peakbaggers.

Without intended to, this thread became the first public discourse between some of those historic finishers and some of next generation of hopeful finishers (or soon to be finishers). We dominated the topic, forcefully in some cases....... so as not to let the dialog stop, and the thought this dialog would lead to real progress was a little too tantilizing to let slip away. It was simply a long overdue topic and thats why it probably bubbled over....... I wholly admit my part in that.

I'm sorry for that, and it probably called for a different thread to be generated. I think we were afraid to move it because it seemed the OLD SCHOOL was in here and, in some cases, listening (even if not posting) to us, and they really had no incentive to follow us into another "room" so to speak.

Let move back towards the center now.

--------------------------------------

I get ascared :eek: when I walk in any wooded area outside NY, anyone volunteer to take me on my first. New England 3k bushwhack, if I ever make it out that way? And I don't want no softball crap either ;)

post'r boy
10-16-2005, 02:31 PM
don't be afeared my brother, come east and i'll be your host! :D

Peakbagr
10-16-2005, 03:23 PM
I've told Tim(mav00) before that he's the Bard of NY peakbagging.
He's right on with his last post. I think a few of we peakbaggers in NYS were so happy to have some of these issues finally out in the open that our enthusiasm got the better of us. All due respect intended to our elders, as well as the 'baggers to our east.

PB

spencer
10-17-2005, 01:05 PM
I think what is most important is that we are talking about it and making people (including ourselves) aware of the various issues.

I don't think it's okay to say there are bigger environmental issues to worry about. we have relatively much less to do about and with the windfarm, ATV, etc. issues. We are a group of peakbaggers who should be the first to address problems caused directly by us.

it's not the rednecks throwing beer bottles from ATVs while wearing not wearing a helmet that we can blame this time.

IT'S US!

As usual, I think progress comes from education and here we are, edumacating ourselves.

Great thread, VFTT!

spencer

ps - there is a problem with PB's category 3. I removed flagging from another 3k this weekend. If you put it there, I will tear it down and think less of you for using it! of course, nobody has to care what I think....

John H Swanson
10-17-2005, 01:08 PM
All of the 3ks I've done in the past two years are in ME, so my comments are a reflection of that experience. In reading the registers on those peaks, there are on average one person, maybe two, signing in a year, in several registers it had been two years between visitors. These peaks are not "popular" and they are not showing any signs of human activity. I can not see any future increase in visits because of postings on this site.
I agree with this point for the average 3000 footer peak. The number of people willing to bash thru the dense stuff are few and far between, hense the low rates of visitation.

However, I had seen someone asking about the special 3000 footers with scenic views. This person really did not want to bushwhack to the summit unless there was a nice view. Immediately three very special peaks came to mind. I remember the open summits and fragile tundra-esque plants. These peaks were unbelievable. I'm sure the traffic of a few peak baggers would not impact them, but imagine the people that would be drawn by a rave review. That's the problem.

Surprising how a little comment such as "I bushwhacked up a really cool ravine on the way to Shipton peak. It had a series of short steps cliffs." would draw people to a route. Even the word: "pristine" could cause a draw. Of course if you use "pristine" with a hellacious it might actually deter impact on other peaks. ;)

RoySwkr
10-17-2005, 05:39 PM
Is the question really: Are we ruining the earth or ruining the experience?
I climbed Snow Mtn in the Cupsuptic Range when it was thought to be the 101st highest peak in New England. I had to figure out a route there using 15' quads that didn't show the roads and a DeLorme Atlas with no contours. The register showed about 1 ascent every 2 years.

Perhaps a more recent visitor can indicate the current visitation level but it may have grown a hundred-fold, due to being on a major list and having published directions available.. I expect there is now a notable "human zone" surrounding the register. I say, so what? I am sure the ecology of the Cupsuptic Range is only slightly affected by what happens on this peak. Anyone who expects a peak on a popular list to be pristine is simply being unrealistic. It is one thing to go to great effort to protect rare plants such as in the alpine zone, but a waste of time to try to prevent superficial damage that would quickly recover if a resurvey drops this peak back to #101. If you want to visit a truly pristine place, they are easy to find - just avoid places on lists or in magazine articles of unspoiled locations.

Raymond
10-18-2005, 01:29 AM
Well, back in September, we couldn't even figure out where the mountain was from the herd path we followed off the end of East Branch Road. We came up to a hill between two high mountains. It could be things have been changed by logging, I don't know.