View Poll Results: What do you think of people drinking alcohol on the trail or summit?

Voters
53. You may not vote on this poll
  • Geez, now I'm thirsty, too!

    12 22.64%
  • It's okay if it is a special occasion for someone.

    11 20.75%
  • I'm fine if our group is alone or if others nearby don't mind.

    13 24.53%
  • Inappropriate - summits should be special and respected places.

    1 1.89%
  • It's only inappropriate if children are present.

    3 5.66%
  • Isn't that just plain illegal??

    0 0%
  • Get off your high horse, Albee! (This is a silly question.)

    23 43.40%
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Thread: Drinking alcohol on the trail/summit?

  1. #1
    Senior Member albee's Avatar
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    Drinking alcohol on the trail/summit?

    I guess this is more of an ethical question, since I'm sure most people on this board are responsible enough to know how to hike safely after a few cold ones. If you saw a group of people drinking alcohol in a public place such as a popular summit (especially when children could be present), what would your reaction be?

    Personally, I don't understand how people get upset about off-trail travel in sacred wilderness areas while at the same time tapping a keg of beer on the summit of a 4,000 footer is celebrated. I'm just interested in what others' thoughts and reactions might be if they came across something like this.

    Hike your own hike? or Respect the summit when others are present?

    If talking on a cell phone or smoking a cigarette near others on the trail or summit is bad form, is drinking alcohol any less inappropriate? I realize that drinking in a restaurant is an accepted practice, but should people moderate their own behavior on a public summit? Does it make a difference if children are nearby? Let's assume that the revelers are not being rowdy, and just debate the ethics of the situation.

    Let's keep this thread civil and friendly without casting judgements on people with different opinions, okay? (The fact that I started this thread doesn't mean I am for or against this kind of behavior - I just thought it would make for an interesting discussion.)
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  2. #2
    Banned Kevin Rooney's Avatar
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    I didn't vote, but your last choice was the closest - just seemed a bit too provocative.

    Drinking on the summit isn't my own cup of tea, but if that's what someone else wants to do, that's their business. We've been given free choice; allowing others the same privilege is often a challenge.

  3. #3
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    Sorry to say - Nature can not be enhanced by booze.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Paradox's Avatar
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    I definately like snort at the end of the day. But up on a summit with the decent coming? Most accidents/fatalities occur on the decent. Just not a good idea.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paradox
    I definately like snort at the end of the day. But up on a summit with the decent coming? Most accidents/fatalities occur on the decent. Just not a good idea.
    I have to agree. Moderate sampling of a brewmaster's finest on completion of a hike is o.k., but unless the trail is suitable for a novice, imbibing on a summit can be risky.

  6. #6
    Senior Member MadRiver's Avatar
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    Iím not certain why the presence of children has any bearing on whether or not you have a drink. I see plenty of drinking in the huts with children being present, so it just seems like a non issue to me. I personally do not drink on summits unless I am camping nearby.
    What do you mean he don't eat no meat? Ok, I'll do lamb.

  7. #7
    Moderator David Metsky's Avatar
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    I've enjoyed my share of alcohol on summits and I think I can control how much I drink so as not to impact my safety on descent. Many people feel that a beer or scotch or hit of pot enhances their experience; who am I to argue?

    I really don't see how children enter into this question. I wouldn't hesitate to drink in front of a child at home, why would I do so in the mountains?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Gris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Metsky
    I've enjoyed my share of alcohol on summits and I think I can control how much I drink so as not to impact my safety on descent. Many people feel that a beer or scotch or hit of pot enhances their experience; who am I to argue?

    I really don't see how children enter into this question. I wouldn't hesitate to drink in front of a child at home, why would I do so in the mountains?
    Well (ahem), Dave, I mean (ahem), your, uh (ahem) avatar says it all now doesn't it?!* LOL...
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  9. #9
    Senior Member TDawg's Avatar
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    I see no problem with adults enjoying an adult beverage or two on a summit, or anywhere else for that matter, within reason. I enjoy drinking a beer, especially while taking in a great view.

    I think getting a good buzz going on a summit would be a bit irresponsible towards your own health upon descending, not to mention those who would be carrying you out if need be. Especially if there was the potential for bad weather in the near future.
    Last edited by TDawg; 10-17-2007 at 01:13 PM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Bobby's Avatar
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    Each peak reached can be cause for celebration, so why not have a beer. As already stated in the thread, most here are responsible enough to be able to complete their hike.
    "Don't try to strike everybody out. Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic." Crash Davis -"Bull Durham"

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  11. #11
    Senior Member albee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by albee
    Does it make a difference if children are nearby?
    I only reference this because some people bring their children hiking, and they probably expect a family atmosphere along the way. I doubt I would bring children to a bar or to any other occasion where drinking alcohol was obvious and pevalent - maybe others feel it is a bad example or a bad influence for their children to be exposed to... I don't know. I don't have kids, but maybe this factors into the minds of some parents. Heck, maybe some parents are worried that their kids will get the idea that hiking with a buzz is the cool thing to do.

    On the other hand, what's the difference between taking your kid to Mt. Lafayette or to a Red Sox game? Each venue is a sacred place to a subset of the population - and people on both sides will argue that alcohol enhances or detracts from the experience. Maybe a better question is should open container laws in state parks be respected?
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  12. #12
    Senior Member sapblatt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by albee
    I only reference this because some people bring their children hiking, and they probably expect a family atmosphere along the way. I doubt I would bring children to a bar or to any other occasion where drinking alcohol was obvious and pevalent - maybe others feel it is a bad example or a bad influence for their children to be exposed to... I don't know. I don't have kids, but maybe this factors into the minds of some parents. Heck, maybe some parents are worried that their kids will get the idea that hiking with a buzz is the cool thing to do.
    I have had a drink on a summit twice - once for my 48 (thanks LittleBear) and once for Rols second 48. The real trick is to get someone else to carry the beer - stash it in their pack when they are not looking a la Eiger Sanction. A drink is one thing - descending drunk is another...
    I no longer drink much - after 25 or so year in the professional drinker category it just lost its appeal to me (a very bad night in St. Louis )- I really do not care what anyone does on the summit, face it - some people drink no matter what they are doing, I used to be like that - going to a ball game was a reason, staying at home was a reason, good day was a reason, bad day was a reason, etc... - the only time I drink now is after a real long hike, and even then it is one beer or ale, and I do not even do that after most hikes.
    As for a the family atmosphere - if anyone had kids around me and my friends when we were hiking they would be plenty horrified by the conversation - and that is sober!
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  13. #13
    Senior Member MadRiver's Avatar
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    The only restriction on consuming alcohol in the presence of children that I know about is at Boy Scout functions. However, if Iím camping at 13 falls and a scout troop arrives I still plan on having a drink. Since Iím not or never plan to be a Scout Master, drinking near or within eye sight of a group of scouts isnít going to influence me one way or another. Iím a little tired of this ďletís bubble wrap the worldĒ mentality that some parents display towards their children. My having a drink in the back country isnít going to affect little Iphigeniaís self-esteem or hinder her ability to get into Harvard, period.
    What do you mean he don't eat no meat? Ok, I'll do lamb.

  14. #14
    Senior Member albee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sapblatt
    As for a the family atmosphere - if anyone had kids around me and my friends when we were hiking they would be plenty horrified by the conversation - and that is sober!
    Fair enough... but would your behavior (and your expectations of others) change if Aaron and Zachary were along for the trip?
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  15. #15
    Senior Member cbcbd's Avatar
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    It depends on what kind of beer they're drinking...

    No tolerance here for that watered down stuff some call beer...

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