View Poll Results: "How wild should the mountains be?" Do you have an opinion?

Voters
31. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes, I have an opinion about this, explained in a post below.

    17 54.84%
  • I have an opinion about this, but have chosen not to post it here.

    9 29.03%
  • I do not have an opinion; changes in "wildness" do not affect my hiking.

    5 16.13%
Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 48

Thread: How wild should the mountains be?

  1. #1
    Senior Member cushetunk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    451

    Question How wild should the mountains be?

    Reading the various comments over the Pemi suspension bridge (and remembering past discussions about blazes, bushwhacks, etc) has got me wondering what people think about the broader question: how wild should our mountains be?

    By this I am thinking of questions such as:

    How many hiker amenities do you think are appropriate? Why?
    How many hikers in the woods is too many? Why?
    How important is a "wilderness" experience to you? Why?
    How much non-recreational disturbance (i.e. logging) is too much in hiking areas? (And you guessed it...) Why?
    Do you feel that legal "Wilderness" designation is at odds with a wild landscape? Why?
    Do you believe that you often hike in a "wild" landscape? Where (generally)? What factors go into your answer?


    I'm hoping that maybe people will just sound off on their philosophy of hiking and wilderness, where ever those thoughts lead. Perhaps it will spark discussion and polite disagreement, but I think there's a value in just seeing others thoughts.

    Oh, and the poll. I'm not trying to be a wiseguy; I thought it might also be interesting to see how many people had no opinion.


    Edit: I'll add my thoughts on the question later.
    Last edited by cushetunk; 05-09-2009 at 04:21 PM.

  2. #2
    Registered User Ridgewalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    427
    I like my woods wild enough that I could get lost and see new land. Bridges should be put in to help people get across dangerous rivers, while taking them out can add a level of experience in crossing beds larger than five feet.

    Too many bodies in the woods is a crowd of inconsiderate that have no clue in pacing out, which we assume is a courtesy to the ground.

    The wilderness feeling should without human intervention as much as possible. But any precautions should be given in an inherently dangerous area. For me, the wild experience offers a challenge and a chance to see an area now recovering from the scourge of logging.

    Silvaculture-great idea for logging, enough said.

    Regards,

    RW

  3. #3
    Senior Member TJ aka Teej's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    04043
    Posts
    254
    More like Katahdin, less like Mt Washington.
    Pick up your feet!

  4. #4
    Senior Member jjmcgo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    eastern Pennsylvania
    Posts
    360

    Accessible to taxpayers

    Popular areas like the Pemi and Wild River should have cleared paths deep into the woods with amenities like bridges and shelters so that the vast majority of taxpayers have access.
    A small group of local ideologues should not be able to con or conspire with government into limiting access and amenities to the majority.
    The ideologues can find the experience they are looking for by going offtrail, deeper into the regrown woods.
    Taxpayer purchased and maintained national forests should be multi-use, providing separate hiking, x-country skiing, snowmobiling, horseback riding and mountain-bike trails, hunting, fishing, foresty, and ore exploration and extraction, as they were intended.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Tom Rankin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Bloomville, New York Avatar: Dress for success!
    Posts
    6,637
    Quote Originally Posted by cushetunk View Post
    Reading the various comments over the Pemi suspension bridge (and remembering past discussions about blazes, bushwhacks, etc) has got me wondering what people think about the broader question: how wild should our mountains be?

    By this I am thinking of questions such as:

    How many hiker amenities do you think are appropriate? Why?
    How many hikers in the woods is too many? Why?
    How important is a "wilderness" experience to you? Why?
    How much non-recreational disturbance (i.e. logging) is too much in hiking areas? (And you guessed it...) Why?
    Do you feel that legal "Wilderness" designation is at odds with a wild landscape? Why?
    Do you believe that you often hike in a "wild" landscape? Where (generally)?
    I believe there should be places like Marcy Dam (lots of people, close to the road, etc.), as well as places like Sawtooth 1 (desolate). Many people have different preferences. A wide variety is a plus in my opinion.
    Tom Rankin
    Volunteer Balsam Lake Mountain
    Past President Catskill 3500 Club
    CEO

  6. #6
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    5,764
    Public lands should be accessible to the public for a variety of usage. With respect to the lovers of wilderness, you can always go off-trail or cross without the bridges, etc.

    I find it completely ridiculous that the law requires the removal of bridges while at the same time requires a wheelchair ramp (at Galehead Hut.)

    Tim
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

  7. #7
    Senior Member cushetunk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    451
    I guess maybe I wasn't quite clear in what I was asking.

    After all, I think most of us agree that there should be a wide range of options from frontcountry to backcountry in the WMNF. I understand that many of us also go on nature walks, and stroll down quarter-mile trails to see waterfalls. But there's no escaping the fact that many people expend ample amounts of time and energy to plant themselves deep into the middle of nowhere, and I think this is in some way tied into the "wildness" of these places.

    So what are your specific, personal reactions to "how wild should the mountains be?"

    What makes a hiking experience "wild" to you?
    Do you frequently seek to find this kind of "wildness"?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Puma concolor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    North of Albany, NY
    Posts
    885
    With all due respect to differeing opinions, I think this often comes down to "how wild do I feel when I'm in the mountains." See a structure or a ton of other people or even a trail and all of the sudden, some feel as if their experience has somehow been cheapened. But I tend to think that is a product of looking inward at yourself and whatever reasons you go to the mountains instead of outwards at the landscape that surrounds you. The mountains are what they are. Some places are frequented more than others and heavily-traveled areas have some rudimentary structures in place so perhaps they have a bit a scar. With the exception of the summit of Mount Washington, pretty much every place in the heart of the "major" Northeast mountain ranges is wild enough for me and the most heavily-traveled areas often tend to be the best ... which of course is why they are the most heavily-traveled areas.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Tim Seaver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Aurora Boulderalis
    Posts
    1,254
    I often think of wildness as a more of a fleeting sensation than a reality, usually enhanced by intense weather, wildlife sightings, and a lack of people. One of the big reasons I absolutely abhor large groups is how their presence can suck the "wildness" out of the most remote places imaginable ( temporarily, of course). But other people would be perfectly happy in that same situation, feeling the "wildness" course through their veins as their highly organized and briefed group of 16 trundles through the brush.
    You donít have to be a fantastic hero to do certain things ó to compete. You can be just an ordinary chap, sufficiently motivated. - Edmund Hillary

  10. #10
    Senior Member MikePS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Merrimac MA
    Posts
    225
    The wilderness of the west is not possible here, you will not be able to hike to a place where you see no other people. Mountains should be enjoyed by all. In thirty years I do not see these mts as overcrowded. I think a mix of bridges over larger streams and rivers, shelters, I would love more lean-tos ala Baxter, with trail maintenance.

  11. #11
    Senior Member cbcbd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Out of control
    Posts
    1,510
    Quote Originally Posted by Puma concolor View Post
    With all due respect to differeing opinions, I think this often comes down to "how wild do I feel when I'm in the mountains."
    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Seaver View Post
    I often think of wildness as a more of a fleeting sensation than a reality, usually enhanced by intense weather, wildlife sightings, and a lack of people.
    I'm in this camp. I could be in the wildest place with others, but I only feel that wild feeling inside when I am alone and witness something special on my own with no other distractions. Love all my friends and have a great time with them, but I only get that real wild feeling when there is nothing between me and nature. Nothing like being all alone in the mountains when the weather turns

    Quote Originally Posted by MikePS View Post
    The wilderness of the west is not possible here, you will not be able to hike to a place where you see no other people.
    I think it's easier out here but I don't think it's impossible in the East. Baxter and the Adirondacks give one that opportunity to get lost.
    Doug

  12. #12
    Senior Member Woody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Leominster, MA Avatar: Crow Hill Mixed
    Posts
    664
    The Mountains in New England are generally very accessable. I don't have a big problem removing bridges that are in designated wilderness areas, but I don't want to see trail maintenence eliminated, although I don't have a problem with not having a lot of blazes in the wilderness areas. Without maintained trials I think we would have herd paths and erosion problems where they don't exist now.
    I would agree with other posters that "Wildness" is something I most feel when I am solo. I don't have any problem with the hiker amenities that are currently available such as the AMC huts or shelters and tent sites. I wouldn't want to see very many more though. Outside of the designated wilderness area the shelters are fine. The huts serve a useful service for all of us and give us choices on the style of hike we want to take.

    I don't want to see a lot of logging near popular hiking areas, but I understand that some logging is good for the economy and for the forest. So I guess it is ok as long as it is selective and not in the wilderness areas and there is a resonable buffer from hiking trails.
    Woody

  13. #13
    Senior Member marty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Boxford, MA. Avatar: I heart South Twin
    Posts
    1,776
    Quote Originally Posted by cbcbd View Post
    Baxter and the Adirondacks give one that opportunity to get lost.
    Agreed. There are also a lot of worthy hikes in Western Maine where I get a strong feeling of solitude and wildness.
    Marty
    So when you reach the bottom line
    The only thing to do is climb
    Pick yourself up off the floor
    Anything ya want is yours


    Song: Bottom Line
    Artist: Big Audio Dynamite
    Album: This is Big Audio Dynamite
    Year: 1985

  14. #14
    Senior Member Chip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Here and there Avatar: Ice Ice Baby...
    Posts
    4,732
    I think it would be awesome if there were still huge native populations out there. Barring that, there's still plenty of wildnerness available for your average weekend warrior.
    Dead Last > Did Not Finish > Did Not Start

    * ALL STANDARD DISCLAIMERS APPLY: IIRC. YRMV. IMHO. FWIW. HYOH. NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, ARE MADE
    THAT INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS POST IS ACCURATE, RELIABLE OR APPROPRIATE FOR ANY PARTICULAR SITUATION.

  15. #15
    Senior Member woodsxc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Brunswick, ME.
    Posts
    187
    I love to go to a mountain with a singletrack trail, hike along without seeing other people. One trail per mountain is enough. Dirt and rock paths, no stairs, no rails. That's how I think mountains ought to be. The more wild, the better. I shouldn't be looking down onto highways and towns. I don't want to hear cars whizzing by when I hike. In the winter, I'm fine breaking trail. It's harder, sure, but isn't that the point?

    However, I'm also a realist. This is New England. People have been settling and "civilizing" it since the 1600s. There are lots of trails and towns and roads and cars and other people out there. Having extra trails isn't so bad. After all, I'm a runner too and a loop is way better than an out-and-back. If you start a long ridge traverse, it's nice (and much safer) to have places to bail. Company on the trails is good and bad. It is nice to have someone there to take hero shots of you on the summit. I have no problem with respectful trail users, but I do not like the "reebok hikers."

    The other signs of civilization, towns, roads, and cars are less welcome. Sure, looking down on Camden from Maiden Cliff is scenic, but I'd rather see an untouched coastline. I think most people prefer the sound of bird song to that of an eighteen-wheeler. The pollution, both chemical and noise, that roads bring with them can seriously degrade the land around them. Therefore, I'm all for minimal roads.

    But I deal with what I'm given. Montana is more wild, rugged, and pristine, but its also really far away. Easy access is what we got in return for a decrease in wildness and right now, I'm ok with that.
    For special purposes a hunting knife is superior, as are double-bitted axes, cavalry sabers, Gatling guns, and dynamite, but the modest mountaineer contents himself with a modest blade. -The Mountaineers (from second edition of FOTH)

    If you are flammable and have legs, you are never blocking a fire exit. -Mitch Hedberg (1968-2005)

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 10-14-2013, 01:14 PM
  2. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 12-14-2012, 08:48 PM
  3. Wild Cat, Wild Cat D, Carter Dome
    By Unregistered in forum New Hampshire
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 09-13-2008, 04:36 PM
  4. Into the Wild
    By SAR-EMT40 in forum General Backcountry
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 01-12-2007, 03:26 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •