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 2 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 16 to 30 of 48

Thread: How wild should the mountains be?

  1. #16
    Senior Member TrishandAlex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    White Mountains, NH
    Posts
    1,863
    Quote Originally Posted by bikehikeskifish View Post
    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
    There's a wheelchair ramp at Galehead Hut? Can someone in a wheelchair GET to Galehead hut in the first place (honest question)? If not....then isn't there some govt employee whose job is to use common sense and excuse exceptions to the general rule? Probably not...
    Last edited by TrishandAlex; 05-11-2009 at 08:09 AM.
    [B][SIZE=3]Patricia Ellis Herr (TRISH...ALEX...SAGE)


    Those who say it cannot be done should get out of the way of those doing it. --Chinese proverb.

    For more info about The Terrifying 25, contact me at patriciaellisherr@hotmail.com or search for The Terrifying 25 on Facebook.

  2. #17
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    5,764
    Quote Originally Posted by TrishandAlex View Post
    There's a wheelchair ramp at Galehead Hut? Can someone in a wheelchair GET to Galehead hut in the first place (honest question)? If not....then isn't there some govt employee whose job is to use common sense and excuse exceptions it the general rule? Probably not...
    Yes, there is a wheelchair ramp. I don't have a good picture (you can just see it to the left on the AMC Galehead Hut page: http://www.outdoors.org/lodging/huts/huts-galehead.cfm). I don't know whether or not someone in a wheelchair could get there or not, but I am willing to bet a good chunk of money that if they can get that far, they certainly don't need the ramp.

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

  3. #18
    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 bikehikeskifish View Post
    Yes, there is a wheelchair ramp. I don't have a good picture (you can just see it to the left on the AMC Galehead Hut page: http://www.outdoors.org/lodging/huts/huts-galehead.cfm). I don't know whether or not someone in a wheelchair could get there or not, but I am willing to bet a good chunk of money that if they can get that far, they certainly don't need the ramp.

    Tim
    I suspect AMC (not the government mind you!) does not want to run afoul of the ADA (Americans with disabilities act). Yes, it might be political a$$ covering, but maybe the ADA provided the funds for the ramp?
    Tom Rankin
    Volunteer Balsam Lake Mountain
    Past President Catskill 3500 Club
    CEO

  4. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Naples, Maine
    Posts
    315
    People in wheelchairs have been there. can't recall exactly...but it was close to when the ramp was finally built.

    This topic comes up from time to time so nothing new to add.

    peace.
    I can't think of an inspirational, funny or quirky little saying.

  5. #20
    Moderator David Metsky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Somerville, MA
    Posts
    5,005
    Before this goes down a rat hole, any building on Federal property must comply with ADA. This includes many things (door handles, hallway widths, accessable bathrooms) besides a handicapped ramp. The features would have been much cheaper had they been designed in from the beginning rather than retrofitted at the very end. The ADA doesn't provide any funds.

    And yes, the ramp has been used. As mentioned in the article, if able bodied hikers can get that far, why not remove the stairs and have them climb through the windows?
    You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose. -- Dr. Seuss

  6. #21
    Senior Member Tom Rankin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Bloomville, New York Avatar: Dress for success!
    Posts
    6,637
    Sorry for the mis-almost-information.

    Don't get me wrong, if someone can get up there in a wheel chair that's awesome!
    Tom Rankin
    Volunteer Balsam Lake Mountain
    Past President Catskill 3500 Club
    CEO

  7. #22
    Senior Member funkyfreddy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    1,090

    Smile

    Actually, if you want to talk about "wilderness".....

    Why not have areas put aside on this earth that aren't mapped, regulated, or ruled by governments..... and the only law is natures?

    Where an animal that eats you isn't killed for it's transgressions?

    just thinking...... lol

  8. #23
    Senior Member Mark Schaefer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Lake Katrine, NY, just inside the Catskill Blue Line
    Posts
    1,301

    Wildness or the illusion of it

    I must admit I have never liked the word "pristine" applied to wilderness . That goes for both originally wild and recovering wild areas. I understand what well intentioned individuals mean by it, and for the most part I have no problems with that. However, wilderness is dirty, smelly, raw, and wonderful. I would not seek to change any of that. It is not "pristine" in my book.

    Over the years I have occasionally worked for stock photo companies that market nature images. Among the many genres of nature photos are those idealized nature scenes that grace glossy calendars and note cards. No signs of human intrusion are wanted in those photos. Neither are dead trees, dried leaf duff, or bare twigs. With a camera you can often eliminate all such "imperfections" with just the right narrow angle of view. And voila, just what the photo editor ordered: that perfect prissy pristine look, the illusion of a pristine wilderness.

    Similarly when we attempt to remove every non-conforming, unnatural element from a designated and recovering wild area -- we might just be creating the illusion of a pristine wilderness. Nothing really changes. Hikers will still come, follow a path, and ford a stream. Perhaps just in fewer numbers or at different locations. Hikers might even flounder a bit more causing more erosion in the process. So have we really improved anything?

    We might be better served by properly maintaining a bridge until that becomes more expensive than removal. We should clean up or remove any human injected thing that is actually unsafe or toxic, but otherwise allow nature to recover on its own. Leave the illusions of wilderness to their proper place -- our minds.
    Last edited by Mark Schaefer; 05-11-2009 at 11:22 AM.
    “Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually right.” Henry Ford
    My Photos: http://community.webshots.com/user/CatskillHiker

  9. #24
    Senior Member woodsxc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Brunswick, ME.
    Posts
    187
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Schaefer View Post
    I must admit I have never liked the word "pristine" applied to wilderness . That goes for both originally wild and recovering wild areas. I understand what well intentioned individuals mean by it, and for the most part I have no problems with that. However, wilderness is dirty, smelly, raw, and wonderful. I would not seek to change any of that. It is not "pristine" in my book.

    Over the years I have occasionally worked for stock photo companies that market nature images. Among the many genres of nature photos are those idealized nature scenes that grace glossy calendars and note cards. No signs of human intrusion are wanted in those photos. Neither are dead trees, dried leaf duff, or bare twigs. With a camera you can often eliminate all such "imperfections" with just the right narrow angle of view. And voila, just what the photo editor ordered: that perfect prissy pristine look, the illusion of a pristine wilderness.

    Similarly when we attempt to remove every non-conforming, unnatural element from a designated and recovering wild area -- we might just be creating the illusion of a pristine wilderness. Nothing really changes. Hikers will still come, follow a path, and ford a stream. Perhaps just in fewer numbers or at different locations. Hikers might even flounder a bit more causing more erosion in the process. So have we really improved anything?
    That's a very good point, Mark.

    When I say pristine (I think I did in my previous post), I'm talking about an overgrown, messy, dirty, chaotic scene. When it comes to wilderness, I think I speak for a lot of hikers when I say that it means untouched, pure, free from human degradation or "improvement". I say hikers here because I think you are correct that most people are looking for a Bambi scene, but most of us who spend a lot of time outside prefer the grit and "impurities" to an idealized landscape.

    As far as bridges go, I'm torn. In one way, they protect the wilderness but in others they harm it. If there is a bridge across a stream, people will use it. This means that there will be less erosion of the banks and the turbidity of the water (measure of water quality) won't be affected. However, the bridge will also let more people across the stream and will cause more wear and strain on the rest of the area. In my opinion, bridge removal and construction has to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. I feel that it would be unwise and unjust to make a sweeping generalization on the issue.
    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)

  10. #25
    Senior Member sapblatt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts Avatar: "Heads or tails?!"
    Posts
    2,177
    there should be a mix of all things...some mega remote stuff, some stuff "everyone can do" - some easy, some hard - some trailed - some bushwhack...
    This is kind of how it is really - there are plenty of places to go in the Whites - it is not all the Presis and Franconia Ridge...early start - interesting itinerary - etc...
    One thing that is a bit more on topic though - I do like trails (for myself) and I think they should be marked at least minimally - there are some spots out there that due to Wilderness regs are getting harder to follow...
    Bridges are nice - but I suppose if it is remote enough they should not be there...
    - Mike

    How bad can it be?
    Bobby

  11. #26
    Senior Member Mark Schaefer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Lake Katrine, NY, just inside the Catskill Blue Line
    Posts
    1,301
    Quote Originally Posted by woodsxc View Post
    When I say pristine (I think I did in my previous post), I'm talking about an overgrown, messy, dirty, chaotic scene. When it comes to wilderness, I think I speak for a lot of hikers when I say that it means untouched, pure, free from human degradation or "improvement". I say hikers here because I think you are correct that most people are looking for a Bambi scene, but most of us who spend a lot of time outside prefer the grit and "impurities" to an idealized landscape.
    I apologize if my comments appeared to be directed at your post. I had no problems with your usage, especially not with your further explanation. I believe those of us who hike the wilds understand the essence of these areas. I was trying to make a general point. It is the idealized use of pristine by arm chair types that bothers me most.
    “Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually right.” Henry Ford
    My Photos: http://community.webshots.com/user/CatskillHiker

  12. #27
    Senior Member J.Dub's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Newtown, CT Avatar: 9,500' on Rainier
    Posts
    579
    Quote Originally Posted by woodsxc View Post
    I have no problem with respectful trail users, but I do not like the "reebok hikers."
    Um...I'm not familiar with that designation. Care to elaborate?

    Are they different than the "LaSportiva hikers" or the "Montrail hikers" or "Vasque hikers"...?

    (I'm too lazy to do a search and look up what brand of trail runners you ended up getting...)
    "Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball."

    ADK46: 25/46 W5
    NH48: 26/48 W8

  13. #28
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    181
    I don't see a problem with having areas of the WMNF be allowed to move toward being a wilderness, to the extent that they are able based on history, location, etc. To me, the Pemi is probably the best location in the WMNF for this to happen, partly because it has been on its way toward that for a couple decades now due to being placed in its Wilderness designation, and also because it is a large area of land that has quite a few locations where there is no view of ongoing human impact.

    Other parts of the WMNF have views that overlook roads, tree cut areas, even nearby views of the buildings on top of Mt. Washington, and will do so for quite some time. Other than trails, and a small number of camping locations (and currently a couple of bridges), the Pemi is free of these insertions of ongoing human activity into the surroundings. Clearly, there are artifacts of earlier use of the land, but those now have historical value, and over time will be gone as well.

    Some have discussed reduced access. I just think that it means that everyone will have to plan differently, and make plans commensurate with what the topography will allow. If a river crossing will be dangerous, don't plan to do a trip with that river crossing. It's a Wilderness (by law) so don't expect to have the Staten Island Ferry, or a bridge, or to my way of thinking, even a set of fortuitously-placed rocks to cross the river.

    If you want a bridge, go to another part of the WMNF. You may have some kind of right as a taxpayer and citizen to get to the land you partly own, but you don't have a right to have someone get you there without any effort. In the case of a Wilderness the effort may be more than what's required if it's a state park.
    It's a lot like fun, but different.

  14. #29
    Senior Member Snowflea's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    1,103
    I also believe that "wilderness" is ultimately a subjective concept and that it can be found in many places if you look hard enough. I have to chuckle, though, when I see the terms "wilderness" and "hiker amenities" in the same thread/conversation.

    Anyone here read Roderick Nash??

  15. #30
    Senior Member Little Rickie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Rochester, New York
    Posts
    1,826
    As always this is a matter of personal opinion and strong feelings that many differ on. Always open to interpetation and the meaning of definitions. An impossible task but O so tempting! I'll bit.

    how wild should our mountains be?

    As god intended them to be.... and I, in my limited human capacity, though large in my sense of self importance, have no way of knowing but try anyway.


    By this I am thinking of questions such as:

    How many hiker amenities do you think are appropriate? Why?

    Flat, soft, dry, ground with water and firewood near by. Don't need much else.


    How many hikers in the woods is too many? Why?

    Tough one. Depends on what I want or how I feel. If I think too may I'l go some place else. You really don't have to go very far to get away from the crowd.


    How important is a "wilderness" experience to you? Why?

    I like the peace of mind it gives me. It clears out a lot of cobwebs and keeps me in touch with what is important. Then I go home and get all caught up in buzz again.


    How much non-recreational disturbance (i.e. logging) is too much in hiking areas? (And you guessed it...) Why?

    Heck some recreational disturbances are too much. Logging can be done smarter and is being done smarter than in the past. Preserving old growth should be a sacred thing. If we keep our heads on straight and out of our asses we should all be able to share.


    Do you feel that legal "Wilderness" designation is at odds with a wild landscape? Why?

    I don't know if I can get caught up in definations. I would hope, and I know that is too much to ask, that common sense would prevail. I do believe we handle our relationship with nature better than we have but still have a long way to go. I remain confident but disturbed by how slow some things evolve.


    Do you believe that you often hike in a "wild" landscape? Where (generally)? What factors go into your answer?

    In my opinion anyplace void of man is wild. Feet on earth does it for me. Then it's just a matter of distance and geographic size.


    I'm hoping that maybe people will just sound off on their philosophy of hiking and wilderness,

    Which is as different as each of us are unique.



    Oh, and the poll. I'm not trying to be a wiseguy;

    I'm not so sure about that.

    but this was fun.
    Last edited by Little Rickie; 05-11-2009 at 04:16 PM. Reason: I really don't care but had to post something because I'm addicted to the internet
    Peace

    "How one parses a question tells you as much about the person as how they answer the question."

    Oldee Won Balogeena

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
  •