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Thread: SAR in Franconia Notch?

  1. #16
    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiguy View Post
    In all practicality that would have been nice. But this was in the day before one carried a cell phone while cragging. Not that I would be doing that present day anyhow. I also at that time didn't carry sticky notes and a pencil. Besides in that day there still was a common brotherhood or at least a perceiving of that paradigm. Meet up FB didn't exist. I think the point was we were doing what we thought was a good deed at the time.
    Haha, I suspected it was a story from the days of yore. Maybe bartering would work? Take of of their shoes.
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  2. #17
    Senior Member jniehof's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiguy View Post
    Agreed. Although it was not the time and place for a climbing lesson to whom someone I did not know.
    Absolutely. I'm tsking at them for not knowing it, not at you for not conducting a cliffside lesson. It's part of the age-old story that what you need to know and carry in the backcountry 95% of the time is a fraction of what you need to cover the 100%....

  3. #18
    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jniehof View Post
    Munter is a friend to all children.
    Exactly.

    There was a time -- pre ATCs and other devices-- when folks climbed and belays were safely made. Not the ideal, but totally functional nevertheless.

    But if you learned to climb in a gym, you probably never saw a hip belay in use!
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  4. #19
    Senior Member alexmtn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    I believe it was last year I passed by Lake Of Clouds hut and they were running an actual take out window with multiple food options, noodle dish and some other stuff. They actually had a menu board hanging on the side of hut. Thought that was a bit much. Not much of a wilderness experience.
    A hut's 'retail' offerings fall into two categories. In the first category are the aforementioned safety-related items that folks forget to bring, along with a few items of hut swag--all stored and sold at a small reception counter. Revenue from this stuff goes to AMC, and the volume is low.

    The second category is the sale of surplus food items from meals served to the paying guests. Most usual are baked goods and soup, but occasionally a visitor can score a 'pulled pork-class' item from the prior night's dinner. Revenue from these things, along with something to drink such as lemonade, goes to the hut 'croo' members as gratuities, typically a buck or two a pop.

    From first hand observation on hut visits numbering in the double digits each year, the availability of items in both categories is universally appreciated by visitors. The limited amounts food available each day are typically gobbled up by lunchtime. Personally, I've not witnessed a grumble or grimace related to these sales--just smiles. I'm finding it a challenge to fathom a downside.

    Alex

  5. #20
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexmtn View Post
    Personally, I've not witnessed a grumble or grimace related to these sales--just smiles. I'm finding it a challenge to fathom a downside.
    Alex
    I'm somewhat of a "snobby purist" when it comes to the wilderness. Not a huge fan of huts, artificial structures and other "trappings" of modern existence in the woods that could also be found in my local mall. I would put a take out window at 5,000 feet into that category. It's the blurring of a line between life back home and a day in the woods and I personally don't like it. I'm well aware of the fact that I am in the minority on that viewpoint. I've never used a hut bathroom, filled up water or anything else for that matter at a hut other than sit on the deck outside and talk to people or croo members. It's rare that I even go inside the summit building on Mt Washington during a hike, and rarer still that I buy anything. And when I do I generally kick myself for being a hypocrite.

    If whatever they're doing and selling makes money for a good cause and/or solves some sort of need I have no problem with it. I'm not out pushing for removal of huts, etc. The hut is already there so they might as well maximize the fun and the profits out of it for as many people as they can. I just wish the hut wasn't there in the first place. That's all.
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  6. #21
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    The AMC also maintains the trails we all hike on. I believe purchasing from the huts also supports the AMC and therefore trails? That's how I look at it, anyway. I don't mind the huts at Mizpah, LOC or Madison Springs. I really despise the summit buildings on Washington. That is my least favorite place in the Whites.

  7. #22
    Moderator David Metsky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by egilbe View Post
    The AMC also maintains the trails we all hike on.
    While the AMC trail croo does do a lot of work, the bulk of trails in the Whites are maintained by the WMNF trail crew, as well as many other volunteer and paid crews including the Dartmouth Outing Club, the Randolph Mountain Club, the Wonalancet Outdoors Club, Belknap Rangers, Trailwrights, Waterville Valley Athletic and Improvement Association, and a handful of others. The AMC is an important player, and they help maintain many of the trails to the huts, but they're not the controlling body nor do they maintain the most miles of trails.
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  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by egilbe View Post
    The AMC also maintains some of the trails some of us hike on. I believe purchasing from the huts also supports the AMC and therefore trails?
    I would hazard to say most trails are maintained by volunteers, whether they be individual trail adopters or AMC members who have paid for the privilege.

  9. #24
    Senior Member Barkingcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    If whatever they're doing and selling...solves some sort of need I have no problem with it.
    Yes -- it helps eliminate food waste. Better to sell it to someone who will eat it instead of bin it and cart it off/down the mountain.

  10. #25
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    I do challenge the concept that all food sold is leftover. I have been at the huts several times where the crew had deliberately cooked snacks for sale to dayhikers. I have seen sheet pans hot out of the oven mid morning that obviously were not left over from breakfast. On the other hand I have also seen obvious left overs from breakfast/dinner also being sold. Given Alex's confirmation that the hut snack trade is a non taxable gratuity direct to the crew, its pretty intuitive to me that some crews are going to supplement their income with sale of intentionally cooked snacks unless they are specifically told not to. Hard to beat tax free cash. The crews by default are given a lot of independence to run the huts and I could speculate that unless specifically told not to do so that the crews are going to stretch the limits. Realistically AMC is better off ignoring the issue so they can have plausible deniability and crews as scapegoats if there is a complaint.

    The question in my mind is if this is allowed by the AMC hut permit given the past rollback of hut sales required to obtain the new permit? I guess it goes back to the controversial hut relicensing back in 1998 where the USFS and AMC were both under external scrutiny. Reportedly prior re-permitting cycles were far less formal or controversial. I seriously doubt any forest service employee does routine audits if the huts are in compliance with permits unless there is complaint.

  11. #26
    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshandBaron View Post
    I would hazard to say most trails are maintained by volunteers, whether they be individual trail adopters or AMC members who have paid for the privilege.
    Yeah, my understanding is that AMC adopts a lot of the trails around their sites, but a lot of the work performed is by volunteers - just like the SAR work. I believe that the AMC crew is charged with doing trail work and helping coordinate rescues around their sites, but I'm light on details.
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  12. #27
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    I do challenge the concept that all food sold is leftover. I have been at the huts several times where the crew had deliberately cooked snacks for sale to dayhikers. I have seen sheet pans hot out of the oven mid morning that obviously were not left over from breakfast. On the other hand I have also seen obvious left overs from breakfast/dinner also being sold. Given Alex's confirmation that the hut snack trade is a non taxable gratuity direct to the crew, its pretty intuitive to me that some crews are going to supplement their income with sale of intentionally cooked snacks unless they are specifically told not to. Hard to beat tax free cash. The crews by default are given a lot of independence to run the huts and I could speculate that unless specifically told not to do so that the crews are going to stretch the limits. Realistically AMC is better off ignoring the issue so they can have plausible deniability and crews as scapegoats if there is a complaint.

    The question in my mind is if this is allowed by the AMC hut permit given the past rollback of hut sales required to obtain the new permit? I guess it goes back to the controversial hut relicensing back in 1998 where the USFS and AMC were both under external scrutiny. Reportedly prior re-permitting cycles were far less formal or controversial. I seriously doubt any forest service employee does routine audits if the huts are in compliance with permits unless there is complaint.
    This is an excellent summary. I would also add that retail sales according to Alex that even though they have been scaled back the AMC pockets the profit. I do realize that all nonprofits are not created equal. The AMC being a non profit how does this work?
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  13. #28
    Moderator David Metsky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiguy View Post
    The AMC being a non profit how does this work?
    https://www.charitynavigator.org/ind...ary&orgid=3304

    They do it by following all the rules for being a non-profit, and apparently doing fairly well at it.
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  14. #29
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Metsky View Post
    https://www.charitynavigator.org/ind...ary&orgid=3304

    They do it by following all the rules for being a non-profit, and apparently doing fairly well at it.
    That is great info. Looking at revenue from retail sales would you think that would fall under "Program Service Revenue"? Only a guess on my part.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  15. #30
    Senior Member iAmKrzys's Avatar
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    I stopped by LOC hut on a day hike in July. I used their free bathroom and filled up my water bottle. I also gladly had some soup and a piece of cake for a fee that I found totally reasonable (perhaps my perception is a bit skewed by food prices around NYC.) Basically I was pretty happy with that visit and I imagine that if the weather were bad I would be even more appreciative. Also let me say that this place has totally different atmosphere than the summit building.

    If you ever get a chance to travel to countries where there is a customary charge for bathroom use you may discover that all wooded roadsides are littered with toiled paper and are pretty disgusting IMHO. The point that I am making here is that unless visitor traffic is severely limited, there is a real need to address human waste problem and I think the huts are really helping here.

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