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By LRL
Jan 18, 2013
Kirby keeps saying it and he is right: these rules are only enforced if you are a jerkoff when approached by a ranger. If youre not you will get an explanation of why the regulation is in place. I have a healthy dislike of people in uniforms but my experience with NYS rangers has been overwhelmingly positive.

The bear can rule for the Eastern High Peaks is totally needed. Too many people with terrible bear hang skills has created generations of smart, bold bears. They will steal your pack in broad daylight if you walk 10 feet away from it. Think of what they will spend the night doing.




All this applies only to the Eastern High Peaks. The area sees so much use it is kind of ridic and so it does need more management to prevent clueless or couthless hordes from ruining it.

You go anywhere else in the ADK and you can pretty much do whatever the hell you want, there is no one else in the backcountry. I hiked the NPT this fall, covered 120 miles over 8 days and saw like 8 people total. I went 3 days without seeing a single person.

FLAG
By Marc H
From Lafayette, CO
Jan 18, 2013
The Cathedral Spires in RMNP, left to right: Stile...
J. Albers wrote:
"god damn it, my civil liberties deem that I have the right to posthole down the center of a ski trail".


Yup, that's exactly what I said.

J Albers wrote:
If I am misunderstanding your statement..


You are.

FLAG
By Bill Kirby
From Baltimore Maryland
Jan 18, 2013
Me eating a cliff bar walking back from Frankenste...
Civil liberties and anarchy sound so close these days

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By J. Albers
From Colorado
Jan 18, 2013
Bucky
Marc H wrote:
Yup, that's exactly what I said. If I am misunderstanding your statement.. You are.


While you may think your posts are clear and clever, they're actually cryptic and incoherent. But hey, maybe that's your purpose. How about you enlighten us schmoes with what you really mean?

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By Marc H
From Lafayette, CO
Jan 19, 2013
The Cathedral Spires in RMNP, left to right: Stile...
J. Albers wrote:
While you may think your posts are clear and clever, they're actually cryptic and incoherent. But hey, maybe that's your purpose. How about you enlighten us schmoes with what you really mean?


My previous statements are incoherent? Well you might have a tough time with the following..

Post holing down a ski track is poor etiquette. I believe poor etiquette is best handled through education as opposed to making more laws. I think that making laws in wilderness environments should be reserved for keeping people safe from one another and keeping the environments safe from people--and definitely not for tackling etiquette issues. I also don't think we should be making laws to keep people safe from themselves, but that's a whole different discussion.

I hope that's less cryptic. :-)

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By J. Albers
From Colorado
Jan 19, 2013
Bucky
Marc H wrote:
My previous statements are incoherent? Well you might have a tough time with the following.. Post holing down a ski track is poor etiquette. I believe poor etiquette is best handled through education as opposed to making more laws. I think that making laws in wilderness environments should be reserved for keeping people safe from one another and keeping the environments safe from people--and definitely not for tackling etiquette issues. I also don't think we should be making laws to keep people safe from themselves, but that's a whole different discussion. I hope that's less cryptic. :-)


A concise thesis statement, which is followed by a logical progression of well articulated arguments!!! Muy comprehendo!! :)

I get what you are saying and I agree with your sentiment regarding tackling etiquette issues via rules. Part of what makes the wilderness experience special is the lack of rules and personal accountability. However, that system of self-governance works best when there is a centralized and/or closely knit community of folks who hold one another accountable for acting like a shit heel (i.e. post holing down a ski trail). Moreover, it also requires that people have two features: (1) a well functioning frontal lobe that allows arguments for good etiquette to sink in; and (2) the capacity to put the needs of others over your own selfish desires.

The problem is that I think that a huge portion of the population does not have either of those features (yeah, I have a low opinion of people....thats why I go into the wilderness to be alone!!). Given this sad state of affairs, I don't know what works better, more rules or the right to hit postholers in the knee cap with a ball pean hammer. I guess I would make the following distinction. In low traffic areas, the best policy is probably community enforcement. In super high traffic areas, however, perhaps rules need to be implemented and enforced so that the moron masses don't overwhelm the rights of the few who are conducting themselves in a responsible manner. For example, while I hate quotas and rules in the wilderness, just imagine what a shit mess Indian Peaks would be if it was a total free-for-all. Nevertheless, if those rules were extended to more sparsely used areas like the Wind River Range, I think I would be complaining loudly. I guess it all depends on the particular situation at hand.

Finally, perhaps it would be more accurate to state that this a civil liberties AND personal responsibility issue. I know that a lot of people like to bitch about their civil liberties being trampled, but the flip side of the coin doesn't get nearly as much press. Perhaps there would be less civil liberty trampling in this country if people took their personal responsibilities to their fellow citizens more seriously, i.e. spend a bit more time thinking about your impact on others and less time thinking about your own selfish wants and desires.

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By John Husky
Jan 19, 2013
Not to be a know it all, but:

You do not need to carry ID in the US.

You can not out tree-climb a bear.

FLAG
By Bill Kirby
From Baltimore Maryland
Jan 19, 2013
Me eating a cliff bar walking back from Frankenste...
Well put J.

John yes and no that you do need to have ID with you in the US. The police can ticket you and/or detent you until they figure out how you are. That doesn't mean it's WWII East Germany out there but everyone is reqiured to be able to show ID when asked by a police officer or Ranger. It's the same deal as I've been saying.. Be chill and police won't make a big deal about your ID is back in your car. Act like a douchebag and well be ready for the cuffs. I've been there..

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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Jan 20, 2013
Rumney
Kirby1013 wrote:
Usually if you tell them where you're headed the rangers will know whether or not you need shoes. That doesn't work if A, you're a dick like most people they come across or B, it's snowed a foot yesterday. Most of the time if you're chill they will be too. If you get on your soapbox you'll come down off it with a ticket.


Not true, I was ticketed for not using snow shoes (had them on my back). Told the Ranger I didn't think they were needed. This was insufficient, he wanted "Yes sir, you are absolutely correct." Anything less was a threat to his authoritah! The reality was the trail was solid as a rock 99% of the way to/from Algonquin. This was at the END of the day, in the parking lot as we were leaving, and the Ranger acknowledged seeing me with the snowshoes on my pack as I was coming out to my car. There is still no doubt in my mind I was not the problem that day.

I won my case in court but never got compensated for the gas money to fight it (had to drive to LP on a non-hiking day). Pictures the ranger used against me I ended up using to win my case, which clearly showed the trail was hard packed and had ZERO post holes in the long stretch visible.

adirondackdailyenterprise.com/...

I was told in confidence later on that the current breed of rangers are trained as troopers by the state of NY. Essentially, they're cops with waaay too much authority to enforce what are really very minor infractions. Gone are the days of ranger rick. [this does not apply to backcountry employees of the State/caretakers, or assistant rangers]

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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Jan 20, 2013
Rumney
J. Albers wrote:
A concise thesis statement, which is followed by a logical progression of well articulated arguments!!! Muy comprehendo!! :) I get what you are saying and I agree with your sentiment regarding tackling etiquette issues via rules. Part of what makes the wilderness experience special is the lack of rules and personal accountability. However, that system of self-governance works best when there is a centralized and/or closely knit community of folks who hold one another accountable for acting like a shit heel (i.e. post holing down a ski trail). Moreover, it also requires that people have two features: (1) a well functioning frontal lobe that allows arguments for good etiquette to sink in; and (2) the capacity to put the needs of others over your own selfish desires. The problem is that I think that a huge portion of the population does not have either of those features (yeah, I have a low opinion of people....thats why I go into the wilderness to be alone!!). Given this sad state of affairs, I don't know what works better, more rules or the right to hit postholers in the knee cap with a ball pean hammer. I guess I would make the following distinction. In low traffic areas, the best policy is probably community enforcement. In super high traffic areas, however, perhaps rules need to be implemented and enforced so that the moron masses don't overwhelm the rights of the few who are conducting themselves in a responsible manner. For example, while I hate quotas and rules in the wilderness, just imagine what a shit mess Indian Peaks would be if it was a total free-for-all. Nevertheless, if those rules were extended to more sparsely used areas like the Wind River Range, I think I would be complaining loudly. I guess it all depends on the particular situation at hand. Finally, perhaps it would be more accurate to state that this a civil liberties AND personal responsibility issue. I know that a lot of people like to bitch about their civil liberties being trampled, but the flip side of the coin doesn't get nearly as much press. Perhaps there would be less civil liberty trampling in this country if people took their personal responsibilities to their fellow citizens more seriously, i.e. spend a bit more time thinking about your impact on others and less time thinking about your own selfish wants and desires.


Despite my poor prior experiences with being ticketed, I have to agree with most of this. The snow shoe regulation, in its spirit, is a good thing. The wording in the current reg is lousy, and open to (poor) interpretation by both user and law enforcement. It should say "USE" only, instead of POSSESS and use as it currently does. This was the distinction the judge made, saying that because I had them and could have used them if needed, then I was not violating the regulation. It's a simple modification to avoid confusion about this in the future, but they seem unwilling to change it.

However, law enforcement officials enforcing them are human and susceptible to the same frontal lobe failings as those violating the rules. The reality of the situation is that you can be arrested for failing to provide the ranger with the requested information, or as I was told in my case, "Dragged from my car" for failing to comply with his request(s) to see a valid ID for ticket issuance. When anyone in our society can physcially harm you in order to enforce a regulation (non-violent act), there's something 'wrong' IMO.

Yes, after reason failed to work on the Ranger I resorted to non-violent resistence. Dr King would have been proud. Never raised my voice, never resorted to any name calling, etc. I simply told him I hadn't done anything wrong so there was no need to see my identification. I repeated this several times. The Ranger had no clue what to do with me. he really hated my guts, up-and-to the court date where even the judge had to smack him with a good dose of chill-the-fuck-out as he tried to defame me in court for no reason. laws are only as good as their enforcement, and the enforcement of the high peaks regulations is poor at best.

Fwiw, I've since seen and spoke with the Ranger. I don't know if HE learned anything from our encounter, but he seemed a lot more relaxed and friendly towards me. I've learned that I don't like hiking in the eastern high peaks and avoid it most of the time now (rules, hordes of people, litter, smart bears, etc).

Thanks for the trip down memory lane. :-)

FLAG
By MaxSuffering
From KVNY
Jan 20, 2013
"He" probably didn't learn anything. I know the ranger in question and he's a world class moron of the "I'm a big tough ranger and you're going to listen to me" variety. The currently accepted norm in the peaks is that skis or snowshoes need to be carried and used when appropriate i.e. if you're postholing. Kevin, it sounds like you had a reasonable argument and the judge saw that.

Postholers suck. Really. Even if not punching though the thing I see people bare booting doing is caving in the edges of waterbars and stream crossings which then fail to fill in over the course of the winter. A few years ago a young lady hit a series of postholes skiing off Mt. Marcy, wrecked and broke her femur. Even on cutting-edge ascents of the Trap Dike everyone should be carrying snowshoes if the High Peaks.

The D.E.C. quotes safety as one reason to always carry snowshoes, this makes a lot of sense to me having followed the tracks of a snowshoeless hiker who got lost on Algonquin last year. He spent a cold night in the woods, clearly going waist deep over, and over and over again. Poor bastard... I covered the same ground in something like twenty minutes on skis.

Another safety issue is the fact that some of the skiers here are crazy. Take for instance the legend of the local skier (who I could name but won't) who met a group of three guys heading into Avalanche Pass postholing every step of the way. He asked where their snowshoes were and they said they left them with their packs back at Avalanche Camp Lean-to. The skier suggested they go back and get them, they refused. Then he told them to go back and get them, they still refused. Things got heated, names were called, feeling got hurt and our skier headed down the trail. He must have had his fill of skiing over the boot tracks because when he got to Avalanche Camp (this was back in the day when the lean-to sat in the clearing and faced the trail) and saw three large packs sitting with snowshoes attached he tweeked, grabbed the snowshoes and the packs and emptied the contents directly into Avalanche Brook. Like I said some of these guys are crazy. A few others have taken to shoulder checking postholers at full speed.

Now before people go crazy and fill up my email inbox telling me what a jerk I am I'll say that I don't agree with nor condone that sort of behavior. But I do think it's funny story. This should keep this thread going for a while.

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By Auto-X Fil
From NEPA and Upper Jay, NY
Jan 20, 2013
J. Albers wrote:
Finally, perhaps it would be more accurate to state that this a civil liberties AND personal responsibility issue. I know that a lot of people like to bitch about their civil liberties being trampled, but the flip side of the coin doesn't get nearly as much press. Perhaps there would be less civil liberty trampling in this country if people took their personal responsibilities to their fellow citizens more seriously, i.e. spend a bit more time thinking about your impact on others and less time thinking about your own selfish wants and desires.


Albers, we gotta get beer sometime. On me.

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By Will Roth
From Lake Placid, NY
Jan 21, 2013
Ishinca Base Camp, Peru
Use ski's or snowshoes! Just do it. Please. Having seen the damage done to the Apass trail last week just after the warm up but before the cool down; just bring them no matter what in winter time and use them when the conditions warrant it. Please just do this. Good modeling by the public that knows how to behave in winter will have a large impact on the compliance of the rest of the non knowing public. Although I generally don't agree with the overzealous enforcement of many of the NYS DEC Regs, I was glad to see 2 of the offenders last week turned around (who did not even have snowshoes with them!) and meet by a Ranger on their way back out.

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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Jan 21, 2013
Rumney
Will Roth wrote:
I was glad to see 2 of the offenders last week turned around (who did not even have snowshoes with them!) and meet by a Ranger on their way back out.


If they're not even carrying snow shoes and there's feet of snow on the ground, they really need their head checked anyway. It truly does become a safety issue (for them and potentially for the rescuers).

We wore crampons going up a slide a few years ago, for most of the approach and ascent. At the top we had to head into the trees to get to the ridge trail and encountered 6' of wind driven/drifted snow that, without snow shoes, would have been almost impossible to navigate. Even with snow shoes it took us a long time to go a few hundred yards. Point is - we carried snow shoes and didn't use them for 95% of our hike, but thank god we had them for that 5%! Even though technically the snow shoes were not "required" since we were off trail, it still made sense to have them with us regardless.

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By Bill Kirby
From Baltimore Maryland
Jan 21, 2013
Me eating a cliff bar walking back from Frankenste...
Sorry to hijack but since there's some local guys here I need to ask... What's with all the stateys rolling up and down 73 24 hours a day? I didn't see them much last summer. On one hand Im glad to not get run over walking to Noonmark dinner. On the other I think where did all the funding come from? What gives? Anyone know?

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By Nathan Stokes
Jan 21, 2013
They've always been active on 73 as far as I know. The 35 MPH zones extend pretty far outside the hamlets and people drive like they are on the Northway.

FLAG
 
By Marc H
From Lafayette, CO
Jan 21, 2013
The Cathedral Spires in RMNP, left to right: Stile...
J. Albers wrote:
A concise thesis statement, which is followed by a logical progression of well articulated arguments!!! Muy comprehendo!! :) I get what you are saying and I agree with your sentiment regarding tackling etiquette issues via rules. Part of what makes the wilderness experience special is the lack of rules and personal accountability. However, that system of self-governance works best when there is a centralized and/or closely knit community of folks who hold one another accountable for acting like a shit heel (i.e. post holing down a ski trail). Moreover, it also requires that people have two features: (1) a well functioning frontal lobe that allows arguments for good etiquette to sink in; and (2) the capacity to put the needs of others over your own selfish desires. The problem is that I think that a huge portion of the population does not have either of those features (yeah, I have a low opinion of people....thats why I go into the wilderness to be alone!!). Given this sad state of affairs, I don't know what works better, more rules or the right to hit postholers in the knee cap with a ball pean hammer. I guess I would make the following distinction. In low traffic areas, the best policy is probably community enforcement. In super high traffic areas, however, perhaps rules need to be implemented and enforced so that the moron masses don't overwhelm the rights of the few who are conducting themselves in a responsible manner. For example, while I hate quotas and rules in the wilderness, just imagine what a shit mess Indian Peaks would be if it was a total free-for-all. Nevertheless, if those rules were extended to more sparsely used areas like the Wind River Range, I think I would be complaining loudly. I guess it all depends on the particular situation at hand. Finally, perhaps it would be more accurate to state that this a civil liberties AND personal responsibility issue. I know that a lot of people like to bitch about their civil liberties being trampled, but the flip side of the coin doesn't get nearly as much press. Perhaps there would be less civil liberty trampling in this country if people took their personal responsibilities to their fellow citizens more seriously, i.e. spend a bit more time thinking about your impact on others and less time thinking about your own selfish wants and desires.


It sounds like we're in the same boat. I fully agree that too many people these days lack a sense of self-responsibility, a desire to educate themselves about the areas in which they recreate, and an awareness of how their actions affect those around them.

It also seems that a lot of parks have reduced the amount of education they provide their visitors while increasing the budget for gun-carrying rangers. Unfortunately, it appears to stem from a desire to increase revenue.

FLAG
By Bill Kirby
From Baltimore Maryland
Jan 21, 2013
Me eating a cliff bar walking back from Frankenste...
The first time I heard the word "downstater" someone was referring to a driver who blew through Keene then almost crashed at the fork by ADK cafe. You guys definetly need some police in the summer! It just seemed like too many for how little traffic there was in the winter

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By handon broward
From Westminster, CO
Jan 21, 2013
Elk Range, CO
DEC officers are essentially state troopers with even more power because of the environmental tag. Any cops is willing to admit this now, although I wouldn't recommend asking a DEC guy with their attitudes and all. When I got my ticket I did not even have my wallet and was not aware they wouldn't verify the info over the radio immediately. I definitely could have lied about everything and gotten away with it. Then again when I didn't pay the ticket I got a call from the US Marshal's service ten months later saying there was a warrant out for my arrest. You can never tell which way its going to go. When I was issued the ticket the ranger told me he was only going to give me a $100 fine only to have him write a $325 ticket and try to slip it in my pack and walk away unnoticed. The ensuing argument got me threatened with arrest for assault on an officer. There is very little continuity or consistency from ranger to ranger. You really gotta play it different every time.

As far as bear kegs in ADK...I understand that most people aren't smart enough to hang their food so bears cannot get it. But the only time I have ever seen the regulation enforced is arounnd areas where there are actually lean-tos and ranger outposts like at Colden. If they are concerned about those areas then just install food bins and require people to put their food in every night if staying at one of the lean-tos. You can easily cruise around the entire lake (Colden) in half an hour. Ranger makes a sweep at the end of the day...if you hide your food and decide not to use the bin, your risk/ your loss. The main reason it annoys me is because I have never had a ranger say.anything about not having a cannister, ever, while camped out on just a regular site somewhere else. And yes, they have asked. I get it that the rule exists to help protect people as well, but its not like Colorado or Cali where the bears will literally tear your car apart to get inside, we don't have that kind of tourism up here, especially within the interior, it is way too remote. Like someone above me said, you can go out for a week and see less people than the number of days you spend in the woods.

As far as the postholing, it is wayy more annoying. Last spring we went up without shoes expecting no snow and ended hoofing it through 2 feet of powder on the side of the trail. About an hour in some idiots blazed by us cracking about how we were dumb for not walking on the trail and wasting some much energy. As they put a foot through the pack like every three steps. Fast forward fifteen minutea, catch up to them on the trail getting chewed out by a ranger and being told to head back to the car. Ranger waved hi to us and thanked us for not postholing as we slogged and suffered by. Could tell the people he stopped did not even know what the term meant. Be educated and don't be ignorant, it makes it better for everyone eh.

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By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Jan 21, 2013
Epic free solo with a pack on
wut

FLAG
By Old and Busted
From Centennial, CO
Jan 21, 2013
Stabby
John Husky wrote:
You can not out tree-climb a bear.

You only need to out tree-climb your partner. One reason to carry a Bowie in the BC

FLAG
By MaxSuffering
From KVNY
Jan 22, 2013
Ben: Maybe you should try reading responses before commenting, the snowshoe rule is not only to protect skiers. Check out any winter trail after ten morons have walked down it without snowshoes. Also try getting off trail sometime in the High Peaks in winter, you won't make it very far. You sound like an idiot.

Kirby: Lots of cops rolling around rt 73 in the winter. They use the area from Saranac Lake to exit 30 to train the new guys fresh out of the academy because it's safe. Crime here consists of speeders, non-functioning taillights and a couple of good'ol boys who had one too many up at the Baxter. Places to watch out for: Coming into Keene from Cascade Pass, The junction of rt 73 and 9N, coming into Keene Valley from Chapel Pond and just before the Northway.

Ironically during the summer when it's difficult to walk from my house to the Mountaineer without getting run over there is far more prey on the Northway so you'll find them set up down there.

FLAG
By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Jan 22, 2013
Epic free solo with a pack on
I

FLAG
By Bill Kirby
From Baltimore Maryland
Jan 22, 2013
Me eating a cliff bar walking back from Frankenste...
Ben stop trolling! I know you have to be upset about that ticket but come on. Think about how many unexperinced hikers get themselves in trouble because they didn't have shoes with them. This endangers more than the dumbass. It puts SAR at risk when they come out to get them.

Mike you're another one talking crazy! Although I would interested in checking out the GoPro footage. I'm going to go type in man bear fight and knife into YouTube and see what I get.

Max A backpack trip of mine ended at the Garden lot. I got there really early and I knew I would be waiting for my ride for hours so I kept walking.. well crawling to Keene Valley. I figured I could use the phone at the Mountaineer to call my wife. As soon as I got on 73 I wanted to turn around and go back. Someone from NJ actually blew the horn at me for crossing the street! I yelled the speed limits 35 mph to which I got the ol F U reply. The guy had his wife and kids with him and was driving a suburban. I figured the best thing to do to enrage him was agree with him. Next he parks up the street from where I'll be walking. I just kept on coming. I pack a knife but it.always seems to be pulled out on humans not animals. Fortunately the guy pulled away before I got there.

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By Auto-X Fil
From NEPA and Upper Jay, NY
Jan 22, 2013
Ben, if you manage to stay on the trail all day, you can often get by with occasional postholes. But shit happens, and if you get off-trail you are totally fucked.

I don't like the law, but you can bet that if I find you postholing down the trail I'm going to berate you for it. It's extremely rude and selfish to not have snowshoes up there in the winter.

FLAG


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