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#50705 - 07/09/17 09:26 AM Poop management - a recommended read
Bob West Offline

Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 828
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
Here is an article from Sierra Mountain Guides that should be read by anyone who climbs Mt. Whitney or who is thinking about it. Read it if you care about human impact in our wilderness; ignore it if you could care less. This article is from professional guides who are on Whitney a lot and know of which they speak.

#50710 - 07/09/17 03:02 PM Re: Poop management - a recommended read [Re: Bob West]
Steve C Offline

Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7740
Loc: Fresno, CA
Thanks for posting the link, Bob. It is a good read. I think many will agree with Howie Schwartz' conclusion:

Let's acknowledge something though and be honest. It is a naive and idealistic notion that enough unguided Whitney climbers and hikers will comply with the unenforceable pack it out program on Mount Whitney. Something else must be done.

Schwartz includes a link to the Oye & Spitek "Mt Whitney Case Study" (currently on a Yosemite N.P. website),
where they (ironically) declared the hiker pack-out system a success:
In 2007, Whitney climbers voluntarily packed three tons of their human waste out to the trailhead.  With the success of this pack out program, there is now a safe and sanitary way for each individual to deal with their human waste.

The article also provides the link to the conference video presentation where Joe Arnold of Rocky Mountain National Park presented their llama-pack-out process: "Solar Dehydrating Toilets: a Case Study in Rocky Mountain National Park" Livestream video link (you need to sign up to view it.)

I would sure like to see a current report of how that process is working.
Edit: Appears to be continually working. This page published December 2016:
Solar Dehydrating Toilets on Longs Peak, Colorado

Also published on YouTube:
Published on Dec 19, 2016
Joe Arnold
Solar Dehydrating Toilets: a Case Study in Rocky Mountain National Park.

The solar dehydrating toilets on Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park have been in successful operation since 1983. It is estimated that each toilet can handle up to 5,000 uses during the peak climbing season of July and August. Nearly all liquid waste is disposed of in a tray evaporator and about 50% of the solid waste weight is removed by dehydrating. The remaining waste is removed and hauled by llamas to a sewage transfer station for further treatment. The toilets were completely custom built to withstand high altitude and winter conditions, extreme winds, high ultraviolet degradation and animal damage. The key to the success of the Longs Peak solar toilet program has been a long term commitment to maintenance. Managers considering the use of this system in other locations are advised to assess the ability of maintenance workers to perform repairs in remote locations, the commitment to remove dried waste on a regular basis, and the availability of a place to dispose of dried end product before committing to this system.

Joe Arnold began his career with the National Park Service in 1975 and has worked in Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. He was Park Engineer at Rocky Mountain National Park from 1981 to 2011 when he retired. He was involved in a 1982-83 US Public Health Service study that funded his design for the first generation of experimental solar dehydrating toilets on Longs Peak. Since that time the solar toilets have been upgraded and refined several times and are used in four remote locations in the Park. They have been in continuous operation for 32 years now.

And finally!!! Inyo N.F. should do this:
"RMNP installed free waste bag pick-up stations in the Chasm View Meadows."
from this link: Backcountry Waste Management

Edited by Steve C (07/10/17 09:35 AM)

#50723 - 07/10/17 05:00 AM Re: Poop management - a recommended read [Re: Steve C]
saltydog Offline

Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1565
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
I wonder why Howie thinks the current system is mandatory. How and when did that happen?* There is more than one reason why it is unenforced and unenforceable.

* Trick question.
Wherever you go, there you are.

#50732 - 07/10/17 08:21 AM Re: Poop management - a recommended read [Re: Bob West]
pd tahoe Offline

Registered: 06/08/17
Posts: 5
Loc: Truckee, Ca
Thanks for posting, Bob. That article is really good.

#50775 - 07/10/17 06:24 PM Re: Poop management - a recommended read [Re: Bob West]
SierraNevada Offline

Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1145
Loc: NorCal
Thanks, Bob. The blog post describes the sorry state of the pack-out wag bag program on Whitney and need to change course. This is coming from a prominent Eastern Sierra guide service that depends on a special use permit from Inyo NF to operate on Whitney, and they've been packing out their poop voluntarily for 20 years. You would expect them to advocate wag bags on Whitney, but clearly they realize this is not the right solution for this area. I hope Inyo management, Rangers, and all staff read this.