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#24208 - 05/22/12 09:58 AM Re: Yosemite: Fewer People Should Climb Half Dome [Re: Steve C]
dbd Online


Registered: 11/09/09
Posts: 200
Loc: San Diego
Originally Posted By: Steve C
...
Thanks so much, Dale, for coming in to swat the idea down yet again. I can see from your opinion relating the cables to parking lot pavement, that you would just as soon see them removed. ....So to me, your opinion backing the park's tighter quota is more a support of that ...


Steve
I didn't make any statement to swat the idea down and I expressed no opinion backing any particular quota. I asked you to flesh out a concrete proposal for discussion.

As to the road references, I got that from Ken's post:
Originally Posted By: Ken
After all, if there were not a road to the top, Glacier Point would have the same problem.

Ken was exactly right. Looking at that observation another way, if the wilderness act had excluded the cables from wilderness consideration as "paved paradise" the same way the road to Glacier Point was excluded, there would be less complication to providing alternate approaches to safely allowing larger numbers of people to use the cables. The Sierra Club decided that Half Dome was a special place and worth "paving paradise" to get people to. That distinction was not maintained by the Wilderness Act. There may be other places that you would not consider the terms of the Wilderness Act to be the best for as well, for example, the main Mt whitney trail.

As to traffic control implementation, I think there are two issues: traffic control up and traffic control down, and I think that one ranger can't do both. So it could take two. Is that a killer problem? I don't think so, but when you look at the current form of the Wilderness Act YMMV.

Please don't try to invent opinions for me. You are not very good at it. There is a difference between recognizing what currently applicable law is and what one might wish the rules to be. You might also do better in understanding official actions by considering whether they are required by the current Wilderness Act (and the hoops that the current legal structures require jumping through before changes can be tried) rather than solely a result of an official's personal inclination, imagination or lack thereof.

Dale B. Dalrymple

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#24223 - 05/22/12 12:48 PM Re: Yosemite: Fewer People Should Climb Half Dome [Re: amg]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: amg
Originally Posted By: Ken
Steve, I think that is a fair effort. I'm going to give it a little time to digest, before I respond.

One thing that I do want to talk about is a concept that I learned about last week that I didn't quite understand before: official hazards in wilderness. This was in the context of an advanced class in cutting trees that I was involved in, in which we were discussing what hazards exist that the public must be warned about. The answer: there are none by definition. The wilderness is a wild place that is not defined by man nor managed by man. As such, it should not have it's dangers be defined by any agency, but rather, be defined by the individual traversing it themselves so as to actually experience a wilderness place. To do otherwise is to steal wilderness from American experience.

So to have a ranger stand in a wilderness area, and order people to do something because of danger, is antithetical to wilderness meaning. People who are into wilderness are very passionate about these things!


If that is true, what is the justification for banning base jumping in Yosemite?

It seems a bit arbitrary considering that the wilderness is "managed by man", in that things like trail building/maintenance, fish stocking, and restrictions on access take place. And when you pick up a wilderness permit the rangers do warn you about hazards, at least in general terms. Since the cables are man made, and maintained by the park service, it's not exactly untouched wilderness anyway. What is the problem of turning people away if conditions are dangerous?


Base jumping, paragliding, Ultralighting, parachuting...are significant activities of man. I don't think you would consider it to be a normal activity of nature to be standing in a grove of trees, and see a parachute-laden person descending.

Fish stocking is no longer allowed in wilderness.

Trail maintenance is done to concentrate impact, so it is not spread all over the place, which is what would happen if trails did not exist (when they tried that-think Mirror Lake), and so that the trails will not deteriorate and cause damage to the surrounding areas. Enormous effort goes into doing in such a way so as to not leave a trace of the work that was done.

What is the problem of turning people away if conditions are dangerous?

Then you have taken on the responsibility of turning people away if any dangerous condition of any kind exists....which means that you turn people away all the time, because the cables are ALWAYS dangerous, that darn slippery rock and that pesky slippery cable. And then they have to supply rock shoes, and tie in carabiners and harnesses, water, guides, insurance, etc, etc, etc

or

people can be warned that wilderness is inherently wild and dangerous, and they are taking responsibility for their own safety.

Edit: Posts following this one were moved to the "Solar Toilets vs Carrying Wag Bags" thread, since they blended more into that topic.

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#24410 - 05/28/12 01:30 AM Re: Yosemite: Fewer People Should Climb Half Dome [Re: Ken]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: Ken
What is the problem of turning people away if conditions are dangerous?

Then you have taken on the responsibility of turning people away if any dangerous condition of any kind exists....which means that you turn people away all the time, because the cables are ALWAYS dangerous, that darn slippery rock and that pesky slippery cable. And then they have to supply rock shoes, and tie in carabiners and harnesses, water, guides, insurance, etc, etc, etc

or

people can be warned that wilderness is inherently wild and dangerous, and they are taking responsibility for their own safety.


So if I understand: they can warn of danger, but not stop anyone lest it lead down the proverbial "slippery slope".

It appears ironic that from the "Control Timing of Use commentary, Yosemite is using safety as the primary reason to dismiss it:

Quote:
This alternative was dismissed because it does not meet the purpose of increasing safety along the trail corridor. A late ascent time could have pose safety risks for many hikers. Most people plan their hike to Half Dome to take advantage of all daylight hours. Forcing some users to wait to ascend until the late afternoon would result in an increase in the number of hikers. Potential consequences of having to wait for a later ascent time could make their day even longer. There have been numerous search and rescue incidents caused by completing the return portion of their trip after dark. In addition, delaying people until later in the day means they are at the summit in the afternoon when thunderstorms are more likely.

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