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Author Topic: pissed at the AMC  (Read 2725 times)

Dave

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pissed at the AMC
« on: July 18, 2011, 12:47:31 AM »

I'm not sure this belongs here so Al can move it if he wants. I recently observed the trail work at Rumney which included cutting steps in slabs that a 4 year old can climb and although it really pissed me of I figured most people wanted Rumney to be an outdoor gym so I just accepted it. Why is it nescessary to do this in an area that is about climbing. If you are in such piss poor shape that you need steps cut in a 10 foot 2nd class slab to reach the crag please stay away, you need to find another sport!

I am no longer accepting this and will be raising hell tomorrow morning with the AMC about what I witnessed on the Franconia ridge loop yesterday. My gf and I decided to take a break from climbing and do a quick lap of the ridge. Many people on this board do this loop on days off just because it is 1 of the best hikes in the whites and a great training run. On falling waters trail at the first stream crossing the AMC trail crew has cut stairs in the rock leading to the crossing! Again, this is a rock that your average 4 year old can negotiate. If you have the physical ability to do that hike why do stairs need to be cut into the rocks? Why don't we pave the whole *$&^%#$ trail and put escalators on the steep sections!? After witnessing this destruction we get to the summint of Lafayette only to get a lecture from an "AMC Summit Steward" on wilderness preservation and leaving no trace. (30 seconds into his lecture my gf was praying I didn't kill him I was so pissed) If the AMC wants to leave no trace they can start by removing all the huts which in my opinion are an eyesore and attract large crowds of people that really don't care that much about the mountains but talk a great game while they trample everything in the area to death. Again, if you are so fat and in such piss poor shape that you need the convenience of stairs please stay away.

I understand after 40+ years of hiking and climbing in the whites that trails need to be maintained to do things like prevent erosion but they are now going to far IMO when the cut permanent steps in 2nd class terrain. The whites may not be the Alaska range or the Andes but they are where many of us learned to climb and we love them and don't want to see them destroyed. If an area is trampled after a time it will regenerate but those stairs will be there forever!

I hope there will be some AMC members who read this and are offended and pissed enough to also raise hell about this if they really love the mountains they talk so much about. They cut stairs in mountains but God forbid anyone bolt a route in thier sacred dump called the Quincy Quarries.

And finally, please get your shit together before you plant some jerk on a summit to lecture me about leaving no trace!

Dave R.
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JakeDatc

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Re: pissed at the AMC
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2011, 07:01:03 AM »

Damn.    They need to put that jack hammer away.    I was not happy with what they did at Rumney  but doing it out on actual AMC trails in the Whites is unacceptable..

Sounds like someone new there likes to cut corners and needs to go
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Erik N

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Re: pissed at the AMC
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2011, 07:10:19 AM »

The AMC may have done some of the work you are talking about but they are not the land managers/owners. Rumney is USFS and Franconia ridge I believe is on State park and USFS land.  
Trail work does not necessarily go by the same standards as rock climbing yet the process and overall goal is often the same for better or worse.  
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M_Sprague

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Re: pissed at the AMC
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2011, 07:26:22 AM »

It is amazing to me seeing the relatively small things people get really butt hurt about in the context of the big picture. I think if you moved the pencil on their desk two inches they would scream.
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Dave

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Re: pissed at the AMC
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2011, 08:17:12 AM »

It is amazing to me seeing the relatively small things people get really butt hurt about in the context of the big picture. I think if you moved the pencil on their desk two inches they would scream.

I feel the steps are a sign of a much more serious problem. It is the precedent they set. Where does it end? Maybe we should pave the trails and put fences where there are dropoffs to make them safer.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2011, 08:29:53 AM by Dave »
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Dave

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Re: pissed at the AMC
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2011, 08:24:08 AM »

The AMC may have done some of the work you are talking about but they are not the land managers/owners. Rumney is USFS and Franconia ridge I believe is on State park and USFS land.  
Trail work does not necessarily go by the same standards as rock climbing yet the process and overall goal is often the same for better or worse.  

You're kidding. I had no idea that they were managed by the USFS! :o

I have a call in to Tom Wagner who is the USFS supervisor in the WMNF. I am waiting for a return call to see what he says about this sudden new trend in trail maintenance.
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strandman

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Re: pissed at the AMC
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2011, 09:20:50 AM »

Dave- i gotta agree with you , esp about those fucking huts, a long time issue IMO. I can't sleep in certain areas, but the AMC can have a building and charge $$$$ for it.


I do not agree with your statement about the great Quarries though !!! What a treasure    ;D
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Dave

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Re: pissed at the AMC
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2011, 09:33:17 AM »

Dave- i gotta agree with you , esp about those fucking huts, a long time issue IMO. I can't sleep in certain areas, but the AMC can have a building and charge $$$$ for it.


I do not agree with your statement about the great Quarries though !!! What a treasure    ;D

Sent you a pm John. I have a few history questions about some routes in the quaries and you are one of the few people that could likely answer them.
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bayard russell

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Re: pissed at the AMC
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2011, 09:43:44 AM »

Good for you Dave! I would have been just as incensed if I had the same encounters you described... and, I can't ever even find a pencil on my desk!

Mark, Dave's rant houses a perfectly valid complaint; why be so dismissive of it?
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JBrochu

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Re: pissed at the AMC
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2011, 10:00:40 AM »

It is amazing to me seeing the relatively small things people get really butt hurt about in the context of the big picture. I think if you moved the pencil on their desk two inches they would scream.

Ya right when the Forest Service wants to regulate climbers, suddenly a fixed rappel sling is an illegal "permanent structure" yet they allow bridges, huts, and ridiculous trail work like painting god damn arrows on everything all over the trails throughout "Wilderness Areas."

I realize that the trail work in question is in the State Park but still it's a bad example for the AMC to be setting. And personally I would have told the guy trying to give me a lecture to go punch his clown.

   
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lucky luke

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Re: pissed at the AMC
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2011, 10:08:21 AM »

I'm not sure this belongs here so Al can move it if he wants. I recently observed the trail work at Rumney which included cutting steps in slabs that a 4 year old can climb and although it really pissed me of I figured most people wanted Rumney to be an outdoor gym so I just accepted it. Why is it nescessary to do this in an area that is about climbing. If you are in such piss poor shape that you need steps cut in a 10 foot 2nd class slab to reach the crag please stay away, you need to find another sport!
As a biologist, I am concern about the interaction between wildlife and flora. Man is an animal, for me. In one side, as alpine climber, we all know that avalanches happen in slopes of 30 to 45 degree. What happen with snow, also happen with sand. Erosion is greater in a slab 10 foot 2nd class slab. As a manager, I will prefer that all the climber use he same path that I can protect from erosion to avoid that the root of the trees be in the air and kill them. There was many falling trees recently at rumney and the deforestation is some think worse than few stairs.

On the other side. Falling trees are mostly pine. If you take the age of those trees, you will understand that they are old and will died naturally. In a natural vegetal evolution, needle tree will leave the place to birtch and maple tree. In many area, cutting those dangerous pine are more urgent than stopping erosion. If it is true that branches help to stabilize the soil, it is also true that it will take more than a deceny to have a positive impact of natural evolution. So, cutting old tree could be a better intervention than making step.    
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DLottmann

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Re: pissed at the AMC
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2011, 10:09:58 AM »

I agree that trail maintenance should be focused on erosion issues and subtly keeping people on trails. Laura and Guy Waterman's Wilderness Ethics is a must read for those passionate in the subject. It's been a long time since I've read it but I remember a lot of what Guy talks about with proper stewardship involved the Franconia Range. Subtle trail work that would keep the masses on the trail protecting the more fragile areas, but not ruining the "wilderness" feel of the area.

Concerning the AMC and their huts, I feel they do "some" good, which has lessoned my personal animosity towards them. The AMC certainly has huge impacts on the WMNF. I feel the huts bring people into the mountains who might not otherwise. These people might be active voters and can help protect wilderness areas.
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OldEric

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Re: pissed at the AMC
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2011, 10:17:49 AM »

The AMC for trails in the northeast is in a similar situation to Nichols and bolts - they get blamed for everything regardless of who is at fault.  Rumney is USFS,  Franconia Notch (and a lot of Crawford and Whitehorse and Cathedral) is all state park.  The Quincy Quarries are MDC (or whatever DCR-ish thing it has morphed into).  That's not to say that the AMC is totally innocent either - they have a professional trail crew and extensive volunteer trail workers who do a lot of the maintenance on trails in these areas and it may well have been AMC people that did the damage that Dave is ranting about.  And of course it doesn't help the AMC's image with climbers in particular when you consider their legacy - vs. Vulgarians in the 50's, Tetons tragedy in the 60's and the prevailing goody-2-shoes attitude combined with the typical WASP-ish make up that still prevails today.  But I think it is important to know just who actually has jurisdiction over and manages the places you care about and also remember that the AMC is not a big monolithic entity but actually has a fair amount of distention in the ranks.  I'm involved somewhat with the Boston Chapter Mountaineering Comm. and I think in that case the good (lots of training programs - big contribution to the WMCC for Farley etc.) has usually outweighed the bad (rigid "guidelines" for climbing and just general corporate BS) and think that we have been pretty good at maintaining our independence from AMC central (although I confess that I think a  lot of that has changed now and the aging members are sinking into armchair mountaineer status and are drinking the cooperate kool-aid. latest boon doggle is spending an exorbitant amount of $$ to mow the grass in Dave's beloved Quarries - I could do a DR like rant about that - and the grass will grow back).  So get your facts nailed down and consider whether you are going to have more of an impact on changing things by complaining or getting involved.

And Sprague better not touch my pencil.
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strandman

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Re: pissed at the AMC
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2011, 10:27:41 AM »

I thought mowing the grass at QQ was for another golf course ?
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frik

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Re: pissed at the AMC
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2011, 11:31:10 AM »

All you people ever do is bieatch and moan...
You guys who are complaining about the AMC huts, need to get off your lazy a$$es, and take care of the problem.
A few crates of dynomite should do it.. 
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