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New Yosemite JMT Permit Rules?

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Re: New Yosemite JMT Permit Rules?

Postby RichardCullip » Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:03 am

tim wrote:Interesting that there's no link to finishing south of Reds Meadow. So that takes a southbound Tuolumne to Mammoth hike off the table. I guess the logic is that you can always do it in the opposite direction?


From my understanding, the reservation form ( http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/u ... itform.pdf ) allows a Lyell Canyon Entry Trailhead and a Red's Meadow or Devil's Postpile Exit Trailhead. However, you will be competing for the limited number of Lyell Canyon trailhead permits (15 reserved, 10 walkup) that allow a Donohue Pass exit from Yosemite National Park.
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Re: New Yosemite JMT Permit Rules?

Postby CharlieW » Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:08 am

As one of the folks that will be competing for these 45 exit slots next week, I'd like to express my strong approval for the new limit. If I win the permit lottery, I'll have a better experience on the JMT due to the change. If I don't, I'll hike the Big SEKI loop instead and be just as happy.
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Re: New Yosemite JMT Permit Rules?

Postby SSSdave » Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:22 am

HiSierra >>>"...In the case of Lyell Canyon, a lot of JMT hikers go over the pass in a day. All of the in-park hikers will be camping in the area. Who's doing more damage? Hard to say without better data."

As noted in my post on page 4, the solution to reducing wilderness damage is more about backcountry enforcement than reducing or changing quota numbers. And is an important issue beyond the heavily used through trails. As noted the current social ethical behavior of this era in our country has changed for the worse versus decades ago to be a more accepting status quo of lying, cheating, scamming, and ignoring public policies. Accordingly the only way to impact the now significant portion that operate so to change attitudes is to have authoritative boots in the backcountry.

Although many talk about bear incidents, I see illegal campfires and camping too close to lakes as more important issues. As long as visitors with weak ethical attitudes continue to see the many established campsites too close to lakes or obviously well used firepits above elevation limits, these issues will only get worse. A NPS/NFS person will relate that they continually remove firepits and make it difficult to use those campspots as though that is enough.

Yet beyond better enforcement they are resistant to doing the obvious of putting up those little yellow "NO CAMPING" placards up high on tree trunks at such sites. Or place "CAMPING ALLOWED" placards on the many old packer sites still being used despite not meeting 100 foot distance policy, that send the message that ignoring policy is apparently ok. Every time those with weak attitudes see examples of others ignoring policy it re-enforces their own behavior to do likewise. Instead one only usually sees wilderness policy signs at trailheads or wilderness boundaries. Obviously would be much more effective to put up signs along a trail going up canyon right at the 10,000 foot elevation level where campfires are no longer permitted or at near approach to popular lake destination. And yeah I see little value in paying attention to anti-sign whiners.
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Re: New Yosemite JMT Permit Rules?

Postby markskor » Fri Jan 30, 2015 11:47 am

SSSDave,

Respectfully sir...
Lots of little backcountry signs is your answer to this conundrum?
Wow! Really?

Mark
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Re: New Yosemite JMT Permit Rules?

Postby SSSdave » Fri Jan 30, 2015 1:18 pm

Of course the issue of signs in the backcountry has been quietly debated for decades and I've been outspoken. There are well considered advocates for each side both within the NPS/NFS organizations and the public so it is not a "WOW" (how could you think that) kind of position.

Those against signage essentially relate it makes wilderness less wilderness like which bothers them. However not much more so than what is already there as human foot and horse trails, campsites, firepits, trail junction signs, mileage signs, bear boxes, and human presence. In other words the addition of a few more signs in those vast areas is trivial. It seems to be more a psychological issue for those that are against signage because it contains written words which grates against their sense of naturalness versus say a trail etc. To this person that comes off as those who have simply taken one side of an minor argument and like a bulldog with a bone become stubborn to let go. Despite the fact the current situation with static policy is only getting worse. Personally I would be fine with less signage if numbers of users that were ignoring policy were much lower but that is not the current situation so the wise strategy is to do something to fix it.
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Re: New Yosemite JMT Permit Rules?

Postby CharlieW » Fri Jan 30, 2015 4:13 pm

Granted, we can all agree that Millennials are of lesser moral fiber than my own generation: after all, we voted for "Individual Responsibility." Fortunately, the will to pay for these "authoritative boots" is not likely to materialize while my (ethically superior) generation still walks this earth.

Sorry for the sarcasm. Well, not really. I can't resist when I see curmudgeonry. Seriously, I'm all for more rangers and hope to see changes in federal/state budgets (or park/permit fees) that will allow that. Until that happens, I see the quota management as perhaps the best that can be done.
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Re: New Yosemite JMT Permit Rules?

Postby Hobbes » Fri Jan 30, 2015 4:21 pm

Add me to the confused list. Is the exit quota only for trips originating in Yosemite NP? What's to stop people from walking into the Mono forest service office, picking up an entry permit for Tioga lake (exit somewhere south of Donohue), and then jumping on YARTS to the TM visitor center to begin their hike?

If riding YARTS into the park doesn't work, then why not pay the walk-in fee to Yosemite @ the Tioga pass gate, cut across Dana meadows - following Dana creek - and then contour around the shoulder of Mammoth peak to access the JMT/PCT? If you did take the YARTS bus to TM and ran into a ranger on the trail, how would they know you didn't hike from Dana meadows?

Perhaps YNP is assuming people aren't clever or adaptable and will just deal with the inter-park restrictions. As Schmaltz noted above, NAP/Cottonwood are popular because they're basically 100% slam-dunk, gonna get permit situations, whether for Whitney or the JMT/PCT. In fact, cutting through Miter basin is a double-plus win, because you can cruise down Crabtree to catch the JMT/PCT junction (thereby avoiding the yucky Siberian/Rock creek/Guyot sand slog), and decide to either head up to Whitney & back, or just hike north to wherever you feel like going.

Given restrictions at major points of entry, knowledgeable people will simply keep moving out to the next available THs. Oh, and get off my lawn! :mad:
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Re: New Yosemite JMT Permit Rules?

Postby snusmumriken » Fri Jan 30, 2015 5:03 pm

Thanks for the belly laugh Charlie. And I agree.
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Re: New Yosemite JMT Permit Rules?

Postby JWreno » Fri Jan 30, 2015 5:37 pm

Last year I did my first Happy Isles to Whitney Portal version of the JMT. Had a good time but wasn't convinced it was better than my two complete north bound trips starting at Horseshoe Meadows and finishing at Happy Isles. My next few years will be in other places. This year I am thinking about an Ionian Basin loop from North Lake. Some in the future when I do the JMT again it will be out of the south where a 24 week in advance permit chance isn't required. Not sure why so many people prefer to do it southbound.

My least enjoyable parts of the southbound trip are Happy Isles to Sunrise High Camp and Whitney down to Whitney Portal. Northbound I finish non-traditiona by going over the more interesting Clouds Rest area vs Sunrise Creek.
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Re: New Yosemite JMT Permit Rules?

Postby SweetSierra » Fri Jan 30, 2015 8:30 pm

[quote="JWreno"]Not sure why so many people prefer to do it southbound.
quote]

I think it's because most want to end their JMT hike by climbing Mt. Whitney. It's the singular goal for the hike's end. At least that's what I've read.

I've always liked Cottonwood and hope to do part of the JMT from that direction this year.
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Re: New Yosemite JMT Permit Rules?

Postby markskor » Sat Jan 31, 2015 11:20 am

"Not sure why so many people prefer to do it southbound".

Permits...The annual Whitney Trail lottery restricts access NOBO from the Portal. It was (up to now) so much easier to start/get permits from Yosemite.

HiSierra wrote:I've also been advocating better public information about the specifics of the problem. Let people know there are two areas where camping has become concentrated, and they should try to avoid those (Sunrise area and Lyell Canyon). Show them these areas on a map, and alternative areas to camp, as part of the "bear lecture." A good percentage of hikers will want to avoid crowds, bears, and overused sites. But they have to know in advance. This info should be on the website for trip planning as well.

JMT, Yosemite through-access is the problem...thoughts.
Instead of advocating alternative areas/ telling JMT hikers to avoid these two main "bottleneck" zones - (Sunrise area and Lyell Canyon), suggest herding all (or most anyway) of the Muirs together while in the park...It's a freeway trail anyway.

Introduce two large campsites (similar to LYV) - one somewhere near Sunrise HSC and another at Twin Bridges (half way up Donahue). You can post little signs...station a backcountry Ranger at both...maybe erect adequate (two-story?) crappers at both too...force/encourage the JMT permit-holding hikers to stay at these designated MUIR camps. Charge all SOBO JMT hikers $25 each (call it a Yose MUIR fee?) to pay for the Rangers salary. This plan would alleviate encouraging dispersed camping along Yosemite's initial Muir sections - never a good idea when 100 (many brand new) hikers/day start out/or pass using one corridor. There would then be 4 larger, quality, "MUIR must" campsites along the route in Yosemite (much like the Missions)...LYV, Sunrise, Tuolumne BP, and Twin Bridges, plenty of room for all, and lots easier to maintain/manage all the JMT crapola when it is contained, not dispersed.

All other quotas would/could then remain the same.
BTW, why a public forum discussion period would be nice before any action taken.
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Re: New Yosemite JMT Permit Rules?

Postby SSSdave » Sat Jan 31, 2015 10:31 pm

Thanks Mark for showing others how to think out of the box. Well done! The park ought to be well experienced with making that kind of camping system run smoothly. Will also stand as a warning to those who have been ignoring policy and damaging the wilderness, that play by the rules or priveleges may be reduced.
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