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Backcountry Rangers

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Backcountry Rangers

Postby Tom » Thu Sep 23, 2010 2:17 pm

For the last 15 years I have not run into a backcountry ranger. This includes several trips into SEKI.

The only times that I have seen a ranger in the wilderness is when I have gone to them. Those times include once when I was injured and made my way to the Kern Ranger Station. By the time I got there I was fine. The ranger was pleasant and 2 years later I went through the area I decided that I would say hello. I guess that she moved to Roaring River but her replacement was also very pleasant, yet businesslike.

It really isn't a problem. I was just wondering if I am missing something, am I in the backcountry after the season (usually after Sept.) or have the rangers been drastically cut?



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Re: Backcountry Rangers

Postby texan » Thu Sep 23, 2010 2:58 pm

I ran into two backcountry rangers when I went to Emigrant Wilderness this year in August and everytime I have been to Piute Canyon in Hoover Wilderness I always see a wilderness ranger because there is a guard station nearby.

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Re: Backcountry Rangers

Postby quentinc » Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:16 pm

Rarely, except in certain extremely popular areas. The Vidette Meadows - Rae Lakes area over Kearasarge (saw George Durkee there, in fact, in July), Bishop Pass, and Cottonwood Lakes area on the east. The west seems to have a higher density -- I always see them at Mineral King, and we encountered a ranger in the Pear Lake area over Labor Day.

The only times I've seen rangers in more obscure locations is when they were off-duty (rangers get to play too!).
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Re: Backcountry Rangers

Postby TehipiteTom » Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:27 pm

I've run into retired rangers in the backcountry. Some of them even caught some fish.
;)
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Re: Backcountry Rangers

Postby sierramel » Thu Sep 23, 2010 5:11 pm

I used to run into them fairly often, back in the day. We used to see George Durkee when he was posted at Rae Lakes, then when he and his wife Paige when they were posted in Evolution Valley. I used to see Randy Wilkinson (the "disappeared ranger) when he was stationed at the Taboose ranger cabin in the early 90's. In recent times I've seen the ranger from Crabtree (Dorian? what's his name?) when he was doing his rounds, and two other rangers whose names I've forgotten who were (at different times) at the ranger station down at the Bishop Pass Trail junction.This past summer I ran into "Mike" the ranger down in Tully Hole, and again up at Purple Lake.
"Some places remain unknown because no one has ventured forth. Others remain so because no one has ever come back."
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Re: Backcountry Rangers

Postby oldranger » Thu Sep 23, 2010 5:58 pm

Let me see. I ran into Bob Keenan at McClure in Sept. 2005, two Yosemite Stock Rangers dressed like road patrol rangers on my way up to Benson Pass in Sept. 2006. No rangers in 2007. Bench Lake Ranger in September 2008. None in 2009. Two backpacking non commisioned (no guns) rangers at the jct of Muir trail and Ireland lake/Evelyn Lake/Vogelsang trail Sept 1 this year. Also met exseki bc ranger about a mile and a half below Donohue Pass. I guess most former BC rangers can't stay away from the Sierra. 2007 and 2009 trips were either early in the season or headwaters of Merced with lots of off trail hiking.

It can be pretty hit and miss whether you see a BC Ranger. At Roaring River for example I had 5 different routes I could take directly out of the station. Then there were a couple of variations on those. Then if I did a 3 day patrol x-country into the Great Western Divide a person heading up Deadman Canyon would never see me. Generally during the peak season (first 3 weeks of August) I tried to be at the Station almost every night or at least leave a note where I was in case of emergency. Generally this would be either upper Ranger Meadow or Someplace easy to find up Cloud Canyon. It is a tough call--be out and about to do work that needs to be done and know the country in case of a search or rescue or be available near the station. Of course sometimes while out on patrol I encountered people who needed help, too.

Happy Trails

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Re: Backcountry Rangers

Postby AlmostThere » Thu Sep 23, 2010 6:35 pm

We hiked Onion to Horseshoe last month and saw a ranger and his wife heading for Kearsarge (we were eating lunch at Bullfrog). Next day we saw the ranger at Tyndall. Next day we saw the Crabtree ranger. Day after that we passed two rangers (they were coming in) as we were heading up from Rock Creek and over New Army.

In Yosemite this year, I've seen a ranger on trail three times. Last year I saw rangers every time we backpacked (about 4-5 times) in Yosemite.

When we came out of Dinkey Lakes over Labor Day weekend, the ranger's truck was at the trailhead - we were coming out one side of the loop, he was heading in the other side.
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Re: Backcountry Rangers

Postby mokelumnekid » Thu Sep 23, 2010 7:05 pm

Count me among those that rarely sees them, outside of Yosemite NP. And never in the northern areas- north/east of Yose like Hoover, Mokelumne/Iceberg, etc. Too damn many cows I guess. Kind of a moot point doing LNT when there is cow crap everywhere and them cutting cross every trail and wallowing in the meadows. But I digress. In the high Sierra, probably because I usually come in east side TH's and as soon as possible, typically move off established trails.
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Re: Backcountry Rangers

Postby SSSdave » Thu Sep 23, 2010 8:14 pm

Over the long years have always occasionally run into backcountry rangers. Were much more common back in the 70s and 80s. And usually engage them in conversation if they are not obviously dealing with others or in a hurry. This year met one going into Kibbie Lake on the 4th holiday and watched one with a shovel stabbing at stuff on the trail next to East Lake. Would be glad to see more than are curently out in the backcountry and have them more aggessively wield their clubs.
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Re: Backcountry Rangers

Postby giantbrookie » Thu Sep 23, 2010 8:41 pm

Considering how many years and trips, I guess I haven't met too many rangers in the backcountry. I remember two different meetings on one trip in July 1996: one near the Crabtrees, and another at some unnamed lakes S. of Forrester Pass. I remember being very impressed with the hiking speed of the fellow I met at near Forrester. I saw him as dot in the distance and the next thing I know he's saying hello. I met one near Bench Lake in July 1997 and one near Bearpaw in July 2002. I think I ran into a USFS ranger at Long Lake along the Bishop Pass trail sometime in the 90s and I have a recollection of meeting another one in Desolation. I remember all of the meetings as being very pleasant, especially the Seki ones. One of the rangers had some very serious fishing info--it just so happened that I had already planned to hit the lakes he suggested.The USFS rangers were pleasant but briefer--mostly about checking for wilderness permit and that was that. The conversations with each of the Seki rangers were very interesting and fun--each had some interesting tidbits to share (hiking, climbing, fishing, etc).
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Re: Backcountry Rangers

Postby lambertiana » Thu Sep 23, 2010 9:58 pm

My first encounter was around 1995 in Mokelumne Wilderness, on the trail between Tanglewood and Mokelumne Peak (about five miles in from Tanglewood), only person I saw that day. Then I went ten years before seeing one on the Franklin Pass trail (considering how often I am around Mineral King, it may be unusual to have had only one meeting on the trail there). After that, in the last five years, I have met the ranger at Roaring River, George Durkee at Charlotte Lake, the Rae Lakes ranger coming over Glen Pass, a Sierra NF ranger on Piute Creek, the ranger at McClure, and the ranger at Bench Lake. There was another one I met on a North Lake to South Lake loop, but I don't recall exactly where. And, of course, a couple times on the Portal side of Mt Whitney on a few trips, that is patrolled heavily.
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Re: Backcountry Rangers

Postby sierramel » Fri Sep 24, 2010 2:17 pm

Wow.. How could I ever fail to remember Patt? The first time I ran into her in '96, she was working out of the cabin just west of Sally Keyes. After that, every time I was over that way she'd be wandering around between there, Rosemarie Marie Meadow and the Muir Trail Ranch. These days, as probably a lot of you know who get down to the MRT, she is the short, gray-haired, grandmotherly little person who checks people into the resupplies at the ranch.
Hell, it seems nearly everyone I run into on the JMT knows who Patt is!
"Some places remain unknown because no one has ventured forth. Others remain so because no one has ever come back."
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