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Hiking all the trails, Sierra?

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Re: Hiking all the trails, Sierra?

Postby schmalz » Tue Apr 21, 2015 5:59 pm


Schmaltz, with all due respect in my personal opinion you are a little off the mark.


On what? My first point is that there is a documented decline of interest in our natural areas in younger generations? Do you have any documentation that points to the contrary?

For one, there will always be an interest in preserving and exploring nature with or without the internet, tech, guides, hell even maps.


Sure, there will always be some level of interest. According to research, the amount of it is declining.

Just looking at the mountains stirs the soul.


Maybe. Let's also take into account that the original westerners who entered the Sierra pillaged the land for as much profit as possible. I see that as the default perspective in our society.

Because it is a real experience, and the internet is just words and pictures on a screen, and simply BECAUSE there is a mystery. I could just as easily surmise that "virtual trammeling" is indeed just that as the mystery and discovery instills a respect not found otherwise. Using social media, and the internet is definitely a double edged sword, and something I have conflicting opinions on. Sometimes knowledge is power, and sometimes no knowledge is power. Not knowing what lies beyond is powerful and a feeling that is dying in the information age. All things in moderation at the appropriate time, in the appropriate place, ya dig?


Okay, now I'm not even sure how to respond to this. I guess you don't like social media, despite being here which is basically an extension of that? The entire purpose of HST is to give us information about what lies ahead in the Sierra.

Back in the day, John Muir used newspaper articles and Ansel Adams published his photos in magazines. That was the "social media" of the 19th and 20th centuries, and it did a remarkable job at jumpstarting the environmental movement and getting the Sierra all of the protection it enjoys today.

Assuming that conservation is a concern of the past and that modern photography and writing doesn't help in this service is I think misguided. Just recently Congress passed measures which contain language that opens up the sale of national forest and federal wilderness to private owners. Now, I realize that that particular example will most likely result in nothing, but there is definitely a constant pressure among business interests in this country to reclaim protected land. Making the public continue to care about these places is the best thing we can do to protect them. Ya dig?
Last edited by schmalz on Tue Apr 21, 2015 7:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.



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Re: Hiking all the trails, Sierra?

Postby zacjust32 » Tue Apr 21, 2015 6:19 pm

I'm with you Schmalz, as a college student I have seen way too many younger people not get out and enjoy the Sierra or nature in general for that. I've had classmates ask me why I go and hike 10+ miles a day when I have the National Geographic channel! The article stated that the majority of park users are over 50 and I think I can say the same about the active users on this forum. You were born into a generation that started the whole movement to get back to nature, it's in your blood as much as Facebook and Twitter is in ours. In my experience most young people these days are not willing to put in the work to get that spiritual sense out of nature you and I get, and it's very important to remember that whenever we deal with the next generation. That's why I love seeing the TR with kids and grandkids hiking, maybe they'll bring their friends and in turn we will lower the median age in the parks (no offense to all the old farts ;) ).
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Re: Hiking all the trails, Sierra?

Postby Cross Country » Tue Apr 21, 2015 7:05 pm

To get where I wanted to go I almost alway started on a trial. Apart from this I almost never met a trail I liked and nearly never met a cross country route I didn't like. Hence my name "cross country".
PS: I avoided routes like the one down Goddard Canyon to the Kings river. I always talked to people and I know how to read (reports of bad routes).
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Re: Hiking all the trails, Sierra?

Postby rlown » Tue Apr 21, 2015 7:33 pm

Sara's efforts are noble. let her run.

zacjust32 wrote:You were born into a generation that started the whole movement to get back to nature, it's in your blood as much as Facebook and Twitter is in ours. In my experience most young people these days are not willing to put in the work to get that spiritual sense out of nature you and I get, and it's very important to remember that whenever we deal with the next generation. That's why I love seeing the TR with kids and grandkids hiking, maybe they'll bring their friends and in turn we will lower the median age in the parks (no offense to all the old farts ;) ).


I'm with you on the part of introducing new people to the concept of hiking and backpacking. Several here do, once we can pry that stupid phone from their right hand. I have trouble doing that with my cohorts, ahem, old farts once they crawl back into the truck for the ride home and get cell reception :(

My first experience was when I got a car and 3 of us went down to the Berkeley REI store and just look around. 170 buxx later (1977, and yes I was working), we had our first trip planned out of Carson Pass with all new gear. Note that we used books and word of mouth back then and we went to "get away from everything." We weren't starting a movement.. We wanted to try stuff out away from the parents.

To be fair, my father took us on camping trips before that and I learned a LOT! That and the boy scouts.

Most parents today don't seem to nurture that concept. Here's your phone and your data plan. Have fun.. Sigh..
This seems to be the largest stumbling block. That brick constantly in your right hand tied up to FB and Twit isn't what it's about. Look up from time to time. It's got to be their initiative or their parents. It's getting really hard to drag people off that stupid phone.

EDIT: forgot to include this little tidbit: http://davidrainoshek.com/2013/06/how-f ... ur-mind-2/

Seemed apropos.
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Re: Hiking all the trails, Sierra?

Postby ERIC » Tue Apr 21, 2015 8:00 pm

Been a while since we've had a real hot button standoff 'round here. Happy to see you all still have a pulse!

That said, just a reminder to all to do your part to keep things civil. We're not always going to agree when it comes to personal opinion and philosophical topics related to exploring the region we all share a common interest in. Best advice I can give is to state your case without personal attack, and agree to disagree when productive debate in a thread begins to degrade. :thumbsup:
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Re: Hiking all the trails, Sierra?

Postby sparky » Tue Apr 21, 2015 10:54 pm

I pretty much mutilated my post anyway...which is typical of me. I pretty much assume you are all in my head, which may only be partly true :wink: My writing style is quite disjointed. Just know I don't throw blanket opinions around like social media is only bad and nothing else. All things are infinite shades of color.

Giving people access to the beauty of the Sierra will only make them more interested in preserving it. Trying to selfishly keep the area for own enjoyment serves nothing.


This is what I intended the "off the mark" comment to pertain to....and the following rant was addressing this, not the quote I actually put there in my original post. If you go back and re-read my post knowing this hopefully it will make more sense.

This statement and the tone of your post seems to imply that without social media we will not be able to reach the younger generations, and over time this will put our national parks and wilderness areas in jeopardy. I don't believe that "virtual trammeling" (which is what I was discussing) and whatnot is necessary to preserve the wilderness for future generations. Your original post also implies that those against "virtual trammeling" must only be selfish jerks.

Okay, now I'm not even sure how to respond to this. I guess you don't like social media, despite being here which is basically an extension of that? The entire purpose of HST is to give us information about what lies ahead in the Sierra.


No the entire purpose of HST isnt just "what lies ahead". This is a discussion forum about all things Sierra Nevada. I am picking up what you are putting down though and that is why I said in my original post that "I have conflicting opinions on", conflicting being the key word.

Yes I agree with your statements about the beginnings of the environmental movement dependence on the "social media" of the past. I don't believe that fact has any bearing in todays world. Pandoras box is opened. That cat is out of the bag and we don't have to worry about informing society of the importance of preservation, as it is widely known. Environmental lobbies, businesses, and charities will always tell you the sky is falling though because
as much profit as possible. I see that as the default perspective in our society.
I agree with you there, and green industry is not immune. I am confident it will be a cold day in hell when our public lands are taken from us. Environmentalism is an important issue to many people with, or without the internet and/or social media.

I think we can all agree that society is reverting more and more back into tech, smartphones, and computers. Perhaps to express myself more succinctly, isnt using tech to get people away from tech like letting the fox in the hen house? Or, do we really want to pander to the lowest common denominator? I would rather place my bets on things like boy scouts and NOLS than social media for meaningful outreach. Maybe you are right that social media can be used for the forces of good, but like many other things in life it is a double edged sword. The opposite end of the spectrum is people without the knowledge or common sense of leave no trace practices entering the wilderness for that epic selfie. Or perhaps will people think to themselves, "why even go hike when it is all on the internet?" Tech, social media, ect...is a million miles away from my experience in the mountains and deserts. This is why I have a hard time understanding how social media is going to save the day.

I am reminded of the guy that took a selfie every mile on the PCT. While it made a pretty cool video, when you step back and think about it....its just weird and borderline narcissistic. It is just a strange road we are on here folks. Damn I am really sounding like an old fart right now. But whatever, the world turns, i wont lose any sleep over it either way, and I will continue to enjoy myself in the wilderness on my own terms.

Anyway I do agree that hiking blogs and such can help get genuine people interested in a wilderness experience. It can also lead morons to go do what morons do. Double edged sword. I think it is important to remember it ain't all rainbows and cotton candy! :wink:
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Re: Hiking all the trails, Sierra?

Postby Eiprahs » Tue Apr 21, 2015 11:48 pm

Dear Sara:

My, you have one ambitious project. Makes my knees ache just thinking about all that ground work! But the adventures one could have along the way!!

But I’m curious. What will your project bring forward that isn’t already known? Why will your project be so compelling that it will eclipse the work of previous generations? How will your project get to the heart of why we do what we do in the Sierra?

Don’t get me wrong. Our society greatly rewards those who can renew ‘older’ stuff. Apple, the most valuable company on the planet, is the model for doing electronics so well that we forget the innovators that originally developed the products. Blackberry, eh! PDA, what? Tablet Computer? By Microsoft?

So maybe you’ve got it, the Midas touch that turns old to gold.

But I like to think we already have what your project seeks, and then some, in High Sierra Topix. Within HST is the living memory of thousands of man years of Sierra experience. Every trail has been explored in every season coming and going. Every reasonable cross country route lives in HST’s collective memory—as do a lot of unreasonable routes. Un-trailed passes are detailed, often with photos decorated with arrows and colored lines showing which little cleft or gully to go up.

Thinking of retracing the Cartridge Creek and Pass trail, formerly part of the JMT, but now unmaintained for 75 years? A little loop trip from Onion Valley over Gardiner Pass and thru Gardiner and 60 Lakes Basins got your fancy? Thoughts of Pteradactyl Pass, Copper Mine Pass, or Lucy’s Foot Pass keeping you awake? Does a jaunt from Royce Lakes to the Summit of Seven Gables and back beckon to you? The collective mind of HST already knows these adventures. You just have to know how to ask.

So here’s to you, HSTers. Thanks for sharing your experiences and feeding my dreams.

And here’s to you, too, Sara. May the nature spirits give your feet wings, your heart stamina, and your eyes new ways to see that you too will have experiences to share as you realize your dream.

Best to all, keep hikin,
Dave
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Re: Hiking all the trails, Sierra?

Postby schmalz » Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:41 am

Nice post Sparky. I think that a lot of my perspective comes from my own experience. I didn't grow up in the Boy Scouts. I didn't have access to NOLS. I didn't go camping until college when I was on my own in college. Backpacking started shortly afterwards. I'm for the most part, self taught. This was during an era where the internet existed, but in much less useful form so I ended up learning most lessons the hard way. I'm still learning things out there that my son will know before he is a teenager.

I'm pretty adventurous and enjoy the challenge though. I don't have any real fear of nature. I can't say that the majority of people in my generation share that sentiment though. Is that their fault?

I think my original point was that everyone who is lamenting social media's influence on nature most likely grew up with much more organic connections to these places. Of course those connections are better. What if they cease to exist? Social media is a way to connect to these people who have previously had no connection to these wild places. I think it's an important starting point. I do agree with a lot of your points nonetheless.

Anyways... I think this particular tangent has gone on far enough, at least for me. I just noticed some particularly charged statements in here that I felt needed to be discussed more deeply.
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Re: Hiking all the trails, Sierra?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:55 am

Eiprahs. To me, it looks like Sara is simply doing what the Forest Service is supposed to do, but does not have the funding. There is value for one person, in a relatively short period of time, to inventory trails, with objective criteria. The big difference in a private citizen doing this vs. the government, is that there will be different and less "editing" or "peer review" of results. Putting all information out there for the public may not be entirely "good". The good thing about "editing" is that some information may do harm and some information should not be put out there.

There is also value in our forum, where everyone's different experience, and different opinions of trail conditions, more subjective, morph into a picture of the Sierra. I do not see the two as mutually exclusive.

My take on the younger generation, is that their impetus for going into the wilderness often is different. For one thing, the way parents now raise their kids, everything is planned out for them - risk and uncertainty is something to be avoided. Exploration of the unknown does not seem to be much in vogue these days. Extreme sports (trail running, light-and-fast thru hiking, somewhat competitive hard core hiking, and everything has to be a "big name" hike - bragging rights) are often the entry point. I doubt much communing with the wilderness is being done; the wilderness is more of a venue for sport-like activity. I am not against this, how could I be? I have spent most of my outdoor life mountaineering and rock climbing. That was my impetus to get into the wilderness. Only as I aged did I become more inclined to really appreciate my environment.

One big difference now is technology and the compulsion to be constantly connected to others and yes, "sharing" of that experience that borders narcissism. That part I do not like, but so be it. As a whole I think young people nowadays are much more "social". In my day, the wilderness was a place for those of use who were borderline antisocial- get away from people. Many of us were failures at team sports and wallflowers at parties, introverts. We walked into the wilderness, surrounded by quiet, and felt totally at home! I feel it is our duty as "old farts" to at least try to teach a bit of wilderness/environmental responsibility. And you cannot do that if you criticize or devalue their experiences.

Sara is doing her project. Because she posted here on this forum, we can hopefully have some impact by voicing our concerns about how she presents this data. She seems to be listening.
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Re: Hiking all the trails, Sierra?

Postby longri » Wed Apr 22, 2015 9:22 am

sparky wrote:I am reminded of the guy that took a selfie every mile on the PCT. While it made a pretty cool video, when you step back and think about it....its just weird and borderline narcissistic. It is just a strange road we are on here folks. Damn I am really sounding like an old fart right now. But whatever, the world turns, i wont lose any sleep over it either way, and I will continue to enjoy myself in the wilderness on my own terms

Borderline narcissistic?
It was a video of his face.

I'm not really sure what Sara is hoping to accomplish but it hardly seems like a singular threat to the wilderness.
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Re: Hiking all the trails, Sierra?

Postby oldranger » Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:20 am

Sara

My initial response was wtf! Reading all the responses I have decided that I admire your passion. Don't let naysayers get you down. Go for it! Even old farts like me who don't know he difference between a way point and a track will be following your work and be jealous that you are out on the trails as much as you will be. And I expect that we will learn something from your journey as will you.

Have a great time!

Mike
Mike

Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!
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Re: Hiking all the trails, Sierra?

Postby markskor » Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:45 am

All trails Sierra? Never having had such a momentous plateful to even attempt to muddle through, I too look forward to seeing this all play out. I can only think back to my prior PCT attempt, a few years back...never got out of California, (made it about seven miles from the Oregon border.) There, at the Seiad Cafe, over pancakes, decided that never more would I be slave to any trail, ever again.

Our Sierra blesses us with lakes/ passes/ vistas just too amazing to walk on by...having to do 20+ trail miles each day just to stay on schedule, you miss a lot of the best, IMHO the very best. Unfortunately, you are self-limiting yourself to doing long miles and staying on trails only. Ah youth!

Thus good luck and God speed - your plan admirable - just not my trail-less Sierra.
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