Sierra Facebook groups

Grab your bear can or camp chair, kick your feet up and chew the fat about anything Sierra Nevada related that doesn't quite fit in any of the other forums. Within reason, (and the HST rules and guidelines) this is also an anything goes forum. Tell stories, discuss wilderness issues, music, or whatever else the High Sierra stirs up in your mind.
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c9h13no3
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Sierra Facebook groups

Post by c9h13no3 » Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:35 am

I'm in a couple of back country skiing groups on the book of faces, and I find that they're really useful. I've met some cool people, shared rides, I find that they're really utilitarian. Unfortunately, the hiking groups are the opposite. They're mostly just people posting hiker porn of where they went hiking last weekend, or newbie hikers asking about how to avoid things that are commonplace in the Sierra experience (snow, creek crossings, mosquitoes). I find these groups to be incredibly useless, so I've been hopping from one to another without any luck.

So I figured I'd bring this up for discussion. Are you currently a member of a Facebook group (or another platform, Reddit? Meetup?) that you find useful for sharing rides, selling gear, meeting partners, or learning skills? Do you find yourself wishing for such a community, or is your network of friends big enough that you don't need the internets? Or are you a hiker because you hate humanity, and all your trips are solo?


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gary c.
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Re: Sierra Facebook groups

Post by gary c. » Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:20 am

I'm pretty active on Facebook and agree with your description of the Sierra pages and for me that's what I go there for. I will say that FB is a great way to post a link to ongoing information about weather-fires-road conditions. HST is my go to for any information Sierra related. Too many desktop know it all's on social media to trust much of what I read.

I'm pretty sure that I'm not alone on my trust in this forum. It seem like social media has eliminated or all but killed almost all of the other forums that I used to participate in. It may have slowed down a bit but HST is the only forum I go to that is still going strong and I think there is a good reason for that.
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balzaccom
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Re: Sierra Facebook groups

Post by balzaccom » Thu Oct 17, 2019 7:22 am

Gary's right about the people and info here. Rock solid.

One thing that might explain your experience is that many of us here hike alone or with very close friends. Three or four days in the Backcountry with someone you don't know and may not like is not an attractive option for many of us...
Balzaccom

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c9h13no3
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Re: Sierra Facebook groups

Post by c9h13no3 » Thu Oct 17, 2019 9:13 am

balzaccom wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 7:22 am
Three or four days in the Backcountry with someone you don't know and may not like is not an attractive option for many of us...
This is true, but meeting new people is just a piece of my complaint. The main thing is that most groups provide no benefits other than pictures of where people went. You can help a solo hiker with a car shuttle, go on a short & local day hike for 1-2 hours, or buy gear from people without a huge commitment.

Maybe the skiers & climbers groups are different, since you really need a partner to belay or dig you out of an avalanche. So you *need* to meet people. For hiking, you can just get by with your usual social circle, so participation even for small non-committal things is less.
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Re: Sierra Facebook groups

Post by Wandering Daisy » Sun Oct 20, 2019 5:16 pm

I do not do Facebook. Never will. Getting on Facebook opens a can of worms.

You get more than "pictures" here on HST. There are just as many requests for specific information for trip planning as trip reports. In fact, I would like to see MORE trip reports (and pictures). You can seek a partner, however, most of us here may prefer to remain solo or get to know someone better (you get a pretty good feel of someone's personality and style of backpacking by reading their trip reports) and then set up to a trip with them via private message. There is also a gear swap sub-forum. The meet-ups are good places to check out members too. You can also see if anyone would help out with transportation.

I would never do a serious technical climb with someone I found on Facebook, or any other forum for that matter. Casual backpacking is another matter. The "private message" feature allows you to seek out someone and see if they would do a short "get to know you" trip. You have to make the initial effort.

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Re: Sierra Facebook groups

Post by c9h13no3 » Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:14 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 5:16 pm
You have to make the initial effort.
I would counter with: if I PM'd everyone who replied in this thread, I'd get zero takers. The low success rate for PM'ing is easily prohibitive. And the active user base of this forum while knowledgeable, is small. When I post on my back country skiers group "who wants to ski Dunderberg this weekend?" I get 4-5 interested poeple. The two posts I've made similar here, get very little interest (one guy who messaged me at 10 PM the day before I left at 4 AM).

I suppose the average age of this forum makes it the wrong spot to ask about social media resources. :-#
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Carne_DelMuerto
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Re: Sierra Facebook groups

Post by Carne_DelMuerto » Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:20 pm

I agree with c9h13no3's assessment of Facebook Sierra Hiking Groups. So much "hiker porn"...for lack of a better term. I've see people post photos and reports that go against much of the Leave No Trace philosophy. All for a few "Likes."

I think this leads to a broader conversation. Backcountry use has spiked the last 10 years. Is it related to social media and the access to information online? This forum has been such valuable resource, but because of the crowded trails & Facebook groups like the kind c9h13no3 brings up, I am hesitant to post any information about hikes online anymore. (Not that I am a prolific poster.) Do others share this opinion? I am conflicted.
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Re: Sierra Facebook groups

Post by rightstar76 » Mon Oct 21, 2019 2:20 am

c9h13no3 wanted to know why it is that he's not getting the type of engagement on HST he gets on FB groups - for example, a Sierra backcountry skiing group he is a member of.

First, about the age thing. There are a lot of trip reports on HST by people who don't have gray hair. So I don't think it's age.

I think it's the fact that backpacking is a low risk activity unlike mountaineering and backcountry skiing which are much riskier. Oftentimes mountaineers need a partner. It doesn't mean they are close friends. It's a practical necessity. However, hiking to a lake and pitching a tent. Well, it's not like you need a rope and climbing skills. So you really don't need a partner.

I've gone backpacking with groups and grinned and beared it. There were few I would ask to go with and nobody asked me either. So I guess it was mutual. It's challenging to find someone you can backpack with who is more than a partner and also a friend. But if you're into high risk sports, you can find lots of partners. So I think that's the difference between FB groups on Sierra backcountry sports and HST.

Btw, I highly value HST over FB. It is miles and mountains ahead!

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Re: Sierra Facebook groups

Post by Wandering Daisy » Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:30 am

C9- Perhaps your hiking style and personality match better with the Facebook demographics. Nothing wrong with that. Many of us here on HST are much less "social". The more traditionalist wilderness user seeks solitude, quiet, specifically avoiding the "social" aspect of backpacking. The trend nowadays for the younger demographic is the prominence of "social". This is quite evident following the PCT journals with emphasis on their "trail family" and day-to-day blogging. I make no judgement on either - just that they have different styles. I have done one trip with another HST member and I thought it went very well. The fact that we never did future trips is simply a matter of perhaps not needing to or all of life's other distractions (when older with multiple family and work obligations, meshing schedules becomes quite difficult).

Going on an overnight or other short backpack or ski trip with someone you find on Facebook is low-commitment. If you do not get along then it is just a few days of holding your tongue and putting up with it. A week or more backpack is different.

rightstar- I disagree with your statement about mountaineering. Yes, it is high risk, that is specifically why you need to really know your partner. Your life depends on it. I would never rope up with someone who I did not know, either from climbing with in a larger group, or at a less risky venue, such as a climbing gym, or known reputation. My climbing partner was my husband! Obviously we trusted each other.

HST is a smaller group, for sure. I really appreciate that it is well moderated and civil.

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Re: Sierra Facebook groups

Post by freestone » Mon Oct 21, 2019 12:56 pm

I do FB and Instagram fearlessly, mostly just to stay connected with family but do belong to some groups including county emergency organizations since most emergency agencies have a social presence to convey important information. I have absolutely no expectations with the Groups but have dropped some of the fishing ones because it's mostly just guys posting pictures of themselves and their catch ad nausea. Not sure, but I think anyone can start a FB group and tailor it to whatever you want it to be so if you wanted to cover just current conditions in a certain area, that could be done.

My Sierra trips are mostly just me and my Spot but often think that the perfect meet up trip would be starting and ending the trip at the same location and date with no expectation to camp or hike together but still stay in touch for safety reasons and maybe have predetermined meetup points.

Do a search on ¨lost hiker¨as I did recently looking for details on Bob Woodiés disappearance, I was astounded at the number of hikers who get lost and never come back.
Fram...

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