Ducks in the Backcountry (Crosscountry) | High Sierra Topix  

Ducks in the Backcountry (Crosscountry)

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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Re: Ducks in the Backcountry (Crosscountry)

Postby Wandering Daisy » Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:41 pm

I think it is arrogant to either place ducks or remove them. I have placed ONE duck in the Sierra (ain't going to tell where it is so you duck-kickers cannot get rid of it). One example of a "good duck" I hope you guys do not kick down is the small one that marks the proper slot to go east-to-west over Pyra Queen Col. An example of a "bad duck" is the one that now marks where to go over the shoulder on the High Route between Blue Lakes and Twin Island Lakes. Nobody ever needed that until someone put it up.

The ultimate arrogance is to USE the duck yourself, then kick it down for others.



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Re: Ducks in the Backcountry (Crosscountry)

Postby quentinc » Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:52 pm

Daisy, funny you should mention the one between Twin Lakes and Blue Lake. If only there were just one! I saw several, marking different paths at various altitudes on that shoulder one could choose. And that's exactly why I can't stand ducks.
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Re: Ducks in the Backcountry (Crosscountry)

Postby oldranger » Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:13 pm

Daisy

What is arrogant about knocking down ducts that are scattered all over the place when there are multiple doable routes over easy terrain? Why doesn't the concept of "leave no trace" apply? I grant you there are a few places where a duck or two are approppriate but not where the route is obvious or there are multiple routes that will work.

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: Ducks in the Backcountry (Crosscountry)

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:02 am

Some ducks that appear frivilous in summer are very useful in winter when most of the terrain is under snow. I do not think I am the one who should judge what is needed or not. As for leave no trace, I could be more inclined if there were no trails, no trail signs, no bear boxes, no campgrounds. I do agree that there seems to be an "explosion" of ducks in the last 5 years or so. I think it is due to so much information on the internet. People who do not have, nor were mentored in wilderness ethics are now going out there. Often they see the wilderness as a playground for athletic pursuits and if ducks allow them to "go faster" they see nothing wrong with sticking up a bunch. Well placed ducks have always been part of mountaineering routes. In the past, these have been placed carefully. I agree that some ducks should stay; some should go. I just do not feel comfortable to be the one who decides. I DO take down ducks that mark someones favorite campsite. So, I too am inconsistent in my actions and thoughts.

This summer I did a 40-day route in the Wind River Mountains. On the Wind River Indian Reservation "ducks" more appropriately thought of as pyramids mark trails that are no longer maintained. These markers are 4 feet high and 3 feet square at the base. The trails have for all practical purposes grown over so without the ducks travel would be very difficult. Because of the ducks, at least some use of the route keeps the "trails" somewhat visible if you are a good tracker. Unfortunately a few people have started to place their own "ducks" which just complicates things and diverts enough travel that the original routes are often lost all together. In spite of the huge pyramid ducks, the Reservation is so much more a true wilderness than anything in the Sierra. I do not think ducks make or break the wilderness.
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Re: Ducks in the Backcountry (Crosscountry)

Postby quentinc » Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:35 pm

On the way down the Shepard Pass trail yesterday, there were at least 100 ducks along the trail all along the Anvil Camp stretch. Some were as close at 10 feet to each other. This is along a trail that is plain as day.

](*,)

There aren't any there any more.
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Re: Ducks in the Backcountry (Crosscountry)

Postby Fly Guy Dave » Tue Sep 04, 2012 7:59 pm

quentinc wrote:There aren't any there any more.


And I, for one, would like to say THANK YOU for that! :)

Cheers!
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Ducks, cairns, rock balancing

Postby longri » Tue Sep 30, 2014 9:22 pm

Context matters.
Last edited by longri on Wed Oct 01, 2014 7:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ducks, cairns, rock balancing

Postby sparky » Tue Sep 30, 2014 9:35 pm

haha wow...tell us how you really feel!

I have never or will ever build a cairn, and I have never, or will ever kick one down. I dont have time to get all negative nelly while vibing the natural seritonin flushes released while tramping the mountains :)
There is a million ways to be human, all are worthwhile.

True happiness is the absence of striving for happiness.
-Chuang Tzu.
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Re: Ducks, cairns, rock balancing

Postby tomba » Tue Sep 30, 2014 9:36 pm

Discussion about cairns in the backcountry a couple of years ago:
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=8101

Edit: Thanks for merging the threads.
Last edited by tomba on Wed Oct 01, 2014 8:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ducks, cairns, rock balancing

Postby Jimr » Wed Oct 01, 2014 10:07 am

I think KICK 'EM DOWN should go into your sig :D
What?!
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Re: Ducks, cairns, rock balancing

Postby RoguePhotonic » Wed Oct 01, 2014 10:31 am

It never fails to amaze me the weird places I find them. Built with seemingly no purpose at all. I sometimes kick them down but there is something that sort of makes me feel bad about it for some reason. I only value the ones that can be useful such as on a technical climb that has a very narrow route corridor or on an old trail that is hard to follow.

I have built one or two but in the case of needing to mark where I go back off a ridge or something if climbing a peak I might mark it and then kick it down on my way back.
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Re: Ducks in the Backcountry (Crosscountry)

Postby SSSdave » Wed Oct 01, 2014 6:57 pm

Good laugh reading through this thread again.

gonna pwug you duck

Image
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