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Re: [John Muir Trail] Re: Half Dome

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  • Peter Burke
    ... but do they pay anything extra for that? They already have the ranger staff, add a few volunteers, and the helicopter is there anyway unless without Half
    Message 1 of 34 , Dec 9, 2010
      On 12/9/2010 12:33 PM, Barbara Karagosian wrote:
      But then subtract the costs of SARs and recovery and it may not make so much money for the park after all.

      but do they pay anything extra for that? They already have the ranger staff, add a few volunteers, and the helicopter is there anyway unless without Half Dome it's not needed any longer? You take the revenue away, what are they using to pay for all those things? 

      Interesting that all the statistics in the report don't include one word about actual accidents or the number of SAR calls to that location. Clearly they want to make it safer, so why no numbers on actual incidents? The whole report essentially is about safety on the cables, but only comments on people at one time on the cables without every taking a look at actual events that required SAR and how those may correlate to those high use days. Guess not much stuff actually happens up there, or that data would be in the report.



      Cheers, Barbara

      On Dec 9, 2010, at 9:12 AM, Peter Burke <pburke@...> wrote:

       

      On 12/9/2010 7:23 AM, judy wrote:
      > I started the JMT on Friday 30 July last summer and the permit system definitely made that part of the hike much more pleasant with far fewer people on the trail. Those there, in general, seemed much better prepared. Perhaps the permitting process provides an opportunity for some pre-trip education (a good thing) in addition to reducing the numbers on the cables. --Judy
      >

      mostly the pleasant part was due to be out there on the least busy day
      of the week, Friday (average 273 visitors per day, while Monday averaged
      732)

      http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/files/YOSE-Half%20Dome%20Trail%20Use.pdf

      on page 30 of the report you will also see that it was a 250 visitor day
      on July 30, but just the Monday after that date, you would have shared
      the trail with almost 900 people up to Half Dome Trail Junction. Permits
      every day will come for sure to shave those peaks down to the same level
      now seen on weekends and holidays, but it really doesn't address the
      deeper issue - why are these cables up there in the first place?

      I find the whole thing with the cables is a far cry from the whole
      untouched wilderness concept they seem to put so much emphasis on with
      comparably minor impact issues such as fire circles and (the elimination
      of) bear lockers in the backcountry. If the cables had not been put up
      in a period with less concern for impact, they'd never be placed there
      today.

      However, the cable route to Half Dome is there today, and it is an
      attraction to many and it draws paying patrons into the valley, I guess,
      hundreds each day who may not visit without this goal for their trip.
      The money generated by these extra visitors is probably the overriding
      economic factor for park management - 500 $20 car entrance tickets alone
      each day is $10,000 in the bank. Do that for 3 months and you have a
      million bucks you may not collect without the cables. Add money spent at
      stores in the valley, and suddenly a set of cables that's not visible
      from anywhere but up close by those who venture up there to take
      advantage of them makes sense. The side effect of heavy trail erosion up
      to the peak is something they have to deal with, though. The steep
      section from Little Yosemite Valley to the HD trail intersection is
      probably the most eroded and widest section of the entire JMT, although
      compared to some French Alsp trails I have been on, this is in perfect
      shape. This is all relative, I guess. In Europe, many trails are built
      by erosion, nothing else.


    • rnperky@sbcglobal.net
      The best spot for easy access to tag Half Dome WITH access to water is the JMT/Clouds Rest Jct if you have to go past LYV backpackers campground. There are
      Message 34 of 34 , May 13
        The best spot for easy access to tag Half Dome WITH access to water is the JMT/Clouds Rest Jct if you have to go past LYV backpackers campground. There are some really nice camping locations on the way up to Half Dome on the ridge before steep steeps, but they are DRY camping spots, so you'll need plenty of water. 
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