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Whitney, WAG Bags and the Rules

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  • Ray Rippel
    Good day, Can anyone direct me to an official webpage that describes where the WAG-bag zone begins on the western side? Is it above a certain elevation?
    Message 1 of 17 , Sep 27, 2011
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      Good day,
       
      Can anyone direct me to an official webpage that describes where the WAG-bag "zone" begins on the western side?  Is it above a certain elevation?  Guitar Lake and beyond?  After Crabtree Meadow?
       
      I see plenty of rules for the east side but nothing for the west.
       
      Thanks, Ray
       
       
    • David Carbiener
      Ray, I don t know where the offical line is, but twice when I did the JMT I just assumed that where you pick up the wag bag is the start / finish line. In
      Message 2 of 17 , Sep 27, 2011
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        Ray,
        I don't know where the "offical" line is, but twice when I did the JMT I just assumed that where you pick up the wag bag is the start / finish line.  In my case I approached Whitney from the Crabtree side.  The plastic tote full of wag bags in my opinion was the point of no return.
        David

      • Joe MacLeish
        Ray: The attached picture shows the sign on the wag bag box near Crabtree RS. The sign says from Guitar Lake onward Joe From: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
        Message 3 of 17 , Sep 27, 2011

        Ray:

         

        The attached picture shows the sign on the wag bag box near Crabtree RS.  The sign says from Guitar Lake onward

         

        Joe

         

         

         

        From: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com [mailto:johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Ray Rippel
        Sent: Tuesday, September 27, 2011 9:45 PM
        To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [John Muir Trail] Whitney, WAG Bags and the Rules

         

         

        Good day,

         

        Can anyone direct me to an official webpage that describes where the WAG-bag "zone" begins on the western side?  Is it above a certain elevation?  Guitar Lake and beyond?  After Crabtree Meadow?

         

        I see plenty of rules for the east side but nothing for the west.

         

        Thanks, Ray

         

         

      • Joe MacLeish
        Sorry it s a bit confusing. My comment on the picture (it s part of an annotated album) says no crapping from here on but the second paragraph on the box
        Message 4 of 17 , Sep 27, 2011
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          Sorry it’s a bit confusing.  My comment on the picture (it’s part of an annotated album) says no crapping from here on but the second paragraph on the box actually says it’s from Guitar Lake on.

           

          From: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com [mailto:johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Joe MacLeish
          Sent: Tuesday, September 27, 2011 10:26 PM
          To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: RE: [John Muir Trail] Whitney, WAG Bags and the Rules [1 Attachment]

           

           

          [Attachment(s) from Joe MacLeish included below]

          Ray:

           

          The attached picture shows the sign on the wag bag box near Crabtree RS.  The sign says from Guitar Lake onward

           

          Joe

           

           

           

          From: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com [mailto:johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Ray Rippel
          Sent: Tuesday, September 27, 2011 9:45 PM
          To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [John Muir Trail] Whitney, WAG Bags and the Rules

           

           

          Good day,

           

          Can anyone direct me to an official webpage that describes where the WAG-bag "zone" begins on the western side?  Is it above a certain elevation?  Guitar Lake and beyond?  After Crabtree Meadow?

           

          I see plenty of rules for the east side but nothing for the west.

           

          Thanks, Ray

           

           

        • robert shattuck
          Can anyone direct me to an official webpage that describes where the WAG-bag zone begins Ray, Are you looking for a loophole . . . just take it this
          Message 5 of 17 , Sep 27, 2011
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            "Can anyone direct me to an official webpage that describes where the WAG-bag "zone" begins" 

            Ray, 

            Are you looking for a loophole . . .  just take it this way––you pick up the wag bag there at guitar and it's usage begins from there on out and over Whitney all the way until you get to the portal. Not too much to deal with. There are no "wag bag free" zones in the Whitney area.

            If you get up to Guitar lake some day and you just don't know what to do with yourself before you head up and over, take a walk around, pull up a few rocks here and there (or just look for the tell-tale bits of TP, peeking out from under) and you'll see why they've implemented the wag bag . . . and then of course, if you look around, especially on the east side, you'll find evidence of all the fine folk who managed to use their wag bag, but couldn't be bothered to pack it out . . . oh, I'll just leave it here on this rock. 

            Bob

            http://www.summitpost.org/plans/view_activity.php?post_id=6480



          • Ray Rippel
            Thanks, everyone. Thanks particularly to Joe for providing the information I was looking for (although I couldn t download the photo for some reason). Just to
            Message 6 of 17 , Sep 28, 2011
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              Thanks, everyone.  Thanks particularly to Joe for providing the information I was looking for (although I couldn't download the photo for some reason).
               
              Just to ensure that everyone understands, I wasn't looking for a "loophole," I just want to make sure that when I tell someone what the rule is I'm not substituting my opinion for facts.  I don't mind telling people that my opinion is that they should do something even more restrictive, but if asked what the rule is, I want to answer accurately.
               
              Also, in general, if the park service wants us to follow the rules they should state them clearly.  I looked at a lot of websites and could find no guidance regarding the west side.  Seems reasonable to me that they would do so.  Or maybe I just didn't look hard enough.  There is so much great information in the minds of this group's members it's often very tempting to just ask the question.
               
              Thanks again!
            • Joe MacLeish
              Ray: On my reply ignore the little attachments at the top of my email. I can t get rid of them. The picture/attachment you can see should be all the way at
              Message 7 of 17 , Sep 28, 2011
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                Ray:

                On my reply ignore the little attachments at the top of my email.  I can’t get rid of them.  The picture/attachment you can see should be all the way at the bottom of the page.  It’s the way the site formats attachments (probably a security thing).  In any case you’ll see the box for yourself on the trail near the Crabtree RS cutoff.

                Joe

                 

                From: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com [mailto:johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Ray Rippel
                Sent: Wednesday, September 28, 2011 9:35 AM
                To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: RE: [John Muir Trail] Whitney, WAG Bags and the Rules

                 

                 

                Thanks, everyone.  Thanks particularly to Joe for providing the information I was looking for (although I couldn't download the photo for some reason).

                 

                Just to ensure that everyone understands, I wasn't looking for a "loophole," I just want to make sure that when I tell someone what the rule is I'm not substituting my opinion for facts.  I don't mind telling people that my opinion is that they should do something even more restrictive, but if asked what the rule is, I want to answer accurately.

                 

                Also, in general, if the park service wants us to follow the rules they should state them clearly.  I looked at a lot of websites and could find no guidance regarding the west side.  Seems reasonable to me that they would do so.  Or maybe I just didn't look hard enough.  There is so much great information in the minds of this group's members it's often very tempting to just ask the question.

                 

                Thanks again!

              • Roleigh Martin
                Bob, the WAG bag is picked up at Crabtree Meadows when I ve walked by it, yet there is an outdoor John across the stream at Crabtree Meadows. I ve always
                Message 8 of 17 , Sep 28, 2011
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                  Bob, the WAG bag is picked up at Crabtree Meadows when I've walked by it, yet there is an outdoor John across the stream at Crabtree Meadows.  I've always figured the WAG bag is to be used upwards on the trail after the twin tarns above Guitar Lake as there is soil near the twin tarns (ponds) just above Guitar Lake.

                  Ray's question is excellent.  I'll try and email SEKI and find out.  The territory is in SEKI's domain.

                  On Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 2:26 AM, robert shattuck <bobolonius@...> wrote:
                   


                  "Can anyone direct me to an official webpage that describes where the WAG-bag "zone" begins" 

                  Ray, 

                  Are you looking for a loophole . . .  just take it this way––you pick up the wag bag there at guitar and it's usage begins from there on out and over Whitney all the way until you get to the portal. Not too much to deal with. There are no "wag bag free" zones in the Whitney area.

                  If you get up to Guitar lake some day and you just don't know what to do with yourself before you head up and over, take a walk around, pull up a few rocks here and there (or just look for the tell-tale bits of TP, peeking out from under) and you'll see why they've implemented the wag bag . . . and then of course, if you look around, especially on the east side, you'll find evidence of all the fine folk who managed to use their wag bag, but couldn't be bothered to pack it out . . . oh, I'll just leave it here on this rock. 

                  Bob


                • Don
                  WAG (Waste Alleviation and Gelling) bags are required in the Whitney Zone. See this map: http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_MEDIA/stelprdb5144745.jpg On this
                  Message 9 of 17 , Sep 28, 2011
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                    WAG (Waste Alleviation and Gelling) bags are required in the Whitney Zone. See this map:

                    http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_MEDIA/stelprdb5144745.jpg

                    On this "official" page--http://tinyurl.com/3gfdmmc--you'll find:

                    Dispose of Waste Properly!

                    All Mt. Whitney visitors must pack-out their solid human waste. In 2010, Mt. Whitney visitors pack out over 6,800 lbs of human waste! Pack-out kits are distributed with wilderness permits. In addition, all visitors must pack-out all of their trash, food and equipment.


                    The wag bags are at the Crabtree ranger station area for the convenience of the ranger who keeps the plastic wag bag box supplied (Joe's picture is the lid of the box). Officially, if you look at the map of the Whitney Zone, the requirement for using the bag starts at Trail Junction on the west side though many will contend it starts at Guitar Lake (if you look at Joe's picture the sign says from Guitar Lake east). I applaud your opinion to make the requirement even more stringent so do everyone a favor and recommend the use the bag from the Crabtree area on to WP where that wonderful trash receptacle labled "human waste" is waiting.

                    --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Ray Rippel <ray.rippel@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Good day,
                    >
                    > Can anyone direct me to an official webpage that describes where the WAG-bag
                    > "zone" begins on the western side? Is it above a certain elevation? Guitar
                    > Lake and beyond? After Crabtree Meadow?
                    >
                    > I see plenty of rules for the east side but nothing for the west.
                    >
                    > Thanks, Ray
                    >
                  • Roleigh Martin
                    Don, your TinyUrl points to Inyo National Forest which doesn t have enforcement control until Trailcrest Pass (most Western point on the normal JMT trail). (I
                    Message 10 of 17 , Sep 28, 2011
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                      Don, your TinyUrl points to Inyo National Forest which doesn't have enforcement control until Trailcrest Pass (most Western point on the normal JMT trail).  (I don't know where things are on the summit though).

                      On Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 3:10 PM, Don <amrowinc@...> wrote:
                       

                      WAG (Waste Alleviation and Gelling) bags are required in the Whitney Zone. See this map:

                      http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_MEDIA/stelprdb5144745.jpg

                      On this "official" page--http://tinyurl.com/3gfdmmc--you'll find:

                      Dispose of Waste Properly!

                      All Mt. Whitney visitors must pack-out their solid human waste. In 2010, Mt. Whitney visitors pack out over 6,800 lbs of human waste! Pack-out kits are distributed with wilderness permits. In addition, all visitors must pack-out all of their trash, food and equipment.

                      The wag bags are at the Crabtree ranger station area for the convenience of the ranger who keeps the plastic wag bag box supplied (Joe's picture is the lid of the box). Officially, if you look at the map of the Whitney Zone, the requirement for using the bag starts at Trail Junction on the west side though many will contend it starts at Guitar Lake (if you look at Joe's picture the sign says from Guitar Lake east). I applaud your opinion to make the requirement even more stringent so do everyone a favor and recommend the use the bag from the Crabtree area on to WP where that wonderful trash receptacle labled "human waste" is waiting.


                      --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Ray Rippel <ray.rippel@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Good day,
                      >
                      > Can anyone direct me to an official webpage that describes where the WAG-bag
                      > "zone" begins on the western side? Is it above a certain elevation? Guitar
                      > Lake and beyond? After Crabtree Meadow?
                      >
                      > I see plenty of rules for the east side but nothing for the west.
                      >
                      > Thanks, Ray
                      >


                    • Ray Rippel
                      Thanks, Don. That s pretty definitive. I agree with just about everyone here that once you get past Timberline Lake it s almost impossible to dig a decent
                      Message 11 of 17 , Sep 28, 2011
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                        Thanks, Don.  That's pretty definitive.  I agree with just about everyone here that once you get past Timberline Lake it's almost impossible to dig a decent hole far enough away from the water.  People SHOULD use the bag past there, in my opinion.  It's good to know what the actual rule is, though.  I guess my conclusion is that technically the line is the trail intersection, but functionally it's when you can no longer properly dispose of the waste by using approved backcountry techniques.
                      • robert shattuck
                        Yes, I ve picked up a few wag bags there and I might have even used that crabtree john . . . I just see it as––here s POINT A, here s a WAG BAG and you
                        Message 12 of 17 , Sep 28, 2011
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                          Yes, 

                          I've picked up a few wag bags there and I might have even used that crabtree john . . . I just see it as––here's POINT A, here's a WAG BAG and you should use it until reaching point B, with no real need to debate it . . . 

                          . . . but sure, technically, maybe you might really only need it once you hit Guitar and beyond. :) 

                          bob
                          http://www.summitpost.org/plans/view_activity.php?post_id=6480




                        • Don Amundson
                          Roleigh--Look at the Whitney Zone map that shows where wags are required. It is in the Inyo National Forest and is part of the John Muir Wilderness Area. As
                          Message 13 of 17 , Sep 28, 2011
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                            Roleigh--Look at the Whitney Zone map that shows where wags are required.  It is in the Inyo National Forest and is part of the John Muir Wilderness Area.  As far as I know SEKI has nothing to say about Wag bags in any of their "official" sites. If you want to test the rules show the ranger about to give you a citation the map that shows the Whitney Trail isn't officially in the Whitney Zone from Trail Junction to the summit and therefore you don't have to use your wag bag.


                            To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
                            From: roleigh@...
                            Date: Wed, 28 Sep 2011 15:26:31 -0400
                            Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] Re: Whitney, WAG Bags and the Rules

                             
                            Don, your TinyUrl points to Inyo National Forest which doesn't have enforcement control until Trailcrest Pass (most Western point on the normal JMT trail).  (I don't know where things are on the summit though).


                            On Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 3:10 PM, Don <amrowinc@...> wrote:
                             
                            WAG (Waste Alleviation and Gelling) bags are required in the Whitney Zone. See this map:

                            http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_MEDIA/stelprdb5144745.jpg

                            On this "official" page--http://tinyurl.com/3gfdmmc--you'll find:

                            Dispose of Waste Properly!

                            All Mt. Whitney visitors must pack-out their solid human waste. In 2010, Mt. Whitney visitors pack out over 6,800 lbs of human waste! Pack-out kits are distributed with wilderness permits. In addition, all visitors must pack-out all of their trash, food and equipment.

                            The wag bags are at the Crabtree ranger station area for the convenience of the ranger who keeps the plastic wag bag box supplied (Joe's picture is the lid of the box). Officially, if you look at the map of the Whitney Zone, the requirement for using the bag starts at Trail Junction on the west side though many will contend it starts at Guitar Lake (if you look at Joe's picture the sign says from Guitar Lake east). I applaud your opinion to make the requirement even more stringent so do everyone a favor and recommend the use the bag from the Crabtree area on to WP where that wonderful trash receptacle labled "human waste" is waiting.


                            --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Ray Rippel <ray.rippel@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Good day,
                            >
                            > Can anyone direct me to an official webpage that describes where the WAG-bag
                            > "zone" begins on the western side? Is it above a certain elevation? Guitar
                            > Lake and beyond? After Crabtree Meadow?
                            >
                            > I see plenty of rules for the east side but nothing for the west.
                            >
                            > Thanks, Ray
                            >




                          • Roleigh Martin
                            I m not doubting what you state is true, but you d think SEKI would have something to say about it as it is their rangers who issue citations west of the
                            Message 14 of 17 , Sep 28, 2011
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                              I'm not doubting what you state is true, but you'd think SEKI would have something to say about it as it is their rangers who issue citations west of the Trailcrest Pass sign.  Two completely different government departments.  NFS v. NPS

                              On Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 4:21 PM, Don Amundson <amrowinc@...> wrote:
                               

                              Roleigh--Look at the Whitney Zone map that shows where wags are required.  It is in the Inyo National Forest and is part of the John Muir Wilderness Area.  As far as I know SEKI has nothing to say about Wag bags in any of their "official" sites. If you want to test the rules show the ranger about to give you a citation the map that shows the Whitney Trail isn't officially in the Whitney Zone from Trail Junction to the summit and therefore you don't have to use your wag bag.


                              To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
                              From: roleigh@...
                              Date: Wed, 28 Sep 2011 15:26:31 -0400
                              Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] Re: Whitney, WAG Bags and the Rules


                               
                              Don, your TinyUrl points to Inyo National Forest which doesn't have enforcement control until Trailcrest Pass (most Western point on the normal JMT trail).  (I don't know where things are on the summit though).


                              On Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 3:10 PM, Don <amrowinc@...> wrote:
                               
                              WAG (Waste Alleviation and Gelling) bags are required in the Whitney Zone. See this map:

                              http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_MEDIA/stelprdb5144745.jpg

                              On this "official" page--http://tinyurl.com/3gfdmmc--you'll find:

                              Dispose of Waste Properly!

                              All Mt. Whitney visitors must pack-out their solid human waste. In 2010, Mt. Whitney visitors pack out over 6,800 lbs of human waste! Pack-out kits are distributed with wilderness permits. In addition, all visitors must pack-out all of their trash, food and equipment.

                              The wag bags are at the Crabtree ranger station area for the convenience of the ranger who keeps the plastic wag bag box supplied (Joe's picture is the lid of the box). Officially, if you look at the map of the Whitney Zone, the requirement for using the bag starts at Trail Junction on the west side though many will contend it starts at Guitar Lake (if you look at Joe's picture the sign says from Guitar Lake east). I applaud your opinion to make the requirement even more stringent so do everyone a favor and recommend the use the bag from the Crabtree area on to WP where that wonderful trash receptacle labled "human waste" is waiting.


                              --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Ray Rippel <ray.rippel@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Good day,
                              >
                              > Can anyone direct me to an official webpage that describes where the WAG-bag
                              > "zone" begins on the western side? Is it above a certain elevation? Guitar
                              > Lake and beyond? After Crabtree Meadow?
                              >
                              > I see plenty of rules for the east side but nothing for the west.
                              >
                              > Thanks, Ray
                              >





                            • Ed Rodriguez
                              For any NOBO hikers I was told when i got my permit in Lone Pine that I could leave my WAG bag at the Crabtree RS ________________________________ From:
                              Message 15 of 17 , Sep 28, 2011
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                                For any NOBO hikers I was told when i got my permit in Lone Pine that I could leave my WAG bag at the Crabtree RS


                                From: Roleigh Martin <roleigh@...>
                                To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
                                Sent: Wednesday, September 28, 2011 12:26 PM
                                Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] Re: Whitney, WAG Bags and the Rules

                                 
                                Don, your TinyUrl points to Inyo National Forest which doesn't have enforcement control until Trailcrest Pass (most Western point on the normal JMT trail).  (I don't know where things are on the summit though).

                                On Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 3:10 PM, Don <amrowinc@...> wrote:
                                 
                                WAG (Waste Alleviation and Gelling) bags are required in the Whitney Zone. See this map:

                                http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_MEDIA/stelprdb5144745.jpg

                                On this "official" page--http://tinyurl.com/3gfdmmc--you'll find:

                                Dispose of Waste Properly!

                                All Mt. Whitney visitors must pack-out their solid human waste. In 2010, Mt. Whitney visitors pack out over 6,800 lbs of human waste! Pack-out kits are distributed with wilderness permits. In addition, all visitors must pack-out all of their trash, food and equipment.

                                The wag bags are at the Crabtree ranger station area for the convenience of the ranger who keeps the plastic wag bag box supplied (Joe's picture is the lid of the box). Officially, if you look at the map of the Whitney Zone, the requirement for using the bag starts at Trail Junction on the west side though many will contend it starts at Guitar Lake (if you look at Joe's picture the sign says from Guitar Lake east). I applaud your opinion to make the requirement even more stringent so do everyone a favor and recommend the use the bag from the Crabtree area on to WP where that wonderful trash receptacle labled "human waste" is waiting.

                                --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Ray Rippel <ray.rippel@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > Good day,
                                >
                                > Can anyone direct me to an official webpage that describes where the WAG-bag
                                > "zone" begins on the western side? Is it above a certain elevation? Guitar
                                > Lake and beyond? After Crabtree Meadow?
                                >
                                > I see plenty of rules for the east side but nothing for the west.
                                >
                                > Thanks, Ray
                                >




                              • Mark Schultz
                                Got news for everyone on this one, there is no Forest Order mandating wag bags, so there are no official rules. I ve been looking into this carefully because I
                                Message 16 of 17 , Oct 1, 2011
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                                  Got news for everyone on this one, there is no Forest Order mandating wag bags, so there are no official rules. I've been looking into this carefully because I was appalled at seeing so many full bags littering the trail this summer.

                                  What I've learned is that the NEPA environmental process was never completed to implement this wag bag alternative. The original plan was to replace the broken old toilets back in 2001-2004. Toilets were in use at the 2 camping areas since the 1960's, but the design was faulty and they needed to be replaced. It appears that a few well-intended zealous individuals (some are gone now) hijacked the environmental assessment process in order to spread this wag bag idea, the concept being that you should take responsibility for your human waste in the wilderness. Great idea in a perfect world, but that means carrying it up and down the trail for miles, and not all 20,000 hikers per year will comply. That's just human nature.

                                  Sorry ladies and gentlemen, privacy is hard to find when you do your doodoo duty, and there could be up to 200 people somewhere along the trail with you. You will probably see some of these plastic bags full of crap littering the trail, so watch your step.

                                  For more info, check out this thread:

                                  http://www.whitneyzone.com/wz/ubbthreads.php/topics/18206/Solar_Toilets_vs_Carry\
                                  ing_Wag_#Post18206

                                  THIS IS AN EDITED RE-POST. PLEASE IGNORE OR DELETE ANY PREVIOUS EMAIL VERSION YOU MAY HAVE RECEIVED. SORRY.

                                  --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Ray Rippel <ray.rippel@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > Good day,
                                  >
                                  > Can anyone direct me to an official webpage that describes where the WAG-bag
                                  > "zone" begins on the western side? Is it above a certain elevation? Guitar
                                  > Lake and beyond? After Crabtree Meadow?
                                  >
                                  > I see plenty of rules for the east side but nothing for the west.
                                  >
                                  > Thanks, Ray
                                  >
                                • Jgoring1
                                  Well... You might have been a bit harsh, but you were also accurate. Trail camp reeks. Via iPad
                                  Message 17 of 17 , Oct 1, 2011
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                                    Well... You might have been a bit harsh, but you were also accurate. Trail camp reeks.

                                    Via iPad


                                    On Oct 1, 2011, at 12:01 AM, "Mark Schultz" <hikesierranevada@...> wrote:

                                    > I was harsh. The smell is not always noticeable at the camps. The Rangers and volunteers do their best to remove the plastic crap bags littering the trail, but there's a very good chance you will seem some gems left behind. Watch your step and enjoy your hike.
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