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14'er Climbing Fees Might Be Considered

Colorado 14ers access and fee issues only, please

Are you okay with paying a user fee to access Colorado 14'ers?

Yes, for all 14'ers.
16
7%
Maybe, for certain areas.
32
14%
Maybe, but only if the fees were small.
21
9%
No, fees should generally not be charged to access these areas.
159
70%
 
Total votes : 228
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Re: 14'er Climbing Fees Might Be Considered

Postby wolfshadoww » Sun Aug 19, 2012 6:55 am

I disagree with charging fees for access to public lands as well. $20? I can pay $25 to go spend 7 days in a national park! And I agree with the above post - do we know that these would be spent properly and to our climbing benefit? And gas alone, yes, it's expensive. Hiking mountains is one of the cheapest activities I can afford and enjoy right now with my crappy paying job. I can see the pros, but there are a lot of cons too.

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Re: 14'er Climbing Fees Might Be Considered

Postby groomden » Sun Aug 19, 2012 7:15 am

Why not offer a Colorado High Peaks or 14ers license plate option instead for $20 bucks? I'd go for that, if I lived in Colorado of course. For the tourists, it seems short sighted to add extra fees on to the $800+ I'm bringing to the state each weekend I visit just in airfare and hotel expenses. Once I get a car and buy a couple meals I easily am spending $1500 for a thursday to Sunday visit. The week my family spends with me each early August is easily a $3500 trip as well. Don't even get me started about once boarding season hits...

dennis

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Re: 14'er Climbing Fees Might Be Considered

Postby Brian C » Sun Aug 19, 2012 7:25 am

Not sure about fees (I'd sure rather not pay them!), but it seems like a permit system of some sort is going to be inevitable in the future. The point would be to simply limit the number of people up there. The "easy" and popular 14ers are becoming so crowded it's hard to walk up/down the trails and if their popularity continues to increase something is going to have to change.

Edit: I think a SMALL fee (3-5 bucks) to get one of a limited number of daily permits to hike one of the most popular 14ers wouldn't be too bad as long as the money went to something awesome like CFI. That way it'd fund a great organization that helps maintain the peaks while also bringing down the number of people to a reasonable level.
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Re: 14'er Climbing Fees Might Be Considered

Postby Jim Davies » Sun Aug 19, 2012 7:49 am

Once again, Catherine Keske has come up with a bogus study result that will be widely mocked by 14er climbers. Does anybody really believe that the average climber spends $150 per 14er summit?

The thing that invalidates this study is who she was asking: basically, she asked the people who will be RECEIVING the fees. Of course people in towns near the 14ers think the "outsiders" should pay for access. Try asking the same questions in Denver at a CMC meeting, and you won't get 60% agreement, I can guarantee you.
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Re: 14'er Climbing Fees Might Be Considered

Postby Waggs » Sun Aug 19, 2012 8:00 am

Jim Davies wrote:...

The thing that invalidates this study is who she was asking: basically, she asked the people who will be RECEIVING the fees. Of course people in towns near the 14ers think the "outsiders" should pay for access. ...


And even these people appear to be very short sided. *IF* i have to spend $20 to attempt a summit that is close to their town, then that is $20 (or more) of revenue that that town will not be receiving from from me (or my group) in after summit celebration.

It also seems to me that this will consume far more revenue in (attempted) enforcement than will be collected.

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Re: 14'er Climbing Fees Might Be Considered

Postby Navigaiter » Sun Aug 19, 2012 8:07 am

I actually wouldn't be averse to a fee on the Grays/Torreys/Bierstadts of the world. I also wouldn't be completely averse to the Longs permit idea. I've seen people on Longs who don't even know what mountain they're on.

Then again, there's a huge part of me that is completely against charging me a fee to access public lands. I don't want to see Colorado turn into Coloeurope.

I also fear the degradation of the more remote routes on some of the easier peaks. If a fee were charged at Stephens Gulch, it's inevitable that people will start using Horseshoe Basin or Chihuahua Gulch more, and I just don't want to see those off-the-beaten-track routes become pedestrian routes.

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Re: 14'er Climbing Fees Might Be Considered

Postby ThuChad » Sun Aug 19, 2012 8:18 am

While I agree $20/climb is ridiculous, I would pay $20 annually if I knew it went directly to the upkeep of 14ers. I would guess that for the majority of people that climb 14ers they get 1-2 done annually. I would guess the average is closer to 4-5 for active 14ers.com site members.

The fee would be minimal per 14er for frequent climbers and higher for the one 14er in a lifetime climber. It may slightly cut down on traffic also.

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Re: 14'er Climbing Fees Might Be Considered

Postby mtn_hikin » Sun Aug 19, 2012 8:26 am

We are already paying a fee, it comes out of every paycheck. A fee at the trail head will most likely not end up being used for trail improvement or anything related to 14ers and if they use a private company like at the campgrounds the fee will slowly increase every year. Also think about how the "I paid to be here, I can poop where I want, let my dog run crazy, make a new trail shortcut where I want" attitude.

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Re: 14'er Climbing Fees Might Be Considered

Postby Jim Davies » Sun Aug 19, 2012 8:37 am

ThuChad wrote:While I agree $20/climb is ridiculous, I would pay $20 annually if I knew it went directly to the upkeep of 14ers.

You can already do this by donating directly to CFI: http://www.14ers.org/
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Re: 14'er Climbing Fees Might Be Considered

Postby OBC13 » Sun Aug 19, 2012 8:38 am

When I saw this topic I started to just leave the site and ignore it because the whole idea really ticks me off. As a Colorado native who has been in these mountains since the 1960's I can tell you that this is not just a bureaucratic issue of rights and money. It is indicative of the deterioration of the quality of life in Colorado. Colorado hiking is going to go the way of Colorado skiing at this rate; expensive and elitist.
I don't want to pay anything to hike a 14er. And what real good would $20 do? To administer such a program would expend the guts of the $20 anyway. And just HOW would such a program be administered? Are you going to have a ranger at every trailhead? Or on summits checking for permits? I would be immediately motivated to climb the peaks without a permit by going to trailheads that are not staffed and telling anybody who doesn't like it to (fill in the blank).
It would take a lot more money than $20 per hiker to have toilet facilities at all the trail heads. If they want to make this totally intolerable why not limit access to the peaks based on training and ability? The state could fund CMC to issue licenses based on their A, B, C and D climber classifications. Then each hike would be classified and only climbers with the appropriate credentials would be allowed to hike. (There are probably some who would even agree with such a preposterous notion.) Wyoming is looking better all the time.
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Re: 14'er Climbing Fees Might Be Considered

Postby ThuChad » Sun Aug 19, 2012 8:44 am

Jim Davies wrote:
ThuChad wrote:While I agree $20/climb is ridiculous, I would pay $20 annually if I knew it went directly to the upkeep of 14ers.

You can already do this by donating directly to CFI: http://www.14ers.org/


I have done that but I doubt the hoards at Kite Lake have.
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Re: 14'er Climbing Fees Might Be Considered

Postby Dex » Sun Aug 19, 2012 8:44 am

A couple of thoughts.

I don't see what a the persons paying the $ is getting. As others have stated, if it went to the upkeep of the trails OK. A parking fee would be more appropriate.

If the $ was for SAR. Then I think instead of everyone paying; the person rescued should pay.

If the $ is for the forest service - we all pay that out of general taxes.

Other then that I don't see a justification for charging the fees.
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