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Mt. Evans Road Fiasco GETS WORSE?

Colorado 14ers access and fee issues only, please
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Re: Mt. Evans Road Fiasco GETS WORSE?

Postby Yog » Fri Oct 03, 2008 12:53 pm

But how are they going to pay the poop scoopers, road maint crews, & the road patrol if all your hard earned tax dollars are going to Iraq ($10 Billion a month) & also to help out the poor, helpless souls on Wall Street who can't seem to clip the belt buckle on their golden parachute due to their bulging wallets. If the $10 actually goes where our tax dollars were supposed to go (OUR, yes, U.S. infastructure), then I'll gladly pay it. But I bet $10 it doesn't lol.

Joey Wrote:
"It seems the goverment is no longer serving the public when they do this, but rather misusing the power entrusted to them."
Good point! Actually, it's just the very tippy top of the iceberg (that just broke up and melted :P )

Ahem, excuse me, could not help myself. I need to climb a mountain!!!! =D> I have sworn off Culebra, I can close my eyes and slog up Bross or something and use my imagination in it's stead. If it were Capitol or the Needle, yeah, I'd pay the $100. You guys are right though, the group hikes are fun! I was told when climbing the Needle last month that I would change my mind as I get near the end of my lists. We'll see...
. . .Now, after the hours of torment . . . I have nothing more to do than breathe . . .I am nothing more than a single, narrow, gasping lung, floating over the mists and the summits.
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Re: Mt. Evans Road Fiasco GETS WORSE?

Postby larkinrx2 » Fri Oct 03, 2008 5:42 pm

Dave wrote:
KeithK wrote:
JoeyJ wrote:It was more than worth it climbing Culebra! But I can see where you're coming from. I didn't ever want to climb culeb at first either, IF I was bagging it just to check another peak off the list. When looking at all the fun that is had in group clilmbs there on trip reports- I had to join the fun :)


I couldn't agree more! I had a blast on that mountain, and being part of the group added to the experience. It was worth every penny, in my book.


+1

I rank Culebra as one of the top 5 in my (admittedly small) list.


+1
What do you think I'm some kind of a jerk or something! - That's all I need the ashtray, the remote control, the paddle game, and this magazine, and the chair and I don't need one other thing, except my dog.
[Shithead growls at him]
I don't need my dog.

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Re: Mt. Evans Road Fiasco GETS WORSE?

Postby larkinrx2 » Fri Oct 03, 2008 5:47 pm

Yog wrote: I have sworn off Culebra, I can close my eyes and slog up Bross or something and use my imagination in it's stead. If it were Capitol or the Needle, yeah, I'd pay the $100. You guys are right though, the group hikes are fun! I was told when climbing the Needle last month that I would change my mind as I get near the end of my lists. We'll see...



trust us who have,
dont think of it as peak bagging or you will just hate yourself for thinking it while climbing it

wait till next summer, find or start up one of the groups from this site, get the group to camp/cookout at the Resv. the day before telling stories, sharing memories, passing knowledge while stuffing your face under a starry sky. next am wake early go to the mtn and have an amazing hike in a group of people that you know, yet spread out, up a pristine mtn
enjoy the experience (you may just want to go back for this one!)
What do you think I'm some kind of a jerk or something! - That's all I need the ashtray, the remote control, the paddle game, and this magazine, and the chair and I don't need one other thing, except my dog.
[Shithead growls at him]
I don't need my dog.

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Re: Mt. Evans Road Fiasco GETS WORSE?

Postby D8S » Sat Oct 04, 2008 1:18 pm

VW Lover wrote
Personally, I don't see the big deal with 10 bucks. Putting the private/public land difference aside for a minute, I wonder if the same people who are unhappy with paying $10 to access this area are the same ones who've paid $100 to climb Culebra.


Personally, I haven't climbed Culebra and don't have plans to do so. But I'm very glad that the owners give people who want to the opportunity to do so.


Slow Moving Fun Seeker wrote:I've have a very different take on this situation and will stick my neck out to describe it to you.

I climbed Mt. Evans from Guanella Pass earlier this year. By the time I got to the top of the gulley, I was aware that I was moving very slowly (even for me) and seemed to be unusually fatigued. By the time I got about mid-way into the West Ridge trail, I started feeling dizzy--very dizzy and had a moderate headache. There were 2 or 3 times when I felt like I was going to pass out. Classic AMS symptoms, right? Well, my partner had already summited and I needed to suck it up and get up there--really no other choice. I thought that maybe I was dehydrated and was bonking and needed calories. So I made the summit, sat and rested, drank a ton of water and ate a ton of food. Nothing helped. I found a FS employee who was about to clean the restrooms and told him my situation. He drove me and my partner all the way down to Echo Lake where my wife picked me up (I had called her from the summit). This guy took good care of me and I owe a big debt of gratitude to him. If that's what my $10 pays for, then I'm happy to pay. I needed help and got it.

BTW: it wasn't AMS, as it did not get better upon getting down. I have since had extensive tests for the dizziness (MRI, etc.) and nothing has turned up, so it's somewhat of a mystery. If this was going to happen on any 14er, I was very glad it happened on Evans where I could get help. (I've also taken advantage of the nice clean restrooms at the top and I also appreciate that my $10 pays for that.)


SMFS, I'm glad you got the help you needed, and wish you the best for being nothing serious. I appreciate your post, and nothing in my response should diminish the value of it.


I think most people on this forum would agree, if you approached any one of us on the top of Mt. Evans, we'd be happy to let you warm up, give you a ride down, or help you in any way we can. I think most people are just as kind and considerate as the Forest Service employees who helped you out when you needed it.

But here's the flip side.

Just after the top of the Mt Evans road closed in 2007, two hikers climbed up to the summit. It was cold and blustery, and when they met the Forest Service employee who was there decommissioning the toilets for the season, they asked him/her if they could get a ride down. He/she said no. They then asked if they could get in his vehicle and warm up for a few minutes, and were again told no.

They must have made it down, since their story was passed on to me.


I don't know anyone who has a problem when someone else wants to give the Forest Service their money. The Forest Service happily accepts donations, both in time and money. But there is a substantial difference between making a donation and being threatened with criminal prosecution if you don't pay.

Half of the Forest Service's name is "service". They are there to serve American taxpayers. They are funded by American taxpayers. They get their oversight from Congress, which either grants or denies them the authority to charge fees. Through Congress, we the people should have an opportunity to control where, under what conditions and for what the Forest Service collects fees for.

In 1996 Representative Ralph Regula attached a rider onto the appropriations bill authorizing the Forest Service to collect entrance fees in places like Mt. Evans. After considerable public outcry, including the threat of repealing legislation (Senate Bill 1170, which would have ended the fee collection program except for in campgrounds), Representative Regula attached another rider onto the appropriations bill, authorizing some fees but prohibiting the Forest Service from collecting entrance fees, fees "solely for parking", dispersed areas with little or no investment, etc.

When the Forest Service doesn't follow Congress's directives, it frustrates congress's attempts to legislate, and we the people lose control of our public lands.

BTW, Senate Bill 1170 has resurfaced as Senate Bill 2438. If you value public land, please consider contacting your Senator and thanking them for co-sponsoring (Colorado Senator Ken Salazar) or asking them to co-sponsor or support it.


Allowing the Forest Service to keep the funds they collect has also created the incentive to create costly and unnecessary amenities that the Forest Service doesn't have the budget to operate or maintain. We see this on Mt Evans at the Dos Chappell Nature Center. Long before the Nature Center was built, a study was done asking people if they were satisfied with their experience on Mt. Evans. 74% said their experiance was excellent, 23% rated their experience as very good, and 3% rated theri experience as good. No one said they wanted a Nature Center. But the Forest Service built one anyway.
[Edited to provide exact numbers.]


Another point is sound management of our public lands. One of the basic facts is that people tend to avoid places that charge a fee, and go somewhere else.

As parent will tell you, the best way to manage their children's activities is to give them a place to play where its easy to supervise them and control their impacts. One of those places is Mt Evans. Yet by charging the fees, the Forest Service disperses the public over a wider area, making our impacts more difficult and more expensive to manage. IMO, not a sound management strategy when the Forest Service claims to be underfunded.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Oh, and these ARE the cliff notes! :shock:

Dave


The Mt Evans road will close (or open, depending on your perspective) on Monday, October 6, 2008
Last edited by D8S on Mon Oct 06, 2008 4:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Mt. Evans Road Fiasco GETS WORSE?

Postby mountainrev » Sat Oct 04, 2008 1:45 pm

Just after the top of the Mt Evans road closed in 2007, two hikers climbed up to the summit. It was cold and blustery, and when they met the Forest Service employee who was there decommissioning the toilets for the season, they asked him/her if they could get a ride down. He/she said no.


Just to play devil's advocate on the situation you describe, D8S, I'd venture a guess that there is a FS regulation prohibiting them from giving rides to civilians under normal circumstances. It's one thing for them to help out an obviously sick or injured hiker; it's quite another to give a ride to anyone who makes it to the top and claims they are cold or tired.

I have no opinion on charging $10 to drive to the top. But I do find it reasonable that FS employees don't normally give rides to hikers who aren't sick or injured. Just my opinion.

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Re: Mt. Evans Road Fiasco GETS WORSE?

Postby Greenhouseguy » Sat Oct 04, 2008 7:33 pm

D8S wrote:"Allowing the Forest Service to keep the funds they collect has also created the incentive to create costly and unnecessary amenities that the Forest Service doesn't have the budget to operate or maintain. We see this on Mt Evans at the Dos Chappell Nature Center. Long before the Nature Center was built, a study was done asking people if they were satisfied with their experience on Mt. Evans. Over half said they were extremely satisfied, over 30% said they were very satisfied, and the remainder said they were satisfied. No one said they wanted a Nature Center. But the Forest Service built one anyway."


I agree with you in principle on most of what you wrote; Mt. Evans is just a sticky problem because of the state ownership of the road. If it were a Forest Service road, they would clearly be entitled to charge a fee. And if a pig had wings, it could fly.

The Dos Chappell Nature Center is another interesting story. It was certainly not the Forest Service's idea to build a nature center there. The area has been under some form of protection since the 1930's, because of the presence of some very old bristlecone pines. They're an incredible and valuable natural resource, and they have been the subject of many scientific studies. Dos Chappell, who was the Executive Director of Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, took an interest in restoring the area and building the nature center. He did it in spite of the mountains of red tape that he faced in dealing with the Forest Service. Chappell raised an enormous sum of private money, and partnered with the Garden Club of Denver and the Denver Botanic Gardens to get the nature center and rock garden built, and to have the Pesman Trail restored. The rock garden was designed by renowned Czech designer Zdeněk Zvolánek (Google him) and Joyce Carruthers. The place is a treasure to botanists, horticulturists, and plant geeks of every description. I was a volunteer/tour guide for an international group of horticulturists up there three weeks ago, and many of them remarked that visiting the Pesman Trail was a spiritual experience for them. Many 14ers.com members have seen more pristine alpine environments, and might not be so impressed by the Pesman Trail and the nature center. But if you consider yourself a naturalist and would like to learn more about the alpine environment, I'd encourage you to check it out some time. It's a three-mile round trip, with 612 feet of elevation gain.
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Re: Mt. Evans Road Fiasco GETS WORSE?

Postby Jim Davies » Sun Oct 05, 2008 11:33 am

mountainrev wrote:I'd venture a guess that there is a FS regulation prohibiting them from giving rides to civilians under normal circumstances.

Exactly. Also in 2007, I was hiking down the road from the summit with my wife and daughter amid gathering storm clouds. A FS employee came by in his truck and advised us to get a ride down from the summit, but said that he wasn't allowed to give us one in his vehicle.
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Re: Mt. Evans Road Fiasco GETS WORSE?

Postby MUni Rider » Sun Oct 05, 2008 1:22 pm

Jim Davies wrote:
mountainrev wrote:I'd venture a guess that there is a FS regulation prohibiting them from giving rides to civilians under normal circumstances.

Exactly. Also in 2007, I was hiking down the road from the summit with my wife and daughter amid gathering storm clouds. A FS employee came by in his truck and advised us to get a ride down from the summit, but said that he wasn't allowed to give us one in his vehicle.


That FS employee is an complete idiot. So let's see: He told you to get off the mountain, which you were already in the process of doing before he stopped. And he stopped because he was aware of the potentially dangerous situation, told you to hurry off, then drove off with a quickness in the truck so you could still be moving slowly by foot, the same as if he hadn't stopped in the first place. Actually, him stopping you to talk just worked to slow your progress. He never intended to give you a hand, he just wanted to feel authoritative. F'k'em.
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Re: Mt. Evans Road Fiasco GETS WORSE?

Postby Slow Moving Fun Seeker » Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:26 pm

MUni Rider wrote:
Jim Davies wrote:
mountainrev wrote:I'd venture a guess that there is a FS regulation prohibiting them from giving rides to civilians under normal circumstances.

Exactly. Also in 2007, I was hiking down the road from the summit with my wife and daughter amid gathering storm clouds. A FS employee came by in his truck and advised us to get a ride down from the summit, but said that he wasn't allowed to give us one in his vehicle.


That FS employee is an complete idiot. So let's see: He told you to get off the mountain, which you were already in the process of doing before he stopped. And he stopped because he was aware of the potentially dangerous situation, told you to hurry off, then drove off with a quickness in the truck so you could still be moving slowly by foot, the same as if he hadn't stopped in the first place. Actually, him stopping you to talk just worked to slow your progress. He never intended to give you a hand, he just wanted to feel authoritative. F'k'em.



Wow. Maybe it really depends on the individual FS employee. In my case, there were three guys at the summit and they were all very helpful, very accommodating, and very willing to be flexible and helpful. There was never the slightest hesitation in their willingness to help. They just acted like it was part of their job to be helpful (the guy that drove us down showed us the exact spot at the parking lot where there was decent cell phone reception so I could call my wife). Given that I did reach her, and she was planning initially to drive all the way to the summit to get me, the offer to drive us down seems "over and above" the immediate call of duty for these guys. Driving me down definitely helped me and was a very nice gesture on their part.

I'm thinking it would be inappropriate to make sweeping generalizations on the basis of very small amounts of data, but that's just me.
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Re: Mt. Evans Road Fiasco GETS WORSE?

Postby Jim Davies » Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:59 pm

The guy that talked to us was quite helpful. He just made it very clear that FS rules didn't allow him to give us a ride.
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Re: Mt. Evans Road Fiasco GETS WORSE?

Postby centrifuge » Sun Oct 05, 2008 10:26 pm

Jim Davies wrote:The guy that talked to us was quite helpful. He just made it very clear that FS rules didn't allow him to give us a ride.


your situation was not isolated. In 2004, my wife and I (then finance) were at the summit and an electrical storm started. The two rangers there said they were not allowed to give us a ride down despite the fact no one was willing to give us a ride down. We ended up having to hike down in an electrical storm until Susan finally walked in front of a truck to get a ride down with her hair standing on end. My respect for the forest service went down 5 notches that day.

At some point someone who asks for help and is denied by a government employee is going to get hurt, and the FS will be paying for one heck of a lawsuit.
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Re: Mt. Evans Road Fiasco GETS WORSE?

Postby Doug Shaw » Mon Oct 06, 2008 12:52 am

centrifuge wrote:At some point someone who asks for help and is denied by a government employee is going to get hurt, and the FS will be paying for one heck of a lawsuit.


Well that would be a shame, since IN MOST CASES it's the poor judgement of the people who are in that dangerous situation that got them into that predicament in the first place. Why didn't they just turn back when/before the weather started to go south?

Perhaps the FS should put up signs a la Barr Trail: "You chose to come up here, your safety is YOUR responsibility! How are you getting off the mountain?"

Maybe they could even charge a fee for people to use the facilities on Mt. Evans to help pay for the signs and the apparent legal liability you are suggesting they are implicitly adopting. :?

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