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The "Earn Your Turns" Thread Spring 2020

thetrailboss

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But that is NOT what the authorities are saying. Again, I quote:
"They are not saying you can not do this, you are allowed to, just be smart, practice social distancing, etc.... Don't be a total bonehead like the folks at the River this past weekend."

More here:
https://www.maine.gov/ifw/news-even...6FvaVga9hrwEJpN8iUgjugtQ-phPRG545lqCIt2gDUuSY

I get it, there are going to be boneheads out there, but they are so easily avoided. You just have to go out with the mindset that I may not be doing this. TBD once I arrive and take a look at the crowding. Most of what I do is sans crowds anyways. Most places I hike, I might see a half dozen people on any given day. There are places where I'll see the crowds (not going there these days).


I mean, if we are going to go along the lines of none of us know... And I do agree, none of us really do know, I guess I should be breaking out my asteroid shield as well, because, I just don't know an asteroid won't hit my house. These guidelines come to us from the best minds we have, the CDC, etc.... I take their guidelines as the minimum we need to do, and to be fair, I'm shuttered up in my house and have been for a day or so. But I am also gonna get outside and breath in some fresh air, well away from others, according to government guidelines.

Well, the WMNF statement says all but don't go out based on my read. Granted, there's no real way to "close" a forest.

https://mountwashingtonavalanchecenter.org/advisory/bulletin-issued-on-monday-march-30-2020-2/
 

uphillklimber

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Well, the WMNF statement says all but don't go out based on my read. Granted, there's no real way to "close" a forest.

https://mountwashingtonavalanchecenter.org/advisory/bulletin-issued-on-monday-march-30-2020-2/

From the page:

If venturing into the mountains, be sure to use all available resources to help plan your trip and make safe travel decisions.


Edit, my earlier post, I copied the wrong statement and have corrected it, statement should have been this:
"Residents typically can leave if they're performing "essential" activities such as grocery shopping, going to the doctor or exercising while practicing safe social distancing."
 

kbroderick

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I get it and all, but the other big concern is SAR. Now I know that you and me will say, "we know what we are doing, we won't get hurt," but none of us know. It happens. That's why they are saying don't go out, especially in the WMNF.

IMO, it's about picking time and place and dialing it back while also sticking with familiar activities. Owen Leepers is a pro skier out of Jackson Hole who has been posting some recent stuff that would be in the range between "sweet" and "terrifying" for me. For him, that is dialed back.

For me, the safest way to actually get my (active) dog enough exercise this time of year is to go skinning and skiing. When trails are dry, hiking is an option, but I'm a lot safer on skis than I am on an icy trail wearing hiking boots at this point. He's not an off-lead dog (and definitely isn't going to become one during a pandemic), so descending on skis—while potentially higher-risk for the dog—is substantially lower risk for me. I'm not sending anything particularly steep, and I'm most certainly not skiing trees with a leashed dog.

And yes, as a former patroller and a backcountry skier, I'm willing to say that I'm capable of making my own risk assessments. The scary part (IMO) is that we've all seen reports of stores sold out of skins, which strongly suggests a lot of folks who not only lack backcountry skiing experience to understand risks, but are potentially falling into a "familiarity" heuristic trap because they're in a comfortable-to-them environment that is missing the risk management usually present.
 

thetrailboss

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From the page:

[FONT=&] If venturing into the mountains, be sure to use all available resources to help plan your trip and make safe travel decisions.


Edit, my earlier post, I copied the wrong statement and have corrected it, statement should have been this:
[/FONT]
"Residents typically can leave if they're performing "essential" activities such as grocery shopping, going to the doctor or exercising while practicing safe social distancing."

Frankly, I'm not going to debate what they are or are not saying. Especially if you're cherry picking comments. It seems pretty clear to me, and most of the world, that the message is clear. Here is what you missed and I have highlighted exactly what the main point is:

At this time, the need to reduce exposure of workers and forest visitors to the novel coronavirus outweighs the value of providing avalanche safety information to backcountry travelers. This decision was made in order to better provide for public health and safety by reducing interactions between the recreating public, USFS employees and volunteers.

NH Governor’s Order Section 18 of Executive Order 2020-04, part 4 requests that the public limit non-essential travel and further defines essential businesses and activities. Among the allowed activities are “leaving home for outdoor recreation” or “to get fresh air and exercise” provided that appropriate social distancing protocols are observed. The travel and social congregation that have continued to occur in Tuckerman Ravine, nearby trails, and parking areas suggest that more aggressive measures are needed in order to comply with state and federal guidelines intended to reduce the spread and impact of coronavirus.

The USFS and MWAC understand and support the need for outdoor recreation, fresh air and exercise but interpret the measures to limit the spread should exclude riskier activities, particularly at a highly popular venue which attracts visitors from around the region. Furthermore, high risk activities such as skiing and climbing in complex avalanche terrain with extreme weather conditions create an unnecessary risk of injury or a need for search and rescue intervention. These injuries could lead to rescues and the opportunity to further spread the virus through close contact. We also acknowledge that the absence of avalanche and mountain safety forecasts increases your risk in the backcountry, but since backcountry travel is not an essential need at this time of pandemic, you assume this increased risk.
We will continue to support local rescue teams with spot forecasts on request.

Thank you for your support as we all grapple with challenging decisions and redefine our work and community life. We look forward to getting through this pandemic with a minimum loss of life and economic disruption.

Let's not spin it. It's pretty damn clear what they are saying, at least in the Tuckerman Ravine area.
 

Hawk

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I don't live at Sunday River any more and I am not in residence at Sugarbush. I will do my part and stay away until a time it is safe. But if I lived in my old place at SR, I see no harm in going to my hidden little place waking about 1/2 mile. Skinning 1 hour and skiing back down by myself. Mostly really low angle and with practically no way for anyone to see me. Not even mountain ops. Not at this place. But this is all a moot point because I do not live there anymore and I'm not going. Just saying.
What I am is blessed actually. Trail conditions where I live are the best spring conditions in years. I have been riding MTB since February and a few of us go most days. We meet in the trails, stay 20 or 30 feet apart and have a beer at the end. I just feel bad for the locals. There are some up at SR that are still discretely doing what they do and I say good for them.
 

uphillklimber

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Back to earning your turns. Looks like that is gonna be harder these days with all this rain, and it is still supposed to rain more today. I'm gonna pack up my skis, tune em and wax em and set then away today. I've been dodging rocks and mud before today. I'll keep the snowshoes and micro spikes handy however.

I had really wanted to tackle Tuckerman's this year, probably not from the top, of course, but I was looking forward to it. With the crowds and lack of rescue services, well.... sometimes.... there is a part of me that wants to live for next year.

Have a good day in this dreary weather folks.
 

Smellytele

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Hope for one more day tomorrow at pats peak and if okay maybe Sunday. Bottom was getting melted out before yesterday. Steeper parts still holding snow when I saw it this morning


Sent from my iPhone using AlpineZone
 

flakeydog

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It’s a vicious cycle. Every area that closes down just pushes people to those few that are still not shut down and they become more crowded. Wash, rinse, repeat. Of course the shut downs start with people not following the guidelines and coming in from out of state, etc so I guess it is no surprise we are where we are. Sure sucks for locals though, this is why we chose to live here. Now that some have ruined our limited recreational opportunities, please don’t come up and compete for our medical services. Stay home!
 

kbroderick

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...and Mt. Abram closed to uphill travel today. They were setting up a parking lot barricade when I was leaving and politely told me not to come back this spring. Too much traffic and travel and increasing pressure as other places closed.
 

Domeskier

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They should shut down parking altogether. If you can’t walk to it, you shouldn’t be there (leaving aside the issue of whether anyone should be engaging in risky activities like skiing at this time). There is no difference in driving 2 hours from the NH coast and driving 2 hours from just over the MA border.
 

snoseek

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They should shut down parking altogether. If you can’t walk to it, you shouldn’t be there (leaving aside the issue of whether anyone should be engaging in risky activities like skiing at this time). There is no difference in driving 2 hours from the NH coast and driving 2 hours from just over the MA border.

Yep I agree keeping it local counts. I'm down in southern nh and staying close to home. Sure do miss the mountains but they ain't going anywhere
 

kbroderick

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It’s a vicious cycle. Every area that closes down just pushes people to those few that are still not shut down and they become more crowded. Wash, rinse, repeat. Of course the shut downs start with people not following the guidelines and coming in from out of state, etc so I guess it is no surprise we are where we are. Sure sucks for locals though, this is why we chose to live here. Now that some have ruined our limited recreational opportunities, please don’t come up and compete for our medical services. Stay home!

+1 on this.

I had been holding out hope that Mt. Abram would be able to allow access at least another week or two (which, at the current rate, is about how long I'd expect the snow to be reasonable and not silly skiing). Now I'm trying to figure out how the heck I'm going to keep myself and my dog from going crazy between now and hiking season—most trails are either still snowed in, or in a mud-season situation that makes usage a bad stewardship decision (plus those trails are getting a significant amount of traffic now with very few options available), and road-walking is both higher-risk than skiing and involves interacting with a lot more people and dogs.

I've come to the unfortunate conclusion that the number of people who don't understand that skiing (particularly when earning turns, but also can be applied to any number of any other inherently risky outdoor activities) can, for those of us who have chosen to live near reasonable venues and have the experience to evaluate and mitigate risks, be done in a manner involving reasonably low risks is significant; unfortunately, the number of people who don't understand "live near" and "in a manner involving reasonably low risks" is even more significant and resulting in very few options to get outside in a reasonable manner.
 
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