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Jurek seems to have angered Pamola

Really bad timing since they are just about to have a big discussion on how to deal with the AT issues they related in their letter earlier this year. I expected this to come to a head in a couple of years but this might have pushed that timetable up.

So do they start charging thrus for permits to pay for rangers to babysit folks climbing the mountain or do they just close the gates?

Yeah Social Media blew up yesterday on this,,I did go by WB to see what the Cyber hikers had to say,,Minus Teej and Sly and your self...I know who teej is and he use to be the Field editor  of the Maine section of the Companion for years..I know who the field editor for the Maine section now is and she was a Abol ridge runner for 2 years and her husband is a backcountry Ranger at Baxter...That trip that Sly is going on this up coming week,,I don't think he or the others get that Billings is done and over the AT hikers..A hiker I know going Sobo asked the officials at the park when he started his hike about the letter.Their reply to him was this will probably be the last season for AT hikers..He started a month ago..I look at is we connected to the AT are guests..there are rules..I know the rules are posted in Every hostile in New Hampshire and options on how to leave Baxter...I agree the relationship has been strained for years,,The other problem is the former thru hikers with their legendary status and huge ego's bringing up what has transpired in the past.I guess they don't realize things change..I support Billings.If he doesn't give in its good for the Residents of Maine who own that park..I'll miss that but this was created by 3% users..The ATC to me personally dragged their feet on this..This years class hasn't hit yet and theirs already issues in Pennsylvania and The Whites...It's not gotten better and the we can hike however we want to with no accountability to actions needs to end..I say ticket every single AT hiker for every violation there is and that sends a huge message to those trying to finish..I maybe a Club member and a Member of ALDHA but acting like spoiled brats really doesn't impress me..LS get your park back..There have been some former Thru Hikers who have called and said be done with the relationship...

Wow!  Reading through the comments on that facebook page, what a sense of entitlement!  No wonder there is a problem.

Yeah--- I can only imagine how people would react if this kind of media circus took place up at the top of Half Dome...

LS - thanks for starting this topic. I was curious to hear what people thought about this. I'm glad Baxter is taking a stand. This conversation is well over due.

Here is another article that I saw this morning that some of you might like reading:

i'm sure Jurek could have applied for permits for some of this and at least figured out the lay of the land in advance. my son hiked Katahdin a few years ago with a group of kids his age; i'm sure they were considered a large party and that they got a permit in advance.  that has been my experience with longer trips in the Adirondacks too.  (no one would approve the booze).

They got a media permit that prohibited them from filming within 500 ft of the summit, but just did what they wanted anyway.

Jim interesting you posted Appalachiantrials..Who do you think BSP watches to see the violators..They post all the finishers if they tag them on instagram or Facebook..BSP has been watching them the last 4 years and Zach Davis actually did a blog on the letter and apologized for his roll..He was called out by hikers for contributing to the problem..

I would hope that BSP physically monitors on location for violators rather than searching the internet.  I have heard of computer programs such as photoshop that can be used to modify photos such that photos found on the internet should not be considered reliable.  (For example, I saw a photo with a farmer and his 8 foot tall rooster.)   And of course, even if a photo is real, you don't know when it was taken.  The internet is a weak excuse compared with being there.

No they use visual..After they leave the park they don't send summons,,,,They were a little pissed off to see all the offenders though I take it...Here's what Scott Jurek had to say about it...

1. through-hikers have a history of breaking the rules, which caused/created this concern.  you can't blame BSP officials for being irritated about them as a class.  

2. no way to know how each individual behaves, but we're not talking about a community of strict conformists when it comes to people who hike for long periods of time.  it wouldn't at all surprise me if a healthy percentage of through-hiking folk are openly dismissive of the rules - makes it worse.  but, there are probably a percentage of day and more casual hikers who ignore the rules, too.  doesn't make it OK.   

3. not clear to me this guy is part of the ego/rulebreaker class, or whether he represents a somewhat different species.  he apparently applied in advance for a permit to hike accompanied by a film crew.  the park knew he was coming and knew his arrival might generate more than the average attention.  a party of 12 or less is within park rules, and the park apparently approved the film crew, so long as they didn't film within 500 feet of the summit.  (we're talking about a vertical gain in the 3800/4100 foot range, so that means the park approved a film crew to head up the mountain and actively film for about 80% of the hike).  

4. the film crew may have broken the rules by working within 500 feet of the summit - or are those photos we're seeing the product of individuals using their ubiquitous smart phones? i'll assume the film crew ignored the limits about actively filming at/near the summit.  

what does it say about the park authority's concern for the wilderness experience that they are OK having a sponsored athlete accompanied by a film crew working up and down the mountain? i'm guessing most hikers don't bring a film crew and don't care to see one on the trail. yet the park approved it.  

5. was the guy's party too large, or did the park mistakenly include hikers independent of his party who decided to celebrate with him? unclear.  

6. broke the rules about alcohol and admits he wasn't fully aware of the rules.  beyond that, 2 different stories.  one, he's a blatant rule-breaker who sprayed bubbly all over Katahdin's summit. the other, he consulted with rangers about opening champagne on the summit, was told to keep it away from families and kids (but not that it was forbidden), then rangers actually saw him open it and didn't write a citation - those came hours later.  easy enough to figure out the truth.  if it's true that rangers had multiple opportunities to tell him "no alchohol" but let it slide, what does that say about the overall concern for the wilderness experience? or perhaps on a narrower plane, about the way this individual actually behaved? if he had really acted like an *ss on the summit, wouldn't he have been cited immediately? 

7.  is it true the guy has a rep for seriously supporting a leave-no-trace approach? did his party leave a mess behind, or did they carry everything out? and how does that stack up against the majority of through-hikers? (i have no idea).  

8. the sag van apparently broke the rules by having sponsorship logos.  or did it? I don't see anything in BSP's rules that prohibit commercial logos on vehicles. I agree, though, that a van festooned with logos seems more at home on the tour de france than in Baxter State Park.  then again, the van didn't head up the trail with the film crew, and i'm not sure how much the parking lot is part of the wilderness experience.

I had never heard of Scott Jurek before this controversy.  I'm staunchly against commercializing the wilderness, people making a mess out of the wilderness, people who diminish the experience. after absorbing all this, it seems like both Jurek and BSP didn't strictly adhere to the letter or spirit of the rules or feel of Baxter State Park.  If the park wanted to make an example of someone to spotlight their concerns about through-hiker behavior, it seems like they could have chosen a better target.  

^^^this. Could not have said it better, Andrew.

Andrew you hit everyone of the points people are discussing right now..The ATC along with the ALDHA Org were at Baxter this past week..Bottom line Baxter is not a play ground and that was the warning...What the rangers do from this point forward is up to them and the Director..My point of view he used the AT for his career and sponsers then Baxter used him to get their point across,..BTW the littering citation was for champ that fell on the ground..Mind you I was told a Naturalist has said the Peak has smelled like a barroom before and it attracts bee's to the peak...

November 28, 2020
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