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  1. #101

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    Quote Originally Posted by Water Rat View Post
    It's just the yellow piece of paper. I was told to be sure to carry it with me while hiking. I didn't question it as it makes sense that BSP would want to know who was who and where they were coming from. I should think it would also help them to narrow down the people causing issues within the park.

    Last season was the first season I was told I needed this...and it was verified by 2 different rangers.

    Perhaps the person who told me was seasonal and did not know...and then they asked two others who didn't know? *shrug* I asked ahead and am more than happy to support the park. It was $5.00 and a small price to pay to wander in for a day of hiking. I also used their privy, so I was happy to financially pay my share for the use.
    The only thing that costs $5 is the day use reserved parking spots. There is no fee for climbing Katahdin. The yellow slip - something the trailrunner gave you as you hiked in from Abol Bridge? There's no fee for that either.
    Teej

    "[ATers] represent three percent of our use and about twenty percent of our effort," retired Baxter Park Director Jensen Bissell.

  2. #102
    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJ aka Teej View Post
    The only thing that costs $5 is the day use reserved parking spots. There is no fee for climbing Katahdin. The yellow slip - something the trailrunner gave you as you hiked in from Abol Bridge? There's no fee for that either.

    Perhaps the yellow sheet of paper that Water Rat needed is the one that is referenced in the BSP announcement that inspired this thread.

    Here is a snip (the link is in post #1

    Hikers must stop at the Katahdin Stream Ranger Station to have their permit cardstamped. Hikers can obtain a yellow hiker registration sheet at this time.





  3. #103
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    What I did notice is that the NoBo limits are set apx equal to the number of spots at the Birches for the NoBo season.

    12 spots/day X 30 days/month X 4 months that the bubble finished = 1440

    Limits for NoBo = 1350

    Those this does not include those who obtain reservations, but they then should be counted guests at the campground and exempt, or if overnighting in Millinocket, as day hikers and should hopefully not change the numbers. Add a allowance for LD and Flips and then NoBo may not be affected.

  4. #104

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    The culture of the AT has evolved to the point where that culture does not fit with the goals of Baxter. That is no secret. It has been moving in that direction for a long time.

  5. #105
    Registered User bkristynicole's Avatar
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    Question Limit on Thru-Hiker Summits at Baxter

    So... Baxter State Park has put both a requirement for a permit to summit Katahdin and a cap on thru-hikers summitting the peak. The cap is around 1500. They say that if you arrive after the cap, you have to come into the park through the front entrance and enter/summit as a day hiker (which also has a daily limit). Does anyone know what number thru-hiker they were when they were reaching the summit in August/September? I mean, obviously if I am after the cap, then I will just comply with the new rules, but I am wondering if this mostly effects people who are finishing in October.

  6. #106
    Registered User Oventoasted's Avatar
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    yeah i posted something here earlier about it but admins just move it to the Baxter State Park sub-forum. There is a big discussion there.

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  8. #108
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    At worst, a 5 to 7 month vacation is shortened by a day or two, and a person climbs Katadin another time.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

  9. #109
    Getting out as much as I can..which is never enough. :) Mags's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oventoasted View Post
    yeah i posted something here earlier about it but admins just move it to the Baxter State Park sub-forum. There is a big discussion there.
    Yep. We don't need five threads on the same topic.
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  10. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickb View Post
    One thing that strikes me as very odd is why BSP would look to cap SOBOs and Flip-Floppers with a specific quota.

    Right now, don't those two kinds of BSP visitors already need to comply with the existing Park rules and entry requirements?
    Those going SOBO would, since they'd have to enter the main gate and are likely to rent a campsite (save for a small number who might be willing to hike up, down then out to Abol in one day, which doesn't sound likely).

    Flip-Floppers wouldn't necessarily, it depends on how they go. If they start in the middle, hike north then return to the middle to hike south, they would be coming in the same as anyone going NOBO. If they start by hiking the south half first, then they would be like a SOBO, coming to Baxter from the gate to start the 2nd half of the hike.

  11. #111

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    I have never been to BSP, so I will confess my ignorance on the subject. I have however, followed the growing numbers of thru hikers over the past ten years and the embarrassing public spat that has been going on between BSP and the ATC recently. My tendency has been to cast BSP as the villain in this situation, but my views are changing.

    The ATC recognizes that the volume in thru hiker growth is a problem. They have done a good job promoting flip flop hikes as an alternative and seemed to be headed in the right direction with the "voluntary" registration a couple years ago. Sadly, the hiking community has not taken responsibility. One only needs to look at the current distribution of start dates for NOBO 2017 to see the same lame dates that have already reach the "max". What is so magical about the first day of the month, or the 15th day of the month? The reality is the ATC is going to have to take some action to change behaviors and start to control the impacts. The hiking community is either too dumb, or too uncaring to possibly inconvenience themselves by trying to start on a day where there is not a mob already scheduled.

    I may not like the fact that BSP has taken the first step in placing limits on thru hikers by numbers, but I respect the fact that they are willing to do something that may be unpopular to change behaviors.

  12. #112
    Registered User Ktaadn's Avatar
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    I'm surprised by the decision to have annual caps instead of daily caps. Isn't it the total number of visitors at any one time the problem? My local state park will often refuse to allow visitors on busy days when the park is full. If the park clears out after a few hours, they open the gates again. Why wouldn't BSP do something like that?

  13. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ktaadn View Post
    I'm surprised by the decision to have annual caps instead of daily caps. Isn't it the total number of visitors at any one time the problem? My local state park will often refuse to allow visitors on busy days when the park is full. If the park clears out after a few hours, they open the gates again. Why wouldn't BSP do something like that?
    Thereis

    There is already sort of a daily cap, due to the limits of the AT leanto site 'The Birches' See my post 103. It seems like this is just another shot across the bow, the annual limit is almost equal to the daily limit over the thru hiker bubble season if the Birches is filled to max capacity every night.

    From what it looks like if you don't stay at The Birches you should not qualify for one of those numbers, but be a day hiker or a reservation holder.

  14. #114
    Registered User Ktaadn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starchild View Post
    Thereis

    There is already sort of a daily cap, due to the limits of the AT leanto site 'The Birches' See my post 103. It seems like this is just another shot across the bow, the annual limit is almost equal to the daily limit over the thru hiker bubble season if the Birches is filled to max capacity every night.

    From what it looks like if you don't stay at The Birches you should not qualify for one of those numbers, but be a day hiker or a reservation holder.
    So, it sounds like what you are saying is that this new policy will have close to zero affect on the number of people able to climb the mountain in any given year. Am I reading that correctly?

  15. #115
    CDT - 2013, PCT - 2009, AT - 1300 miles done burger's Avatar
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    No one here is mentioning the elephant in the room: the problem isn't too many hikers at Katahdin. The problem is that there are too many hikers on the entire AT, period. Thousands of thru-hikers is just too many for a footpath that is supposed to be a place for quiet contemplation and being in nature (that's paraphrased from the ATC website). The AT needs a hard quota system, or at the very least, a daily quota like the PCT. If you can't get a permit, too bad. There are LOADS of other trails out there, even for newbies to distance hiking.

    US population has tripled since Benton MacKaye dreamed up the trail, and the percent of Americans who hike as increased even more. At some point someone has to say enough is enough. Better to nip this problem in the bud now instead of waiting until the numbers get to be truly unmanageable.

  16. #116

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    I have never been to BSP, so I will confess my ignorance on the subject. I have however, followed the growing numbers of thru hikers over the past ten years and the embarrassing public spat that has been going on between BSP and the ATC recently. My tendency has been to cast BSP as the villain in this situation, but my views are changing.

    The nice thing about these discussions are they serve a purpose to get folks to convince themselves that they don't need to go there. There have been a few converts on whiteblaze that work themselves into a lather before going there and then they have the inevitable moment when they get there they realize why the park staff goes to the lengths they do to keep it the place the way it is. We usually don't hear much complaining after folks actually get there (unless the weather is bad). There is no other public facility in the east or anywhere on the AT that offers what that park does. Calling Baxter a park is definitely a disservice done as a political expediency at one point , it actually is a wilderness preserve. The sad part is that most thru hikers are in rush to get home and zip up the Hunt Trail to the summit, have their picture taken and rush down to catch the shuttle to Millinocket. They are missing out on the parts of the park which are really special. I hiked for 8 hours on a labor day weekend two years ago along an above treeline ridgecrest and never encountered one other person all day, the trail was so lightly used that it was impossible to miss stepping on moss on top of the rocks as it wasn't worn off. We camped at a campground that night next to a pond and probably saw less than 10 other people for our entire stay and hiked out and saw less then 10 folks on the way out. I did a similar hike last labor day and encountered a total of 10 folks all day. This may happen out west but in the East its pretty rare.

    I personally have a group site booked at BSP for three days on labor day weekend at the base of the mountain. My out of pocket for that reservation is $144 for three nights. I get a drive in group campsite on a dead end with a stream right next to it just down the road from a Katahdin trailhead, a dining pavilion which holds about 4 picnic tables, a group fire ring, a vault privy and space for 12 folks ( I would have to pay $8 an additional a head if I exceed 4). An adjacent commercial campground 45 minutes away would be $100 plus a night for room for one tent, coin op showers, a picnic table and an all night chorus of partying whitewater rafters.

  17. #117

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    Quote Originally Posted by burger View Post
    Thousands of thru-hikers is just too many for a footpath that is supposed to be a place for quiet contemplation and being in nature (that's paraphrased from the ATC website). The AT needs a hard quota system, or at the very least, a daily quota like the PCT. If you can't get a permit, too bad.
    The problem is that people who have the power to deny access very often use that power for selfish reasons. And there simply is not a thing you can do about it. These situations where that power is abused go on for decades.

    Here is an example. At Mammoth Cave they fixed this by taking all the land and then denying cave access for the public to 97% of the cave. You can only see 3% of the cave. Back when it was privately owned you could see it all if you had the ability and a guide. There are certainly people in the other 97% today but you cannot become one of them. They call them "researchers" and you are told they are there for your own good and keeping you out is for the good of "your" cave.

    This sort of attitude is not limited to Mammoth Cave. There are other examples that hit closer to home (we own land adjacent to public land) but I won't air those disagreements here. In my opinion a permit fee or permit auction process solves this problem. I realize that gets people's feathers ruffled because they'd like to pretend all demand on limited resources is created equal, but the hard truth is that you need a way to separate different levels of demand. If the permit fee supports the park then you essentially prioritize access to those who are most contributing to park resources. I really don't think the fee would be punitive and I can't imagine it would have to be high enough to be a budgeting concern on a thru hike.

  18. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ktaadn View Post
    So, it sounds like what you are saying is that this new policy will have close to zero affect on the number of people able to climb the mountain in any given year. Am I reading that correctly?
    AsIreaditi

    As I read it it reinforces the limits of the Birches, and 'justifies' not expanding AT Thru accommodations in any way, something BSP has be set on. I believe this is the gist of it, they are expressing a unwillingness to expand AT thru hiker accommodations in the park but will allow what is already there.


    This does cause trouble as (and if) the number of thru hikers continue to increase, but the limit is still higher than the current number of thru hikers.

  19. #119
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    If they ATC would stop the endless and relentless promotion of the AT this problem would solve itself.
    Everything is in Walking Distance

  20. #120
    Registered User Water Rat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJ aka Teej View Post
    The only thing that costs $5 is the day use reserved parking spots. There is no fee for climbing Katahdin. The yellow slip - something the trailrunner gave you as you hiked in from Abol Bridge? There's no fee for that either.
    I understand the reserved parking spots cost $5.00. I've been to Baxter many times and have used this service before. I have also hiked in many times and had never been instructed to purchase a hiking permit for Katahdin in the past.

    Last September was when I encountered this for the first time. Like I said, maybe someone got their wires crossed. I dunno and am not worried about it. I figured an afternoon of hiking in Baxter - using their trails and privy - was well worth the $5.00 spent.

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