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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by StubbleJumper View Post
    They play an important role in educating people in the backcountry. I like having them present, because it eliminates any dilemma for me about whether I should say something when other hikers are either ignorant or acting selfishly. The ridge runner or care taker gets paid to intervene, and they usually do so pretty smoothly, and that means that I don't have to go to the effort of finding a polite way to tell another hiker that he/she is acting like an idiot.

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Joe View Post
    No doubt they play an important role. We can all agree their presence is appreciated, though.
    Agree and Agree

    By her being there she DID take it upon herself to make sure I had space in the shelter without having to confront anyone. Maybe she was a little odd...and a little crazy on the LNT "drink your kitchen water", but - I personally drink mine if I use cook pot but I can def see how others would be out of their comfort zone to drink it. Then again, maybe she acts that way as a means of entertainment lol
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  2. #22
    Registered User -Rush-'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    I would like for some folks to talk about a few things involving the role of a ridgerunner.

    1. What is there role on the trail
    2. What authority do they have
    3. Your experiences with them
    4. Your opinion of the position and how big of a role do they play on the trail



    I did the northern smokies this weekend, packed house at all the shelters. There was a ridgerunner that slept in the shelter that night and it was a mutual agreement with pretty much everyone at the shelter that the group was so micro managed and suppressed with "authority" it was awkward and not so great of a time. Thankfully there was a nice grassy spot away from the shelter where I did my cooking and socializing. I was bumrushed by her when I got there asking for my permit and then orchestrating a big chaos of where we should sleep in the shelter....way to dramatic for me and I prolly wont be back in the smokies for a while but I wanted to have more insight on this position because some people state "she has no authority, you don't really have to do what she says", yet everyone did what she said to do all night..
    A RR doesn't have any real authority out there, but they can communicate with and request assistance from rangers and park staff. Roaming Gnome talked to a female RR in his latest video. Is she the one at 17:06 you saw?

    Last edited by -Rush-; 05-01-2017 at 14:05.
    "Though I have lost the intimacy with the seasons since my hike, I retain the sense of perfect order, of graceful succession and surrender, and of the bold brilliance of fall leaves as they yield to death." - David Brill

  3. #23
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    Was it that they couldn't smoke their pot?



    some ridgerunners have been known to smoke pot...

    just sayin.....

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by -Rush- View Post
    A RR doesn't have any real authority out there, but they can communicate and request assistance from Rangers and Park staff. Roaming Gnome talked to a female RR in his latest video. Is she the one at 17:06 you saw?
    She be the one! She sounded quite pleasant in the video... Not quite the same experience on sight - But like I say, she wasn't a monster lol
    Last edited by Gambit McCrae; 05-01-2017 at 14:07.
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  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    ...everyone who ate out of a container was told to use their filtered water to scrub, and think drink it...
    I was going to start with
    If a GSMNP Ridge Runner was saying that to me, I'd be politely telling them to **** (ok... so actually I would start a polite discussion about the rules, but the point of the discussion would still be the same).
    But then it dawned on me that likely what might have been happening was someone NOT eating all of there food and simply dumping the extra food along with their wash water. Can't tell you how many times I've seen left over raman noodles IN THE WATER SOURCE.

  6. #26
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    1. What is there role on the trail, in case all the warnings on the internet, in books and on signs posted at the road crossings to warn hikers to "not do this and don't do that" have been missed, the trail clubs dig into their deep pockets and hire a "fake cop" to be the "hall monitor" to recite the 11 general orders of a sentry over and over to everyone they meet along the path. Hang your food, pack it out, don't feed the squares, etc.
    2. What authority do they have? None
    3. Your experience with them. Not good. If you dare to question what they are preaching or question their authority or worse yet question the "trail club" motivation they will sometime react poorly. How can you question the word of god!
    4. Your opinion of the position and how big of a role do they play on the trail, They are there to harass people and make it so hard to hike the trail that you will give up and go home. The role they play is to help the trail club not the hikers. Ignore them. These folks are what you get if you send too much money to a trail club.


  7. #27
    Registered User BuckeyeBill's Avatar
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    I agree with Uncle Joe, report it and let it go. I am not making accusations but it sounds more like a case of "rookieidous". I have seen it in law enforcement many times. While I agree that educating newer hikers, she didn't need to act as you reported. Not calling you on anything, but she may have just dealt with the biggest ***hole and hadn't taken the time to calm down before meeting you. I learned that there is two sides to each story, therefore I won't pass judgement until I hear from her.
    Blackheart

  8. #28
    Registered User BuckeyeBill's Avatar
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    If some told me to drink my dish water LNT says strain it, scatter it. To wash yourself or your dishes, carry water 200 feet away from streams or lakes and use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Scatter strained dishwater. I carry a small section of metal screen just for this purpose. I pack out anything on the screen.
    Blackheart

  9. #29

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    Try to put yourself in the shoes of someone tasked with taking care of the shelter, while dealing with hordes of careless, self centered , new idiots daily. Determined to do everything wrong that will attract bears to the shelter.

    Basically, its probably like running a kindergarten class. I wouldnt have the patience.

  10. #30
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    I was a ridgerunner for a short time and as stated above Ridgerunners are there for educational (LNT) purposes, to be a representative, voice and presence of ATC on the trail, and to be the ATC's eyes & ears on the trail, also to help maintain the trails, shelters and stuff (read stuff as privi's - not glamorous, but needed). They have no authority, but they do know the rules and can radio for a ranger if needed.

    They do have a 'official' look to them, and that is helpful in compliance to requests and respect for what they say, but again no power to enforce anything. From my training there was not a requirement to drink your wash water, though many AT Thru hikers do, perhaps it was a suggestion as it does work well, it does not seem to be a thing that anyone should demand. As for sleeping spots, I would just make sure there was enough spots for everyone without going to the trouble of assigning (that was never a requested part of my job function), although if a group, especially with children that I knew was coming (yes they can and do know these things sometimes) I would try to set aside continuous space for them.

  11. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    Try to put yourself in the shoes of someone tasked with taking care of the shelter, while dealing with hordes of careless, self centered , new idiots daily. Determined to do everything wrong that will attract bears to the shelter.Basically, its probably like running a kindergarten class. I wouldnt have the patience.
    As a former caretaker for the GMC and RMC, it can be a frustrating job to keep some people in line. Thankfully, most everyone is a pleasure to meet and deal with, but there are those few with which you wish you could just shoot and be done with it.
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  12. #32
    Registered User Just Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuckeyeBill View Post
    If some told me to drink my dish water LNT says strain it, scatter it. To wash yourself or your dishes, carry water 200 feet away from streams or lakes and use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Scatter strained dishwater. I carry a small section of metal screen just for this purpose. I pack out anything on the screen.
    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    Try to put yourself in the shoes of someone tasked with taking care of the shelter, while dealing with hordes of careless, self centered , new idiots daily. Determined to do everything wrong that will attract bears to the shelter.

    Basically, its probably like running a kindergarten class. I wouldnt have the patience.
    Worth keeping in mind the very political bear issues and the uproar over a euthanized bear(s).
    Also worth keeping in mind the AT is basically the ridge route/trail for all the wildlife for most of it's length.
    Many of us have a story of turning the corner and running into a bear on that section.

    So what's silly in one spot (drinking your dishwater in a lowland dispersed camping site) may be very critical in another spot (higher alpine setting with concentrated human activity and a fairly acclimated bear population).
    Nobody would run up to you and demand you bag your poop and carry it out, but that is a fact of life in other areas... could even earn you much more than a scolding from the junior ranger club.

  13. #33
    In the shadows AfterParty's Avatar
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    I can see not tossing out food chunks makes since but I am not drinking the water outta my washed pot. I carry a half sponge to wipe my pot, that thing has to hold more funk than the amazon. Ain't no way I'm drinking the water that thing touched. Not to mention the flavors. I'd have asked her to go and pound my shot respectfully and if she didn't I would walk well away from the shelter and water source and do my thing. If she followed me I'd probably be night hiking.
    Hiking the AT is “pointless.” What life is not “pointless”? Is it not pointless to work paycheck to paycheck just to conform?.....I want to make my life less ordinary. AWOL

  14. #34

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    Concentrated use, is not LNT.
    Shelters are concentrated use.

    At philmont scout ranch, where campsites are also similar concentrated use, scouts are taught to drink primary rinsewater. Washwater is disposed of down a pipe into underground where bear cant get it. The washwater is strained thru metal window screen , all bits of food are collected and packed out with trash.

    Its not like hiker caused bear problems are a rare thing in gsmnp ...they are very common. Shelters are closed every year.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 05-01-2017 at 18:28.

  15. #35
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    As a former caretaker for the GMC and RMC, it can be a frustrating job to keep some people in line. Thankfully, most everyone is a pleasure to meet and deal with, but there are those few with which you wish you could just shoot and be done with it.
    I was a GMC caretaker, too. They really got upset when I started shooting the hikers. Still not sure why, what with overcrowding and all.....

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deadeye View Post
    I was a GMC caretaker, too. They really got upset when I started shooting the hikers. Still not sure why, what with overcrowding and all.....

    That explains a lot.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    As a former caretaker for the GMC and RMC, it can be a frustrating job to keep some people in line. Thankfully, most everyone is a pleasure to meet and deal with, but there are those few with which you wish you could just shoot and be done with it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Deadeye View Post
    I was a GMC caretaker, too. They really got upset when I started shooting the hikers. Still not sure why, what with overcrowding and all.....
    Quote Originally Posted by Ethesis View Post
    That explains a lot.
    It's okay, Ethesis. As he was a GMC caretaker concerned with the ecosystem, I'll wager Deadeye used lead-free hollow points and disposed of the bodies more than 200 feet from a water source. All is okay.

  18. #38
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    I went thru GSMNP the first week in May five years ago on my thru. I met one ranger who was cool but I could tell he couldn't wait until the thru hiker bubble passed due to the overcrowding at the shelter. For all we know one of the hikers who got there before you that day or the previous night could have done something clueless and that put her in boss mode. Or maybe she was too nice and had to go into boss mode for hikers to listen.

    I'll usually cut them more slack in the Whites, GSMNP and around Springer due to the increased number of hikers and therefore increased likelihood someone is being stupid or acting entitled.

  19. #39
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    GSMNP is a cluster with its reservations/rules/camp bosses. That said, it's their game. Don't like their rules? Don't play their game.

    That said, I don't think there is any law about recycling your dishwater in GSMNP that can be enforced! Shelter reservations, for sure though. The shelter situations there can get totally FUBAR with bad weather or slow hikers and the runners have an onerous task to perform in getting it all sorted.

    I just saw something for the first time last weekend. It was a gal in a NPS dark green runner's shirt that had a "NATIONAL FOREST RUNNER" embroidered rectangular patch on the right breast and some official looking NFS and NPS patches on the sleeves of it. What the hell was up with THAT? She left the parking lot before I could ask her WTH...the only NFS near was the Pisgah....was she a poseur?

  20. #40
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    I dont understand the reservations with drinking your washwater from your cookpot. I cook oatmeal in the morning. Eat as much as I can, then pour a bit of water in and scrape, swirl swish around with my spoon. Drink it to get all those calories you just carried. Repeat. Cookpot is clean enough. 10 hours later, I'm eating supper, boiling more water in my cookpot which sterilizes it, cook more food. Thats water I've filtered, carried from the water source, heated with fuel that I've carried. Im sure as hell not going to dump all that energy expended on the ground.

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