[pct-l] Sonora Pass fall

Terry Norton terry.norton at gmail.com
Wed Sep 27 23:30:34 CDT 2006

I have to agree with Shelly.  The idea of "closing a section of trail"
due to seasonal conditions would cause havoc.  The high Sierra would
likely be closed until the fords were ankle deep.  Plus, there are
those of us who like the challenge!

The governing jurisdictions  (USFS, NPS, PCTA, etc.) are responsible
to inform hikers of abnormal conditions.  As an example, the Glacier
Peak section in northern Washington has been heavily damaged by
floods.  There has been an official detour posted, but the original
trail remains open.

In my case I chose to hike the original route when accompanied by
other hikers who were also confident in their abilities. Another
strong hiker chose to take the detour since he was traveling solo and
had problems with his shelter.  Others chose to take the alternate.
Some even took the road walk.  In all cases, I think the "correct"
decision was made.

I think closures are typically reserved for situations where hikers
would be in immediate peril or rangers must be diverted from usual
tasks to handle emergencies.  Also, I think hunters are more of a
concern than hikers to resource managers.


On 9/27/06, Shelly Culbertson <shelly.culbertson at gmail.com> wrote:

> I didn't think that the PCTA ever "closes" sections of the trail - please
> correct me if I'm wrong.  I think that when closures occur, they are
> typically dictated and enforced by whoever controls the land which that
> section of trail is on - Forest Service, BLM, etc.
> But also, I wouldn't advocate additional trail closures.  It seems to me
> that backcountry travel has inherent risks and each individual needs to be
> responsible for making their own decisions.  If there were to be additional
> closures for "unsafe" conditions, wouldn't the threshold be innately
> arbitrary?  Regulation of this sort too often seeks the lowest common
> denominator.  I know that there are many things I might feel unsafe doing,
> that others can do comfortably (including hiking on snow!).  But just
> because I might not feel safe on that stretch of trail, I would not presume
> to make that decision for others more capable than myself.

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