[pct-l] Sonora Pass fall

dsaufley at sprynet.com dsaufley at sprynet.com
Thu Sep 28 11:56:53 CDT 2006

Sometimes the closures are done because the forest itself is in peril.  Here in SoCal, last year the USFS closed the forests down when fire conditions reached a critical point, though there were no active fires at the time.  They'd lost 14% of the Angeles National Forest due to fires the year before, and they weren't taking any chances.  


-----Original Message-----
>From: Terry Norton <terry.norton at gmail.com>
>Sent: Sep 27, 2006 9:30 PM
>To: Shelly Culbertson <shelly.culbertson at gmail.com>
>Cc: PCT MailingList <pct-l at backcountry.net>
>Subject: Re: [pct-l] Sonora Pass fall
>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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