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Everything posted by ncascadesranger

  1. [TR] Forbidden - W and NW ridges 8/9/2011

    Val Zephyr: That initial 8x10 glossy notwithstanding, we enjoyed your photos and trip report from the W and NW of Forbidden Peak. The rant… not so much... In fact, I want to dispel a few incorrect things about permits, fines, climbing registers that are incorrect from your report, so others are not mislead: - the “white zone” referred to on the permit map is a coding of party size limits, not an indication of a permit-free zone. An overnight backcountry camping permit is required everywhere in NCNP, either by trailside camps, or cross-country zones. I believe almost all the national parks in the system require what you call the “stupid free permit”, although many do charge for it. At NCNP we have long been proponents of a free system, using the permits for management purposes, but advocating for free use of public lands. However, as budgets decline, the opportunity to pay for the Boston Basin permit may not be far away - - the Voluntary Climbing Register is ... voluntary. It does not substitute for the required permit (even if there is a line at the permit desk!) By all means, if you have someone watching for your return, skip it. In fact we will be soon discussing the elimination of the Voluntary Climbing Register program, due to many cases of registers with incorrect info and parties that neglect to sign out. The registers can be helpful during a response to a mountain accident (mishaps do happen often before you’re overdue, we learn of accidents through hard-to-hear cell calls, etc) but this season’s experience with the climbing register is making the case to discontinue it. (See one case in point on a Shuksan TR from Aug 3. The more time wilderness rangers spend checking for overdue climbers the less time there is for serving people at the permit desk in a timely fashion, not to mention a myriad of other duties they have.) - no one has ever been fined for being honestly late, overdue, or cautious in their descent with an unplanned bivy and exit the next day. We are relieved to find that situation when searching for reported overdue climbers rather than an accident scene. However, intentionally putting incorrect information on the register or permit, giving a ranger cause to believe you are lying, being deceptive or negligent in some way - especially if it results in unnecessary cost or risk - could be subject to a fine. Again,nice TR, but the rant invited a few clarifications. Wilderness District Ranger North Cascades National Park
  2. summit register on Storm King?

    Regarding a search underway on Storm King in NCNP I am interested to know if anyone who climbed Storm King recently - this or last summer, say - could report whether a summit register was seen? Thanks for any info, Kelly Bush NCNP
  3. Missing climber in/around Storm King

    Regarding a search underway on Storm King in NCNP I am interested to know if anyone who climbed Storm King recently - this or last summer, say - could report whether a summit register was seen? Thanks, Kelly Bush NCNP
  4. Getting to Luna without water taxi

    Nope. It's in the Ross Lake NRA which is part of the Park Complex. It is also the most heavily used "part" of the park, so highly patrolled. Hope this is still relevant to your trip planning....if not it is definitely relevant to any trip to North Cascades National Park Service Complex (includes Ross Lake NRA). I'm glad to see that other folks on this thread have steered you away from the bike idea, but I hope that I can convince you that whether you would "get caught" by a ranger with your bicycle on the trail or not is not really the point. Yes, it is true that it is not legal to take a bicycle on the trail from Ross Dam Trailhead into Big Beaver. Bicycles are prohibited on all of our hiking trails and this trail actually goes in and out of designated Wilderness. The Wilderness Act expressly prohibits "mechanical transport", which even means carrying a bicycle on your shoulder or back. The spirit behind this law is to preserve the wilderness character of the place. In a National Park that is 93 percent Wilderness, any ranger you meet on the trail in North Cascades will have a knowledge of the Wilderness Act of 1964, how the NPS chooses to manage its wilderness, and a passion for keeping the North Cascades as pristine, untrampled, and untrammeled as possible. We are here for many of the same reasons as our visitors. Wilderness "character" embodies many values, but our (as in the American People) Wilderness Act spells out that such lands are "protected and managed so as to preserve its natural conditions and which (1) generally appears to have been affected primarily by the forces of nature, with the imprint of man's work substantially unnoticeable; (2) has outstanding opportunities for solitude or a primitive and unconfined type of recreation; (3)has at least 5,000 acres of land...; and (4) may also contain ecological, geological, or other features of scientific, educational, scenic, or historical value." Another potentially compelling reason not to take a bike on trails where it is prohibited is to protect the experience of other people along the trail who are also in search of a wilderness experience, whom along with hikers could include stock animals (which could easily spook with a bicycle coming down the trail). Anyway, I hope that clarifies "why" some. Please let us know if you have any questions or comments. Rob Burrows Wilderness Climbing Ranger North Cascades National Park Service Complex
  5. Cascade River Road Conditions?

    Relatively speaking the North Cascades National Park and nearby areas escaped last week's storm without much damage to roads, trails and bridges, except for this on the Cascade River Road. This closure is 12.7 miles above Marblemount. Eldorado Creek is approx 20 miles; the road had been gated for winter here. SKAGIT COUNTY – An apparent avalanche rushed down Hard Creek causing mud, debris and boulders to damage a county-owned bridge on the Cascade River Road. The bridge, constructed in the mid-1990s, received significant damage to the concrete abutments and the pre-cast pre-stressed concrete deck. The Cascade River Road provides access to National Forest Lands and no residents live beyond the bridge. Upon discovering the damage, on Tuesday, December 4, Skagit County road crews put up barricades and closed the road. Because of the structural damage to the bridge and amount of mud and debris covering it, Skagit County Public Works Department have declared it unsafe for vehicles. Cascade River Road will remain closed until the bridge is repaired or replaced.” “It appears that the two deck panels are damaged and the east abutment has taken a substantial hit and has shifted slightly downhill,’ said Skagit County Engineering Services manager David Sheridan. Sheridan said that replacement cost could be as high as $1 million.
  6. Cascade River Road Conditions?

    Over this past weekend it was still drivable to Eldorado Creek in almost any type of vehicle. The gate is closed at that point. The blowdowns were cleared last week. Only a dusting of snow on or around the road at that point, and while Sahale Arm would be skiable, you'd be hauling the boards aways to get up there. Of course, this conditions report is subject to change - probably overnight!
  7. Crazy Permit Fines

    Blake: Unfortunately I think you started the rant abit early - in court in front of an (evidently) NPS-supportive judge. I hope you are sincere in your statement that you'll drop by here in Marblemount and get the permit next time. Dannible: Blake told me about the permit experience that you describe here. It's true - some of the new lesser-experienced staff may take a few minutes to code a complex permit like the trips you guys take. Have some patience please; the data from interesting trips through remote wilderness is as important to us, if not more, than say, one night in Boston Basin. And your chance encounter with one of 25 trail crew members and that anecdotal info about the rangers seems unfair. But if it's important, I believe fewer tickets were written this year than most. Others: At NCNP we have successfully kept the permit system free and available at all hours of the day and night (self issue system) despite political odds against that. I simply don't know how we can make it any easier. The permit data is used for many good things that I hope you might support - regarding endangered species and other wildlife, water quality, occasionally search and rescue, amongst many other things. I really don't like this issue to be an "us and them" thing as many of these posts seem to want to make it. The wilderness rangers are just people who are keenly interested in the mountains like you are (this is rather an obvious statement I realize...)and doing jobs that allow them to spend as much time as possible out there. Thanks to those who understand that even with wilderness a little responsibility and support from all of us (in this example, just get the free permit) in involved in the existence of this treasure of a national park. Feel free to call me with any questions or input about permits. Kelly Bush Wilderness District Ranger, 360-854-7241
  8. Mount Baker Rescue

    Mr. Radon - Great photo. I know Whidbey SAR would love to have a copy of and see the others and video you mentioned. If you'd like to contact them, or need info to do that, let me know at kelly_bush@nps.gov, and at the least I"ll alert the commanding officer to check out cc.com. We rarely get such good photos of sars in progress.
  9. Falling climbers' numbers

    The numbers for climbers in certain areas published in the NWMJ for 2004 did show a dramatic drop for that year. I speculated on reasons in the intro - the trail and bridge damage from the Oct 2003 flood event (which was well-publicized over the winter) combined with unusually persistent bad weather in Aug 04. Also our numbers for hikers, and even the visitor center were down in 2004 too, suggesting an overall downward travel trend to the park as M. Husbands suggested. Yes, these are permit data which were collected consistently over the past few years with no changes to quotas or other variables like that. Of course it's possible that general compliance with the permit system is down - there are always more people out there than what the permit data show, but given the consistency with Mount Rainier's trend and our other data, I don't think that is the main factor. What it is exactly...I don't really know either! It looks like 2005 will show a somewhat busier season than 2004, although some areas (Boston Basin for instance) still in a downward trend. As far as the comment about climbers sticking closer to the roads - actually the data, and our observations, show that remote areas are getting more use and it is the close-in areas like BB that are less busy than years past. 2005 was way below average at North Cascades for number of climbing accidents and rescues, and for that matter, floods, fires and other incidents as well. (although did have the first multi-fatality climbing accident in many years). I'll submit the same info to 2005 NWMJ and to the park website again soon. Kelly Bush Wilderness District Ranger North Cascades National Park
  10. Sorry for this long drift, but since ivan is asking: 1) The utility of permits? In the big picture it is about data. Off the top of my head for example, most recently I have used or provided data (how many people go where / when) on: High Lake Fishery EIS, a grizzly bear habitat study, the USFS interest to develop the Shannon Ridge (to Shuksan) route to a trail. Wide-ranging uses that could be more about wildlife or air quality, say, than people directly, but important and required components of managing a national park. 2) Permits related to rescue? The earlier post was referring to the voluntary climbing register offered in Marblemount and some other NCNP stations, not the permit. The permit is about camping and is required, the climbing register is for anyone who wants to use it as a safety net while climbing or hiking and is optional. No it won’t save a fallen climber in the golden hour, but has made a lot of difference for some parties who are in trouble, can’t get out for notification or choose to stay w/ the injured. With an undecipherable cell call it can provide the complete info if we can just hear one name, then check for a register. It is often also a nice service we offer for spouses and families of climbers who have different understandings about just when so-and-so is supposed to be home. Then I can say – no, we won’t be starting a search cause your husband signed right here on our form when he’s coming out. (you all know who you are). But when we do start a search, have some faith - we DO find people “up a remote drainage w/o a trail, no flagging, no obvious campsite, no slash-track”. 3) Permits and fees? I’ll just say it – the staff at North Cascades NP for the most part, hope never to be using permits as revenue generation. This permit program is about resource protection. We were directed to put together a permit fee last spring for 06 which is now on hold until 07. This is an obtuse or over-simplified explanation of the question, but the # of people not getting permits, or for that matter, the # of people getting permits is not volume enough at this park to influence whether the powers-that-be direct Interior agencies to charge for recreation. What I can’t square in my mind, ivan, is that the 10 minute imposition on your freedom to pick up the permit (free, obtainable middle of the night even, most stations) is too much as a trade-off in support of the overall framework that will keep places like the wild Moxes wild. Enough. Thanks for asking. I was actually really bothered more by the machete. Kelly Bush Wilderness District Ranger, NCNP
  11. Quote: i wasn't aware the n cascades were sacred? What?... Who’s not aware…? OK that’s it…now we definitely have to post.... But first, while Michael Layton and Erik Wolfe hardly need more accolades after the Bham Herald article, radio stories, etc, let us say anyway that we are all super impressed with the SE Mox climb. The vast majority of climbs undertaken in this park are now found in one, if not several, guidebooks, or have info available with a quick cc.com search. But this – this is true wilderness adventure. Congrats to Michael and Erik. In fact, the part of this range that made it into the North Cascades National Park, surely the wildest, most remote and dramatically rugged, most ecologically-intact landscape in the lower United States – IS some variety of “sacred” to many people. It is sacred to our mountaineering / conservation elders who a generation ago fought tooth and nail to preserve this great wilderness as a national park before the timber and mining interests gobbled it up. That belief in sacred places resulted in the Mox Peaks remaining as wild and mysterious places today and not exposed at the end of some trashed logging road. For many, that concept of sacred places includes simple wilderness travel ethics that include no flagging, no trash left intentionally marking your presence, no bonfires and no machetes hacking your way through un-trailed wilderness. Some of this may seem trivial, some of these impacts are aesthetic and not ecological (that devil’s club will grow back and be brutal for the next Perry Creek hikers too). But seeing these tremendous photos of the FA of the remote Mox wall paired up with the machete approach is disappointing. This could be all be said bureaucratically too – these high impact practices are all violations of NPS regs. (you are right Jon “Protect yourself on cc.com” – the government computers do indeed lurk all the time.) But you know that. Moving on to the red flare / yellow plane part of this wilderness adventure. We know Scurlock is always in search of an excuse to fly, but generally we encourage climbers to steer clear of the ol’ flare-gun distress signal method of initiating rescue. Seriously, the (optional) climbing register offered at ranger stations may work out better. There are a host of climbers who will attest that these registers saved their bacon when their climb went sideways. This is easily filled out when obtaining the (required!) backcountry permit. Permits - yes - some climbers this season have been surprised to learn from rangers in the Pickets and other remote places, that the permit is required in all areas of the park. The NCNP is trying hard to keep this permit FREE for all and simple to get, (not an easy thing in this fee-crazed era and it may change by 07 despite our best efforts), but it is required and your cooperation will help. Thanks for reading our somewhat divergent post. We mean no disrespect for the climbing achievement – we just wish those setting the bar higher for amazing ascents such as this were also setting an example for low impact wilderness climbing style. North Cascades NP Wilderness and Climbing Rangers: Kelly Bush, Alex Brun, Kevork Arackellian, Lin Skavdahl, Michele Blank
  12. [TR] Ruby Mountain- South Ridge 1/14/2005

    All the webbing in that bag was removed from Triumph's NE Ridge last July 30. What happens to them? Well, NPS workers are, of course, a thrifty lot - I gave some of them to a maintenance worker to tie down a ladder, our retired ropes and webbing are always popular with the trail crew, and a few of those Triumph runners are now holding together a tipsy file cabinet in my office...important stuff. Seriously, there was actually more than that 20 lb bag! When rangers clean a route, they will leave only what is comfortable and safe for that descent - a new well-placed one or two and cut out the rats nests that develop at these stations. We encourage climbers to do this as well! (LNT msg opportunity, thanks Klenke) On related notes - rangers remove ALL flagging, and NO summit registers. Nice trip report and photos!
  13. Scott Croll

    With a long ago NW Arete (Coulour) accident on Shuksan brought to mind recently, I was remembering Scott Croll. Scott was one of several rangers (as Skeezix had mentioned) on this team effort, which spanned from 1991-94 to recover climber Gary Gary, killed by sudden ice fall. Yes, Scott's father was a career NPS ranger, Scott was well on his way too.
  14. cascade river road

    From the North Cascades NP report "Summary of Storm Damage, 3/17" Cascade River Road The road was severely eroded at Boston Creek and sustained lesser damage at nearby Morning Star and Midas Creeks. A repair contract will be issued, and work may begin during July 2004 with completion in late August or September. While this work is underway it will be necessary to close the road at Eldorado Creek so that parked vehicles will not impede the passage of construction equipment. Walking the road beyond Eldorado Creek is permissible but anticipate that crossing Boston Creek could be difficult or impossible until repairs are in place. Updates will be on http://www.nps.gov/noca/storm03/report.htm
  15. Boston Basin question

    Rodchester et al - There actually are quotas for the permit zones on all sides of Forbidden Pk, but the Boston Basin permit gets all the attention for obvious reasons - being the closest access and the one most people are seeking. It is true though that even in prime summer, and esp in June there are, more often than not, permits available for BB during the week. Just try to avoid Sat night. About the road - usually open all the way at least by July 4, but this year may be an exception. The upper road sustained damage and may be closed at Eldorado Cr longer than usual, but we should know more about the repair schedule in another month. The Cascade Rd overall faired better than many in the Oct storm, but in the upper mile failed at each of Boston, Midas and Morning Star Creeks. If you have more questions about the permits or want to keep posted about the various roads, pls consider calling the Wilderness Information Center in Marblemount at (360) 873-4590. Try x35 or 38 now; after May 1, x39.
  16. fire restricts access to Pickets

    Here is a heads up for those folks with plans to climb in the Northern Pickets and who are planning to hike in via Access Creek. Yesterday, North Cascades National Park closed a portion of the Big Beaver trail due to a wild-land fire. The closure starts at the junction with the Pumpkin Mountain Trail (basically the mouth of Big Beaver) to the National Park boundary (which is about two miles before Luna Camp). Overall the section of trail that is closed is about seven miles in length. This closure doesn’t completely rule out approaching the Pickets via Access Creek, but it means that to get to Access Creek one would have to hike in via Little Beaver and over Beaver Pass – a much longer option. Therefore I would suggest either the Easy Ridge or Whatcom Pass approach. Both require hiking in from the Hannegan Pass trail. The trail was closed due to the Big Beaver Fire, which has reached about 1000 acres in size. As I was hiking through the area looking for visitors to evacuate (along with a NPS fire-fighter), the smoke was so thick that we could see only about 150 feet! We could also hear large trees falling and rocks rolling down the hillside on the south-side of Big Beaver. I witnessed a tree torch about a ¼ mile away from where we stood on the trail! If you have any questions about accessing the Pickets or about the current state of the fires, don’t hesitate to call the park. 360-873-4590 ext. 39 (about climbing questions) and ext.7139 (about fire questions) Alex Brun Wilderness Ranger, North Cascades National Park
  17. NE Ridge Triumph conditions?

    Re: the old road - Well...it's now in the trail system, where bikes are prohibited. Admittedly, not the nicest stretch of trail to walk, does look like a nice mountain bike cruise downhill after a climb. But lots of hikers on it, no plans to move the trailhead up, in fact maintenance on that road barely keeps a couple of stretches driveable. So - it's a trail, no bikes.
  18. NE Ridge Triumph conditions?

    Ryland / Alpinfox, You do need to get the wilderness permit for anywhere in NCNP for overnight trips. Bivying on a route just means the permit is gonna be in a crosscountry zone, not a designated camp permit. The reference to a "self-issue" permit comes from how the system allows people to show up after hours in Marblemount and if a permit is still available (you must look at the list on the board posted at closing) then you can self-issue the permit. Otherwise just get one at the desk inside the Wilderness Info Center. Yes we do sometimes record license plates at trailheads. Is that "creepy"? It's just merely a time saver for us sometimes at the ranger station. Worried family member calls because their wife/husband/kid is overdue from Triumph or they think the w/h/k was gonna climb Triumph when actually they changed their mind and went elsewhere. I ask what car they had, check the plate list from the ranger that drove down at end of the day, and save myself a trip up there. Or see that the car IS there and go from there. Sometimes doing this does come into play for law enforcement reasons too, but no plates are ever run unless used for an investigative reason. I think most people like the fact that rangers are trying to thwart car clouts or discourage little country road meth labs. All of the above (esp the "why isn't x home for dinner" call) happen more often than you might think. Anyway, I think Triumph's NE Ridge is one of the funnest routes in the Park, and that going on over to the first pitch of the route to bivy is a nice time saver on the climbing day if you have to go out then. But there is also a rock outcrop just below Triumph Col on the glacier side with a view of the Pickets too. I think 2 nights there if you have it, is the way to enjoy this climb.
  19. Fires near Ross Lake, NCNP

    A little more detail to add to the press release from NCNP that Lowell posted. The biggest fire in the Park is only about 50 acres on the east flank of Tricouni Pk. Most of its spread happened when it made an impressive run on Sunday afternoon from just a few trees to that size. It's expected to put out quite a bit of smoke every morning from inversion layers, then as it heats up on hot afternoons will then be bigger columns of smoke. This is a "no suppression" fire, (unless it grows over the acreage that is the maximum allowable) so may have this smoke pattern until fall rains. The experience in climbing peaks like Logan and others nearby may be hampered during certain times of day. (And at other times may give climbers and Thunder Cr hikers a great view of wildland fire!) Right now the expected course of the fire isn't a danger to hikers and climbers, and if it becomes one, trails will be closed. Not an issue for awhile. Other fires in the area: 20 acres up Big Beaver in the small drainage south of McMillan Cr. Couple of small ones up Marble Creek. Small one south of the Triad. A 20 acres and growing fire on the southwest flank of Johannesburg - USFS is attempting to suppress, but very steep slopes make it difficult and is mainly a helicopter water bucket effort. All of the Park fires that are planned for suppression are out except one just above Colonial Campground (just a couple trees). The others will be monitored for the remainder of the season unless they escape what is allowed. The NPS welcomes information calls about the fires at 360-873-4590 x7193. Kelly Bush Wilderness District Ranger
  20. Cascade River Rd closure

    Info for those planning trips from the upper Cascade River Rd in North Cascades NP - Beginning Monday, May 5 through June 13 (estimate), the road will be closed at mp 19.7 which is about 4 miles below the Cascade Pass trailhead. (This is a couple of miles below where it has been gated last couple of weeks.) The road is failing at this point and the closure is necessary for repairs. Hikers will be able to walk around and on up the road to access trails and climbing routes. Updates will be posted on the North Cascades NP website and available from the Wilderness Information Center at 360-873-4590 x39.
  21. Cascade River Rd closure

    Oops .... this was a false alarm. The road crew decided this week to put this repair on the upper Cascade River Rd off until fall. Right now the road is open to about mile 21 where it will be gated until around July 1.
  22. TR: Triumph NE Ridge

    quote: Originally posted by Tod: I was more surprised than anything about running into the ranger Check out Nelson, Vol II, pg 188; North Cascades National Park climbing ranger on Triumph
  23. TR: Torment-ed

    Doug Hutchinson, Wotan, et al: The North Cascades National Park permit that you need for doing the Torment - Forbidden traverse is a Boston Basin permit. Exception would be if you approach through Torment Basin and actually camp in that basin a first night. Most parties though are gonna approach through Boston Basin, climb Torment via S Ridge or Taboo Glacier (SE face), then head E to Forbidden - all on a required Boston Basin permit. The Forbidden zone permit is for ... the Forbidden Glacier. (NW face parties etc). The entire ridgeline is considered in Boston Basin. Some people are under the impression that "bivies" somehow are exempt from the permit requirement... but even camps in high, dramatic places will fall into one of the cross-country zones for permitting purposes. For the most part, the permits are easy to obtain, with only a few being "competitive" such as, yes, Boston Basin on sunny weekends. This has dropped off dramatically though lately, and Doug Hutchinson's friend could likely pick up that Boston Basin permit at the ranger station in Marblemount faster than it took to write out that message of inquiry on how to sneak around it! Call 360-873-4500 x39 for North Cascades National Park permit info 7 days/wk or my x35 directly with questions about the zoning, reasons for permits, outlook for changes, etc. Kelly Bush, Park Ranger
  24. Who has been maintaining Boston Basin trail?

    Some clarifications regarding recents comments and mis-assumptions in these recents posts about the route into Boston Basin, the permit system, and ranger patrols. I supervise the rangers who patrol here (and other climbing destinations in NCNP),have done many of the patrols to BB myself over the past decade, and offer this: The Boston Basin area, and associated peaks is within the North Cascades National Park, not under Forest Service jurisdiction. There are no "FS" rangers up there, only NPS (National Park Service) Rangers. The patrols are currently assigned randomly, with different rangers assigned to the area each week. Some days/evenings they might make contacts on one side of the basin, sometimes another side, although there is usually enough time to cover it fairly well from underneath Torment over to Sahale Arm. Sometimes we patrol not just the flats below Sharkfin but on up to the summit (last week) or Forbidden (previous week), Sahale (week before)... etc. While some of the duties must be doneeveryweek, like maintaining composting toilets, we enjoy getting above 6000' whenever we can, (as otherwise implied here) and the ability and interest to do so is a part of the job. I'm not sure what all the fuss is about though regarding the permits. For the vast number of excellent climbing days we've had this season, there were Boston Basin permits available. They are available the day of, and one day prior to the start of your trip, first-come, first-serve. After hours in Marblemount, they are available by self-issue outside the station. Saturday nights and some Friday nights are indeed tough if you don't arrive early. Please consider that this permit system (in place at NCNP since the 1970's) has objectives beyond providing cat and mouse games for rangers and climbers. The Parks, especially those with designated Wilderness as this one is, have mandates to balance recreational use with preservation. It is very clear that use, type of use, #'s of people, etc is directly tied to certain types of resource degradation. Fortunately we find that the far majority of climbers and others who love these mountains are willing to deal with a little bureaucratic red tape (permits)to preserve this magnificent place. The avalanche debris: Given that the route into BB is in the "cross-country zone" classification the Park will not automatically clear this debris, as it would have if that avalanche had hit the nearby Cascade Pass trail (in the maintained constructed trail classification). The management plan for this Wilderness states that most of it will be free of human manipulation (from trail construction to tramways) and again, we find that most North Cascades users want it that way. When mother nature splashs a little more risk and challenge into the experience in the form of unpleasant debris to cross, the NPS can't get subjective about what the Wilderness Plan dictates. However, nothing is 100% unchangeable in land management - it's your Park - and questions or most importantly comments, are best made to the ranger station in Marblemount and/or the Superintendent. My guess is that would more likely get the debris cleared over encouraging others on this site to bring their pruning shears. And it's true, the public isn't allowed to take on their own trail (or other resource management) projects in National Parks. Kelly Bush, Park Ranger North Cascades National Park 360-873-4500,x35