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Fairweather

An Agenda to limit access on Rainier?

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Here's a strange one...Climbers will be asked to complete a survey beginning this weekend that seems, at the very least, like some sort of push-poll leading toward possible restrictions or limitations on alpine climbing in MRNP. That the administration is sanctioning this Texas State University "study" seems a bit odd. In addition to standard questions about race, income, education, and some rather strange questions about experience, there are some downright bizarre inquires that focus on personal opinion and are clearly intended to produce a predetermined answer regarding wilderness/social concerns. Below I have pasted some of the questions that seem the most leading or unusual:

 

"14. Please estimate and list a monetary value as to how much it will cost you for this season’s climbing trip to Mount Rainier. (You can indicate the value below in your native country’s currency dollars, euros, yen, ruble, etc.) Even if you are sponsored by an organization, please list how much you think it will cost you to be on the climbing trip. Include all money spent, even travel, meals and leisure spent to arrive at basecamp."

Value______________ Currency You Use________________

 

 

17. (a) "Please classify yourself into the following experience category: (Check only ONE)"

_____ Beginner (little or no mountaineering experience)

______ Novice (first major trip on Rainier (above 14,000-ft, 4,267m) but some glacier travel experience and one or two previous shorter climbs to peaks of less than 14,000-ft, 4,267m)

______ Intermediate (two to five extended climbs or expeditions with at least one above 14,000-ft, 4,267m), glacier travel, winter climbing experience)

______ Advanced (over five major extended climbs-expeditions with two or more above 16,000-ft, 5000m, technical challenges, high altitude, arctic-like conditions)

 

(b) "Please classify yourself into the following skill category: (Check only one)"

______ Novice (beginner snow and ice climber)

______ Intermediate (can lead 5.6 rock and ice climbs at grade III under alpine conditions)

______ Advanced (can lead 5.9 rock and ice climbs at grade IV under alpine conditions)

 

 

Here are the questions that have me concerned:

 

 

1. a. "How crowded do you think the area of Rainier basecamp is?"

Please circle a number representing how crowded it feels in your opinion.

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

not at all slightly moderately extremely

crowded crowded crowded crowded

 

b. "If the situation comes up, would you abort or sacrifice your summit bid in order to aid or rescue another climber?" (Circle One): Yes No

 

 

2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

not at all slightly moderately extremely

feared feared feared feared

 

Rate each of the Following items in regards to levels of fear indicated:

 

"What are your greatest fears in regards to trying to climb this mountain?"

 

Weather Related

a. ________Avalanches

b. ________High winds

c. ________Extremely cold temperatures

d. ________Blizzard/whiteout conditions

e. ________Sun burn/snow blindness

 

Climbing the Mountain

f. ________Falling into a crevasse

g. ________Falling off a cliff or face of the mountain

h. ________Having to attempt a rescue (and possibly abort your climb)

i. ________Having a team member die

j. ________Your own death

k. ________Crowds (too many people on the routes)

l. ________Not making the Summit on this trip

m. ________Seeing too much human waste

n. ________Seeing too much trash and discarded items

o. ________Seeing a dead body along the route

 

Physical and Bodily Aspects

p. ________Suffering from frostbite

q. ________Losing fingers, toes, arms, or legs from frostbite

r. ________Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)

s. ________Dehydration

t. ________HAPE (High Altitude Pulmonary Edema)

u. ________HACE (High Altitude Cerebral Edema)

v. ________Digestive system ailment or virus (diarrhea, giardia, etc)

 

 

 

 

3. "How confident are you that you will reach the top of Rainier? (Select only one answer)"

 

_____ Completely confident (100%)

_____ Fairly certain (75%)

_____ Optimistic either way (50%)

_____ Only a small chance (25%)

_____ Need a lot of luck and not sure (0%)

_____ Not confident at all, hope I live to tell the story (0%)

 

 

 

 

e. "Do you think the current permit system should continue to be a mandatory requirement for climbing Rainier? (Check all that apply)"

____Yes ____No

____Number of climber permits issued should be decreased

____Number of climber permits issued should be increased

____Other opinion (describe)_________________________________________________

 

 

2. a. "How crowded do you think your climb of Mount Rainier was as a whole?"

Please circle a number representing how crowded it felt in your opinion.

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

not at all slightly moderately extremely

crowded crowded crowded crowded

 

b. "Do you think that there are too many people trying to climb Mount Rainier?"

Circle One: Yes No

 

"Was the mountain too crowded?" Yes No

 

"Was the number of people you saw within an acceptable limit for you?" Yes No

 

c. "How crowded do you feel the area of the basecamp was?"

Please circle a number representing how crowded it felt in your opinion.

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

not at all slightly moderately extremely

crowded crowded crowded crowded

 

 

 

d. "How crowded do you feel the area within 1,000-feet (300m) of the Summit was?"

Please circle a number or item representing how crowded it felt in your opinion.

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

not at all slightly moderately extremely Not Applicable

crowded crowded crowded crowded

 

 

e2. "Did you have to wait for others to move away in order to ascend or descend any section of the mountain? " Circle One: Yes No

 

e3. If Yes to the previous question, about how long did you have to wait, and please indicate in which direction you were going: ___________minutes total.

Circle One: Ascending and/or Descending?

 

f. "If you stood on the summit, how crowded was the experience?"

Please circle a number representing how crowded it felt in your opinion.

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

not at all slightly moderately extremely

crowded crowded crowded crowded

 

g. "Did you have to abort or sacrifice your climb to rescue or help another climber?"

(Circle One): Yes No

 

h. "What would be the ideal number of climbers that should be allowed on the route of Mount Rainier you climbed on this trip for each climbing season or each day?" (Please choose only 1 answer for each list below).

 

FOR EACH SEASON FOR EACH DAY

____ 0-499 Climbers ____0-10 Climbers

____500-999 Climbers ____11-20 Climbers

____1000-1499 Climbers ____21-30 Climbers

____1500-1999 Climbers ____31-40 Climbers

____ 2000+ Climbers ____40+ Climbers

 

i. "Given the relatively high climbing frequency of Mount Rainier, please list three of the most obvious environmental concerns that came to mind during your experience here."

 

1.________________________________________________________________________

2.________________________________________________________________________

3.________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

not at all a slight a moderate an extreme

a problem problem problem problem

 

Rate each of the following items in regards to levels of problem or conflict indicated on the scale:

 

"What were the greatest problems or conflicts you encountered in regards to trying to climb this mountain?"

 

Weather Related

a. ________Avalanches

b. ________High winds

c. ________Extremely cold temperatures

d. ________Blizzard/whiteout conditions

e. ________Sun burn/snow blindness

 

Climbing the Mountain

f. ________Falling into a crevasse

g. ________Falling off a cliff or face of the mountain

h. ________Having to attempt a rescue (and possibly abort your climb)

i. ________Having a team member die

j. ________Your own death

k. ________Crowds (too many people on the routes)

l. ________Not making the Summit on this expedition

m. ________Seeing too much human waste

n. ________Seeing too much trash and discarded items

o. ________Seeing a dead body along the route

 

Physical and Bodily Aspects

p. ________Suffering from frostbite

q. ________Losing fingers, toes, arms, or legs from frostbite

r. ________Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)

s. ________Dehydration

t. ________HAPE (High Altitude Pulmonary Edema)

u. ________HACE (High Altitude Cerebral Edema)

v. ________Digestive system ailment or virus (diarrhea, giardia, etc)

 

 

4. "Do you plan on returning to Mount Rainier in order to climb it ever again?"

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Never A slight chance Maybe 50% Potentially Yes

 

5. "If you did not make the summit, please list the top 2 reasons why you did not make it."

 

1.________________________________________________________________________

 

2.________________________________________________________________________

 

 

6. "In your opinion, what qualifications and experience should a person have in order to be allowed to come and climb Mount Rainier (Check all that Apply)"

 

____Only experience of hiking in some lower mountains

____No previous climbs of peaks higher than 4267m (14,000-ft) but perhaps some of 2000m or 3000m

____At least 1 previous climb of a 4267m (14,000-ft) peak

____At least 2 previous climbs of a 4267m (14,000-ft) peak, plus glacier travel climbing experience

____More than 2 previous climbs of a 4267m (14,000-ft) peak, plus glacier travel and climbing on at least one previous peak of higher than 6000m (18,000-ft)

____Certifications in CPR and First Aid Wilderness First Responder

____Alpine mountaineering courses such as crevasse rescue, glacier travel, ice climbing, etc.

____Money to buy their way onto an expedition

____Other (Please Specify)______________________________________________________

7. "Do you think global warming impacted your climb in any way?"

 

Circle One: Yes No

Please explain: __________________________________________

 

This part is funny::

 

"Thank you for completing the survey!

Warning: Mountaineering is a high-risk and completely voluntary activity. If at any time this survey has induced additional fear or anxiety in regards to your summit attempt of Mt. Rainier, the following resource may be of benefit to you:"

Anxiety Panic Attack Resource Site: www.anxietypanic.com

P.O. Box 1421

Nampa, ID 83653

PHONE: Toll Free (888) 584-7112

E-mail: help@anxietypanic.com

 

I'm surprised that MRNP would allow this clown with an agenda to bother park visitors. The guy is obviously NOT a climber. I would encourage climbers being asked to complete this survey to politely decline. Just my humble opinion. I have the complete document as a .doc (no link) if anyone wants to see the complete version you can PM me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Fairweather

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FW, maybe you need to get anxiety help from this web site if you think this survey is being offered in order to restrict climber access to MRNP.

 

 

Panic attacks

 

are sudden surges of overwhelming fear that that comes without warning and without any obvious reason. It is far more intense than having anxiety or the feeling of being 'stressed out' that most people experience. One out of every 75 people worldwide will experience a panic attack at one time in their lives.

 

The mission of AnxietyPanic.com is to educate patients, families, caregivers and the community about anxiety and panic disorders in order to relieve suffering, instill hope, and improve lives.

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there are fucks out there who do actually want to restrict access, and this survey looks to be just another example. new wilderness areas with 20-foot wide exclusions for roads are another.

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Denali pulls in $200/permit; arguments in favor may or may not include:

 

- most climbers can afford it (or at least, the out-of-town big spenders with their "euros, yen, and ruble" can)

- reduces crowding (read: by raising fees we can bring in the same amount of money while dealing with less climbers)

- helps pay for reducing climbers' impact (because snow, rock, and ice are very sensitive)

- is necessary to pay for enough rangers to assist/rescue noobs (because mountaineering is meant to be a safe activity at any cost)

 

From a paranoid viewpoint, some of the questions in this survey would seem to be written precisely to show evidence that would back up similar observations with regard to Rainier. Hello $50 fee? $100? $200? Why not? Aren't there rumors of Denali going up to $500 or more for similar reasons?

 

In theory, there may exist some level of over-crowding above which the park service is expected to take action to limit the number of mountaineers on Rainier. But I don't think we're anywhere near it with respect to the mountaineering routes. It's a big pile of rock and ice that will probably blow up again on a short geological time scale, and there are few if any resident organisms above say 8000 feet. If people don't like the idea of climbing in the vicinity of 100 other people, then there are plenty of other times and places to climb. It would not be realistic to attempt to engineer a lonely wilderness experience on a mountain this close and this visible, and I think that locals in particular would be hurt by having to pay any more than they already have to to play in their back yard.

 

[/paranoia]

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I seriously don't want this to turn into a spray fest, but paranoia aside, the questions do seem to be pointing in a certain direction, and the survey is sanctioned by MRNP.

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I seriously don't want this to turn into a spray fest, but paranoia aside; the questions do seem to be pointing in a certain direction, and the survey is sanctioned by MRNP.

 

routes/camps already have quotas for each night, and the total number of climbers on the mountain have gone down over the last few years. so, why does access need to be further restricted. this survey stinks, as does its implications - plain and simple

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Hey FW and Kas,

 

Maybe we could agree that the study doesn't even ask questions about how bad and CROWDED the parking situation is?

 

The questions seemed intent on crowding issues. They should be fair and conduct the study in other months like Nov, Dec, and Jan... Going to Rainier in Mid July and asking if it's crowded seems like a loaded question.

 

The panic comment at the end is just odd.

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I talked to this guy for quite awhile this wkend at Camp Schurman... while I admit that some of the questions were rather strange (my favorite was "What were the greatest problems or conflicts you encountered in regards to trying to climb this mountain?" with the possible answer of "Your own death.") I didn't really get the impression that he had much of an agenda. His questions do seem to indicate that he believes there may be a crowding problem at Mount Rainier, but I don't think he's going to get very much data that support that.

 

For example, I gave the crowding I experienced on Rainier an 8 out of 10. It was a busy day and a congested climb. I also said that the mountain was too crowded. However, I don't think that Too Many people try to climb Rainier, and it wasn't an unacceptable level to me. A lot of questions are trying to get at the same point by using different wording, so I think that he's going to get some contradictory data. Of course, everyone knows a good scientist can spin data in any direction they want to!! And this guy was definitely more scientist than climber...

 

I specifically asked him why he was limiting his research to the busy season, and he said that this was a pilot study for a full study he was planning to do next year at Denali. In other words, trying to figure out if the questions he asked really worked or not... I don't think they did.

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Oh yeah, he said the park service approved the permit, but he is receiving no funding or support from the NPS. The American Alpine Club, yes. Go figure.

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The government should stay out of climbing and out of rescues as well. Let Freedom ring.

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I seriously don't want this to turn into a spray fest, but paranoia aside, the questions do seem to be pointing in a certain direction, and the survey is sanctioned by MRNP.

 

The fact that they signed off on the project doesn't mean the NPS is necessarily pushing an agenda. You need to get MRNP approval for all research projects being conducted on the mountain whether it's a survey of climbers or a trial of medication effects, for example.

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What survey? I climbed last weekend. Just went through the regular permit stuff.

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From a paranoid viewpoint, some of the questions in this survey would seem to be written precisely to show evidence that would back up similar observations with regard to Rainier. Hello $50 fee? $100? $200? Why not? Aren't there rumors of Denali going up to $500 or more for similar reasons?

 

In theory, there may exist some level of over-crowding above which the park service is expected to take action to limit the number of mountaineers on Rainier. But I don't think we're anywhere near it with respect to the mountaineering routes. It's a big pile of rock and ice that will probably blow up again on a short geological time scale, and there are few if any resident organisms above say 8000 feet. If people don't like the idea of climbing in the vicinity of 100 other people, then there are plenty of other times and places to climb. It would not be realistic to attempt to engineer a lonely wilderness experience on a mountain this close and this visible, and I think that locals in particular would be hurt by having to pay any more than they already have to to play in their back yard.

 

[/paranoia]

 

That's why I play on the South Tahoma Headwall, Success and Tahoma Cleaver areas...no body there. There ways to get away from people. That is for sure...however raising a price dose nothing. Everest cost a shit load and because of it less people are willing to help the struggling individuals on a given route. Like said earlier...pay for upkeep of what..it'll just blow up anyway so what the hell are the fees for, just so someone can have a cool job in the woods.

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