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Overnight Enchantments No Permit?


Crillz
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Labor day weekend is risky. I was just up there for 4 days and never saw a single ranger, but it was midweek, not labor day weekend. But on Labor Day weekend, there will almost certainly be rangers at Colchuck and maybe behond? I suppose if you got up into the upper enchantments and stayed off the beaten-path, you might get away with it -- out of sight, out of mind.

 

If they catch you, I think they will definitely fine you and make you leave -- I wouldn't count on it "turning out ok" in that event.

 

If it were me, I'd find a less populated place. Even midweek the enchantments are crowded, anyway.

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$250 fine if you get caught. I was threatened with a ticket a couple weeks ago, even though I was just on a day trip. In her mind, I had "too much food for a day trip". Seems pretty easy to get caught, especially if you have a car in the parking lot. I've only been there 3 times and have had talks with rangers checking permits on all of those occasions. I Think you are better off just showing up at the ranger station at opening time and hoping for a last day permit. I've gotten in that way.

 

Good luck.

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Alex and I day tripped Colchuck Peak. I was breaking in a new pair of boots and had developed blisters so bad I decided it was less painfull to walk out barefoot. I ran into a ranger to asked if I had a permit. I said my partner had it who had continued on ahead at his nomal pace while I slowly and painfull hobbled my way out. The ranger offered to keep me company (escorted me) to the trail head where he checked to see if my partner did indeed have a permit.

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Limiting the number of camping permits is intended to limit human impact on a sensitive environment.

 

We should honor those limits and play by the rules to help protect the Enchantments and to help relevant regulatory agencies believe that climbers are legitimate and responsible users of this precious resource.

 

Sorry if that sounds preachy, but the actions of one or two climbers can have a big impact on public perception of climbers, which in turn could compromise access for many other climbers. Thanks and have fun wherever you go.

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Limiting the number of camping permits is intended to limit human impact on a sensitive environment.

 

We should honor those limits and play by the rules to help protect the Enchantments and to help relevant regulatory agencies believe that climbers are legitimate and responsible users of this precious resource.

 

Well said. :tup:

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Just look at the boundary maps and figure out a way to stay out of the permit zone. Try going in Hook/Rat Creek or Crystal Creek. Or camp up Mountaineers Creek and do something. All of those are outside the permit area but will let you access the Enchantments for a day trip. Just stay off the main trail from Colchuck/Stuart to Snow Creek and you probably won't see any rangers but they do check areas like Colchuck Balanced Rock and some of the high lakes off the trail sometimes.

 

I'd go and try the lottery but have a plan B in mind. Also FWIW a friend got caught with a bit too much gear on a "day" trip. He got a warning and a note that he had to leave at the ranger station by 7AM the next morning to prove he had actually left that day/night. Better than a ticket though but he wasn't caught in the act of camping.

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Any consensus? Worth the risk? Find somewhere else to go over Labor Day Weekend?

 

I think I remember somebody posting up about not having a permit and being stopped by a ranger, but it turning out ok.

 

We got stopped at the top of Asgard Pass and did not get a ticket. We tried to overnight something and ended up spending the night under a rock. The ranger was very cool about it.

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Limiting the number of camping permits is intended to limit human impact on a sensitive environment.

 

We should honor those limits and play by the rules to help protect the Enchantments and to help relevant regulatory agencies believe that climbers are legitimate and responsible users of this precious resource.

 

Well said. :tup:

 

:tup: :tup: Seriously dude.

 

Also - and they still have a limited amount of overnight permits available 1st come 1st serve. Just set up camp at the USFS.

 

Demand for overnight permits far exceeds the number available, therefore advance reservations are highly recommended. A small number of permits are available on an unreserved walk-in basis.

 

 

 

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We got stopped at the top of Asgard Pass and did not get a ticket. We tried to overnight something and ended up spending the night under a rock. The ranger was very cool about it.

 

Going along with what Rad said, and assuming this was an unplanned bivy, it's nice to be able to follow the rules as a respectable user group and then get a little leniency when something happens and you get benighted rather than flaunt the rules and get stuck with more ticketing when you are already having a bad day/night.

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We got stopped at the top of Asgard Pass and did not get a ticket. We tried to overnight something and ended up spending the night under a rock. The ranger was very cool about it.

 

Going along with what Rad said, and assuming this was an unplanned bivy, it's nice to be able to follow the rules as a respectable user group and then get a little leniency when something happens and you get benighted rather than flaunt the rules and get stuck with more ticketing when you are already having a bad day/night.

 

Playing by the rules goes both ways. I have no problem with the Rangers asking to see my permit when I'm actually camping in the zone, but I object to them (1) stopping me when I'm not camping and/or (2) asking to look in my pack (which is what it sounds like they've been doing lately). The 4th Amendment to the US Constitution says the govt. needs probable cause to search my bag (except in very limited circumstances, and identifying whether I have a camping permit ain't one of them). Based on that, I would tell them to go fuck themselves if they ever ask to look in my bag.

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Playing by the rules goes both ways. I have no problem with the Rangers asking to see my permit when I'm actually camping in the zone, but I object to them (1) stopping me when I'm not camping and/or (2) asking to look in my pack (which is what it sounds like they've been doing lately). The 4th Amendment to the US Constitution says the govt. needs probable cause to search my bag (except in very limited circumstances, and identifying whether I have a camping permit ain't one of them). Based on that, I would tell them to go fuck themselves if they ever ask to look in my bag.

 

Good points. I've felt the same way myself. Don't ask me for an overnight permit unless I am actually setting up camp, or sleeping somewhere.

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Thanks for the input and opinions. We would have an impact as we would help erosion on our approach, etc, maybe even a deuce or two. Sleeping on rocks and drinking from the lakes is not a big impact in my opinion, but that is another thread.

 

I haven't gone for the lottery before, but based on the method of drawing names based on the website, it didn't sound promising. Said it didn't matter if you got there first, and with the holiday....

 

Anyway, maybe join the shit show in Squamish instead or something. Rather not be hassled and have to lie about where we are going and where we have been.

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Just look at the boundary maps and figure out a way to stay out of the permit zone. Try going in Hook/Rat Creek or Crystal Creek. Or camp up Mountaineers Creek and do something. All of those are outside the permit area but will let you access the Enchantments for a day trip. Just stay off the main trail from Colchuck/Stuart to Snow Creek and you probably won't see any rangers but they do check areas like Colchuck Balanced Rock and some of the high lakes off the trail sometimes.
I've been wondering about the Rat Creek option, do you have more details? Is there a good trail or do you have to bush-whack?
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Thanks for the input and opinions. We would have an impact as we would help erosion on our approach, etc, maybe even a deuce or two. Sleeping on rocks and drinking from the lakes is not a big impact in my opinion, but that is another thread.

 

I haven't gone for the lottery before, but based on the method of drawing names based on the website, it didn't sound promising. Said it didn't matter if you got there first, and with the holiday....

 

Anyway, maybe join the shit show in Squamish instead or something. Rather not be hassled and have to lie about where we are going and where we have been.

There ya go. Good on ya.
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Playing by the rules goes both ways. I have no problem with the Rangers asking to see my permit when I'm actually camping in the zone, but I object to them (1) stopping me when I'm not camping and/or (2) asking to look in my pack (which is what it sounds like they've been doing lately). The 4th Amendment to the US Constitution says the govt. needs probable cause to search my bag (except in very limited circumstances, and identifying whether I have a camping permit ain't one of them). Based on that, I would tell them to go fuck themselves if they ever ask to look in my bag.

 

Good points. I've felt the same way myself. Don't ask me for an overnight permit unless I am actually setting up camp, or sleeping somewhere.

:tup:
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Two years ago I was able to get a permit from the morning drawing. There was like 2 or 3 teams of 2 and we got the first one.

 

It sucks though because you are there at the ranger station at 7:30am to get the permit when you could have left the trailhead at 4:00am, so it easily wastes 4 to 5 hrs. This screws climbers up who are trying to get up and off something in a day. Not particularly safe to waste that extra time.

 

You want to talk about difficult permits, try Mt.Whitney. They have a similar system of a morning drawing. Only time to go is during the week. If you try Friday or the weekend there's like 40 people there trying for 4 permits. We went in on a Thur and there was 8 people, and only one other pair trying for Whitney, we got the permits by default.

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Also - and they still have a limited amount of overnight permits available 1st come 1st serve. Just set up camp at the USFS.

 

Actually, it's on an auction basis, not 1st come. You won't be the only one setting up camp waiting for the doors to open ;)

 

I'm glad that most people respect the permit system, goddamn it's already super crowded up there.

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I'm wondering if say for Serpentine on Dragontail if you could just approach from the Stuart Lake TH and go up to the other side of the Dragontail Colchuck col. You're 1/2 way up there already for the start of the climb.

 

But then you'd have to do a carry over or climb back up to the start to get your gear after.

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Also - and they still have a limited amount of overnight permits available 1st come 1st serve. Just set up camp at the USFS.

 

Actually, it's on an auction basis, not 1st come. You won't be the only one setting up camp waiting for the doors to open ;)

 

I assume you mean lottery, not auction? The 1st come 1st serve quote is from the district website.

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err, yeah -- lottery.

 

If more people are present than permits available (usually the case), a drawing is held to distribute the permits. Because a drawing is held, there is no need to camp at our front door or arrive hours ahead of time.
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I think a lottery is a poor way to do it. It should be first come first serve. Therefore if you show up early you get a permit, if you show up late and a bunch of people are waiting then you don't waste your time getting your hopoes up that you may get a permit, works good for camping in Camp 4 and Toulmne meadows in Yosemite.

If you don't get a permit sleep in bivies on route and stay off the main trails. Get your water from streams off to the side not the main lakes. CNR of Stuart, and Backbone ridge are good routes that keep you out of the watchful eyes of the rangers. Both have bivies on route and are not so difficult that carrying an overnight pack is impossbile.

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