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glassgowkiss

Denali pricing

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I haven't been to Denali area since 2004 and I am just shocked with the price ticket for climbing in the range. Between glacier flight, which doubled since 2004, and ridiculous "climbers's registration" you have to pay almost $1000 just to go climbing. The initial cost of "registration" was $150, now it's $365. What gives? It's only a few hundreds more to go to Nepal and climb on trekking peaks.

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Do not forget to add in the $30 base camp fee and the 5% Federal tax for yer flight.

 

As for the NPS fee, on my next trip we will fly in and check things out before deciding on our objective.

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It could've been a lot worse. A few years ago they were talking about raising the Denali fee to $500 bucks. They gotta pay for the high camp and rangers.

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i really don't think that is that bad...

 

and you know that fee is only for denali and foraker right?

 

 

i think paying $300 to clean up after everyone, provide free medical support, and the ability to initiate a rescue at a moments notice is totally fair.

 

 

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you might recall the poet had his tongue firmly in cheek when he opined: "this land is your land..." :(

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i really don't think that is that bad...

 

and you know that fee is only for denali and foraker right?

 

 

i think paying $300 to clean up after everyone, provide free medical support, and the ability to initiate a rescue at a moments notice is totally fair.

 

 

You realize these things are common in the Alps. There is also thing called "insurance", which covers costs of rescues. You also realize AAC provides such insurance for $80/year, which will also cover my possible rescue costs all over the world.

No, this is ridiculous pricing, basically pricing people out of experience. We don't need fucking cell phone coverage, climbing rangers or central scrutinizers to enjoy a couple of weeks in the hills.

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The rescues in the alps are paid for by taxes. Americans don't like to pay taxes for services they don't use. So climbers have to pay their own way. Denali is heavily used and this is the only way to get the kind of service you appreciate in the alps.

As far as insurance goes, try calling for help from some isolated peak in Alaska or even here in Washington. I think you will find your insurance agent doesn't have professional rescuers standing by, nearby, as in the alps.

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Cost of climbing in the AK range has doubled since I first started climb there. I recently sold my entire AK kit figuring I'd spent enough time and money getting snowed on. If I ever do a 'big' trip, it will be to the Andes, not anymore expensive by my calculations.

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Cost of climbing in the AK range has doubled since I first started climb there. I recently sold my entire AK kit figuring I'd spent enough time and money getting snowed on. If I ever do a 'big' trip, it will be to the Andes, not anymore expensive by my calculations.

x2 - sucks :(

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One point that everyone should understand: The Global Rescue base insurance that is provided by the AAC with your annual membership only covers the costs of getting you to a trailhead, it will not get you transported to a hospital or repatriated to your home country, as several of my friends have discovered. You need to purchase supplementary insurance for that- Global Rescue 30 day coverage for this is $229- I buy it for all my foreign trips. If you were to get rescued by the NPS on Denali and brought to basecamp (e.g. the "trailhead"), you'll be passed off to a private company (usually LifeMed helicopter ambulance) and transported from there to a hospital in Palmer or Anchorage, and this part will cost you in excess of $30,000!

 

Denali is a special case, Bob. 1200 people per year pack onto a single route (including all those vying for the Cassin, South Face, etc.). The impacts from just a small percentage of those who decide to leave their garbage and human waste on the mountain, leave behind gear they decide not to take down with them, or who carelessly leave improper caches for the wind and the ravens to scatter about the mountain, is substantial.

 

A major component of the climbing program at Denali is education, starting with the mandatory orientation in Talkeetna. Having been doing this job for six years and also having climbed in the range for 22 consecutive seasons, I can tell you that the orientation has had a positive effect on overall visitor safety, especially considering the number of rather inexperienced climbers that come to attempt Denali (a "seven summit"). The statistics back this up, also.

 

That said, accidents still happen, and altitude sickness also, even to experienced climbers. The advantage of having a fit, experienced and acclimatized team of rangers and volunteers on hand, along with a capable helicopter and expert pilot with whom those teams have trained with extensively, in my opinion, makes performing rescues up in this environment a far safer affair than utilizing outside personnel or resources of unknown capability.

 

As for the costs...before I worked here I also was a vocal critic of the fee, in part because I climbed here before the fee was ever instituted. My first three trips on Denali were the Muldrow and the South Buttress (twice), it wasn't until the third trip when we descended the west buttress that I saw another climber on Denali, so I couldn't figure out why a "climbing program" existed here. I still don't like the idea of climbing fees but I do understand the need for the program. I'd prefer that our taxes cover all of this, but I would also imagine that our taxes would be a lot more than an extra $365- IF we were somehow able to convince the general population to cover this- which you and I both know is a longshot. Until then, it's a special use program, with both value, and costs, operating in service of 1200 visitors to a park that sees over 2 million visitors annually.

 

Bob, You should come join me on a Denali patrol as a volunteer. You might come away with a changed perspective (and you wouldn't have to pay the fee! :) ). I do agree the fees are unfortunate and I'm pleased that the park service has worked with access groups and the AAC to keep the fees from increasing without a fair public process; but the larger problem is in how climbing is viewed and treated in our culture (as opposed to Europe).

 

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We don't need fucking cell phone coverage, climbing rangers or central scrutinizers to enjoy a couple of weeks in the hills.

 

If the Denali vicinity and/or the Ruth are getting too urbane try going to the vast majority of the Alaska Range (located outside of the National Park) or Wrangell Saint Elias/Kluane.

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Great reply Mark. Some great points here.

 

One point that everyone should understand: The Global Rescue base insurance that is provided by the AAC with your annual membership only covers the costs of getting you to a trailhead, it will not get you transported to a hospital or repatriated to your home country, as several of my friends have discovered. You need to purchase supplementary insurance for that- Global Rescue 30 day coverage for this is $229- I buy it for all my foreign trips. If you were to get rescued by the NPS on Denali and brought to basecamp (e.g. the "trailhead"), you'll be passed off to a private company (usually LifeMed helicopter ambulance) and transported from there to a hospital in Palmer or Anchorage, and this part will cost you in excess of $30,000!

 

Denali is a special case, Bob. 1200 people per year pack onto a single route (including all those vying for the Cassin, South Face, etc.). The impacts from just a small percentage of those who decide to leave their garbage and human waste on the mountain, leave behind gear they decide not to take down with them, or who carelessly leave improper caches for the wind and the ravens to scatter about the mountain, is substantial.

 

A major component of the climbing program at Denali is education, starting with the mandatory orientation in Talkeetna. Having been doing this job for six years and also having climbed in the range for 22 consecutive seasons, I can tell you that the orientation has had a positive effect on overall visitor safety, especially considering the number of rather inexperienced climbers that come to attempt Denali (a "seven summit"). The statistics back this up, also.

 

That said, accidents still happen, and altitude sickness also, even to experienced climbers. The advantage of having a fit, experienced and acclimatized team of rangers and volunteers on hand, along with a capable helicopter and expert pilot with whom those teams have trained with extensively, in my opinion, makes performing rescues up in this environment a far safer affair than utilizing outside personnel or resources of unknown capability.

 

As for the costs...before I worked here I also was a vocal critic of the fee, in part because I climbed here before the fee was ever instituted. My first three trips on Denali were the Muldrow and the South Buttress (twice), it wasn't until the third trip when we descended the west buttress that I saw another climber on Denali, so I couldn't figure out why a "climbing program" existed here. I still don't like the idea of climbing fees but I do understand the need for the program. I'd prefer that our taxes cover all of this, but I would also imagine that our taxes would be a lot more than an extra $365- IF we were somehow able to convince the general population to cover this- which you and I both know is a longshot. Until then, it's a special use program, with both value, and costs, operating in service of 1200 visitors to a park that sees over 2 million visitors annually.

 

Bob, You should come join me on a Denali patrol as a volunteer. You might come away with a changed perspective (and you wouldn't have to pay the fee! :) ). I do agree the fees are unfortunate and I'm pleased that the park service has worked with access groups and the AAC to keep the fees from increasing without a fair public process; but the larger problem is in how climbing is viewed and treated in our culture (as opposed to Europe).

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A chief proponent of BIG government is actually advocating for small government in this case. Rich.

 

Hey, don't get your panties twister there feller.

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That said, accidents still happen, and altitude sickness also, even to experienced climbers. The advantage of having a fit, experienced and acclimatized team of rangers and volunteers on hand, along with a capable helicopter and expert pilot with whom those teams have trained with extensively

 

this, and the garbage thing is why i had no qualms about paying the denali fee last year.

 

 

 

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That said, accidents still happen, and altitude sickness also, even to experienced climbers. The advantage of having a fit, experienced and acclimatized team of rangers and volunteers on hand, along with a capable helicopter and expert pilot with whom those teams have trained with extensively

 

this, and the garbage thing is why i had no qualms about paying the denali fee last year.

 

 

 

GGK is a cheap liberal fuck... merry christmas everyone :wave:

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That said, accidents still happen, and altitude sickness also, even to experienced climbers. The advantage of having a fit, experienced and acclimatized team of rangers and volunteers on hand, along with a capable helicopter and expert pilot with whom those teams have trained with extensively

 

this, and the garbage thing is why i had no qualms about paying the denali fee last year.

 

 

 

GGK is a cheap liberal fuck... merry christmas everyone :wave:

 

No, I am just pointing out that first of all (like someone else commented earlier) the actual cost have doubled since the fee started, which far outpaced a rate of inflation. Second- it's only climbers bare the cost, which by the way is utterly unfair. The vast majority of rescues in all National Parks are dumb tourists doing dumb things (like getting lost or suffering the most stupid sort of injuries) There are actual statistics, clearly showing in all Parks actual climbers rescues are a fraction in numbers and costs.

Yes- garbage is a problem, human waste is also an issue. It was 10x the issue on something like the Nose and now it's non issue, and you don't have to pay almost $400 to climb the Nose or Salathe. I am sure that the outcry of even a $100 fee (separate from park entrance fee) would be so loud, that there would be virtually zero chance to implement it.

 

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I didn't think it was excessive. When I became symptomatic with HACE on summit day, while we had our own meds and got down without assistance, I was quite happy to have the expertise and consultation of the rangers and medical team. Do I wish it was cheaper, sure, but the cost won't be what would prevent another trip. YMMV

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Second- it's only climbers bare the cost, which by the way is utterly unfair. The vast majority of rescues in all National Parks are dumb tourists doing dumb things (like getting lost or suffering the most stupid sort of injuries) There are actual statistics, clearly showing in all Parks actual climbers rescues are a fraction in numbers and costs.

 

This is correct, the vast majority of rescues in national parks are for non-climbing related activities- in fact climbing accounts for something like 3 or 4% of rescues nationwide last I checked.

However, the cost of every SAR that occurs in a national park- climbing or otherwise- is paid for out of the National SAR account, e.g. the general fund. Climbing rescues are not paid for by the climbing fees, per se.

 

 

Yes- garbage is a problem, human waste is also an issue. It was 10x the issue on something like the Nose and now it's non issue, and you don't have to pay almost $400 to climb the Nose or Salathe. I am sure that the outcry of even a $100 fee (separate from park entrance fee) would be so loud, that there would be virtually zero chance to implement it.

 

El Capitan is largely kept clean by YOSAR patrols and climbing ranger patrols which include unpaid volunteers, doing 1-2 day ascents.

 

Simply getting a team on the ground at the 14,000 and 17,200' camps on Denali, to safely and efficiently perform any sort of work, requires a 25-28 day expedition involving successive crews comprised of one ranger and four volunteers.

 

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