Yosemite Valley; ice rink, horses, bikes and swimming pools?

Search
Go

Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 1 - 54 of total 54 in this topic
Charlie D.

Trad climber
Western Slope, Tahoe Sierra
Topic Author's Original Post - Mar 22, 2013 - 09:41am PT
http://www.sacbee.com/2013/03/20/5279500/yosemite-may-end-bike-horse-rentals.html?storylink=lingospot_related_articles
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
Mar 22, 2013 - 09:48am PT
Boo!
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Mar 22, 2013 - 09:54am PT
Great news!
climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Mar 22, 2013 - 10:06am PT
As long as they build the gondolas I'll be happy.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Mar 22, 2013 - 10:12am PT
I think its a mistake.

DMT
eKat

Trad climber
Less than a second shy of 49 minutes
Mar 22, 2013 - 10:17am PT
That ice rink is a frikken eye sore and the pools are GROSS. . . but bike rentals are bitchen! I've taken lots of people to the park for their first time and although I always have my bike with me, it's been rad to go over and rent them for my friends. Riding a bike, everywhere that you're allowed to, is a really neat way to see the Valley. . . I'd hate to see them bail on the bike stands!

:-(

And. . . the rafting concession is really messed up. . . it's cool to take boats and do it yourself, but the concession introduces way too many "ride" takers who just trash the river

The first time I ever saw Heineken in a can was when I saw the empties bobbing along the MightyMerced!

10b4me

Ice climber
Happy Boulders
Mar 22, 2013 - 11:13am PT
I am not sure. I guess I would be concerned with the possible loss of revenue.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Mar 22, 2013 - 11:19am PT
A good beginning but just a start.
Gunkie

Trad climber
East Coast US
Mar 22, 2013 - 11:22am PT
The plan calls for the removal of stone Sugar Pine Bridge, built in 1928 and located behind the Ahwahnee Hotel, because its abutments impede the flow of the Merced River and cause erosion. It also recommends rebuilding about half the 400 campsites lost in a 1997 flood, restoring 203 acres of meadows and improving parking. Visitors still would be allowed to bring bikes, horses or rafts to the park.

Just my opinion, but it sounds like a move in the right direction. However, I'm having difficulty understanding the banning of mostly non-polluting transportation in the form of rental bicycles and rental horses. That seems weird. I'm Ok with the removal of ice skating rinks and swimming pools. Those items seem forced in a place like Yosemite.
moosedrool

Trad climber
lost, far away from Poland
Mar 22, 2013 - 11:33am PT
Leave the bike rentals, get rid of the rest. Especialy of the stinking animals.

GET RID OF THE BEARS!!!
couchmaster

climber
pdx
Mar 22, 2013 - 11:52am PT
Does anyone else wonder how much money which has been flushed and now can't be utilized for something productive, this "process" has cost so far?



"We were trying to block the construction of dams near the park. We weren't trying to ban recreation," said Ron Stork, policy director of Friends of the River, a Sacramento group that fought for the river protections in the 1980s. "I'm heartbroken about this."
briham89

Big Wall climber
san jose, ca
Mar 22, 2013 - 11:55am PT
The bikes idea is so upside down...
elcap-pics

Big Wall climber
Crestline CA
Mar 22, 2013 - 12:40pm PT
"restoring 203 acres of meadows" means they want to keep you out of the ElCap meadow. "Restoring" just means building a fence and keeping people out.
ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Social climber
SLO, Ca
Mar 22, 2013 - 12:47pm PT
It doesn't matter what they decide-- all choices will lead to protracted litigation, nothing will be done, and we will look at all that temporary and decaying eyesore bullshit for at least another decade and probably more.

Peter Haan

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Mar 22, 2013 - 12:48pm PT
I am sure you are right, Tom. Imagine the botanists reaction to our overuse of the meadow. I have no clue how important that habitat is but we certainly have been invading it.
Randisi

Social climber
Dalian, Liaoning
Mar 22, 2013 - 12:48pm PT
"Restoring" just means building a fence and keeping people out.

And that is often a good thing.
John M

climber
Mar 22, 2013 - 01:17pm PT
I enjoyed ice skating in the winter when the snow wasn't any good for skiing and there wasn't anything else to do in the evenings.

I didn't really care about the pool. It gives kids something to do when their parents are lame. It never really affected my experience of the park.

I doubt that they will remove the bike rental.

I believe that they will remove the pool so that they can appear to be doing something the extremist want.
chill

climber
between the flat part and the blue wobbly thing
Mar 22, 2013 - 01:31pm PT
Along similar lines, a question for our Canadian readers: any chance they will tear down that hotel at Lake Louise? Now that is an eyesore.
Dapper Dan

Trad climber
Menlo Park
Mar 22, 2013 - 01:53pm PT
The best swimming spots are almost out of the park anyway ... Elephant rock , octogon , Patties Pool ... Not too much riff raff there .

I always thought it was ironic to see people in the swimming pool when the lovely Merced was right there .
moosedrool

Trad climber
lost, far away from Poland
Mar 22, 2013 - 01:58pm PT
Dan, don't forget the Vernal Falls pool ;)
Nor Cal

Trad climber
San Mateo
Mar 22, 2013 - 02:08pm PT
It was not mentioned in this article but we must not forget that they also want to eliminate "social trails" and as climbers we all use the social trails.
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Mar 22, 2013 - 02:12pm PT
It saddens me to see so many responses on this thread in the form of: "I don't care about , but I want ."

I see rather little consideration of what might actually be fair to the American people, for whom this park was set aside and to whom, in theory, it belongs. I see an undercurrent of hostility toward those same ordinary people we disdain as "tourists." While I've learned to expect nothing better, I still get saddened when I read it.

John
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Mar 22, 2013 - 02:32pm PT
There is no more using vanilla flavor in the NRPS. National Recreational Park Service should be the new appropriate designation for these BEAROCRATS.

"It impedes the flow"...as if the Merced gives a dam.

"It should incorporate a more NATURAL LOOK."
photo not found
Missing photo ID#286711

"You can ice-skate in lots of places. You don't have to do it in Yosemite Valley." It's true. But the experience is unique. It is obvious to my casual observation that just because an non-enthusiast is included in a commission, the others don't have to listen to garbage. I don't know what the rink looks like, as I don't skate that way. But the old rink was pretty green-sounding and low-impact, relative to much else that goes on. Take a bunch of logs, make a rectangle and pump water into it and watch it freeze. When the air warms, it's time to stack the logs for next season. Maybe they could just go back to this way of doing things. Why BAN something if you don't need to?

Millis is rolling around laughing about the bike rentals. YOU NEED BIKE RENTALS, DAMMIT!

eKat

Trad climber
Less than a second shy of 49 minutes
Mar 22, 2013 - 02:33pm PT
No. . . social trails are all those trails that criss cross the meadows. . . which might very well mean they're thinking of fencing off those meadows and making raised boardwalks and viewing platforms, or roped off, designated trails.

I only know this because I spoke, at length, with the head of Resources about it. She contended, in 1990, that there were 27 social trails in El Cap Meadow, alone. She lead me to believe that there would be changes made, SOON. . . that was 23 years ago.

?
TMJesse

Mountain climber
Olympia, WA
Mar 22, 2013 - 02:45pm PT
It is shortsighted for NPS to claim that removing the pools will help protect the river. Quite the opposite. Letting all those people concentrate in one spot and in one pool keeps them from wandering along the banks of the river looking for places to swim. Plus, all that suntan lotion and human waste stays in the pool, which is emptied into the sewer system for treatment.

I suppose they could just ban swimming altogether. Like ice skating, horseback riding and biking, one can do that anywhere. Plus, with all the social trails closed, walking along the banks of the river will be off limits. Under the proposed plan, I envision the future Yosemite Valley visitor relegated to boardwalks, paved interpretive trails, cars (windows must be kept rolled up if smoking), and lots of new videos in the visitor center. Laughing, singing or yelling, whistling or playing musical instruments, and trailside daytime napping or laying down will be illegal, as well as any behavior not directly related to the park environment.
Dapper Dan

Trad climber
Menlo Park
Mar 22, 2013 - 02:56pm PT
Best swimming hole in the Valley : The pool on top of Lower Yosemite Falls

FACT !

...if not, which is better? Anybody been to hidden falls out past Mirror?
TrundleBum

Trad climber
Las Vegas
Mar 22, 2013 - 03:02pm PT

@ TMJesse:

It's just about there already !
eKat

Trad climber
Less than a second shy of 49 minutes
Mar 22, 2013 - 03:05pm PT
WHOA. . . this thread is bringing back some really valuable memories. . . like walking out of K Dorm, into that grassy area between the OZONE and the river and sleeping under that one HUGE Yellow pine out there. . . deep in the grasses. . . YAWN.

Never took the chop for it, either.

HohMahn!

. . . but. . . that was a long time ago. . .
TMJesse

Mountain climber
Olympia, WA
Mar 22, 2013 - 03:11pm PT
that one HUGE Yellow pine out there

I always thought that's the one John Muir climbed in the windstorm.
Charlie D.

Trad climber
Western Slope, Tahoe Sierra
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 22, 2013 - 03:11pm PT
This topic is interesting to me from a broader perspective of the relationship to man with nature. Let me ask some questions:

Yosemite Valley has been occupied for hundreds perhaps thousands of years by man, we all know some of its history. At what point does the evidence of such occupation become worth saving? Is it simply a time issue, a native American vs. non-native distinction or are there recent human "improvements" that merit recognition and should be preserved and maybe even restored?

Should the stone bridge remain standing and allow what ever happens to the River in terms of erosion take place? The Ahwahnee Hotel is a good example of a cherished improvement (by most) that will most certainly be restored many times into the forseeable future.

It's all an interesting discussion for us caught in this space of time, afterall everything is ephemeral even El Cap. I'd appreciate your thoughts, thanks.

Charlie D.

JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Mar 22, 2013 - 04:13pm PT
You raise an excellent point, Charlie. As I understand it, the NPS instructions are to let changes occur in a manner that, as nearly as possible, duplicates what would happen without human influence. I personally find that paradigm useless, because it does not address the equally important instruction to allow the public to view and experience the area set aside.

We don't need guidance when human activity leaves "natural," non-human changes alone. We need guidance only where human activity alters those changes, and the paradigm "as nearly as possible" gives no such guidance. It's always possible (though not politically or economically feasible) to simply make the whole area (and anything affecting the area) off-limits to humans. That would violate the public enjoyment imperative.

Unfortunately, Congress never told the NPS or any other governmental agency how to resolve that contradiction. Consequently, we end up with policy made by litigation, which has one particular disadvantage compared to policy made by either of the other two branches of government: it excludes many interested parties.

I live within easy day-tripping distance to the Valley. Who represents me in the Merced River litigation when the outcome of that litigation affects the feasibility and enjoyment of day trips to the Valley? At least I have the experience and expertise to intervene in that litigation, but even without having to pay counsel, the price in time and court costs is prohibitive, and federal questions of standing can prevent participation in any case. The litigation affects the rights of every potential user of the Park, yet is being decided without their participation. At least if the public gets really mad about a policy made by any other branch of government, it can deal with it in the next election.

Of course, the unborn have no participation in current policy made by any branch of government, but at least the ideal of preservation mandates consideration of the future state of things.

My personal belief is that any plan that fails to recognize the distinctive aspects of Yosemite fails its essential purpose. Yosemite has a unique place in rock climbing history and current practice. It also has a fascinating human history and pre-history.

With that in mind, the explanation that "you can do [fill in the blank with your disfavored activity] elsewhere" fails. As just one example, if I say "You can climb elsewhere" a logical response would be "Yes, but you can't climb El Cap elsewhere." True enough, but couldn't an advocate of the ice rink say "You can't ice skate in the view of Half Dome and the Arches elsewhere" just the same?

An anti-skater could reply "True, but the ice rink alters the environment," to which a defender could say "Ascending El Cap does, too, both because of the damage to the lichen, and because of the need to place bolts." To which the anti-skater could reply "but the amount of rock removed by every bolt hole on El Cap would be, at most, a few cubic feet. The ice rink is a major change in the landscape."

As soon as the anti-skater makes that argument, the issue becomes a matter of degree, not a matter of absolutes. We all know that all of this stuff really is a question of degree, but we argue, and the NPS puts forth plans (and the courts purport to decide) on the basis of absolutes.

I realize I've rambled far from your question, but the whole issue of the planning process and the suit pending here before Judge Ishii determining the future of the Valley has a tendency to set me off, because the exclusionary sentiments for the Valley repulse me.

John
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Mar 22, 2013 - 04:19pm PT
From the 9th Circuit Opinion that led to all this:

Footnote 5:

To illustrate the level of degradation already experienced in the Merced and maintained under the regime of interim limits proposed by NPS, we need look no further than the dozens of facilities and services operating within the river corridor, including but not limited to, the many swimming pools, tennis courts, mountain sports shops, restaurants, cafeterias, bars, snack stands and other food and beverage services, gift shops, general merchandise stores, an ice-skating rink, an amphitheater, a specialty gift shop, a camp store, an art activity center, rental facilities for bicycles and rafts, skis and other equipment, a golf course and a dining hall accommodating 70 people.

Footnote 6:

Our decision in High Sierra Hikers Ass’n v. Blackwell, 390 F.3d 630 (9th Cir. 2004), highlighted some of the problems with simply maintaining use at current levels. In examining compliance with the Wilderness Act, we stated that “[a]t best, when the Forest Service simply continued preexisting permit levels, it failed to balance the impact that that level of commercial activity was having on the wilderness character of the land. At worst, the Forest Service elevated recreational activity over the long-term preservation of the wilderness character of the land.”

A lot of this opinion is about the total amount of visitor use, which the old plan didn't address well enough:

For the reasons stated, we conclude that the 2005 Revised Plan does not describe an actual level of visitor use that will not adversely impact the Merced’s ORVs as required by Yosemite I and the WSRA.

This is the highest court that's ever likely to consider this issue. Their conclusion was: there's too much bullshit in Yosemite Valley.
Nor Cal

Trad climber
San Mateo
Mar 22, 2013 - 05:26pm PT
eKat, You may be right about the definition of social trails.
My interest in the definition started a few weeks ago when I recieved a letter from Yosemtie Conservation (or something like that). They wanted money to improve the park. Some of their improvments include removing social trails. I was confused by the meaning of "social trails", so I asked the ranger at the entrance station for clarity and his definition seemed to include climbers trails. As it is I focused in on that and have been running with it ever since (just a few weeks).

I just went to the valley last weekend and a non-climbing friend joined us. He went with the intention of renting a bike, but to his misfortune the rentals we closed for the season. Instead he sat at the Ahwahnee and watched us climb Serenity and Sons; not his idea of fun!
eKat

Trad climber
Less than a second shy of 49 minutes
Mar 22, 2013 - 06:12pm PT
I always thought that's the one John Muir climbed in the windstorm.

Interesting. . . I've always pictured that being up near the Tuolumne Grove. . . guess I figured something that off the wall couldn't have actually happened somewhere as pedestrian as the grassy knoll between the OZONE and the river!

:-)
eKat

Trad climber
Less than a second shy of 49 minutes
Mar 22, 2013 - 06:17pm PT

eKat, You may be right about the definition of social trails.

Hmmmmmmm. . . I guess I've never been compelled to pull a GOOG (rhymes with spooge) on "social trails", before:

A desire path (also known as a desire line, social trail, goat track or bootleg trail) can be a path created as a consequence of foot or bicycle traffic. The path usually represents the shortest or most easily navigated route between an origin and destination. The width of the path and its erosion are indicators of the amount of use the path receives. Desire paths emerge as shortcuts where constructed ways take a circuitous route, or have gaps, or are lacking entirely.

And. . . my mind is blown that a fee collector, at an entrance station, would even attempt to define it. . . wow.
Big Daddy

climber
mammoth
Mar 22, 2013 - 06:37pm PT
So you can flood Hetch Hetchy but an ice rink is just too much?
10b4me

Ice climber
Happy Boulders
Mar 22, 2013 - 06:39pm PT
There have been a number of threads on Supertopo throughout the years lamenting the development of the Valley, and consequently the boom in the touron population. I am against any further development, but realize the Valley will never return to it's natural state.
Love 'em or hate 'em, tourons are the bread and butter for the Park service.
Yosemite will never be just a climbers' playground.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Mar 22, 2013 - 06:47pm PT
I realize I've rambled far from your question, but the whole issue of the planning process and the suit pending here before Judge Ishii determining the future of the Valley has a tendency to set me off, because the exclusionary sentiments for the Valley repulse me.

Its a tempest in a teapot, actually. Its certainly not the end of the world, as we know it or otherwise. It may determine a vector of the future, sure, but such gestures are fleeting it seems. Even tearing out the bridge is a symbolic gesture that will be quickly forgotten in time.

Yosemite's been fought over from day one. The Americans stole it from the Indians and murdered some of them in the process. Hutchings tried to steal it from the Americans. It took the frickin Army to stop the poaching and illegal grazing of sheep. No one gave a sh#t about Yosemite National Park till a concerted effort in the 30s began to awake the Great Generation as to the crown jewels they simply HAD to visit.

The hotels and pools and ponies and pastries stemmed directly from their desires. The parks we know today were shaped by that generation of campers and tourists.

The boomers are the enviro-generation, a pack of rebels blah blah blah (ima boomer, k?). Opposite generations being what they are, boomers rejected the values of their parents, or pretended to.

The Merced River Plan is a generational battle.... and the protagonists are either dead or merely dying :-)

The doings of Yosemite are left largely to them that are DOING. If legions of campers show up, the park will adapt. If they want groceries and restaurants and ice rinks and such? Parks gonna react (and did). If they want pristine everything, no human made nothing? They'll have it.

But only with a struggle and a fight, thus it has always been.

In Yosemite? Might makes right.

DMT
TMJesse

Mountain climber
Olympia, WA
Mar 22, 2013 - 06:49pm PT
Aren't climbers are "tourons" too?
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Mar 22, 2013 - 06:51pm PT
I miss that salad bar. And hear here, to two more bars in the Valley too!

DMT

ps. Make one of the an after-hours jazz and blues / piano bar, k?
Charlie D.

Trad climber
Western Slope, Tahoe Sierra
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 23, 2013 - 12:03am PT
Perhaps John and DMT are saying the same thing, the voices that are loudest are the ones heard that will create actionable change. Good observation on how things and events have delivered us to where we are today.

Let me push this discussion further to this relationship of man to nature. Take the "social trails" topic for example. Some creative landscape architects some time back had an idea for how to design the hard scape improvements in a city park such as pathways and gathering places. They convinced their client let's just see how this park is used first before we construct the walkways, picnic areas etc.

What they ended up with was a park that represented the naturally imposed pattern of human activity on nature, the way people would use and enjoy their environment. Basically the social paths ended up as hard scape improvements and no other improvements were necessary.

So this begs the question about how we view ourselves? Do the trails that lead out into El Cap Meadow represent how we as humans relate to our environment like any other species? Certainly deer trails represent where they head for food and safety. Surely we as humans aren't some space delivered alien creature superimposed on the earth. We do however have other motives beyond those of deer that feed our minds and hearts. No doubt what we see as evidence in El Cap meadow and on the walls above is in part how we nourish and sustain ourselves.

So is it inconceivable that El Cap meadow represents harmony between man and nature? The frequent use and the destruction that does occur can be mitigated like any other place in the Valley but why would it not be celebrated like other acts of human achievement and appreciation?

Again your thoughts would be appreciated.

Charlie D.

Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
Mar 23, 2013 - 12:15am PT
There have been many positive changes to the Valley over the last 25 years that I have been frequently visiting.

The engineering that lead to the current trail system around lower Yosemite falls is much better than it has ever been.

Mirror lake was a crappy bald spot. Now it's a pretty nice forest. (the lake was long gone decades ago)

Boardwalks through the meadows are fantastic. (though I've read that the meadows themselves are completely artificial cleared by early settlers for grazing and lumber)

I'd like to see that vector continue.

It is obvious that organizing and enhancing channels of human traffic results in more natural square footage to enjoy.




I could do without that bridge even though it is super nice.

But the swimming pool at the Ahwahnee - No way! It's a dinky little thing anyway. Plus, where will I lie and work on my tan if it's taken out?
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Mar 23, 2013 - 12:33am PT
About these social trails. I went to college at Virgina Tech and in the middle of the campus is the so-called "Drill Field" - a throwback to when it was a military academy, apparently it was for parade drills, the size of several football fields. There are buildings all around it, and people just take the shortest path to where they're going. After time a kind of web of paths developed, so the university PAVED them. Not that I am advocating paving trails in yosemite, but there is something to be said for following natural traffic patterns.
hossjulia

Trad climber
Where the Hoback and the mighty Snake River meet
Mar 23, 2013 - 09:35am PT
Closing the Valley Stables is a great idea. Enough going on down there already, and the rides out of Tuolumne are so much nicer. NPS will still need to keep stock around, but DNC is better based out of Tuolumne for servicing the High Sierra Camps. BTW, I'm not a fan of the way that is run. Too much impact on the trails they use.

The Valley is small enough to tour by foot, bike or bus, really don't need horses.
And riding up and out of the Valley, then back down again with a tourist on your back, sounds like animal abuse to me.

But getting rid of bike rentals? That sounds counter-productive.

And I agree with Jesse about the pool, likely will create MORE impact on the river. Which is pretty impacted as it goes through the Valley anyway.
Keep the pool at the Lodge. (Aren't there 2?)

Captain...or Skully

climber
Mar 23, 2013 - 10:54am PT
I, for one, REFUSE to stay on "the path" provided.


edit: Kath is correct.
eKat

Trad climber
Less than a second shy of 49 minutes
Mar 23, 2013 - 11:04am PT
Keep the pool at the Lodge. (Aren't there 2?)

Three. . .

Lodge
Curry
Ahwahnee

right?
Leggs

Sport climber
Home away from Home
Mar 23, 2013 - 11:37am PT
A very interesting topic of debate, and Charlie, you pose great questions.

I grew up with The Valley as a childhood playground. I learned how to ice skate on the ice rink at Curry ... very memorable...though I never did skate on it again.
Took my kid on a special trip to stay at the Ahwahnee for his 10th birthday, never knew there was a swimming pool there (because we were busy hiking and on adventures) ... doesn't seem necessary.

The ban on bike rentals and horses just seems idiotic ... a ban on non motorized transportation?!?! Huh???
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Mar 23, 2013 - 11:45am PT
Yeah, great logic - spend a bunch of money, burn up loads of energy, create
lots of noise and dust, create even more trash and landfill to remove something
that is already there and that people enjoy and which doesn't really impact
anything other than some moron's sense of ethics.
elcap-pics

Big Wall climber
Crestline CA
Mar 23, 2013 - 01:08pm PT
One of the problems I have had in the past with the NPS, and their plans, is best explained by what happened after the 1997 flood. They closed the upper river campground (among others)saying that it was necessary to let that area return to its "natural state in relation to the river". So what did they do? They immediately used that entire area as a dump for construction wastes and building materials and any old asphalt or concrete they could collect...and there are still piles of the stuff there today! Makes it hard to believe what they say compared to the reality they impose.

I remember last year when some people came by the Bridge surveying the elcap meadow. I talked with them and they said they were just taking some measurements and that here was no plan to mess with the meadow. Now, of course, they want to fence it in and keep visitors out of it. Unlike Stoneman meadow, the ElCap meadow doesn't lend itself to being "saved" by a single boardwalk. Of course there are "social trails" out into the meadow, but those don't damage the meadow to any real extent, as there are vast acres of just grass and trees, animals aren't dying because the land is ruined!! The meadow is actually full of non-native pasture grass planted when there were cattle in the valley. So what are they restoring?? A cattle pasture!!

To me the ElCap meadow is like camp 4. It is a place that climbers come from all over the world to sit in and marvel at the grandure of the great rock and connect in a deeper way with nature. The people should have some place to stand or sit,in the park, that isn't a boardwalk or a paved path... those take us away from nature not make it better for us to understand. There is a place for those paved and boarded paths but not at the expense of closing the ECM. The park service has shown, in the past, that it cares little for places, like camp 4 and the ECM, that are important to climbers... they still have the lingering "climbers??.. Who cares?" attitude when it comes to projects. Camp 4 would be a dormitory today if they had their "plan" enacted. However, there have been some very commendable efforts by the NPS in recent years with the "Climbing Rangers" and volunteer groups employed to do trail consolidation and other valuable projects... so isn't all doom and gloom, as far as we are concerned. All I would like to see is a little broader vision in some of these plans.

The ice rink... who cares? I do like the sugar pine bridge as it has been a place I retreat to late in the evenings to get a view of the Dome and Yos falls and just to watch the night come on.. a beautiful place. But all the bridges below it also restrict the flow of the river, by their very design!! Maddness, maddness!!!!!!!!!!
Charlie D.

Trad climber
Western Slope, Tahoe Sierra
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 23, 2013 - 08:09pm PT
Tom indeed there is a strong connection between C4 & ECM, these places are part of a Valley fabric that has a long and interesting history of use. One wouldn't be the same without the other.

I would also agree there has to be places where you can walk barefooted along the sandy path and simply lay down in the grass. The experience is part of what connects us to the earth, who doesn't feel the power of our planet and the sense of place there in ECM?

To propose fencing this off for the sake of conservation is a contradiction and represents a solution that only denies what is sought. A place to reflect on days long gone, to bear witness to yet another day of light, to dream, to make no small plans or to let them go. This is what we need as a community that inhabits this special place that I would argue is as natural as any of the other occupants.

Thanks for the comments, this has been good food.

Charlie D.




TMJesse

Mountain climber
Olympia, WA
Mar 23, 2013 - 08:39pm PT
Spending a whole day, or several unwatched hours, at ECM and along the banks of the river there, is among the best ways I know to recreate in Yosemite Valley. The sandbars that make up the beaches in summer are a favorite hang for kids, families and adults too. No impact whatsoever to walking and hanging out on those sandbars. Sleeping in the meadow, too, despite being OB, is pretty easy to to do on western fringes. Laying in that grass, even if it is just a pasture, day or night, is as restful as heaven itself.

Closing ECM off to "restore" it is disingenuous. If they were serious about restoration, they would close off and restore the forest that used to be Camp 6. Instead, it is a disgraceful hodgepodge parking area for cars, buses and dumpsters, all within the river floodplain.

As we use to say, "all roads lead to the Village Store." Follow the money. . . .
Camahoo

Trad climber
Shaver Springs
Apr 4, 2013 - 06:04pm PT
Really! Face it Yosemite is the patsy of the Sierra. Keep it dirty enough to need a shower and make sure there is an outlet for your blow-dryer. Life is good the REI, Padagucci and Eddy Bonehead crowd, they get what they want and the want to be seen climbers get what they want.
Please don’t get me wrong the valley is packed full of great lines and allot of talent. However, let face it on any summer day 97% of the people in the valley are not climbers.
I for one think as long as the people are getting there managed wilderness on in valley, it keeps other areas of the Sierra free of needed management.
phile

Trad climber
SF, CA
Apr 4, 2013 - 10:33pm PT
Just spent a day on Touchstone Wall in the middle of the heart of Zion NP. Couldn't believe how much more pleasant it was than the equivalent in the valley. Get rid of the cars. No bias against any one user group, and has a bigger positive impact than anything else proposed. If you're willing to take the shuttle bus, fine, do your little ice skating/horseback riding/El Cap Meadow trampling/bolt drilling/whatever.
Strongerdog

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Apr 5, 2013 - 12:04am PT
I grew up with the Sugar Pine bridge each summer in Yosemite. It's beautiful, and like mentioned by someone else earlier, offers incredible views of Half Dome. It would make me very sad to see it taken out. It's been there for about 90 years and they are just now figuring out it causes bank erosion?

Steve

Messages 1 - 54 of total 54 in this topic
Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
 
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks


Try a free sample topo!

 
SuperTopo on the Web

Review Categories
Recent Route Beta
Recent Gear Reviews