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A Slippery Slope - Pun Intended

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  • A Slippery Slope - Pun Intended

    https://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?bn...&Memo=Y&Text=Y

    This NYS Assembly bill would establish a trail rating system similar to what ski resorts use. There's only about 100 ways this could potentially go very, very wrong in both long and short term results.

    EDIT: just to include the "meat and potatoes" of the bill, here's the synopsis for the TL; DR folks. Its not all bad, but the trail rating system itself seems like its inviting a whole new host of problems.

    1 Section 1. The department of environmental conservation and the office 2 of parks, recreation and historic preservation are hereby authorized and 3 directed to establish a hiking trail safety pilot program. Such program 4 shall: 5 a. increase warnings about the potential hazards of hiking and trail 6 use (i) at trailheads throughout the pilot program area, and (ii) on any 7 new trail maps subject to such pilot program; 8 b. increase warnings at scenic overlooks throughout the pilot program 9 area that may present a risk of a fall; 10 c. develop better information for hikers regarding wildlife encounters 11 and proper preparation for hiking, including, but not limited to, proper 12 footwear and attire, how much water to bring, requisite navigation 13 skills and leave no trace principles; 14 d. develop safety markers and a notification system similar to those 15 used at ski resorts within the state; and 16 e. be implemented by June 1, 2020. 17 2. This act shall take effect immediately and shall expire three 18 years after such date when upon such date the provisions of this act 19 shall be deemed repealed.
    My mind was wandering like the wild geese in the west.

  • #2
    Some of the stuff seems like common sense: overlook hazard warnings, wildlife encounters and hiker education. That's all good stuff.

    There's quite a few issues that I see with the State giving trails difficulty rankings.

    -What may be easy today could be hard tomorrow.

    - Everyone's physical and mental abilities are different. I saw people of different physical shapes freaking out during their "brutal" 2/10th of a mile hike from from the castle to the summit at Whiteface last summer... It scared them dead in their tracks...

    -Once NYS puts a trail rating in place, I see the State opening itself to lawsuits.
    Ie:

    Bob Cityslicker decided to hike the "Bunny Hill" while vacationing in Lake Placid.
    Bob decided that it was more difficult than he anticipated and decided to turn around. On his descent, Bob fell and broke his leg. Bob Cityslicker put his faith into that official NYS difficulty ranking... Now, his ambulance chasing lawyer is suing the State.

    Comment


    • #3
      Been there done that. :-)
      https://www.vftt.org/forums/showthre...classification

      Comment


      • FlyFishingandBeer
        FlyFishingandBeer commented
        Editing a comment
        I trust your judgement more than I’d trust a shape nailed to a tree.

    • #4
      Just nail up another sign! Solved.
      ADK 46/46W + MacNaughton, Grid 266/552
      Photos & Stuff

      Comment


      • #5
        Per Neil's link...

        Sod holes should be added to the classification system. The whack of Hough/Pough col to Bouquet River Basin at base of E. Dix slide varies from Class 1 to Class 4, but knee to waist-deep sod holes in some areas had me checking every footstep. -Walks With Black Flies...

        The same can be said for the south side of the Hough-Pough col. We lost the Lillian Brook Trail in a mess of blowdown. "No big deal, we'll use the compass, map & GPS and whack til we link back up the trail."

        Dodging sod holes every few steps for that .2 of a mile still gives me shivers.

        Comment


        • bikerhiker
          bikerhiker commented
          Editing a comment
          Yes. I kid you not, I had nightmares about my dog falling into those deep sod holes on that stretch of the herdpath off the ridge. That was the first experience I had with sod holes I think, as it was hers, when we did that area this summer and like you when we lost the path we just kept a bearing trying to hit the brook, and that was a mess in there. It just seemed so crazy at the time that it stuck with me subconsciously and it would pop up in my dreams. A bunch of those were deeper than just a few feet.

        • Learning The Trails
          Editing a comment
          bikerhiker - you're not the only other person that I've heard say stuff like that since the kiddo and I did that... Just flat out gnarly. We were up there on a 90+ day and that "short" whack drained me unlike anything before. The way I was sweating was flat out disgusting. All I wanted was to hit that brook to refill water. Just brutal.

      • #6

        There already is a guide to the high peaks region created by the ADK so this is done.
        Leave No Trace! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXO1uY0MvmQ
        ThereAndBack http://www.hikesafe.com/

        Comment


        • #7
          See discussion next door:

          http://www.adkforum.com/showthread.php?t=25868

          Comment


          • FlyFishingandBeer
            FlyFishingandBeer commented
            Editing a comment
            Some really good discourse happening there. Maybe a couple of the local podcasts need to hear about this as well. they have some pretty broad audiences.

          • Learning The Trails
            Editing a comment
            The person that pointed out rating something as extremely difficult has a good point.
            To mention our adventures in the Dixes again in this thread... We kept bumping into two "bros" while there. They said they wanted to knock off all the hardest ones first. This was their 2nd time in the High Peaks. They did Basin-Armstrong as their first hike and were attempting the entire Dix range that day. They were wearing Jordans and carrying huge school backpacks. To their credit, they each had about 5 liters of water with them.
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