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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lauriep View Post
    Laurie Potteiger from ATC here. The blame for that magazine cover rests squarely on me.

    When I saw the picture I was just blown away by the power of the image. What I saw in the picture was a pure illustration of the joy and exuberance one feels at the end of a thru-hike.
    I agree completely! And furthermore, the magazine aims to express what the trail is, which that picture accomplishes. I for one like the picture, and don't find any fault in it being published.

    At that time, we did not have an awareness of alcohol being a problem in the park generally or among thru-hikers. I encouraged the editor to run the photo on the cover, and she did. I think we talked about the possible issues with the bottle of champagne in the picture, but at that time it didn't seem like too big deal because you couldn't really tell what the bottle was.
    Honestly, I doubt it is really that much of a problem. It's more of one in the southern states (where it is also more tolerated), but if someone is really drinking enough for it to be a problem, they aren't going to make it to Maine, and probably aren't going to take up a southbound hike. If a person celebrates with a bottle of champagne after completing such a long hike, is it really a problem? I think most of us here would say no.

    My comment above did not mean to indicate that the ATC took the wrong stance in publishing the older magazine cover, but that it seems that Baxter has been pretty rough on ATC recently. ATC is in a difficult position since there is a clear advantage in Katahdin being the northern terminus - BSP knows that and is using it. While certainly the ATC should be respectful to them and try to encourage good behavior in general, I don't think that it needs to roll over. I think that Jurek attracted a lot of attention but that BSP overreacted to it, and don't think that ATC should need to feel that increased censorship of public image is necessary. Hikers will do as they will - ATC can encourage but not control individual decisions of the hikers. If BSP wants to penalize Jurek that is their right but I really don't think they should have threatened ATC over it, nor do I feel that ATC should tolerate it. If BSP wants to close their gates to AT thru-hikers, life would go on. I doubt they would actually do that, though.

    Since that day, we have tried to be as thoughtful as possible in our choice of photos in the magazine, and think about all the possible ramifications and unintended consequences that could result. I don't think you'll find another one with alcohol in it. Sometimes we have to nix the "best" photo in a collection because it represents something counter to Leave No Trace, local rules and regulations, sensibilities of families, etc. We now have more people reviewing the magazine before it goes to print.
    Exactly what I was getting at when I said being politically correct. Some may have objected to the older magazine cover, but it was an honest reflection of the trail. If everything is trying to show everyone being obedient to the rules, as well perhaps they should be, it doesn't seem as honest. Obviously adherence to the rules should be encouraged, even strongly with repercussions as necessary, but that doesn't mean that a false image needs to be portrayed where every hiker is strictly obeying every LNT principle, even the ones that 99% of hikers don't. I think there should be a balance between showing what should be done and an accurate portrayal of the trail, whether or not is always in accordance.

    ATC has generally had a positive relationship with Baxter State Park for many years. We've worked to support the park in numerous ways, including funding the ridgerunner whose job is primarily to educate thru-hikers about unique resources, rules, and regulations in the park (until the park recently said they would prefer the position to be a Baxter employee). And of course, they have worked hard to accommodate A.T. hikers in the park, who do not have to follow all the requirements that other park visitors are required to follow.

    We have worked together to solve problems before. Several years ago a problem cropped up with A.T. hikers that they asked our help with. A pattern developed that more and more thru-hikers arrived at Katahdin after October 15 and created problems for the park staff. When the park asked for help to address that, we worked hard to get the message out to advise hikers to plan to complete their hikes well before October 15, and encouraging hikers to flip-flop if they were running behind schedule. Within two years of asking for our help, the average of number of thru-hikers summiting after October 15 went from about 15% to 3-4%.
    I'll bet BSP wasn't threatening in that case.

    Anyways, thank you Laurie and everyone at ATC - I know it must be a terribly challenging job at time trying to coordinate things across so many different state lines and parks with varying rules and opinions. It's easy to criticize but you guys make things work and keep the trail alive and well.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Puddlefish View Post
    I'm not so sure about bruising, but releasing the cork slowly into the palm of your hand is a good safety tip.
    And all of this bruising gets REALLY interesting at significant altitudes (way above Katahdin). I carried a bottle of bubbly (perfectly legal) up our pals' "final 14er" to celebrate their 55 climbs. I tried my best to be very careful opening... nonetheless, I think I accidently set a world-altitude-flight record for the cork. It might have gone into orbit.... And I do feel bad about a cork getting away from me out in the wild.

    Then, of course, try drinking bubbly at 14,000+ feet sometime, the smallest sip, voila! A virtual fountain comes both out of your mouth and up into your nasal cavities and shooting out of your nose. Fun! refreshing! I bet we didn't get 1/2 of the bottle actually into our stomachs. Some marmots were probably happy to lick the rocks. But no yellow jackets to worry about.

    And BTW, we always carry plastic stemware for our mountain-champagne celebrations.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by colorado_rob View Post
    And all of this bruising gets REALLY interesting at significant altitudes (way above Katahdin). I carried a bottle of bubbly (perfectly legal) up our pals' "final 14er" to celebrate their 55 climbs. I tried my best to be very careful opening... nonetheless, I think I accidently set a world-altitude-flight record for the cork. It might have gone into orbit.... And I do feel bad about a cork getting away from me out in the wild.

    Then, of course, try drinking bubbly at 14,000+ feet sometime, the smallest sip, voila! A virtual fountain comes both out of your mouth and up into your nasal cavities and shooting out of your nose. Fun! refreshing! I bet we didn't get 1/2 of the bottle actually into our stomachs. Some marmots were probably happy to lick the rocks. But no yellow jackets to worry about.

    And BTW, we always carry plastic stemware for our mountain-champagne celebrations.
    Oh, the altitude spillage I can understand. Always keep the palm over the cork just to keep the cork from taking someone's eye out though, even if you still get splattered. Actual bruising is just a wine snob myth. Yes, be careful with fragile corks, and sediment on older bottles of wine... bruising, not so much.

    I used to date a rich girl, who's parents kept cases of good champagne available for guests poolside, even college aged guests!

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Water Rat View Post
    The exuberance really shines through in that photo - amazing shot!

    What do I see when I look at that photo? Someone who had an amazing hike.

    What I don't see in that photo? I don't see someone saying, "it's okay to pop champagne when you get to the summit just because I did!"
    What I see in this photo:

    AT Journals 2010.jpg

    One hiker celebrating with a bottle of champagne.



    What I see in the Jurek photos:

    AT jurek 1.jpg AT jurek 2.jpg


    I think the problem is pretty self-evident. Scenes like these last two are what BSP doesn't want repeated nor to be associated with.
    Last edited by 4eyedbuzzard; 02-17-2016 at 16:46.
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    Not a new problem.Just a growing one that finally reached tipping point.


    The fact that ATC would have even considered the photo, indicates that a philosophical disconnect has existed for a long time.

  6. #26
    Getting out as much as I can..which is never enough. :) Mags's Avatar
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    In other news, this ad shows how doctors endorse cigarette smoking....

    moredoxsmokeluckies-notext-400x400.jpg


    ...back in the the 1950s....
    Last edited by Mags; 02-17-2016 at 17:11.
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    As long as showcasing stupidity of the past......

    6a00d83542d51e69e20133f45ee1d2970b-500wi.jpg

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    As long as showcasing stupidity of the past......

    6a00d83542d51e69e20133f45ee1d2970b-500wi.jpg
    "we've come a long way baby"

  9. #29

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    [QUOTE=Green Lantern;2042930]I'll take that bet, green lantern! Mwaaaaah haha...old news.

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  11. #31
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    Laurie Potteiger of the ATC owned up, kindly clearly genuinely explained, and has changed to reflect new information. She's well ahead of the curve. Thank you Mrs Potteiger. Let's move forward.

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    I brought up the example to show you can't judge an organization's current policies and actions by something six years old.


    I like the Katahdin photo myself...while also acknowledging that it would not be appropriate for today due to the terse climate. But the photo does not mean the ATC celebrates bad behavior today.
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  13. #33
    Cherry Pickin' the A-T Green Lantern's Avatar
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    Exactly - "genuflect" - but in the process they are coming across as - to put it as kindly as I can - disingenuous. Kinda like telling your kid not to drink and drive, and then going out and - drinking and driving. The ATC definitely delivers a mixed message here.

    And it's totally immaterial that this issue (with the incriminating cover photo) is almost "six years old" - so what? The point is that the ATC doesn't have any principled position on this - they are grabbing the coattails of others - or hiding behind them - and wagging their finger at hikers, when the reality is that they celebrated this type of behavior in a most grandiose manner - by posting a photo of such on their official magazine.

    There ought to be plenty of red faces at the ATC over this - especially since I've now "outed" them.

    Finally, some of you have suggested that the bottle looks like something other than champagne; can I say, 'give me a break'? Do you really think this thru-hiker carried a heavy glass bottle full of regular H2O to the summit?
    If your feet ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Green Lantern View Post
    Exactly - "genuflect" - but in the process they are coming across as - to put it as kindly as I can - disingenuous. Kinda like telling your kid not to drink and drive, and then going out and - drinking and driving. The ATC definitely delivers a mixed message here.

    And it's totally immaterial that this issue (with the incriminating cover photo) is almost "six years old" - so what? The point is that the ATC doesn't have any principled position on this - they are grabbing the coattails of others - or hiding behind them - and wagging their finger at hikers, when the reality is that they celebrated this type of behavior in a most grandiose manner - by posting a photo of such on their official magazine.

    There ought to be plenty of red faces at the ATC over this - especially since I've now "outed" them.

    Finally, some of you have suggested that the bottle looks like something other than champagne; can I say, 'give me a break'? Do you really think this thru-hiker carried a heavy glass bottle full of regular H2O to the summit?
    It's not about the Champagne. It's all about "The Party", and hiker behavior.
    Last edited by 4eyedbuzzard; 02-17-2016 at 21:26.
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  15. #35
    Cherry Pickin' the A-T Green Lantern's Avatar
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    Well, thank you Laurie P for "coming clean" on that. I was wondering if the ATC was going say anything about this - seeing as how my posting of that very same picture on the ATC Facebook page never seemed to get past the administrator , and no response seemed to be forthcoming from the Grand Pooh-Bah of the ATC, Ron Tipton, either. There's just sooooooo many more important things to do than deal with the peasants. There's fund-raising, for chris'sake!

    Just for the RECORD, I objected to that photo in writing when the magazine was published - in a letter to the editor of Journeys, that (surprise, surprise) never got printed. It might serve Journeys - and the ATC itself - better, if they engaged in honest, candid conversation with members instead of trying to put an unctuous Madison Ave happy-spin on everything. So when someone takes issue with an issue (or anything else), print the damn letter, and own up to the lack of good judgment right then and there, instead of having it snap back at you six years later in a most unwelcoming and embarrassing way.
    If your feet ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Green Lantern View Post
    Well, thank you Laurie P for "coming clean" on that. I was wondering if the ATC was going say anything about this - seeing as how my posting of that very same picture on the ATC Facebook page never seemed to get past the administrator ,

    So you acknowledge that ATC is now self-censoring in a way that they were not, 5.5 years ago.

    For what it's worth, I saw that photo (or one of many similar champagne-popping photos atop Katahdin) one day on the ATC site after someone on facebook pointed it out. This was right in the middle of all the Jurek brouhaha last summer. I actually called ATC headquarters to point it out so that they might remove it, but I didn't check back to see if they'd done anything about it.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Green Lantern View Post
    Well, thank you Laurie P for "coming clean" on that. I was wondering if the ATC was going say anything about this - seeing as how my posting of that very same picture on the ATC Facebook page never seemed to get past the administrator , and no response seemed to be forthcoming from the Grand Pooh-Bah of the ATC, Ron Tipton, either. There's just sooooooo many more important things to do than deal with the peasants. There's fund-raising, for chris'sake!

    Just for the RECORD, I objected to that photo in writing when the magazine was published - in a letter to the editor of Journeys, that (surprise, surprise) never got printed. It might serve Journeys - and the ATC itself - better, if they engaged in honest, candid conversation with members instead of trying to put an unctuous Madison Ave happy-spin on everything. So when someone takes issue with an issue (or anything else), print the damn letter, and own up to the lack of good judgment right then and there, instead of having it snap back at you six years later in a most unwelcoming and embarrassing way.
    Okay, you've exposed the ATC for what they really are - an imperfect organization, with decisions made by people who sometimes make mistakes. Six years is a long time to be mad. But what are your suggestions regarding the actual current issues, which we all know has nothing to do with champagne, but rather with the number of hikers, hiker behavior, large groups, media events/commercialization, etc? What should ATC and Baxter do to minimize the impact?
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    GL, I think you have made your point. I also believe your use of the word "embarrassing" may have another usage in this thread.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4eyedbuzzard View Post
    Okay, you've exposed the ATC for what they really are - an imperfect organization, with decisions made by people who sometimes make mistakes. Six years is a long time to be mad. But what are your suggestions regarding the actual current issues, which we all know has nothing to do with champagne, but rather with the number of hikers, hiker behavior, large groups, media events/commercialization, etc? What should ATC and Baxter do to minimize the impact?
    Escalating trail use has simply made activities that were once tolerated, if not tacitly encouraged, to be no longer so.

    This isnt, and wont be , limited to BSP.

    It is in the best interest of the ATC to stay ahead of these things, or risk public black-eyes due to ineffectiveness and inaction.

  20. #40
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    (Seems that some folks here just want to "kill the messenger" ).

    Personally, I don't see why folks are harping on the irrelevant fact that the photo was taken six years ago; as far as I am concerned that was yesterday, and it doesn't change anything. Again, it's what it illustrates that is important - which is that the ATC has, from all appearances, celebrated this sort of thing - epitomized by the photo - for quite some time, until, strangely enough, Baxter State Park said, "enough". Now, suddenly, there is the uncomfortable odor of Organizational Revisionism filling the room - the impulse to convince everyone that you've been a Principled Conservation Organization all along (answer: not so fast). And let me remind you that they (the ATC) were unresponsive to me, both personally and publicly, when I objected to this photo in 2010. Maybe that's because I didn't have, "Superintendent of Baxter State Park" after my name - but who knows?

    As far as my suggestions on the larger issue of bad behavior (which, contrary to what you imply, is indeed aptly illustrated by a flowing, open bottle of champagne on the summit of Katahdin, your objections notwithstanding), I don't have a dog in this hunt, and I don't get paid by the ATC to ruminate on those issues. But I do note - as illustrated by this Journeys cover - that the ATC hasn't demonstrated much to convince me that they really care about it, or care about how they encourage - without regard to consequence - ever-increasing numbers of hikers to take to the trails (and the cynical side of me says, "Yeah, in the fervent hope that they'll be come dues-paying member in the long run..."). Exhibit "B" on that score would be the full-page poster advertisement for "A Walk In the Woods" that was enclosed in a mailing several months ago - clearly something that the ATC was nearly fainting over like a newly-anointed Hollywood starlet suddenly caught up in the glitz and glamour of Movie-Land. What that poster said to me was completely different: "There goes the trail - or at least the wilderness value of it - and you've just multiplied its problems ten-fold."

    To the ATC I would say: Don't tell us you're a stalwart defender of this and that when the evidence says otherwise.
    If your feet ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

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