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  1. #1
    Cherry Pickin' the A-T Green Lantern's Avatar
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    Default Betcha didn't know: ATC celebrates Bad Behavior

    So y'all know the hue and cry over bad behavior in Baxter State Park, right? And how there are all kinds of official hand-wringing going on right now between the Grand Pooh-bahs of the Appalachian Trail and Baxter State Park, and stern, adult-like warnings being issued hither and thither to future hikers that they ought to behave themselves. Right? Right. Now, file this under "ATC-Journeys'-covers-that-we-wish-we-could-take-back", or, "You can't make this stuff up" and look at the picture below.




    Is this the same Appalachian Trail Conservancy that self-righteously berates hikers for "bad behavior" in Baxter State Park? The same Appalachian Trail Conservancy that says, "This is not acceptable behavior", that also puts a picture of a hiker leaping into the air on the summit of Katahdin, spilling what can only be described as an open bottle of champagne all over the summit?




    More importantly, Is this the very definition of (cough, cough - ahem) hypocrisy?

    (see attached PDF file - could not upload as image file)
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  2. #2

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    Issue is 6 years old. Still not an excuse, but betting the bad behavior has gotten progressively worse over the past couple of years with numbers of hikers increasing. Plus, while it looks like champagne there's nothing on the bottle to say it is.

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    Wow..............now it opens the question, because Scott is a man & this is a woman have they discriminated?? I'm soo disgusted.......................lol
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  4. #4
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    It was Baxter Park authorities complaining about hiker behavior -- not ATC. The implicit message was from Baxter to ATC, telling ATC to take some action "or else...". You've merely cited more evidence to bolster Baxter's case that ATC isn't doing enough -- or sending the wrong message entirely. And yeah... that article is 5 1/2 years old.

    I'm curious if anyone from BSP complained about that cover photo, back in the day?

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    Don't most hikers carry their water in empty champagne or other booze bottles?

    Nice find. I am sure the ATC didn't take issue with such behavior until Baxter got upset. Then of course the politically correct thing to do is to genuflect to the upset party.

  6. #6

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    Can anyone recommend a lightweight champagne bottle. I prefer Moet White Star myself, but is was discontinued in 09'.

    ...for water carrying of course.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Casey & Gina View Post
    Don't most hikers carry their water in empty champagne or other booze bottles?

    Nice find. I am sure the ATC didn't take issue with such behavior until Baxter got upset. Then of course the politically correct thing to do is to genuflect to the upset party.
    Or encourage people to follow the rather clearly explained rules of the park the Trail is a guest in. Seems a better method than empty religious gestures.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Traveler View Post
    Or encourage people to follow the rather clearly explained rules of the park the Trail is a guest in. Seems a better method than empty religious gestures.
    That isn't the meaning of the word I was using, rather, "to obey someone with power in a way that is seen as weak".

    I am not saying that the correct stance for the ATC wasn't always to follow the rules of the parks the AT passes through, but simply that they clearly didn't have much concern for it before recent events. The use of the term genuflect was referring to the quick reversal of stance, giving the impression that "we've always fervently had this stance", when in fact they did not. The superior thing to do, in my opinion, would have been to admit a mistake in the former lack of concern and move forward constructively, taking responsibility for their part in things.
    Last edited by Casey & Gina; 02-16-2016 at 18:23.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Casey & Gina View Post
    That isn't the meaning of the word I was using, rather, "to obey someone with power in a way that is seen as weak".

    I am not saying that the correct stance for the ATC wasn't always to follow the rules of the parks the AT passes through, but simply that they clearly didn't have much concern for it before recent events. The use of the term genuflect was referring to the quick reversal of stance, giving the impression that "we've always fervently had this stance", when in fact they did not. The superior thing to do, in my opinion, would have been to admit a mistake in the former lack of concern and more forward constructively, taking responsibility for their part in things.
    Ahh gotcha. Apologies for thinking it was going the other way. It has been a long simmering issue between BSP and ATC, which could have been handled better, as your last sentence sums up well.

  10. #10

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    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.

    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.

    It wasn't long before I realized just how poor my judgment was in using that photo, for a number of reasons that are apparent soon after, as they are even more so now. Even before the magazine was delivered, I called up Jean Hoekwater, Park Naturalist for Baxter State Park and the primary liaison for the A.T., and apologized. She was, as she always is, gracious.

    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.

    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%.

    As you all know, we have recently been through a challenging period recently, and the magnitude of the challenges is far greater than the previous illustration. But Baxter State Park and ATC and a variety of partners (including the Maine A.T. Club, ALDHA, and Friends of Baxter State Park) are working very hard to find solutions together that respect the park's mission and still allows A.T. hikers to enjoy Baxter and Katahdin as the magnificent northern terminus.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Green Lantern View Post
    More importantly, Is this the very definition of (cough, cough - ahem) hypocrisy?
    Not at all. Not to me.
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    That really is a fantastic photo. Zero need for any apologies LP. And keep up your amazing efforts, nearly all of us deeply appreciate it!

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    Registered User Water Rat's Avatar
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    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!"

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    Do I want people making a frat party out of the summit? No. Do I think opening a bottle of champaign on the summit is evil? No. This Earth as been spinning around, chewing up the arrogant and meek alike for thousands of years. It will absorb a few tablespoons of liquor and laugh at our treating it like an invalid.

    If you're going to brow-beat the ATC over a 6-year-old photo let's all think about where we were 6 years ago and ask ourselves how much we want to made an example for. And let's not presume that they haven't beaten themselves up over them, as clearly the comment above shows.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorado_rob View Post
    That really is a fantastic photo. Zero need for any apologies LP. And keep up your amazing efforts, nearly all of us deeply appreciate it!
    Agreed. Hindsight is 20/20 and it is all too easy to look backwards after something becomes a hot button topic and find fault. The photo is excellent in and of itself. It definitley wouldn't be an appropriate choice to use it today, but I can certainly see why it was picked originally and I can believe that missing the significance of champagne at the time was an oversite.
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    Nothing more powerful than someone standing up and saying, "that one is on me". Lots of respect for LP from me.

    I can guarantee almost nothing, but.... the one thing I can guarantee is that there is no action I can take today that will change anything that happened yesterday. Time for folks to look at where we are at and work toward solutions going forward.

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    - LOL. He said Grand Pooh-bahs.

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    Maybe someone needs to write an article about the proper way to handle a bottle of champagne. IMHO the champagne is being defiled more severely than the summit environment. Maybe an even better reason to keep the champagne in camp for when you return from the summit.

    1) never shake a bottle of champagne. Don't bruise your champagne.
    2) Never pop the cork, release it slowly, Again bruising.
    3) proper glasses only, Never drink out of the bottle. bruising
    4) proper temp. properly chilled, Definately Not room temp

    Enjoy your champagne when you get off the mountain.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by squeezebox View Post
    Maybe someone needs to write an article about the proper way to handle a bottle of champagne. IMHO the champagne is being defiled more severely than the summit environment. Maybe an even better reason to keep the champagne in camp for when you return from the summit.

    1) never shake a bottle of champagne. Don't bruise your champagne.
    2) Never pop the cork, release it slowly, Again bruising.
    3) proper glasses only, Never drink out of the bottle. bruising
    4) proper temp. properly chilled, Definately Not room temp

    Enjoy your champagne when you get off the mountain.
    Lol

    by the time that bottle of champagne has made it to the top of Katahdin, it has been more than bruised. Its been absolutely violated in every way imaginable.

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    I'm not so sure about bruising, but releasing the cork slowly into the palm of your hand is a good safety tip.

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