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  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lauriep View Post
    FYI: A very dedicated Mount Rogers A.T. Club volunteer has just cleared the Pine Mountain Trail.
    I'm certain that everyone on this site understands the important role these volunteers play in making all things possible for AT hikers....THANK YOU!!!

    The same scenario will be repeated next year.....and the next. At this point, are they having any discussions regards plans for a long term solution? If so, will the hiking community have input into the process?
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    Travel not for the destination, but for the joy of the journey.

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lauriep View Post
    FYI: A very dedicated Mount Rogers A.T. Club volunteer has just cleared the Pine Mountain Trail.
    what does that mean?

  3. #63

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    As I understand it, the Pine Mountain Trail is not used as much as the A.T., and is not always maintained at the same standards. A volunteer just cleared it so that it would be in good shape for the expected increased use as an alternate route to the A.T. I posted that here in case anyone who saw older reports of overgrown trail would not be deterred from using it.

  4. #64
    Registered User SawnieRobertson's Avatar
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    I invite you to read what happened at The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park recently if you want to add to your collection of stories of the audacity of black bears. Try estesparknews.com and/or eptrail.com, even one of my (million?) FB sites.
    You never know just what you can do until you realize you absolutely have to do it.
    --Salaun

  5. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by SawnieRobertson View Post
    I invite you to read what happened at The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park recently if you want to add to your collection of stories of the audacity of black bears. Try estesparknews.com and/or eptrail.com, even one of my (million?) FB sites.
    They have it on video too. He didn't look worried at all wandering into that lobby.

  6. #66
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    I just spent 3 nights & 4 days in this area, from 8/22 - 8/25. I stayed at several of the areas that reported bear issues. I stayed at: Rhododendron Gap, The Scales, and Wise Shelter. I did not see a single bear on my trip. I spoke with many other backpackers and everyone was worried about the stories of bears, but nobody that I spoke with had any issues with bears either. I know I was only up there for a few days so I can't say for sure, but I think maybe the bear boxes and education are working...

    I know there are rumors going around about the Bear Vault canisters being breached by bears, so I called the Mount Rogers Visitors Center before my trip. They told me they knew nothing about any brand of canister being breached. If a bear canister was breached it seems to me like it would be a pretty big deal and the rangers would know about it. Either way, I brought my BV450 and had no issues and the bears didn't even move it around or anything, let alone chew it open.

    I hiked 150 miles with "the bubble" in VT in 2016 and the vast majority of thru-hikers were hanging their food inside of the shelters when there was no bear box. I don't know if the culture around thru-hiking is still like this, but it really upset me that no one cared about storing their food properly and the problems it can cause with bears.

  7. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lostintheforest View Post
    I just spent 3 nights & 4 days in this area, from 8/22 - 8/25. I stayed at several of the areas that reported bear issues. I stayed at: Rhododendron Gap, The Scales, and Wise Shelter. I did not see a single bear on my trip. I spoke with many other backpackers and everyone was worried about the stories of bears, but nobody that I spoke with had any issues with bears either. I know I was only up there for a few days so I can't say for sure, but I think maybe the bear boxes and education are working...

    I know there are rumors going around about the Bear Vault canisters being breached by bears, so I called the Mount Rogers Visitors Center before my trip. They told me they knew nothing about any brand of canister being breached. If a bear canister was breached it seems to me like it would be a pretty big deal and the rangers would know about it. Either way, I brought my BV450 and had no issues and the bears didn't even move it around or anything, let alone chew it open.

    I hiked 150 miles with "the bubble" in VT in 2016 and the vast majority of thru-hikers were hanging their food inside of the shelters when there was no bear box. I don't know if the culture around thru-hiking is still like this, but it really upset me that no one cared about storing their food properly and the problems it can cause with bears.
    Well, generally bears won't come into a shelter full of thru-hikers, so hanging food inside the shelter really isn't that bad of a thing to do.

    But then again, it has happened.

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lostintheforest View Post
    I know there are rumors going around about the Bear Vault canisters being breached by bears, so I called the Mount Rogers Visitors Center before my trip. They told me they knew nothing about any brand of canister being breached. If a bear canister was breached it seems to me like it would be a pretty big deal and the rangers would know about it. Either way, I brought my BV450 and had no issues and the bears didn't even move it around or anything, let alone chew it open.
    There was an issue with one of the types of canisters, but that was specifically in the Adirondacks of NY State. The one bear that had caused the issues is no longer living, but no one knows if others learned the same or not. Likely that story has bounced around without the details of where it occurred, making others think it was a wider problem.

  9. #69

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    Curious if the ATC recognizes a thru hike where someone elects to done a blue blaze due to perceived bear problem?. Its does not appear that the section in question is closed to hiking as much as its logistically difficult to no shelters?

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyGr View Post
    There was an issue with one of the types of canisters, but that was specifically in the Adirondacks of NY State. The one bear that had caused the issues is no longer living, but no one knows if others learned the same or not. Likely that story has bounced around without the details of where it occurred, making others think it was a wider problem.
    There is actually some talk specifically about failure of the Bear Vault at Thomas Knob Shelter. I've seen it on Reddit and here at White Blaze somewhere. It all seems to stem from this link: https://www.hikingupward.com/JNF/MtRogersWilburnRidge/

    Someone left a comment saying that a bear broke into 2 BV450 canisters in June.

    However, when I called the Visitors Center last week and asked them, they did not know of any failures of any model of bear canister.

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crushed Grapes View Post
    The more I think about it the more I consider a small bear container for my thru next year. Have always thought they'd be overkill on the AT, but I can see getting one as a possibility.
    In 10 weeks of hiking this summer, I probably would’ve really liked having one of those maybe once a week, just for peace of mind or when a bear came to check out the campsite (which happened maybe 4-5 times that I noticed it).

    Never had a bear visit a site with a bear box though. Hopefully one day every shelter has one.

  12. #72

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    FWIW, I camped at rhododendron gap during the height of the "scare" and used a bearvault. Something knocked it over during the night (raccoon?) - no chew marks.

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lostintheforest View Post
    There is actually some talk specifically about failure of the Bear Vault at Thomas Knob Shelter. I've seen it on Reddit and here at White Blaze somewhere. It all seems to stem from this link: https://www.hikingupward.com/JNF/MtRogersWilburnRidge/

    Someone left a comment saying that a bear broke into 2 BV450 canisters in June.

    However, when I called the Visitors Center last week and asked them, they did not know of any failures of any model of bear canister.
    That's why corroboration is important. Of course, I've seen defeated Bear Vaults before; my keen interest here is that this is closer to home, and certain areas of WNC are already requiring commercially made, hard-sided bear resistant containers. Seems to me that if we've got to have them for some areas, we'd want one that hasn't already been figured out by the bears - at least, locally (I doubt any Adirondack bears are Skyping their technique to their cousins in NC/VA).

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdoczi View Post
    i often think about something i was told many times in grizzly country- there has never been an instance of a grizzly bear attacking a group of 6 or more people. ever.

    generally black bears are less aggressive. with that in mind, i sort of concluded that a shelter full of 20 people is safe no matter how much food is in it with them.
    I previously claimed to have heard stories about bears entering a shelter full of people (at least in GSMNP). Just wanted to backup that claim with a recent story I happened to come across today. Another WB member relayed the story
    Quote Originally Posted by PatmanTN
    That same bear entered the shelter the next morning (full of people) and was sniffing the hanging packs. Several awoke and started shouting at it and it causally backed out and strolled down to the cables and stood on it's hind legs shook each cable one by one trying to knock the bags loose.

  15. #75
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    I took the Pine Mountain Trail back in June when the original warnings were put up. Despite being a little overgrown (really not that bad), the trail was fine, easily navigable...some footprints and trek pole holes let me know I was still on track. The blue blazes were mostly visible, some in the fields took a little effort to find. Happy to know a volunteer cleared it out a bit more.

  16. #76

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lostintheforest View Post
    I just spent 3 nights & 4 days in this area, from 8/22 - 8/25. I stayed at several of the areas that reported bear issues. I stayed at: Rhododendron Gap, The Scales, and Wise Shelter. I did not see a single bear on my trip. I spoke with many other backpackers and everyone was worried about the stories of bears, but nobody that I spoke with had any issues with bears either. I know I was only up there for a few days so I can't say for sure, but I think maybe the bear boxes and education are working...

    I know there are rumors going around about the Bear Vault canisters being breached by bears, so I called the Mount Rogers Visitors Center before my trip. They told me they knew nothing about any brand of canister being breached. If a bear canister was breached it seems to me like it would be a pretty big deal and the rangers would know about it. Either way, I brought my BV450 and had no issues and the bears didn't even move it around or anything, let alone chew it open.

    I hiked 150 miles with "the bubble" in VT in 2016 and the vast majority of thru-hikers were hanging their food inside of the shelters when there was no bear box. I don't know if the culture around thru-hiking is still like this, but it really upset me that no one cared about storing their food properly and the problems it can cause with bears.
    I'm starting to find it odd that 2 different bear vaults have failed and no one seems to have a picture of it. The pics and video of the Ursack that failed was in multiple places in a week. I'm sure a bear can get into any canister if it really wants to. I would just like to see the damage for myself so I can decide if I should stick with the Bear Vaults I own or switch to another brand.

  17. #77
    13-45 Section Hiker Trash
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    The authorities of these areas should just go ahead and require the use of bear canisters...there I said it.

    I know this is an unpopular opinion due to the weight and all that junk, but this problem ain't gonna get resolved any other way by the hikers. Once the bear encounters slow way down then maybe experiment with relaxing the canister requirement and see what happens. Personally I have been carrying mine for the last year.



    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Wolf View Post
    i will be camping near rhodo gap soon. sleepin' with my food
    Beast mode!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Joe View Post
    Hunting does two things: It re-inforces a bear's natural fear of humans and it manages bear numbers. Yes, people need to secure their food. Yes, humans are causing this problem by not doing so. I have zero problem with implementing a canister requirement if that's what it takes. But letting the bears simply continue their behavior isn't solving anything. I've said it before, rubber slugs appear to work well to inhibit bears from getting into trash. Why rangers are not simply going to these areas and trying this method to re-instill fear in these bears is beyond me. If you're not going to open controlled hunting what exactly is being done to instill the rightful fear into bears?
    I agree with hunting as part if the solution.
    AT: 2007-2019 (45 sections)
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