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  1. #21

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    I'm pretty sure I would've been outta there lickety split.

    Been in similar situations (never 104, though!) and have moseyed on down the trail a bit. Nowadays it's easier to do because the hammock opens up many more stealth options.

    Definitely report this group, however.
    UL, because nobody ever asks "How can I make my pack heavier?"

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traveler View Post
    Contacting the appropriate authority for the area may result in a letter being dispatched, perhaps along with basic rules of etiquette. Not a lot that could be done at the time, though given the late hour the group stayed up, I would figure they would have a difficult time getting started in the morning. Being an early riser, sometime around 4:30 am or so, I might have packed up and kept/foiund something loud to bang on to help each and every person was awake and ready to start their day, I'm sure everyone would be grateful.
    Sounds like an excellent plan!

  3. #23
    splash splash1986's Avatar
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    So quick update, I spoke with the local Nantahala Ranger District, and it sounds like they will be issuing fines and citations to the organization. Obviously, they were in violation of the group size restriction. Also, I forgot to mention in my initial post that they were using battery operated chainsaws to cut firewood, which is a violation also. The ranger I spoke with also said that they removed a ton of trash from the Deep Gap parking area, mainly water jugs, which he believes was left behind by the group.

    In addition, the organizations headquarters reached out to me via Facebook to discuss the incident over the phone at some point. ( I had posted on the organizations FB site about it). So, more to come, I’ll update everyone as things progress. Happy trails all.

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  5. #25
    Registered User just dad's Avatar
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    They violated several of the Leave No Trace Principles. I would have approached the group leader and attempted to have a discussion of the Leave No Trace Principles. Of course it would not have done any good in your situation since anyone who cares about the environment or fellow hikers would never even think about taking a group of that size into the backcountry.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by zelph View Post
    Exactly, bunch of self righteous hypocrites!!

  7. #27
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    Sort of like moving a light infantry company through the forrest. Without the discipline.
    Let no one be deluded that a knowledge of the path can substitute for putting one foot in front of the other.
    óM. C. Richards

  8. #28
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    I just surfed over the the parent organization's web page and if I have it correct 3MUSA charges $250 per person for these outings. Holy ****. If true, isn't that a violation of something? Groups that utilize public lands around here for profit have to pull some type of permit and pay a fee. Plus I noticed that they police and edit their facebook page as well. There were critical comments posted yesterday and now they are gone.
    First world problems and all that... but it would irk me more than a little if I thought about it more. Ah well, doin' god's work.

  9. #29

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    Get that do-goodery happy-then-poppycock out of my way

  10. #30
    Registered User ldsailor's Avatar
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    I watched the video zelph posted. Man, if I saw that coming my way, it would scare the hell out of me and I'd be moving as fast as I could the other way. I've encountered Boy Scout troops in that area before and changed my camp plans when I learned they were heading for the same camp site.

    BTW. Did you notice the packs a couple of those guys were carrying? It looked like something Tippy would be humping on one of his two week winter hikers into nowhere.
    Trail Name - Slapshot
    "One step at a time."
    Blog - www.tonysadventure.com

  11. #31

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    They’ll be in Wichita Mountains in February. I hope someone alerts the authorities. They definitely have to procure a Special Use permit for commercial activities.

    Looking at the Wichita Mountain Rules and Regulations, there’s no limit to group size East of SH 115. Anyone familiar with that area?

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by splash1986 View Post
    So quick update, I spoke with the local Nantahala Ranger District, and it sounds like they will be issuing fines and citations to the organization. Obviously, they were in violation of the group size restriction. Also, I forgot to mention in my initial post that they were using battery operated chainsaws to cut firewood, which is a violation also. The ranger I spoke with also said that they removed a ton of trash from the Deep Gap parking area, mainly water jugs, which he believes was left behind by the group.

    In addition, the organizations headquarters reached out to me via Facebook to discuss the incident over the phone at some point. ( I had posted on the organizations FB site about it). So, more to come, I’ll update everyone as things progress. Happy trails all.
    I applaud you for taking action, these folks have to know they can't go around trashing our trails up like this. Stomping down vegetation, going to bathroom everywhere etc..

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by splash1986 View Post
    Hi Friends,

    And by the way, the sunset at Standing Indian was totally worth it.
    There ya go, it was all well worth it. Good for you my friend!

    At the end of this month there will be 60+ hammock hangers converging on a campground in North Carolina. Join them for the fun.
    NC >Yates Fall Back Hang > Oct31 - Nov 3 2019
    https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/nfsn...a/?recid=48948

    side note to splash1986: I spent Christmas 2 years ago in your fine city of Nack-a-tish :-)
    Last edited by zelph; 10-22-2019 at 00:47.

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by TallahasseeTom View Post
    I encountered a similar experience on Tray Mountain about 3 years ago. If I remember correctly this group of about 35 "marching" about 30 inches apart were from a Saturday Adventist training facility somewhere in the area and were having a bonding experience before departing into the world for missionary work. This was extremely disarming. No way can back country sites absorb such a heavy impact. Just the sanitary issues are overwhelming. But it seems that the entire southern AT, especially during the bubble season, is being overwhelmed by far too much traffic. How long before health officials will have to begin limiting the number of hikers on the trail one time?

    I was at Derrick Knob Shelter in the Smokies in early September. When I when to use the potty on the non-water side of the mountain, I encountered what looked like more than a hundred "flowers" of unburied toilet paper. Now if the paper was unburied, then surely what goes with it was also not buried. This seems to be an fast expanding problem at all shelters without privies. Now at some shelterers the Poop side too the mountain is not clearly delineated with signage. This probably means that the water source is probably or potentially contaminated with fecal material and the health hazards that go along with it.
    That's such an unfortunate experience. I've heard this is becoming a massive problem out west where there's a lot more resistance to development. Trails like the JMT have AT numbers now, but far fewer amenities. I only encountered a couple poorly dug catholes on the AT. One person just put their toilet paper in a tree stump.

    On my fourth night of my thru, Low Gap Shelter had around 100 people.

  15. #35
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    On behalf of hikers everywhere, I thank you for following up on this and bringing it to the authorities.

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    I got to wonder how much of a spirital wilderness expereince camping with 104 other people and trashing the top of a mountain is? And is this a racket I can cash in on too?

    Definately report them, but I suspect they already know about them. Can't be the first time they did this.
    Whole heartedly agree. Large groups need to reserve group campsites. Not overwhelm backcountry sites.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Bumpy View Post
    I just surfed over the the parent organization's web page and if I have it correct 3MUSA charges $250 per person for these outings. Holy ****. If true, isn't that a violation of something? Groups that utilize public lands around here for profit have to pull some type of permit and pay a fee. Plus I noticed that they police and edit their facebook page as well. There were critical comments posted yesterday and now they are gone.
    First world problems and all that... but it would irk me more than a little if I thought about it more. Ah well, doin' god's work.
    $250.00 per person? Damn....I'm in the wrong business.

  18. #38
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    I have seen Boy scouts groups of 20-25 adults included at the most. I cannot even imagine a group of 104 adults on the AT. This is obscene.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by stephanD View Post
    I cannot even imagine a group of 104 adults on the AT. This is obscene.
    go to any shelter area late march, early april in georgia and you'll witness this

  20. #40

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    The February Wichita gathering is being held on private land.

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