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Camping at old rag
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By Kirby
From DC
Jan 13, 2014

Howdy.

I am familiar with the SNP permit system and all that, but can't find this info online. Can I obtain a backcountry camping permit at the Whiteoak Canyon parking area? I remember there being some sort of manned station there but wasn't sure.

Thanks!


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By Chris Clarke
From La Paz, BO
Jan 13, 2014

It's been a while but I don't remember ever seeing a ranger there in winter.


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By Kirby
From DC
Jan 14, 2014

In case anyone searches for this in the future:

I did what I probably should have done before posting here, and called the SNP Visitor Center. They said there is NO ranger posted during the winter at Whiteoak Canyon, and that the closest self registration station for backcountry camping is at the main Old Rag Parking Lot (Weakley Hollow I think?).

Cheers.


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By Jake Jones
From The Eastern Flatlands
Jan 14, 2014
Me and the offspring walking back to the car after a day of cragging.

The main Old Rag parking lot is the closest registration kiosk. However, it is not on Weakley Hollow Rd.

The Old Rag parking is on the Eastern side of the mountain which most climbers avoid because of the longer approach that has much more class 4.

Weakley Hollow is on the Western side of the mountain which, as you know if you've been there is the preferred parking for climbing approach.

There are no permits for specific areas of the park, although you probably need to designate in what area you'll be backcountry camping on the permit.

If you know you're going a few weeks in advance, you can register here .

In this linked page there is also a link to a map that shows you all of the registration stations within the park.

If you're going to camp to climb, my recommendation would be to go as light as possible, carry your stuff with you up the mountain, and set up in the cave at Reflector Oven. You can't miss it. It's just below 2800ft so you'll be within regulation. The obvious downside is that you have to hike all your stuff up, and you'll need to bring water with you. Sources are hard to come by up there.

The upside is that when you wake up, you'll have either no approach or a very short one to the best climbing on the mountain. I've never camped, but I know people that have. If you're going for multiple days, it's nice to not have to make that haul up the mountain each day.

If you're not camping for the purpose of climbing, or if you're going to go check out the ice at White Oak, just disregard the above and have fun. Hope this helps.


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By yositune
Feb 17, 2014

Has anyone been there after the snows and have a report on snow melt in the Reflector oven after Mid-February. We'd like to hike/camp to do Strawberry Fields and possibly OMG Dihedral. I'm guessing that Report to Sickbay is going to be wet.. and cold.. till much later in March.

Appreciate hearing from folks that have climbed in Feb/Mar after snows.


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By Chris Clarke
From La Paz, BO
Feb 17, 2014

I've climbed Strawberry Fields and OMG several times with a bunch of snow on the ground. I don't remember any issues with wetness.


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By yositune
Feb 17, 2014

Thanks Chris! Weather's rainy all week though.. :<


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By Kirby
From DC
Feb 20, 2014

Agree-- snow is usually fine. It gets leaky on Report to Sickbay, as you sad, but Strawberry Fields and OMG get enough sun to dry them out quickly. Bushwhack Crack is also very much worth the trek down the hill, and also gets great sun (and the top is rock, not vegetation, so no seepage really).

Enjoy! Camping in the cave near Strawberry Fields saves the weight of a tent, and is supposedly legal since it's just below the elevation mark of 2800'.


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