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The Gunks are way worthy!
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By Happiegrrrl
From Gunks
Nov 29, 2012

CaptainMo wrote:
I suppose the high climbing fees keep the population low. . .


I am not privy to the reasons behind why fees are what they are, but I think that there is something to it, when it comes to paying a fee for something as opposed to having it be free or deemed as "cheap." People tend to value that which they make a sacrifice for and place less value on that which they obtain with little or no sacrifice.

During the items I have acted as caretaker at Coxing, I have see firsthand a difference in behaviors between the general public which arrives during a time when there is a trailhead on board and after that person leaves for the day. Now let's be clear - I am not saying "all people" in any category behave a certain way. But the ones who are throwing dirty diapers into the woods when the trash bin is on their way out the parking lot, those who are dumping their Starbucks and McDonalds cups on the ground, those who are ripping the wild lilies out and then leaving the flower on the ground when they tire of carrying it - tend to be the ones who are waiting for the trailhead person to leave for the day, or are parking down the road and walking in from the side woods. (Yes, I am aware of whom comes in and in what manner when I am in the vicinity.)

There is a big difference between the level of trash that gets left on the ground at Minnewaska and the MP, and though I can't say for sure, I have to think that the sacrifice a person makes to visit the MP plays a part in their having more respect for the environment.

I'm NOT saying a person who has more money behaves in a better way that a person who has less. Plenty of those mentioned above are arriving in new vehicles, and plenty of the people who pick up after those around them as part of their regular visit in the area drive beat up junkers.


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By Gunkiemike
Nov 29, 2012

Kevin Heckeler wrote:
There's been a lot of productive conversation between the panty bunching in these threads. If it gets a single person to think objectively about the subject matter then all this dialogue is worth it.


Mission accomplished then. I have thought objectively about it.

And I've decided the Adirondack Mt. Club's $10/day parking fee at the Loj is WAY too F'in high.

So there.


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By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Nov 29, 2012
Epic free solo with a pack on

Gunkiemike wrote:
Mission accomplished then. I have thought objectively about it. And I've decided the Adirondack Mt. Club's $10/day parking fee at the Loj is WAY too F'in high. So there.



A-fuckin-men!


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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Nov 29, 2012
Rumney

Gunkiemike wrote:
I've decided the Adirondack Mt. Club's $10/day parking fee at the Loj is WAY too F'in high.


Haha, well I agree that it's too high, but comparing what $10 buys you at the loj and $17 at the Gunks isn't a fair comparison (for the simple fact a car full of people get in for that $10 at the loj).

The loj rates have been creeping up like the Gunks for the last several years. It doesn't fall on my radar because I rarely use that trailhead any more (maybe once a year, versus a dozen or more times in years past). But I'm looking to get some skiing in so I'll be back to bitch about it at some point in the coming months.


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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Nov 29, 2012
Rumney

The "spending money means I care" argument is kinda weak. Do I even need to explain why? Anyone ever volunteer to do trail work in the Catskills or Adirondacks? Pick up litter there?


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By caughtinside
From Oakland CA
Nov 29, 2012

Happiegrrrl wrote:
I am not privy to the reasons behind why fees are what they are, but I think that there is something to it, when it comes to paying a fee for something as opposed to having it be free or deemed as "cheap." People tend to value that which they make a sacrifice for and place less value on that which they obtain with little or no sacrifice.


There was a study done some time ago on free vs. pay campgrounds. The finding was that people picked up the free campgrounds better.


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By JCM
From Henderson, NV
Nov 29, 2012

caughtinside wrote:
There was a study done some time ago on free vs. pay campgrounds. The finding was that people picked up the free campgrounds better.


These sorts of studies are pretty pervasive in economics and psychology, and they all point to the same sort of conclusion.

The classic economics-textbook example is NGO-sponsored developments in remote villages in Africa, etc. NGO projects are generally more successful if the villagers have to contribute to the project with labor, resources, or finacially. If an NGO gives a village a new well for free, the well is generally not maintained as well in the future as if the village had to pay for some fraction of the cost of the well. Making people pay for something has been shown to lead them to value it and treat it better.

Within climbing, we can also think about "cost of admission" in non-monetary terms. Generally, people are more respectful toward remote crags that they had to hike a long way to, as opposed to some trashy roadside crag. There are other factors at play, of course, but the basic tenet that we tend to be more respectful to things that we had to "pay" for remains true.


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By Happiegrrrl
From Gunks
Nov 29, 2012

No doubt the study you mention did show that.

I looked very guickly for a link but didn't see anything. Perhaps you would know it?

I wouldn't call my personal observations anything like a study, but the issue was pretty evident. People who are members at the Preserve tend to be very respectful of the resource. Day use visitors less so, and those who come in (intentionally) avoiding fee tended to be the ones who were "trashy."

And in a general, though I haven't a study to cite, it's a well accepted point that people DO have more respect for that which they sacrifice to receive over which comes without effort, and this ranges from the guy or girl one has to work at to get attention to a gift from somebody and pretty much across the board.


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By MJMobes
From The land of steady habits
Nov 29, 2012
modern man

CaptainMo wrote:
I suppose the high climbing fees keep the population low. . . if it was $5 it would be an incredible shit show. So I would bet using fee increases are probably part of the 'conservation' plan. If they dropped the price they could potentially earn just as much money but have many more people (and that's what they are likely trying to limit).


can this be the official thread killer?

I vote YES!!!

KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL!


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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Nov 30, 2012
Rumney

Happiegrrrl wrote:
It's a well accepted point that people DO have more respect for that which they sacrifice to receive over which comes without effort, and this ranges from the guy or girl one has to work at to get attention to a gift from somebody and pretty much across the board.


THAT is true, but different from the presumption that paying means caring. People pay alot for the vehicles they drive but beat the crap out of them, skip maintenance, etc.


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By caughtinside
From Oakland CA
Nov 30, 2012

Happiegrrrl wrote:
And in a general, though I haven't a study to cite, it's a well accepted point that people DO have more respect for that which they sacrifice to receive over which comes without effort, and this ranges from the guy or girl one has to work at to get attention to a gift from somebody and pretty much across the board.


I don't think that is applicable in this case. I don't consider a few bucks for parking or access to public land a sacrifice... I consider it an annoyance.

Private areas are different. I'm happy to donate $5 to Muir valley when I go, because they care about climbers and continue to improve facilities climbers use. Same with the Gunks. They were working hard on the road with heavy equipment when I was there. I do think $17 is a lot to pay for one day per person. I noticed they charge climbers more than any other user group for the annual pass which I think is pretty lame.


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By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Nov 30, 2012
Epic free solo with a pack on

" I noticed they charge climbers more than any other user group for the annual pass which I think is pretty lame."

Not that hard to figure out why...


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By caughtinside
From Oakland CA
Nov 30, 2012

Ben Brotelho wrote:
Not that hard to figure out why...


What other areas practice such blatant price discrimination?


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By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Nov 30, 2012
Epic free solo with a pack on

Probably any place whose owners would like to build some sort of protection against the heightened liability of having climbers on their land...


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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Nov 30, 2012
Rumney

Ben Brotelho wrote:
Probably any place whose owners would like to build some sort of protection against the heightened liability of having climbers on their land...


Don't we sign a waiver when we purchase a day/season pass as climbers that the Preserve is not liable in any way for whatever might go wrong?


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By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Nov 30, 2012
Epic free solo with a pack on

A waiver is only a defense, it definitely doesn't stop people from suing the Preserve and crafting some creative legal arguments to get around the waiver. Even a close-and-shut case involving a death covered under the waiver would cost the preserve money, even if that cost is just the price of an attorney to look over the case.


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By Alicia Sokolowski
From Brooklyn, NY
Nov 30, 2012
Hanging out waiting for Die Antwoord to come on stage

Kevin Heckeler wrote:
Don't we sign a waiver when we purchase a day/season pass as climbers that the Preserve is not liable in any way for whatever might go wrong?


Any waiver can be litigated which is sometimes more expensive than a settlement.


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By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Nov 30, 2012
Stoked...

Happiegrrrl wrote:
I am not privy to the reasons behind why fees are what they are, but I think that there is something to it, when it comes to paying a fee for something as opposed to having it be free or deemed as "cheap." People tend to value that which they make a sacrifice for and place less value on that which they obtain with little or no sacrifice. During the items I have acted as caretaker at Coxing, I have see firsthand a difference in behaviors between the general public which arrives during a time when there is a trailhead on board and after that person leaves for the day. Now let's be clear - I am not saying "all people" in any category behave a certain way. But the ones who are throwing dirty diapers into the woods when the trash bin is on their way out the parking lot, those who are dumping their Starbucks and McDonalds cups on the ground, those who are ripping the wild lilies out and then leaving the flower on the ground when they tire of carrying it - tend to be the ones who are waiting for the trailhead person to leave for the day, or are parking down the road and walking in from the side woods. (Yes, I am aware of whom comes in and in what manner when I am in the vicinity.) There is a big difference between the level of trash that gets left on the ground at Minnewaska and the MP, and though I can't say for sure, I have to think that the sacrifice a person makes to visit the MP plays a part in their having more respect for the environment. I'm NOT saying a person who has more money behaves in a better way that a person who has less. Plenty of those mentioned above are arriving in new vehicles, and plenty of the people who pick up after those around them as part of their regular visit in the area drive beat up junkers.


I don't think people's value of a land is determined or effected by the cost to use the resource. It's more the composition of the population is affected by the fee costs. And the actions you identify are a component of the values of that 'class' or educational level. Think order of needs principles.


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By rgold
From Poughkeepsie, NY
Nov 30, 2012
The traverse out to the Yellow Ridge on the Dogstick Ridge link-up.  Photo by Myriam Bouchard

Keven Heckeler wrote:
Don't we sign a waiver when we purchase a day/season pass as climbers that the Preserve is not liable in any way for whatever might go wrong?


Yes, but in our litigious society, the Preserve has to carry insurance anyway because of climbing activity. Even if a climber has signed a waiver, they can still sue if they can argue that their accident was due to negligence on the part of the Preserve. To get an idea of just how far these notions can be stretched, Minnewaska State Park was sued by someone who picked up and handled a copperhead which, unsurprisingly, bit him. This person claimed that the park had failed to post signs warning that there were poisonous snakes. Even when such suits fail, as this one did, there are still legal costs involved in defending them.

Although there are some who doubt this, the Mountain House has consistently claimed that the ban of climbing at Skytop is due to prohibitive insurance costs, waivers or no.

The Preserve also maintains a trained and equipped technical rescue crew. The personnel have to be paid, their training has to be paid for, and equipment has to be purchased and maintained. These are all expenses incurred because of climbing, so it is not unreasonable to ask climbers, who will be very quick to call for help when something goes wrong, to help defray those expenses.

This at least partially explains why the Preserve charges climbers more than other users. As for the amount of that fee, I'm personally long past contributing to the teapot tempest. The arguments have been made and explanations given over and over again. The area is crowded and doesn't need additional climbers. There is no god-given right to climb on privately owned land. There is absolutely no prospect of a state or federal takeover. It is what it is; take it or leave it.


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By pooler
From Albany, NY
Nov 30, 2012

I always thought the fee was for matinence and rescue if a climber needed it. I dunno I could be wrong though


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By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Nov 30, 2012
Epic free solo with a pack on

word of the day: litigious.


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By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Nov 30, 2012
Stoked...

rgold wrote:
The Preserve also maintains a trained and equipped technical rescue crew. The personnel have to be paid, their training has to be paid for, and equipment has to be purchased and maintained. These are all expenses incurred because of climbing, so it is not unreasonable to ask climbers, who will be very quick to call for help when something goes wrong, to help defray those expenses. This at least partially explains why the Preserve charges climbers more than other users.


So any speculation why bikers also lumped into the climber's high fee category? They don't need rescue that I'm aware of... and I would think that point would negate the above argument.


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By rgold
From Poughkeepsie, NY
Nov 30, 2012
The traverse out to the Yellow Ridge on the Dogstick Ridge link-up.  Photo by Myriam Bouchard

I can't help with that one in terms of real knowledge, but fortunately only speculation was called for.

The might be insurance considerations. Given that large sections of carriage road have totally unprotected drop-offs, I'd guess the potential for lawsuits from bikers who go over the edge is considerable. And the rescue situation is not totally clear-cut. A few years ago, a biker went over a cliff at Minnewaska and died. Extraction would have required a technical rescue if the biker had lived and did, I think, involve a technical retrieval in any case.

Another potential source of insurance concerns when walkers and bikers share trails is pedestrian injuries, which then can be blamed on the Preserve for either allowing biking at all or else for failing to properly control biker's speeding.


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By Will S
From Joshua Tree
Nov 30, 2012

I ain't wading into the fee issues other than to say it is ridiculously high and one reason I much prefer other areas in the east.

Back to the OT, the climbing is pretty good, but there are many, many areas in the east I'd rate above the Gunks. Maybe for the 5.n00b contingent it can't be beat, but for people who can actually pull a little bit, it's good but not great.

You want roofs? Great rock quality? Anything in the cumberland plateau/cumberland mtn belt. Chattanooga blows New Paltz away from a climbing perspective. Same for WV.


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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Dec 1, 2012
Rumney

Rgold, damn you for reminding me of how horrible our society is/can be (not that I don't get daily reminders). There should be a penalty against those filing frivolous law suits. I know in my line of work there's an overhead for keeping a million in liability coverage. Can imagine that number would be higher for the Preserve, and yes legal fees suck. I'm sure if they weren't rolling in it one of the many climbing lawyers would handle those cases pro-bono.


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