July 04, 2013

Should Volunteers Patrol the Backcountry?

M. John Fayhee, former editor of Mountain Gazette, and Alan Stark square off, with Fayhee taking the "It's not wilderness if someone's helping you get out of trouble" side, while Stark thinks that it is good to have someone out there being quasi-official and helpful.

Stark writes it, so he gives himself the last word:
Big Brother ruining people’s wilderness experience?

Nope. Volunteers watching our for people who might get in trouble.

But I also admit that the presence of an official person does impact your enjoyment of the backcountry. In point of fact that person is there to watch you and that fact alone is annoying to folks like Fayhee, maybe you, too.
Early commenters, however, are more on Fayhee's side, such as this:
If I want to climb a fourteener in the nude on a cloudy July afternoon, then I don’t want your volly buddies harshing my mellow. Seriously, stay in Boulder, and focus on your community, leave your advice in the city, and enjoy the Wilderness however you see fit.

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