Increasing crowds in the Back Country

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Increasing crowds in the Back Country

Just a general comment that the crowds have really begun to grow in the usual nearby backcountry places, increasing risk for all participants. On an early morning 7:30am tour today from Main Lodge at Mammoth to Deadman Pass and back again I expected to1-2 people max, as usual. This morning I passed a group of 4 (who were solidly equipped), and then met five snowmobilers (all carrying skis or boards onto the ridge), and then a large group, 10-12, most of whom had zero avi gear, making their way very slowly up to Minaret Vista and then to the ridge. While we worry a lot of about snowpack conditions, increasing numbers of inexperienced skiers sharply increases the risk for all participants. 

ski kind

Thanks very much for this information, wow, that's an impressive amount of people heading out that way!!  And I agree, that increases the risk for all.  It's great to see the increasing interest for back country travel, (well, that's of course debatable, a big reason we get out into the backcountry is to escape civilization and get a break from the crowds) ... but it is a wonderful thing to do for the soul of many.  We all started our backcountry experiences somewhere, and I think we need to be suportive of new folks while at the same time helping to educate them. ESAC is very supportive of The Ski Kind compaign which just started up this season, and has some great messaging.  Everyone, whether brand new or an experienced veteran, please check it out.  Let's all help each other be safe out there!

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