Apologies for the distress I may have caused by not fulfilling orders over the last month. I'm based out of MT this summer (where all the BPL school courses are being run out of) and unfortunately I don't have any friends in town who owe me favors like I have in CO, which is how I managed to still fulfill orders back in Feb & March while I was on the Hayduke and Grand Canyon Traverse for a month.
I finished my big AK trip yesterday (lots of epic stories but I'll save those for another post or trip report) and am shipping mapsets again for anyone who wants one. I've updated the shipping dates on my website too to reflect some changes in my schedule.
I was interested in reading the comments on the implications of my mapset being available. I agree with those who have some concerns about what the lack of a "barrier to entry" will do to the SHR -- it's not going to become the JMT anytime soon, but I think there defintely will be an increase in traffic on the route. I'd be interested in hearing whether that ends up being the case from those who are out there this summer -- let me know. I suppose the question for me in making the mapset available was, "What is the societal cost of making the mapset available versus the societal benefit?" And I concluded that overall it's a net gain for the hiking community -- the SHR goes through some awesome country and I'd like more people to see it, in the hopes they value it more, and are more willing to fight for the protection of those areas and areas like it. The SHR is through a well protected corridor but there are still many environmental issues that affect it (e.g., climate change) and other areas connected to this corridor. Moreover, given the declining level of backcountry engagement (i.e. more people day-hike now, but far fewer backpack), I am hoping the mapset is able to reverse some of this unfortunate trend.
The other sentiment I heard was the "I call it doing your homework" feeling. I agree with this one too -- I personally thoroughly enjoy this aspect of trip planning and believe that it makes a trip ultimately more rewarding. But, again, this time commitment is essentially a tax on usage, and I'm hoping the mapset reduces it. If someone still wants to prep for the SHR "the old-fashioned way," they certainly don't need the mapset...but, I'd offer the suggestion of getting the mapset, doing the SHR, and then spending the time you would have spent on SHR prep on prepping for a route that has no guidebook or mapset!