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Mt. Whitney after Government Shutdown
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James VanDeVelde
(vandevej) - M

Locale: Central California
Mt. Whitney after Government Shutdown on 10/03/2013 09:48:24 MDT Print View

I have a permit for Mt. Whitney on Monday, and a reservation to camp at Whitney Portal Camp Sunday and Monday nights. Now hear that the camp just got closed due to Govt Shutdown. Does anyone know how far back from trailhead they might close the road? Is there parking prior if I just want to hike the trail, acknowledging that in an injury I am SOL?

Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Mt. Whitney after Government Shutdown on 10/03/2013 10:00:26 MDT Print View

I'm just speculating, but since Whitney Portal Store is there, my guess would be that they wouldn't gate the road. There is a gate about halfway down to Lone Pine that is used in the winter that they could close if they were going to block access, though.

Also keep in mind you could get a ticket from a ranger if they see you on the trail. I've heard a few stories of that happening in the last shutdown under Clinton.

John Kays
(johnk) - M

Locale: SoCal
Whitney Portal on 10/03/2013 10:33:07 MDT Print View

Aren't the rangers furloughed?

HK Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Rangers on 10/03/2013 10:42:41 MDT Print View

Aren't the rangers furloughed?

Not law enforcement rangers in general from what I've read. Guessing the national parks and national monuments (park service, forest service and BLM) are more heavily patrolled than plain old forest with many access points (again from what I've read in other states - YMMV).

ed:title

Edited by hknewman on 10/03/2013 10:44:32 MDT.

Billy Ray
(rosyfinch) - M

Locale: the mountains
Re: Mt. Whitney after Government Shutdown on 10/03/2013 10:45:46 MDT Print View

The overnight/hiker parking has nothing to do with the campground.

And I doubt they would gate the road because there are, no doubt, many cars parked there by people who are still in the backcountry that will need to drive out... though I suppose they could gate it with a ranger standing there to allow people to leave... seems doubtful if they are short handed due to lay-offs.

You can park on the side of the road anywhere that it is wide enough... that's what we do when the overnight/hiker parking is full... maybe 100 or 200 yards down from the trail head.

Bill D

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Mt. Whitney after Government Shutdown on 10/03/2013 10:46:52 MDT Print View

I will wager that you do not have a Mount Whitney permit.

You might have a permit reservation, but you do not hold the actual permit.

The Interagency Visitor Center only issues the permit form when you show up there the day before your hike. I guess the center will be closed, so I guess there will be no permit for you.

The Whitney Portal Road has been closed unexpectedly in mid-season before, and it will probably be closed again.

--B.G.--

Billy Ray
(rosyfinch) - M

Locale: the mountains
Re: Re: Mt. Whitney after Government Shutdown on 10/03/2013 11:04:55 MDT Print View

If there is any place they will have a ranger out to enforce a trail closure it will be the Whitney trail, I think, since it is the most popular trail in Inyo National Forest.

Bill D

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Mt. Whitney after Government Shutdown on 10/03/2013 11:13:16 MDT Print View

"If there is any place they will have a ranger out to enforce a trail closure it will be the Whitney trail, I think, since it is the most popular trail in Inyo National Forest."

How would you like to be the Inyo National Forest wilderness ranger with that job?

In one respect, it would be a great location for a job. In another respect, if that enforcement job must be done, the ranger better be packing a sidearm.

--B.G.--

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Re: Mt. Whitney after Government Shutdown on 10/03/2013 13:18:52 MDT Print View

BTW, business run in the parks are shut down in most cases - all the NP Inns are shut down by now. So don't assume a store will be open.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Mt. Whitney after Government Shutdown on 10/03/2013 13:27:11 MDT Print View

A business like the Mount Whitney Store is outside of the national park and outside of the wilderness area.

--B.G.--

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Re: Re: Mt. Whitney after Government Shutdown on 10/03/2013 13:39:15 MDT Print View

>"BTW, business run in the parks are shut down in most cases - all the NP Inns are shut down by now. So don't assume a store will be open."

LA Times: "One of the most jarring repercussions is the impending closure of 401 national parks that include Yosemite and Joshua Tree, among others.

"Anyone who's hoping to arrive, even for a day visit, would see gates closed and would be turned away," said Mike Litterst, a spokesman for the National Park Service. "There won't be any access."

Visitors already at park campgrounds or lodges will have 48 hours to leave."

Which leaves me (1) pissed that my lodging and hiking permit for Sunday in Yosemite are apparently cancelled (got an email from reservations.gov that my permit fee will be refunded but I'm kind of doubting they'll cover the airfare), and (2) wondering how the concessioners will be made whole. Acts of God, fires, floods, etc, are probably in their contract. The US House deciding not to pay their bills? Not sure that would have been in the contract with the Curry Company, Fred Harvey, or their modern equivalents.

James VanDeVelde
(vandevej) - M

Locale: Central California
Store and Campgrounds are closed on 10/03/2013 14:21:06 MDT Print View

From the Whitney Portal Campground Facebook, as of 9:25pm last night they learned they are to close all campgrounds on 10/3rd and all staff must vacate within 48 hours. So while the store is indeed a private entity, it appears that Marshall Law is in effect.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Store and Campgrounds are closed on 10/03/2013 14:52:16 MDT Print View

Correction. I don't think that he meant Marshall Law, and he didn't even mean martial law. That would be only if the military had taken control. The campground and store sit on national forest land, so the feds have the right to force a closure in special circumstances.

--B.G.--

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: Re: Store and Campgrounds are closed on 10/03/2013 19:02:27 MDT Print View

And if no one can go in the park, who is going to shop at the stores or stay in the hotels?

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Store and Campgrounds are closed on 10/03/2013 19:38:47 MDT Print View

Which park do you refer to?

This is the reason why there is suddenly a lot of advertising from the tourist businesses that surround the national parks. Tourists are not even going near many parks since they can't go in.

--B.G.--

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: Re: Re: Re: Store and Campgrounds are closed on 10/03/2013 19:55:48 MDT Print View

Honestly, probably all of them.

But I can't imagine the Whitney portal store would be doing much business if no one can get to Whitney.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Store and Campgrounds are closed on 10/03/2013 20:02:05 MDT Print View

The concessions inside the major national parks like Yellowstone and Yosemite are really put on the spot. There is a lot more money riding on tourist traffic.

The Whitney Portal store is small potatoes by comparison. Maybe they sell five fewer overpriced t-shirts and ten fewer burgers.

--B.G.--

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Store and Campgrounds are closed on 10/03/2013 20:58:18 MDT Print View

" Maybe they sell five fewer overpriced t-shirts and ten fewer burgers."

What are all those poor bears going to do for food? A lot of them aren't going to come out of hibernation next spring. :(

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Made their $$$ for the year already on 10/03/2013 21:18:26 MDT Print View

I'm thinking unlike normal retail stores that get into the black around Thanksgiving or shortly there after, that places like the Whitney Portal store have made their money for the season already. This would just be there slowing down time. They may just have to write off perishables if unable to freeze them.
Duane

Stuart .
(lotuseater) - M

Locale: Colorado Foothills
Re: Made their $$$ for the year already on 10/03/2013 21:34:37 MDT Print View

The same can't be said for towns around other NPs. Estes Park, CO was hit hard by the floods last month, and just as they were starting to get back on their feet for the influx of leaf peepers and elk bugling fans, the Fed shutdown closed Rocky Mountain NP. I heard today that approximately 350 jobs will be lost in Estes Park within the next couple of weeks.