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American Alpine Club and proposed Mountaineering Fee Increases

Climbing Mt Rainier and Denali are going to cost more. 

I’m not necessarily opposed to the fee increases of any park, forest or wild area. Our parks do not have enough money to operate and prying that money of Washington DC or a state capital is impossible. There is a threat to put oil and gas wells in Colorado State Parks to increase funding. However, I think the AAC has good points. The fee increases are too high in both cases.

  • What do these fees actually provide for climbers? Do climbers really want and need this level of service, law enforcement, and rescue preparedness?
  • Everyone is searching for ways to do more for less in this world. Are there ways to deliver programs similar to the current programs at a lower cost?
  • High fees (Denali is proposing $500) discriminate against climbers with less economic means.
  • The main attraction in each of these Parks is a very big mountain. Knowing that people are climbing these peaks can inspire—and therefore benefit—all visitors. Should costs be covered by increasing the entry fee for all visitors by a much smaller amount?

I’m not a fan of the last one. I think that climbers should pay for themselves and people with cameras who just want to look should pay for themselves. I don’t believe that people who never want to climb a mountain should pay for those of us who do. That does not justify all of the fee increases.

However points 1 and 2 of the AAC list are very valid.

If you want to contact the parks or make a comment see:

Denali: Public Comment Information

Rainier: Public Comment Information

To read the AAC article see: Denali and Rainier: Voice Your Opinion. For more information see Denali Nat. Park Fee Increase.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

 
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