It's so good to get back out on the mountain!
This year we're a month earlier than our historical start.. primarily due to the change in heavy visitation weekends... it keeps getting earlier and earlier!
We've been chomping at the bit to get going... and finally, the weekend arrived.
So this year we started... in the snow! And despite the slippery conditions, there were still plenty of visitors...
You know with a mountain as popular (in other words..crowded) as Old Rag, you see a lot of interesting things (read: destructive resource abuse) from visitors. Pooping and peeing right on the trail, breaking and pulling up plants, short-cutting switchbacks... vandalism of all types..lack of preparedness..... and basically non compliance with all of the principles of Leave No Trace (LNT) and in general most Park Service regulations that pertain to Old Rag Mountain.
Rarely, however, do the folks who are making the most impact leave their calling card.... until this weekend.
The good folks at the CAPITAL HIKING CLUB, I guess didn't get the word about all those pesky guidelines and regulations.. Showing up in several large buses... hiking in multiple LARGE groups, substituting (several) graffitti signs for adequate trip leadership..... I would expect much better from a prominant(?) hiking club.
I guess the blue blazes, the deeply rutted trail, and copious signage just aren't enough...