Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Old Rag Mountain is Closed

During this, hopefully brief, period of time in which the government is closed for business, Shenandoah National Park, including Old Rag Mountain is closed to visitation.. Old Rag Mountain Stewards will not be on duty...nor will Shenandoah National Park rescue assets. Some sites on Facebook are encouraging visitation despite the closure (In particular, the Old Rag Mountain fan site).  We believe this is irresponsible for numerous reasons... with the primary concern being that of safety and accident response.

We encourage you to use good judgement and understand that you and you alone are fully responsible for your actions.


Anonymous said...

A little enormored with our own self-importance, eh? National Parks are closed. The mountains they occupy cannot be "closed" just because some bureaucrat says so. You're trying to treat Old Rag like Busch Gardens, and you're walking around with a "SECURITY" polo shirt.

But hey, you're the self-appointed "steward" so that must mean you have special authority on Old Rag.

Old Rag Mountain Stewards said...

Thank you for your comment. Actually our post was not out of any sort of enforcement issue at all, but rather one of quality of visitor experience.
(It's not just us.. you can read in ANY newspaper, that, indeed, the national parks are closed... WE are not responsible for the park closure.)

Funny but Old Rag visitation and the waiting lines in autumn, do indeed resemble Busch Gardens!(albeit Busch Gardens in the woods!)

Many first time hikers come out to the mountain, for their first hike... literally thousands of visitors on a given fall weekend day.Some are prepared, some are not. Some get hurt, some get lost. Most do not. (Read down thru the blog for a change... not just what makes you angry...)

Our concern is for those few to whom something does happen. With no resources in place, it could result in a very tragic experience both for the visitor, the park and the surrounding communities.

Better yet, join us and see first hand from where our concerns originate! We love the mountains just like you do... maybe more.

Anonymous said...

I am not affiliated with ORMS or NPS, however I feel a few points in Anonymous' post should be addressed.

1. Yes, in fact National Parks are closed. ORMS did not close Shenandoah NP, your congressional representatives closed it. SHEN is a government-managed landscape, and as much as we may disagree with some policies, there are trade-offs for recreating in a managed-land such as SHEN. It would be awesome if you could hunt deer in SHEN - but you can't. Blatantly ignoring the laws put in place by land managers not only compromises your health and safety, but it also makes the jobs of people who manage the landscape as a profession much more difficult.

2. Everyone who uses SHEN and Old Rag owes a debt of gratitude to ORMS and similarly like-minded organizations. Due to the short-sighted funding decisions made by our congressional representatives, these organizations fill the gaps and provide services that NPS simply can't, because they have limited funding and personnel. You will be glad to have ORMS around if you are there and break your leg. If you think the evidence of heavy use seen on Old Rag is bad now (and you should), imagine what it would be like if volunteer groups were not around to do seemingly menial labor, like removing the trash left behind by uncourteous users.

3. Actually they do have special authority - you know those spots on the upper lot that say "Mountain Steward Parking" - those are there so that it is easier for them to pull people off the mountain who get into trouble.

4. What does "enormered" mean?

Anyways, thanks ORMS for making Old Rag a more pleasant experience.

Bob Look said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

when is the old rag going to be open again? how to find out? many government workers start again today, it is Thursday, but what about np?

Old Rag Mountain Stewards said...

see our last night's post!