Do away with the tram!!!

General Palm Springs area.

Do away with the tram!!!

Postby tkvance » Fri May 04, 2007 10:58 am

Everytime I'm hiking up Mt. San Jacinto, (I've been to the top about 25 times) I'm beset by people who have taken the tram up the mountain. These are usually the folks who don't know what they're doing, don't respect the mountain, and really don't belong on the mountain. Next, we'll see an escalator going to the top.

Who's responsible for building and maintaining the tram, anyway? How do they get one on San Jacinto, but not other pristine nature areas (Yosemite, San Gorgonio, the Sierra, etc.....?)

I say, "do away with the tram". As a hiker, I know I'd appreciate it. If you want to get to the top, earn it.......
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Postby KathyW » Fri May 04, 2007 11:15 am

I personally like the tram - most of the people who ride the tram up don't leave Long Valley, so once you get away from the tram there aren't usually many people on the trails - especially in the winter. I think it's great to ride the tram up in the winter and head out into the wilderness to enjoy the snow.

I don't see typically see more people on the trails between Long Valley and Mount San Jacinto than I see on other popular trails in Southern California that don't have trams.
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Re: Do away with the tram!!!

Postby LAMike » Fri May 04, 2007 11:29 am

tkvance wrote: Next, we'll see an escalator going to the top.

Who's responsible for building and maintaining the tram, anyway? How do they get one on San Jacinto, but not other pristine nature areas (Yosemite, San Gorgonio, the Sierra, etc.....?)


:!: I absolutely agree with TK!
There should be an escalator from the valley floor up to the tram so you don't have to walk out after a long day... and we need to have a tram up to half dome in Yosemite!! ...afterall, it should be accessible to all the public, not just those stupid enough to risk their lives by climbing it!! :wink:

I'd also like to see stuffed animals on the trail so that more of us can enjoy wildlife sightings.
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Postby zippetydude » Fri May 04, 2007 11:57 am

I wonder if they could make something like those tubes at the bank drive thru - a tube that would suck you in and shoot you out the top . . . Whee! That would be great on Halfdome!

z
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Postby Perry » Fri May 04, 2007 12:18 pm

Granted, there are some negative consequences, but I think overall the tram raises awareness and appreciation for the wilderness, especially when children ride up. That's not the goal, however. It's designed to be a tourist attraction that indirectly generates revenue for Palm Springs businesses. It is run by the Mt. San Jacinto Winter Park Authority, but outdoor recreation is the least of their priorities. You'll notice the gift shop does not sell hiking, climbing, or camping gear, the cross-country skis really suck and should not be rented out at the adventure center, and they don't even have a bike rack at the valley station. It's possible they want to discourage sweaty people on the tramcars because it would turn off the tourists with the big wallets. That's my guess, because selling hiking and camping gear would definitely generate revenue to pay the bills.
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Re: Do away with the tram!!!

Postby Perry » Fri May 04, 2007 12:21 pm

tkvance wrote:If you want to get to the top, earn it.......


Most of the tourists think the tram is the top. :D Even when they look around and there's peaks that are higher.

It's probably the safest mountain I know of, but no mountains are really "safe."
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Do away with the tram.

Postby Cy Kaicener » Fri May 04, 2007 12:52 pm

If there was no tram there would be more rescues on Skyline than there is now.
When you get older your knees appreciate having the tram there. I remember when those hikers with packs had to be rescued near Flatrock. If the rescuers would have to have started at the bottom i doubt if it would have been possible. There is no water on the trail. The Sierra Club fought the tram for a long time but their hikers still use it. Nevertheless, I hope they (the tramway) dont expand their projects any more.
. Please visit my website at www.hiking4health.com for more information especially the Links.
http://cys-hiking-adventures.blogspot.com
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Postby marmot » Fri May 04, 2007 1:42 pm

perry thats funny,

most ppl do think that the tram station is the top, even when they see taller peaks around them. They think its the top because its the top of the tram station, and this makes it the top of the mountain. Its kinda like a ski lift going to "the top of mountain."
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Postby antler » Fri May 04, 2007 2:08 pm

Along the lines of KathyW's response above - aren't the number of people on the trail to Mt. San Jacinto regulated/limited by the number of permits issued? I don't know for sure but I'd guess that the number of permits issued for San Jacinto Wilderness is the same as for, say, San Gorgonio Wilderness.

Seems a tad elitist to not want people to hike (with permit) from the top of the tram to the peak. By the same reasoning you'd also not want people to be able to drive up black mountain road to the PCT and then into the Wilderness because they "didn't earn it". After all, that trailhead is only 1000' lower than the top of the tram. How much elevation gain and mileage does it take to qualify as "earning it"?

Seems that if you don't like the number of people up there, you'll need to limit the number of permits. I think no matter how tough a mountain is, you're going to get enough people to max out the permits on any given weekend anyway.
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Postby zippetydude » Fri May 04, 2007 2:10 pm

Good points by all, and I'm with Marmot, I appreciated Perry's observation about the tourists thinking they're at the top. :lol:

I'd say the tram definitely creates greater exposure, and therefore danger, to the wilderness area, but I also appreciate the fact that it doesn't directly damage it. And besides, Cy's right, old knees really appreciate the tram coming back down.

Now, if there's a project known for ruining a beautiful wilderness area that I'd like to see removed, it's that abomination at Hetch Hetchy. That's one campaign I'd love to see the Sierra Club win.z
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