Do away with the tram!!!

General Palm Springs area.

Postby magikwalt » Fri May 04, 2007 3:07 pm

Well if we follow the logic of "let them earn it" we could get rid powered everything. Heck the Tram has been here since before most of us even heard of Mt. San Jacinto. The impact that the visitors have on the wilderness area easy rather easy to see. look at the width of the trails the further you get from the Tram Station. Folks have been riding up there since 1963, 40 plus years, and the trails look better than others I've seen in the big parks.

If you're looking to get away from the people try the Santa Rosa Mountains. I've hiked out into those areas and never saw anyone. The very same people who ride the tram up, whether they care about the mountain or not, pay taxes and contribute to the area's support and finance. Additionally, I hope they love it enough to vote for future parcels of land being added to our state and national park systems.

I have to be careful everytime I'm hiking the lower Palm Springs trails due to the horse dropping that litter the trail. After finding out that most of the trails were developed by the local equestrian club I had to pipe down and give in to thier historical right to use "my trails".

Wow, that sounds about as close to being a Democrat as an old Republican can get. Now I'll have to spend the rest of the day reading George Will articles.
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Postby TomK » Fri May 04, 2007 10:29 pm

I remember when all I cared about was climbing. I thought hikking to the crags, was the wasted part of my day. Even repelling or down-climbing the walk-off, seemed a wast of time. Most of the climbers I knew, would not hike more than a mile or two for a climb. This mind-set lead me to think that anyone who was not climbing, was wasting there time in the out doors. I thought myself and other climbers were the only true outdoor nobility.

Now fifteen years later, I realize all those families camping with their childern, or folks traveling from other countries, were having just as enjoyable a time as me. Now I know even though their experience was very different form mine, it was just as valuable. I never even understood why they seemed so happy, as they took pictures of friends, or even strangers, while just standing in front of a waterfall.

Sorry folks. It took me a long time to mature. Not something I am proud of, but deffinitly an easy place to emotionally and cognitively grow from. I now think just being out of doors, and experiencing it form as many perspectives as possible, is truly the noble persuit.

My point here is a simple one. How many childern have experienced the mountains via the tram? And how many families have come together and spent memorable time together, via the tram? And how many of those, later learned to hike, pack, and climb?
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Postby tkvance » Sat May 05, 2007 1:12 pm

a lot of good points, but, sorry all, I think the argument that "Well, families can ride the tram and experience the wilderness" is a bit of a cop-out.......like those same families couldn't hike up Devil's Slide, Deer Springs Trail, Marion Mtn, or any other of the MANY trails and experience the outdoors? My first hike up in the area was when I was about 7 or 8, on Devil's Slide trail. We only made it to Saddle Junction, but heck, I thought I was on top of the mountain at that age!

Come on, the tram is a tourist attraction, like having a neon banner toward the top of the trail saying "Now open, come visit!"
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Postby AlanK » Sat May 05, 2007 2:49 pm

tkvance -- I sympathize with your sentiments, but no one is going to do away with the tram.

Come on, the tram is a tourist attraction, like having a neon banner toward the top of the trail saying "Now open, come visit!"


You are absolutely correct. This is completely true, and it is no accident. The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is a tourist attraction. It was always intended to be one. It was designed as one, it is marketed as one and it's tourists that keep it in business.

It the Tram were being proposed today, I would oppose its construction. However, it has been there for a long time and it is not going to go away. I enjoy it and will continue to do so. I consider it to be one of life's millions of compromises.

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.....?)


Yosemite Valley is hardly pristine. It is vastly more developed than My. San Jacinto, and it attracts vastly more tourists, cars, buses, trucks, construction equipment, etc. San Gorgonio was spared because it was designated as a wilderness area. That designation prevented the construction of a ski resort, which would undoubtedlt included a lift to the summit, or close to it -- there's some beautiful skiing there!
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Postby KathyW » Sun May 06, 2007 8:21 am

Exactly - the tram isn't going anywhere, so time and energy is better spent on other causes.

I certainly like to see beautiful areas that are privately owned conserved as long as the owner receives fair compensation for the sale of the property or the conservation easement placed on the property, but this is another topic.
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Postby TRumble24 » Sun May 06, 2007 12:00 pm

My love for the outdoors is a direct result of the Palm Springs Tramway. Growing up in the Palm Springs area (Cathedral City to be exact) I rode up the tram from time to time with the family when I was a kid, always fascinated by being at the "top" of the mountain, or so I thought. In elementary school we had a once a week "class" in desert biology at the mueseum and I remeber we hiked up the Mueseum Trail a bit and the instructor mentioned that you could take this trail all the way to the top tram station. I thought that was way cool, but it wasn't until my first trip to the peak of San Jacinto from the tram when I was in High School that I realized how much I loved the outdoors, and how I needed to do the Skyline trail.

All the reminiscing aside, without the tram I don't know if I would have ever discovered my love for hiking and the outdoors, my parents were not the outdoors type. My mom's idea of "roughing it" is when room service is late. So it's fine to say that families can hike into the wilderness without the tram, but I am personally grateful to the tramway for exposing me to the wilderness and kick-starting my love for all things outdoors. When it comes time for me to have children I will definatley be taking them hiking in the San Jacinto Mountains, from the tramway and from the Idyllwild side of the mountain as well.
"You may be a little cold some nights, on mountain tops above the timber-line, but you will see the stars, and by and by you can sleep enough in your town bed, or at least in your grave." - John Muir
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Postby tkvance » Sun May 06, 2007 3:57 pm

KathyW, I don't share your attitude. If everyone took that route, nothing would ever change........

Exactly - the tram isn't going anywhere, so time and energy is better spent on other causes.


Do you know of any good causes I could get involved in?
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Postby tkvance » Sun May 06, 2007 4:02 pm

AlanK, good point.
Yosemite Valley is hardly pristine. It is vastly more developed than My. San Jacinto, and it attracts vastly more tourists, cars, buses, trucks, construction equipment, etc.


I'm also of the opinion that traffic should be banned inside Yosemite Valley. At least most of the trail-destinations have to be hiked. (Glacier Point is a glaring exception....)
Can you imagine a tram going up the Nevada Falls Trail or Clouds Rest, though? It's crazy that one goes up San Jacinto!
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Postby zippetydude » Sun May 06, 2007 4:25 pm

tkvance: I'm with you on 99% of what you're saying, but the tram kinda fits in a curious way to me. It's nestled in a desert canyon, doesn't really obscure the view, and is relatively quiet.

I guess I don't see the tram as "cheating" any more than I see driving up the 243 to the Marion Mountain trailhead as cheating. It's 5.5 miles to San J from the tram, 5.3 from Marion.

Either way, unless you're certifiably insane like those crazy people who start from the museum in Palm Springs, you're choosing to do part of the hike instead of the whole mountain.

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Postby KathyW » Sun May 06, 2007 5:09 pm

tkvance - We all have the right to our own opinions. I respect your opinion on the tram eventhough it is different than mine. If demolishing the tram is your cause, please feel free to fight for it . I'll enjoy riding up and down the tram until you win your battle and the tram is taken apart.

Kathy

:)
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