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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Ventura Highway in the Sunshine
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    21,773

    The Ethics of Outdorr Recreation in Times of COVID-19

    In 61 years of life, much of it spent recreating out doors, hiking, climbing, ski touring, etc. I have never needed SAR or urgent medical attention due to said activity. But, with medical services potentially in a state of crisis is it wise and/or ethical to pursue such activities.

    One of the local guide services sent out an email saying they were suspending service to all non-locals to avoid bringing COVID-19 into the county. Shortly after they suspend all services. I thought it a bit odd that they would guide locals only. The tourist board from Mammoth just issued a statement basically saying all non residents to stay away (they never had a problem taking tourist dollars before.)

    I am not sure what the answer here is. I don't want to over burden local services, but I also don't want to be treated like I am nothing more then a profit center. Two different issues here, I suppose.

    I agree it is a constitutional right for Americans to be assholes...its just too bad that so many take the opportunity...
    iscariot

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    2,479
    Sounds like we are going tribal. Feeling more and more like hunger games huh?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    812
    People need to do what they can to fight this. For some of us, that means working in the hospitals. For others, it means working on a cure.
    For others, that means staying the fuck home so we won't spread this shit around. And for others, it means taking it easy for a few months so we don't risk injury and require a hospital visit.

    The main goal of the "stay the fuck home" directive is to keep our hospitals as empty as possible. That also goes for higher risk activities. Maybe take it easy on the MTB trails, keep it mellow. Going touring? Keep it mellow.

    But it's not like anyone would listen to anyone else in this world. We all just do whatever we want, and fuck everyone else right?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    685
    This piece is in line with my thoughts, at least at the moment: https://www.wildsnow.com/27828/shoul...g-coronavirus/

    There are responsible ways to do things that keep your level of risk not that much higher than walking around the block or going for a bike ride. Keep things spaced out, keep the skiing mellow. But it's not the time to go huck cliffs or ski the gnar or spend a week as a tourist in a small mountain town going to the grocery store etc. etc.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Behind the Potato Curtain
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    EMS volume nationally is anecdotally down, people don't want to be in an ambulance or the ER right now unless absolutely necessary. I don't think BC skiing is going to overwhelm EMS/SAR/Hospitals in mountain towns at the moment...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    cow hampshire
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    5,059
    Quote Originally Posted by snapt View Post
    EMS volume nationally is anecdotally down, people don't want to be in an ambulance or the ER right now unless absolutely necessary. I don't think BC skiing is going to overwhelm EMS/SAR/Hospitals in mountain towns at the moment...
    Well, we have a small local hospital where my friends' wife works and they had seven nurses out today. That is a lot for the size of the hospital. So think about other factors. Health care providers are homeschooling, dealing with sick kids...just normal cold stuff if not corona or they are sick themselves. It is just not normal circumstances anywhere with anything right now. The last thing small mtn towns need is an influx of kooks potentially getting hurt.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    the big dirty
    Posts
    700
    Let people get out ONE last weekend (or maybe that last weekend was Mar 21, 22) and then go full lockdown to put this virus to bed. I found some of the #stayhome messaging coming from people who were fortunate to be out all winter (and who also travelled internationally) targeting those who couldn't a little insensitive. Let people have one last fix.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Between a rock and a soft place. Aberdare and The Brecon Beacons, Wales
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    2,756
    If you're prepared to be at the back of the queue at a medical facility due to triage then go for your life.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    mlca
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    1,497
    They are not closing the resort on a powder day so the locals can ski. This is a worldwide pandemic. This is not about you. This is about us. Get it?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    50 miles E of Paradise
    Posts
    9,257
    Things are a little zany in Central Oregon. We have only eight confirmed cases in an area of 200K peeps spread over 8000 square miles. And about half of those people are concentrated in Bend. So we can distance ourselves from others fairly easily.

    That said,
    Shortly after Mt Bachelor closed there was a run on rental AT gear at all the stores in Bend. Nothing available now. So I'm staying out of the backcountry to avoid the GORGs.

    This weekend a sledneck from Arizona got himself stranded overnight, requiring an SAR callout. Found him the next AM, but fuck!

    And yesterday afternoon it took me like 10 minutes to turn left onto the main road in/out of our little 'burg. Lots of campers and RVs. It's normally not that busy except during Tourist Season.

    Great, people coming from the population centers to overrun our health system resources. We have 330 beds for a population of 200K in the three counties. Go shit in your own nest! I may need to display the sticker mntlion gave me that sez "why do they call it Tourist Season if ya can't shoot em?"

    I'm back to my mtb for exercise now. We have a nice 40+ mile system of single track on USFS land about two miles from the house. Was busier than shit yesterday but everybody was keeping good distance. I maintained distance by blowing snot rockets if anyone encroached on my "safe space".

    I'm taking the "check it before you wreck it" approach for a while since I spent the last year rehabbing a ruptured achilles, and certainly don't want to be in a hospital with sick people right now.
    Check Out Ullr's Mobile Avalanche Safety Tools for iOS and Android
    www.ullrlabs.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Eburg
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    13,302
    Yeah, keep it mellow and avoid any chance of an ER visit. Re getting outside, I don't see the issue if people are staying away from one another and not touching the same things. I did skin laps the past 3 days, everyone staying 10+ feet apart, usually more like 20+ feet. One of those days was with my MD/GP bud who opined that est. 100 people skinning spread over 500 acres was safer for the public than any behavior he had observed in Seattle public places. ETA: There were only 20 or so people spread over 500 acres yesterday.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    truckee
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    12,686
    Resort town governments and special districts are supported by property tax dollars. Many of the amenities in those towns--excellent rec programs, good snow plowing, good schools--are possible because of the property taxes paid by second homeowners who don't use a lot of services. To tell those people to stay away now is the height of hypocrisy.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Bethel, Maine
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    722
    Quote Originally Posted by skiitsbetter View Post
    Let people get out ONE last weekend (or maybe that last weekend was Mar 21, 22) and then go full lockdown to put this virus to bed. I found some of the #stayhome messaging coming from people who were fortunate to be out all winter (and who also travelled internationally) targeting those who couldn't a little insensitive. Let people have one last fix.
    In hindsight, the correct answer for that 'last weekend' was March 6-7. We screwed up by waiting until the following weekend to take this seriously on a widespread basis, and we're going to see the impact of that this week and next week.

    There are two related issues driving the current "please stay the f*** home" messaging (well, that plus the normal, and usually latent, dislike of interlopers even when they fuel your economy):
    1. Mountain towns generally have limited medical resources (ambulance services, hospital beds, etc.) and what surge capacity they do have tends to be tilted towards trauma (with more ortho specialists than respiratory, for example). In concrete numbers, the two hospitals near me have 25 beds each (total, not just ICU); that's for a county with a population of about 57,000, 21.7% of which is over 65 (2017 census numbers). I've seen statewide ICU numbers for Maine in the range of 150 total beds, with between 55 and 75 currently available. Our system makes the (implicit, if not explicit) assumption that many serious cases are going to get transferred out-of-area promptly. I doubt our numbers are all that different in proportion from many other similar-sized places.
    2. Our general population-handling capacity is tested by peak traffic (locals know not to try grocery shopping Sunday night of MLK weekend, for example) but generally does okay handling the 3000 or so full-time residents of this and our neighboring towns. Neither the grocery store, nor the pharmacy, nor pretty much any other part of everyday life is set up to handle twice that if a bunch of second-home owners decide to try to ride things out up here, especially with restaurants closed or limited to take-out.

    So both (1) and (2) mean please don't travel from there to come here, regardless of where "there" and "here" are or what you plan to do when you arrive (whether it's to hide in your second home or to go skiing or whatever).
    (1) means that regardless of where you are, you need to be mindful of the risks involved with whatever activities you are using to keep yourself healthy and sane.

    I didn't go skinning this weekend, despite bluebird skies, because the conditions were solid. I can ski that stuff (I've got a racing background and sharp skis), but the potential for a mishap goes way up compared to more friendly conditions. I probably won't go ski Mt. Washington this spring, because that would involve true alpine skiing with a lot of inherent risks that aren't present if I'm skinning up the street (plus it's a 30- or 40-minute drive, vs. a 10-15 minute one, so the geographic dispersion issues vary significantly).

    Your own personal decision-making may be different on which activities are reasonable, and we do each need to make our own decisions there. However, the "don't travel" part should apply to everyone, as the data makes it pretty clearly an important step to mitigate overall societal impact.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    Gaperville, CO
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    4,054
    Quote Originally Posted by snapt View Post
    EMS volume nationally is anecdotally down, people don't want to be in an ambulance or the ER right now unless absolutely necessary. I don't think BC skiing is going to overwhelm EMS/SAR/Hospitals in mountain towns at the moment...
    Anecdotally -- every SAR group in Colorado has basically put out a request for people to tone it down in the backcountry during this crisis. I think we should listen to them.

    Make conservative choices. Do everything you can to not end up in the E.R. while staying fit in mind and body.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    SLC
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    As always happens, the "stay at home" thing just turned into a new way for people to be self-righteous on the internet. I'm keeping my distance from others, minimizing my time in public, and I'm going outdoors in the same county I live in (and own a home in and pay taxes in etc), but you people who just wanna post online about #staythefuckhome and feel superior need to think about which hills you wanna die on.

    Also, and I hesitate to open this can of worms but why not. I'm a very left-leaning / science-believing / "we're all in this together" kind of guy, but I'm not wholesale abandoning my physical and mental wellbeing for an ongoing and unspecified period of time in the hope that it maybe will help. It's just not gonna happen, sorry. Keep the restaurants and bars closed, sporting events, whatever... I'll stay 6' away and shop only when I have to. But I'm not just gonna hole up in my house indefinitely and I really doubt that most people will either.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Posts
    73
    ^^^^ For sure.

    I haven’t ever died. But, chances are I will at some point.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Alpental
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    5,734
    I have been spending 6 days/week working on sars-coV-2. It was nice to get out and reflect a bit yesterday with some uphill social distancing.
    Move upside and let the man go through...

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Wasatch Back: 7000'
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    9,594
    Personally, much of my outdoor activity has been done either alone, or with few other people. Frankly, it is the reason I moved from suburban NYC to Park City. I think that the "stay home" thing is meant to be "stay away from other people". Right now, I think that we can recreate outdoors, alone, but we need to cut down on the risk factor. For me, any risky mountain biking, climbing, etc., is out. I continue to hike a lot, and will start skiing again when the mountain police and hoards thin out.
    A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both.
    ― Milton Friedman

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    1,424
    Seattle had beautiful weather all last week for the first week of the quarantine with rain coming today for the foreseeable future. Tried to get the kids out for a mellow hike on Saturday and there were ~300 cars at the trailhead with people everywhere. Not much social distancing going on. Turned around and found a much quieter spot I had never been with hardly any people. It's tough with most trails covered in snow. I expect crowds to be way down with the bad weather coming in.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    SWVT
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    40
    Quote Originally Posted by old goat View Post
    Resort town governments and special districts are supported by property tax dollars. Many of the amenities in those towns--excellent rec programs, good snow plowing, good schools--are possible because of the property taxes paid by second homeowners who don't use a lot of services. To tell those people to stay away now is the height of hypocrisy.
    Hopefully, the excellent rec programs know how to intubate.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Behind the Potato Curtain
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    3,491
    Quote Originally Posted by jackstraw View Post
    Well, we have a small local hospital where my friends' wife works and they had seven nurses out today. That is a lot for the size of the hospital. So think about other factors. Health care providers are homeschooling, dealing with sick kids...just normal cold stuff if not corona or they are sick themselves. It is just not normal circumstances anywhere with anything right now. The last thing small mtn towns need is an influx of kooks potentially getting hurt.
    Conversely we don't need mountain town's full of laid off workers being told not to recreate outside and inundating ER's with substance abuse and psych patient's when this pandemic lasts longer than anticipated. Covid patient's will either stay home or get transferred to big city ICU's. OD's and psych holds bog down ER's and clinics who can't just send them home and have to find them beds at already full facilities.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Sandy
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    1,887
    So much of this is risk assessment, something most of us are much more aware of than the general public. Sure, there was some risk in touring this morning, but I normally ski conservatively in the backcountry. My risk in getting the virus while touring by myself or with a partner is exponentially lower than even going to the grocery store right now.

    I'm working long hours in the medical lab field right now and staying mentally healthy is really important to me. Doing a little skiing the last couple days has gave my brain a little time to relax. Stress also affects your immune system.

    Also, put your tin foil hats on for this one. The government is telling us to stay home, do nothing, stress about the news, and get weak. Then what?

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Cruzing
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    9,813
    I have not seen any order to not recreate. There is some guidance on what that means and travel. The less travel the better. Period. Fresh air and exercise are essential. You having the time of your life is not. Find that balance. Don't be selfish right now. Avoid anything that lands you in ER or Urgent Care. Drive carefully.

    Ironically, lots of bad driving going on right now. And people walking down the middle of the street. Not a good combo.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
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    SLC
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    5,213
    Quote Originally Posted by snowaddict91 View Post
    Also, put your tin foil hats on for this one. The government is telling us to stay home, do nothing, stress about the news, and get weak. Then what?
    Real talk, lots of praise for South Korea's handling of things which involves their government GPS tracking every citizen and assigning them states like "infected", "suspected of being infected", etc. How many people want to sign up for this in this country?

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    812
    Quote Originally Posted by mall walker View Post
    As always happens, the "stay at home" thing just turned into a new way for people to be self-righteous on the internet. I'm keeping my distance from others, minimizing my time in public, and I'm going outdoors in the same county I live in (and own a home in and pay taxes in etc), but you people who just wanna post online about #staythefuckhome and feel superior need to think about which hills you wanna die on.

    Also, and I hesitate to open this can of worms but why not. I'm a very left-leaning / science-believing / "we're all in this together" kind of guy, but I'm not wholesale abandoning my physical and mental wellbeing for an ongoing and unspecified period of time in the hope that it maybe will help. It's just not gonna happen, sorry. Keep the restaurants and bars closed, sporting events, whatever... I'll stay 6' away and shop only when I have to. But I'm not just gonna hole up in my house indefinitely and I really doubt that most people will either.
    But, who's saying you can't do that? People are just saying to stay away from others and keep your phys. activity to things that are unlikely to cause injury.

    You don't have to actually stay inside your home. #staythefuckhome means don't take the family out to buy a new computer and shit like that. #useanappropriateamountofcautionwhenchoosingyourpe rsonalactivitiesbasedonthecurrentsituation, while a more accurate hashtag, simply uses up too many characters.

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