Monday, September 13, 2010

Take A Hike!

The Alaskan Review

The National Park Service has recently proposed raising the rate to climb Mount McKinley by 250%, going from $200 to $500 for the 2011 climbing season. Also included in the proposal was a 60% raise in the cost of a permit to climb Mount Rainer. The fee, which is officially called the climbing cost recovery fee, is used to train climbing park rangers.

Both parks have separate funds for search and rescue that are federally funded and do not receive money from the climbing fees.

In a letter to park service Director Jon Jarvis, three climbing activist groups protested the increase at Mt. Rainer and the proposal to raise the climbing fee for Mount McKinley in Alaska's Denali National Park to $500.

In  the letter from the Access Fund, American Alpine Club and American Alpine Guides Association states the increases are "unnecessary and unfair."

The letter also states: "We fear that these added costs will make the unique mountaineering opportunities available at Denali and Rainier too expensive for many Americans..." the letter also argues that the Park Service is raising rates without an appropriate amount of public comment.


So how much is too much?

Are there other options?
Required climbers insurance to cover rescue costs?