Philmont Trek Length
golden cliff (email@example.com)
Mon Apr 06 18:53:18 1998
> > If Philmont shortened treks to say, 10 days, that would allow about 600 more
> > hikers. Because that only opens up 2 arrival days at the end. If Philmont
> > added 10 more arrival days (impractical because current school schedules
> > would not allow for enough participants or staff) that would only give space
> > to 3,000 more hikers.
If Philmont shortened the treks to 9 days, 7 on the trail and 2 in base,
then extended the season from 60 arrival dates to 70, it would be possible
to increase Philmont opportunities to 31,500 campers. Possible dates
could be June 8 to August 16 (currently June 11-Aug 9 for year 2000).
Currently they allow 300 arrivals each day for a 12 day program. That
puts the base camp population at 600 campers (300 arriving, 300
departing), with a trail population of 3,000 campers, (300x10) during the
height of the season.
If they increased arrivals to 450 campers/day that would increase the
base camp population to 900 (50% increase), while barely affecting the
backcountry population, bringing it up to 3,150 campers (5% increase)
because of the shortened trek duration (450x7).
Of course that would require a major build-out at base, and increased
number of rangers and starting camps.
It would also mean less program opportunities on the trail and seeing
less of the ranch on a 7 day trek as compared to the 10 day trek.
But, it would also mean opportunities for an additional 13,500 campers/year.
Current 12 day Program Proposed 9 day Program
Arrivals/day... 300 campers Arrivals/day... 450 campers
Base Camp...... 600 campers Base Camp...... 900 campers
Trail..........3000 campers Trail..........3150 campers
Arrival days....60 Arrival days....70
Arrival Dates...Jun 11-Aug 9 Arrival dates...Jun 8-Aug 16
Closing day.....Aug 21 Closing day.....Aug 25
Total Campers...18,000 Total Campers...31,500
Which would you rather see; 31,500 get a 9 day opportunity, or 18,000 get
a 12 day opportunity with another 13,500 missing out entirely? That's the
question you need to ask yourself.
Philmont started with the base camp located at Ponil, then moved to the
present location. Base Camp has been enlarged with several additions over
the years. The base camp that I first saw in 1970 doesn't even remotely
resemble the present day one. We need to keep up with the needs of today.
If we respond to the large demand of Philmont slots in an intelligent way,
then we must find a balance between supply and demand without compromising
on the environmental impact of the backcountry. By shortening the time on
the trail, we can give that backcountry experience to thousands of
additional boys with barely increasing the backcountry camper population.
How much of an experience can you get from Philmont in 9 days? Just ask
anyone who has participated in an 8 day Cavalcade program or a Mountain
Man program. You can get a great Philmont experience in that span of time.
By each camper sacrificing 3 days, they can make room for thousands more.
I think it's time for a change.
What do you think?
YIS, Cliff Golden
Scoutmaster Troop 33/Advisor Post 333; DeKalb, Illinois
Three Fires Council BSA