So, how busy was it, really?

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lena_chita
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So, how busy was it, really?

Post by lena_chita » Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:51 am

Leading up to Rocktoberfest weekend, I had this conversation more than once:

Me: Are you climbing this weekend?
Other person: yeah, the weather looks good
Me: where are you heading?
OP: Oh, I dunno. Anywhere BUT the Red
Me: Why?
OP: you know, Rocktoberfest. It will be crazy-crowded. No, thank you.

I understand, to to each his (her) own. Not everyone wants crowds and party, not everyone thinks in terms of donation, volunteering, etc.

But my gut feeling is that people in these conversation were headed to other areas at the New, or Seneca, that were going to be JUST AS CROWDED as the Red on Rocktoberfest weekend. Because, let's face it, it is fall, it is good weather, every popular wall will be crowded.

I honestly did not think that the climbing areas, at least where I was, were any more crowded this past weekend than they would be on any average fall weekend with warm-ish temps and no rain in a forecast. I was in PMRP both Sat and Sunday. Speaking with a few friends who were climbing at other places in the gorge-- Military, Left Flank, Drive-by, Solar Collector, Darkside-- they did not feel that it was any more crowded than average fall weekend, either.

I am curious about the larger-picture though. There were people who came down specifically for Rocktoberfest, but it seems that there were also people who stayed away, specifically because of Rocktoberfest, so one trend kind-of balances the other...

Does anyone try to keep track of the numbers, such as number of cars in various parking lots around the Red? I know Muir Valley keeps track, but does RRGCC conduct any sort of periodic surveys in order to estimate the number of people climbing in PMRP on any given weekend?

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Re: So, how busy was it, really?

Post by JR » Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:29 am

I kinda disagree with your premise that the Red was less busy (or balanced out?) because of Rocktoberfest. I also disagree with the New being "just as crowded".

As to the number of Cars in parking lots. Not sure. Tons. Lots. Oodles.

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Re: So, how busy was it, really?

Post by Spikeddem » Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:55 am

When I was at the crag there were some Canadians that had come from the New. They said that 75% of the areas were closed due to the gov't shutdown. I wonder how it is there...

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Re: So, how busy was it, really?

Post by stix » Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:11 am

one of the busiest wkends in terms of cars i've seen in the southern region. tons of really shitty parking jobs and cars lining roads in places i've never seen. didn't really run into all that many people climbing though.
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Re: So, how busy was it, really?

Post by milspecmark » Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:20 am

The southern region was packed. Made is pretty hard to compete in the climbing competition because there were line for many of the routes. Many of the people had no idea about the climbing competition.

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Re: So, how busy was it, really?

Post by SpikySkaKid » Wed Oct 16, 2013 11:02 am

I also had that same conversation as I was trying to get people to go down last weekend. Several people said "it will be too busy." Unfortunately I didn't make it after all. Maybe next year.

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Re: So, how busy was it, really?

Post by lena_chita » Wed Oct 16, 2013 11:12 am

JR wrote:I kinda disagree with your premise that the Red was less busy (or balanced out?) because of Rocktoberfest. I also disagree with the New being "just as crowded".

As to the number of Cars in parking lots. Not sure. Tons. Lots. Oodles.
NO, I don't think the Red was LESS busy because of Rocktoberfest. But how many people who were at Rocktoberfest would have been down to the Red this past weekend, anyway, because they are down at the Red every weekend they can be?

I also don't think that New in it's entirety is "just as crowded". That is patently false. I said *popular crags* at the New. Do you really think that Kaymoor, Orange Oswald, Beer Wall, Tattoo Wall, Colliseum, or the Hole were significantly less crowded than Johny/Tectonic, Bruise Brothers, Gallery, Drive-by, Lode, and Sanctuary? Because I know that people who were choosing not to go to the Red for the reason of it being crowded due to Rocktoberfest were likely heading to these types of areas at the New.

My question I guess is impossible to answer because nobody is keeping track. I am just trying to speculate about how big a "blip" in crowds does Rocktoberfest create. Are there more people down for Rocktoberfest than there would be on a sunny weekend on October 26th? Or November 11th (this is another 3-day weekend for a lot of people).

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Re: So, how busy was it, really?

Post by toad857 » Wed Oct 16, 2013 12:43 pm

My estimate is that the number is 130-150% of what it normally would be on a comparable weekend in October.

The Webers may have data, but I suspect this year's numbers are inflated due to government shutdown.

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Re: So, how busy was it, really?

Post by lena_chita » Wed Oct 16, 2013 12:49 pm

toad857 wrote:My estimate is that the number is 130-150% of what it normally would be on a comparable weekend in October.

The Webers may have data, but I suspect this year's numbers are inflated due to government shutdown.
...or not, because some people might have chosen to stay away from MV on required-donation days.

I am guessing that if it were a record-breaking car number weekend at Muir Valley, we would have heard about it. As it is, we just heard that the donation amount was exceeding the estimated amount, but nothing about the car numbers.

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Re: So, how busy was it, really?

Post by dustonian » Wed Oct 16, 2013 1:21 pm

From what I heard, Muir was at or near capacity throughout the weekend. During my 3-1/2 hours of RF shuttle driving, I asked people where they had climbed that day (Sat). Somewhat surprisingly, an overwhelming majority reported Muir Valley... though of course this does not represent a unbiased sample of last weekend's climbers. Still, there is no doubt that RF fundraising benefits greatly from the crowds drawn by MV.

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Re: So, how busy was it, really?

Post by clif » Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:01 pm

dustonian wrote:there is no doubt that RF fundraising benefits greatly from the crowds drawn by MV.
no doubt, really? how do you know it's not the other way around?
training is for people who care, i have a job.

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Re: So, how busy was it, really?

Post by JR » Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:12 pm

clif wrote:
dustonian wrote:there is no doubt that RF fundraising benefits greatly from the crowds drawn by MV.
no doubt, really? how do you know it's not the other way around?
+1

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Re: So, how busy was it, really?

Post by dustonian » Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:16 pm

Well, for one thing the suggested donation to climb at Muir last weekend was just that, a suggestion... not the case for going to RF, as all these folks were doing. You would not believe the hordes of first-time, never-climbed-outside people I shuttled back and forth from Miguel's to RF... every single one of these people had going to Muir that day. For another, the amount raised by the one-weekend only fundraiser in Muir is a drop in the bucket compared to the money pulled in by RF weekend. No doubt the benefit goes both ways (thanks to the suggested donation policy), but the rising popularity and accessibility of Muir Valley significantly increases the amount of people attending RF. Most people are coming to the Red to climb, the Rocktoberfest events are just something additional to do at night if they happen to hear about it. The visitor levels in the Red will be no smaller for the next few weekends.
Last edited by dustonian on Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: So, how busy was it, really?

Post by clif » Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:21 pm

i'm sure you'd still advise people to get a second opinion.
training is for people who care, i have a job.

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Re: So, how busy was it, really?

Post by JR » Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:29 pm

lena_chita wrote: I don't think the Red was LESS busy because of Rocktoberfest.
I guess we can agree on that.
lena_chita wrote: I also don't think that New in it's entirety is "just as crowded".
Super.

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