So, how busy was it, really?

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Re: So, how busy was it, really?

Post by JR » Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:32 pm

Nice try Dustonian.

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Re: So, how busy was it, really?

Post by dustonian » Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:36 pm

Not a "try" just an honest assessment of the majority of visitors I talked to on Saturday night: they came to the Red to climb at Muir, and happened to go to RF as well... just an observation. I think it's great that both organizations benefit in some way from the obscene popularity of climbing in the Red in the fall. I also think it's great that the madness is easy to escape if you know where and where not to go.
Last edited by dustonian on Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: So, how busy was it, really?

Post by JR » Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:37 pm

dustonian wrote: No doubt that RF fundraising benefits greatly from the crowds drawn by MV.
then
dustonian wrote:No doubt the benefit goes both ways
Let me guess your next post.

"No doubt that MV benefits from RF"

That about covers it.

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Re: So, how busy was it, really?

Post by Andrew » Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:38 pm

lena_chita wrote: 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.
Didn't you climb at Miller? Not everyone gets an invite in to the super cool kids club and gets to climb at super secret crags on the busiest weekend of the year.
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Re: So, how busy was it, really?

Post by dustonian » Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:39 pm

Dude parking at Miller was crowded Sat!! It was weird lookin.

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Re: So, how busy was it, really?

Post by qmhill » Thu Oct 17, 2013 9:38 am

dustonian wrote:Dude parking at Miller was crowded Sat!! It was weird lookin.
So true. Though the crag was very peaceful and in no way crowded. Good day.

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Re: So, how busy was it, really?

Post by lena_chita » Thu Oct 17, 2013 11:13 am

Andrew wrote:
lena_chita wrote: 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.
Didn't you climb at Miller? Not everyone gets an invite in to the super cool kids club and gets to climb at super secret crags on the busiest weekend of the year.
I didn't climb there on a WEEKEND. I went there on a weekday.

Weekend was PMRP on both days.

Saturday-- comp, I climbed at Shady Grove, Playground and Left Field.

At Left Field we spent maybe 30 min at the very beginning of the day. There was a group of 6 on the 5.5, and some people walked past us, that's about it.

At Shady Grove I ran into 3 other competitors (plus one dedicated belayer). I was also with a non-competing partner. That is 6 people. Not all 6 were there the entire time. One group of 2 came, climbed one route and left. Another party of two came, climbed every single route at Shady Grove in the time it takes people to do two routes, and left (you can guess who THAT was, LOL). There was also a group of 5 people who were just visiting the Red for couple weeks from Utah, and did not know anything about Rocktoberfest. And when my partner and i were leaving, two other groups came in, 2 people and 3 people. That is a total of 16 people at Shady Grove for the ENTIRE DAY. Even assuming that they all were there at the same time, that wouldn't be the biggest crowd I had ever seen in Shady Grove. Heck, on some days it looks like there are that many people on Crucify Me and Girls Gone Wild alone.

At Playground we spent maybe 1.5 hours total. There was a rope on the slabby 9 or 10, and a rope on 10b, both set up by the same group of maybe 6 people. I also ran into another group of 3 and a group of 2, 3 of these people were competing, two were just belaying. Add in my party and the 7-min-a-route party, and we are talking 15 people, again, not everyone being there the entire time, and most routes being empty and open. I certainly have seen weekends when every single route at Playground was busy, and people were stacked 5 deep on that ledge.

The entire day, I had to wait for one route only, and it was maybe a 10min wait that I had welcomed as the chance to eat something.



Saturday I was at Curbside helping with a clinic. The clinic had 10 people, + 2 instructors, +guide+ me. That is 14 people. But we only had 2 ropes up at any given time. Other than our group, there were only two parties (2 people and 3 people) who stopped by in the entire time we were there. The group of 2 left by the time the group of 3 came by. I don't have a good sense of how many people would be at Curbside on an average day, because I have only been there maybe twice before, and that was a few years ago. But excepting the clinic, 5 people is hardly a crowd.

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Re: So, how busy was it, really?

Post by Andrew » Thu Oct 17, 2013 11:48 am

Just trying to rustle your jimmies
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Re: So, how busy was it, really?

Post by lena_chita » Thu Oct 17, 2013 12:32 pm

dustonian wrote: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.
I think the majority of people coming to the Red are coming to THE RED, and not any particular crag. It is no doubt that Muir Valley, having a large share of easy climbs, and a general atmosphere of nicely-groomed, well-labeled, easy-to-orient-yourself place draws a disproportionately-large crowd of new climbers throughout the year.

However, I thought that last year the argument was that the Rocktoberfest draws in a crowd of people who then disproportionately choose to go to Muir Valley, and this was the reason for MV's suggested-donation policy over this past weekend.

In my mind, there is no doubt that, in terms of fundraising, it is a mutually-beneficial situation.

But IMO there were a lot of competing considerations in terms of where people decided to go this weekend, and not all of them accurate. I have heard the following statements (without judging the merits or the accurateness of these statements, simply saying that i had overheard it.)

--PMRP is closed this weekend, there is a comp on Saturday, and clinics on Sunday, and Northern region is closed, because of the government shutdown, so we are going to Muir Valley
--Muir Valley is charging $10/person this weekend, and we already went there yesterday, so today we are going to go to Phantasia
--I am not going to Muir Valley this weekend, they are charging money, and PMRP is going to be busy, so I am going to the Zoo
--You can't go to PMRP, unless you have a 4wd, so we are going to Muir Valley.

Seems like a lot of confusion! I had done my share to correct the factual errors when I had heard these statements, but it is amazing how much crap is floating around.

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Re: So, how busy was it, really?

Post by lena_chita » Thu Oct 17, 2013 2:49 pm

Andrew wrote:Just trying to rustle your jimmies
I am not in the cool-kids club yet. All the cool kids have Infirmary topos.

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Re: So, how busy was it, really?

Post by clif » Thu Oct 17, 2013 3:15 pm

i believe the original announcement has been edited, maybe not, pretty sure there was more to it than just a link. but i do not recall any element of 'suggestion' in this year's MV/rocktoberfest related policy pr releases, and as a donation has always been 'suggested'.
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Re: So, how busy was it, really?

Post by Josephine » Thu Oct 17, 2013 3:40 pm

lena_chita wrote:
dustonian wrote: I have heard the following statements (without judging the merits or the accurateness of these statements, simply saying that i had overheard it.)

--PMRP is closed this weekend, there is a comp on Saturday, and clinics on Sunday, and Northern region is closed, because of the government shutdown, so we are going to Muir Valley
If you (or anyone else) EVER hear the statement "PMRP is closed" please correct the person who believes this. It has never been closed for road maintenance, for trail work, or for any other reason. Thanks for your help with this :-)
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Re: So, how busy was it, really?

Post by dustonian » Thu Oct 17, 2013 3:44 pm

Misquote... I didn't write that. Nonetheless, I do know that a very large number of people choose to go to Muir not only because of the easy routes but also because parking is safer, the road is better, and they don't want to take the risk of driving down to the PMRP with a nice car and big load of camping stuff/laptop/etc. Probably a wise choice from a statistical standpoint anyway.

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Re: So, how busy was it, really?

Post by lena_chita » Thu Oct 17, 2013 4:45 pm

dustonian wrote:Misquote... I didn't write that. Nonetheless, I do know that a very large number of people choose to go to Muir not only because of the easy routes but also because parking is safer, the road is better, and they don't want to take the risk of driving down to the PMRP with a nice car and big load of camping stuff/laptop/etc. Probably a wise choice from a statistical standpoint anyway.

Why does it always have to become a Muir vs. elsewhere argument? People choose where they go for various reasons. Having a dog. Driving a Prius. Wanting to work on a specific project. Wanting an optimal grade spread for their group. Hiking distance. Worry about the car break-ins, etc.etc..

All I want to know is an estimate of total number of climbers in the gorge, regardless of where they decided to go climbing, and for what reasons. Since Muir Valley is the only place that tries to keep regular counts, the Muir Valley car/climber counts would be a starting point for an estimate, but that's all.

I think we all agree that number of climbers in Muir valley is generally proportional to number of climbers in the gorge, e.i. a busy weekend in Muir Valley is a busy weekend in the entire gorge. And assuming that the ratio is constant throughout the year, and this past weekend didn't affect the ratio due to special circumstances, the Rocktoberfest weekend was a busy weekend for sure, but not THE BUSIEST record-breaking weekend of the year, or of several past years. Which is the argument I am trying to make, in terms of convincing someone that Rocktoberfest weekend, while busy, is not that much busier than, for example, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving or spring break.

The question is, what is this ratio? Would it be fair to say that 1/3rd of the climbers who come to the Red on any given weekend will go to Muir? 1/2? 1/5th?

Of course it is possible that the ratio between climbers in Muir Valley and total number of climbers is not constant throughout the year. It is possible that Muir Valley draws a higher percentage of total climbers in hot summer months, on spring break, on long weekends, because newer climbers are more likely to come with their college climbing clubs, or during summer vacation season, or during longer weekends. But it is just speculation, because there are no numbers to analyze...

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Re: So, how busy was it, really?

Post by clif » Thu Oct 17, 2013 4:57 pm

if i dressed up like a bear would you want to see me twerk?
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