On the eve of this sites 15th birthday, an number of important changes have been made to the sites software to better your experience and help prevent SPAM. Cosmetic changes are still in the works, so please ignore any odd colors you may encounter and please report any errors you see. Thank you for a great 15 years! -DV.net Management

Packer that serves Panamints or other mountains near DV

Discuss 4x4'ing, Hiking, Backpacking, Camping
Post Reply
211Rob
Jayhawker
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2016 5:30 pm

Packer that serves Panamints or other mountains near DV

Post by 211Rob » Wed Apr 27, 2016 5:33 pm

Is anyone aware of a packer that services areas in or around DV? I know there are a lot over in the Sierra, but we're looking for someone would do spot trips in ideally the Panamints, or maybe Inyos or Whites. Mules, horses, burros, whatever.

User avatar
Candace_66
Death Valley Resident
Posts: 744
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2008 5:47 am
Location: Las Vegas

Post by Candace_66 » Thu May 05, 2016 6:36 pm

Good question! If I am ever to visit Panamint City, I would need either a human porter or a pack animal & wrangler to haul up the necessary camping gear for a multi-day stay! I could hike up there but not with all that weight.

211Rob
Jayhawker
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2016 5:30 pm

Post by 211Rob » Fri May 06, 2016 7:41 am

I have searched online since I posted this and can't find anything.

I dunno whether there are goat or llama packers that just let you take their stock up there; might not be enough feed.

Maybe one of those cargo carrying drones....

Another option is to hire a guide in training, if I could find someone. In other countries novice mountain guides can be hired to hump loads.

I was thinking of contacting Deep Springs College to see if they ever do any desert packing for hire. I know they drive stock up Wyman Canyon at least to the cabin there (at least I think they still do).

David_Bricker
PSR Fire Marshall
Posts: 779
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2006 10:54 am
Location: Upstate, NY

Post by David_Bricker » Fri May 06, 2016 6:34 pm

Also be aware that hiring guides for use in the national park requires them to be registered with the park, and to have permits, etc. Having pack stock also requires a bunch of permits, feed that guarantees no non-native seeds, etc. Perhaps this is a lot of reason why it's hard to find these services.

I am not aware of any such services, and have not heard of them in the past.

David Bricker / SYR

User avatar
Candace_66
Death Valley Resident
Posts: 744
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2008 5:47 am
Location: Las Vegas

Post by Candace_66 » Fri May 06, 2016 6:45 pm

211Rob wrote:I have searched online since I posted this and can't find anything.

I dunno whether there are goat or llama packers that just let you take their stock up there; might not be enough feed.

Maybe one of those cargo carrying drones....

Another option is to hire a guide in training, if I could find someone. In other countries novice mountain guides can be hired to hump loads.

I was thinking of contacting Deep Springs College to see if they ever do any desert packing for hire. I know they drive stock up Wyman Canyon at least to the cabin there (at least I think they still do).
Per the 2014, Superintendent's Compendium:

https://www.nps.gov/deva/learn/manageme ... endium.pdf

If you want to do a drone delivery, you'll need the Superintendent's permission (pg. 4). :lol: Thinking about parachuting in to Panamint City? Likewise, that requires a permit (pg. 13).

On pg. 13 there are rules about non-commercial pack animal use. BTW, they require that you bring all the feed (weed-free of course) with you.

Finally, on pg. 16, you're advised that commercial guided stock groups are not permitted in Wilderness. I'm looking at the NatGeo Trails Illustrated map, and going by that it appears the trail leads through a corridor and is technically not in the Wilderness. The Panamint City area itself is private property and also not technically Wilderness.

Not sure about using a hired human to do the packing. I would assume a pro guide (porter?) would require a permit of some kind. But that either isn't mentioned in the rules, or I simply overlooked it.

matmiss
Breyfogler
Posts: 124
Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2006 2:03 pm
Location: Ridgecrest, CA
Contact:

Post by matmiss » Sat May 07, 2016 3:05 am

To get to Panamint City, there's a little issue of the waterfalls at the beginning of the trail. Don't think even a burro could navigate those?

211Rob
Jayhawker
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2016 5:30 pm

Post by 211Rob » Sat May 07, 2016 8:55 am

Well looks like I can't skateboard into there either. Learn something new every day.

Commercial guided stock trips into wilderness are prohibited, so I guess I could still roll my own. Kinda don't understand that, as they as common as dirt in the Sierra wilderness areas. Guess they got grandfathered in. Even the NPS seems to allow them there.

I do rather have issues with that clause; Outside Mag had an interesting article about the canyoneers who were killed at Zion last September; it may be that an unintended consequence might be to make things more dangerous. But I guess that's another topic.

Shoulda thought of this years ago when I coulda just hired a passing burro....

User avatar
MojaveGeek
Death Valley Resident
Posts: 1805
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 5:22 pm
Location: Boston

Post by MojaveGeek » Sat May 07, 2016 4:26 pm

Well the Zion incident is off topic but... the OP brought it up.

I'm curious what "changes" are being considered to the Zion permit system. In order to prevent a tragedy such as happened, I can only think that it would have to be made more restrictive, i.e. more highly regulated, no?

It is a real shame that those folks died (and also the folks in Hilldale even though I disapprove of their religious practices) but.. they (than canyoneers) should not have been there. I have been in that slot. It drains a bowl which is small but is all rock. Every drop of water that flows is going to channel right in there. Yes it is sometimes really hard to let go of trip plans due to flash flood potential but it's a big gamble, and they lost.

The rangers cite to the NWS flash flood potential forecast, updated by any additional flood warnings that may bet posted during the day. It's always a good idea to watch the weather radar (which has decent coverage in that area out of Cedar City) to try to get a sense of what's coming from the other side of the mountains. You can also read the "scientific forecast discussion" which helps you understand the evolving weather systems at a bigger scale. Once you get in the slot, it's too late - it's often impossible to go back up stream and you can't see enough of the sky to have much warning.

The irony is that Keyhole is an easy slot which is often the first place noob canyoneers go on their own after they've taken courses offered by outfitters in Springdale. Guided canyoneering is not allowed in Zion. Is that perhaps what is being considered in terms of Zion canyoneering?

Anyway I don't think those canyoneers were novices, or at least only some among them were. A smart guide would not have gone in that day.
Would they have gone in on their own anyway?

Once guided groups get in as entrants to a limited pool of permits, though, things can get nasty in terms of competition.

211Rob
Jayhawker
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2016 5:30 pm

Post by 211Rob » Sun May 08, 2016 8:30 am

It kinda relates to guiding and permits and such.

The articles behind a pay wall, sorry. But it notes that Zion has one of the highest incidences of people needing rescuing. They don't really restrict canyoneering; just warn. These folks went by and got some warning, although they missed the more severe one. One in the group was experienced in canyoneering, and they had taken a class the day before. Otherwise they were just rather experienced hikers. As someone who's led novices over rappels, I can attest for how much that can slow down a party.

In US national parks guiding is treated more or less like any concession. In say Canada and much of the rest of the world, a certified ski or mountain guide can just take a client in. Not here in the US.

So perhaps rather than a pro guide, who'd maybe back off as you noted, you get an amateur guide, with VERY different group dynamics. I'm not saying it would have prevented this incident, but it would be safer overall.

But OTOH the parks in the US, being more heavily used, might get innundated with guides, no pun intended. And we have less of a tradition of pro guiding, pro ass'ns, certification, etc than many other countries.

Post Reply