Mt. Rainer Climbing Fee Increases to $43
Mt. Rainier National Park has announced that as of today, March 15, 2011, climbing permit fees will increase $13, to $43. Additionally, a new Annual Youth Permit for climbers under 25 (who make up approximately 5-10% of the annual 11,000 permitted climbers on the mountain) will be available at the cost of $30. Park Superintendent David Uberagua indicated that “this is the minimum increase required to sustain core management programs and services.”
The American Alpine Club has been in close talks with the park since an annual fee range of $43 to $58 was proposed in October 2010. After a series of public meetings, public comments, and discussions with the relevant officials within the Park Service, the Club supports the increase to $43 as being necessary to the continuation of a mountaineering program that is sound in its operations and provision of service.
“Park management has been very receptive to public comments,” said AAC Executive Director Phil Powers. “They have been crystal-clear in explaining the necessity of an increase—and how the money will be spent. The Club is also pleased that the relevant groups were able to settle upon an increase at the lowest end of the range.”
The fee increase is intended to “offset the impacts of 8 years of unfunded cost increases and fund the essential services and programs that directly benefit climbers and the upper mountain,” Uberagua said. Services and programs include: climber registration, the provision of route and safety information, up-to-date weather monitoring, the staffing of two ranger stations on the mountain, emergency medical and search and rescue services, the maintenance of human-waste disposal facilities on the mountain, climber education, environmental monitoring, and ranger training (to maintain high levels of competency in important skill areas).
The AAC worked in concert with the Access Fund and American Mountain Guides Association to lobby for a fair fee increase that would go directly toward these services that benefit climbers.
For further background on the fee increase proposal, the Club’s involvement in the process, the public comment period, and the public meetings hosted by the Park Service, please visit these stories on the AAC’s blog, Inclined:
January 25: Rainier: Climber Comments Needed
November 18: Denali and Rainier: Voice Your Opinion
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