Trawling the net the other day, I came across a post about a backcountry ski location that the author wanted to share – well, sort of…
“Out of deference to the friendly locals,” he wrote, “we’ll not publicize the exact location.” He then posted a series of inspiring pics. But what really caught my attention was the discussion that followed.
“Way to keep your mouth shut…”
“…stoke without being a tattletale.”
It goes on from there, but it brings up an interesting point: should we share secret backcountry places? Or does publicizing them through blog posts, tweets, Facebook – or other social media forums, create a rush that crowds the very isolation that drew us there in the first place?
I had a similar discussion with an outfitter on Utah’s Green River. His plate was full and he didn’t see the “need” to publicize the adventure any more.
I argued that the Green River was hardly a hidden destination and that because permits were required for the lower section in Canyonlands National Park, there was already a limiting device that would stop overcrowding.
I ended up going with another outfitter, had an amazing trip, and wrote a couple of articles about it all.
That being said, there are many places that I don’t write about – and it’s not because they aren’t worth it. You see, I also jealously guard the crown jewels – those backcountry experiences that would be forever changed if they became too popular.
But I’m always wondering, is that really necessary? There are lots of people who just enjoy reading about outdoor adventures – knowing quite well that they’ll never get out there. There are those people who’d like to get out more, but time, money and effort are common constraints. Why not share the joy of the experience?
Hmmm… okay… but maybe not all of the best places. After all, working to get there deserves some reward!
What’s your take on sharing backcountry jewels?