Will Wood (Zpacks) is off to the OT soon

Discussion specifically about the Overland Track should be posted in this subforum, including side trips and the Cradle Mountain day walk area. Alternative access routes and connecting routes belong in the parent forum.

Re: Will Wood (Zpacks) is off to the OT soon

Postby South_Aussie_Hiker » Thu 22 Feb, 2018 8:24 am

Hang on a minute...

They haven’t done anything wrong. We might frown upon off track camping in sensitive areas, but it’s quite obvious they may have not had that level of detail or understanding of the sensitivity of the plants where they were.

They ran into a ranger on the way up who gave them advice about where on the summit to put their tents!!

If you watch the gear list video, Will talks specifically about his drone for filming. He did the research and found that drones were not permitted in the national park, and with great disappointment did the right thing and left his drones at home. He also showed his rubbish bag in his gear run down, and obviously did his reading and was carrying everything out.

Cut them some slack. I hardly think the place is now going to be over run with thousands of American tourists.

If we want camping on Ossa banned, well then we should be campaigning Parks for that to occur - not hanging sh** on people who, from where I sit, seem to have made an effort to research and follow the rules.

What does it matter to us if they choose to walk the entire track in four days? They paid their money and walked it how they wanted to - good on them!
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Re: Will Wood (Zpacks) is off to the OT soon

Postby weeds » Thu 22 Feb, 2018 10:59 am

I haven’t watch the whole clip yet.....

When we did the OT I was planning camping on or two nights away from huts......but seeing how pristine the park was we decided to camp at the huts.

I did agree that that haven’t broken any rules and in the prep vid they had done some research.

Although even if I was ultra light I wouldn’t have done the track ultra quick like they did.


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Re: Will Wood (Zpacks) is off to the OT soon

Postby Nuts » Fri 23 Feb, 2018 5:29 am

I like 8 days, a night at either end. Each to their own.

Camping there required neglect of minimal impact. Broadcasting the fact, contributing damage that others can do, is irresponsible..

I skipped the ranger meet (thankfully) and saw them on Ossa. If they did indeed get permission before heading up then there we have another, bigger, dilemma. If this was the case most of the blame can shift to highlight the inadequacy (neglect, irresponsibility) of this ongoing 'sustainable' tourism strategy.

Rangers to direct you where to camp on Mt Ossa, arguably the most tourism-sensitive peak in the country? Really??
would Will?, Will will. :roll: (sorry this topic is most spooky, thick with comedic irony... yet not at all 'funny' :? )

No education, no wag bags, impact passe'? and eventually an excuse for more infrastructure- everywhere.

PS. We have dredged through this issue before on the forum, the captions were removed from (mere) photo's to align with the website rules for fragile places.
"The guides are all complaining there's mobile reception and hot showers," Godfrey laughs.
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Re: Will Wood (Zpacks) is off to the OT soon

Postby crollsurf » Fri 23 Feb, 2018 7:49 am

They did nothing wrong. The Ranger said it was OK and I'm sure they know and practice minimal impact so give them a break. We should all walk with our own values and if someone isn't breaking any rules, just let them be. When possible, I carry a bag to pick up rubbish but it doesn't mean everyone has to.

As far as the video is concerned, I thought it was great but for me, it's convinced me I never want to walk the OT. It's too sanitized for my liking and I know there are plenty of equally good walks in Tassie. That could also be a reason why they rushed it somewhat. The scenery is spectacular in places but the track looked quite boring overall.
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Re: Will Wood (Zpacks) is off to the OT soon

Postby bobcrusader » Fri 23 Feb, 2018 7:56 am

The 'Ranger' might simply have been the contractors building the path in that area. They would not have known the difference. The ecosystem on top of Mt Ossa is too fragile to support camping - it needs to be explicitly banned. Otherwise, it was nice to reminisce, even if they didn't visit Lake Will or any waterfalls or catch a sunrise from New Pellion Hut, etc...
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Re: Will Wood (Zpacks) is off to the OT soon

Postby Orion » Fri 23 Feb, 2018 11:32 am

The same night those guys were on Mt. Ossa I was on a neighboring peak. Like them my tent was not on a hardened surface. I felt weird about that because in the U.S. I virtually never camp on grass or other vegetation.

I've seen photos of others camped similarly where I was (there's even a photo in Chapman). I suppose the argument is that it is a much less visited place than the top of Mt. Ossa so any damage is less of a problem. But I wonder how many people on the OLT are going to try and camp on Mt. Ossa. This whole thing may be an overreaction to something that we imagine could happen. I know there's a certain amount of hostility toward the type of trip they did, to what people think it represents.
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Re: Will Wood (Zpacks) is off to the OT soon

Postby Warin » Fri 23 Feb, 2018 12:14 pm

Orion wrote:I know there's a certain amount of hostility toward the type of trip they did


If they did the 'same as us' it would be accepted. :evil:
And the world would be a boring place...
Guides are simply that .. they are not rules.

Reminds me of the song "little boxes, all made out of ticky tacky, and they all look just the same"

:roll: For 'my' OT .. I'm thinking of some 24 days... I suppose some will not accept that either. Tough.
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Re: Will Wood (Zpacks) is off to the OT soon

Postby Nuts » Fri 23 Feb, 2018 12:29 pm

I'm not sure that's hostility? not what others would choose? they were passed by people doing the track in less than 8 hrs.

There is an obvious campsite, and a single obvious water source. This is used by many Overlanders. People poo among the rocks, all draining to one point. Iv'e cleaned up fire scars from those trying to burn 'dead looking' vegetation. At most of the old 'betweener' campsites the water was undrinkable before anything was done. I'd agree, probably still not many campers, perhaps, then there seem to be more people wanting a faster walk through. And as has happened, there is little responsibility taken (nothing should stand in the way of upsetting a cashed up visitor).

As much about the attitude, to me. I did watch back some and they didn't say (on Mt Doris) that the ranger gave them permission, maybe some other place?
Not that the park staff would likely have any choice if asked.

He could very well have given them advice about camping. If they had to do so then have a polite discussion about leaving no trace, hand them an optional wag bag even. Not even necessarily for this place alone, but it is often a first (big walk) and the attitude is fast tracked to be mimicked across our state, on lots of peaks. The reaction will be platforms and toilets, one at Pelion Gap, one on top? is Pinestone Valley flagged for the second set of huts? No idea. Perhaps todays kids will decide this based on what they already find, left for them. It's a no brainer. We want this everywhere?

If I could think of a similar, singular, popular US walk, Orion? I'm sure, with all the regulation, the fees and booking package, I'd quickly wonder if I could camp on that peak, did they ask anyone? Were they met with a resounding or tentative 'yes', at what stage did they choose to ignore, not sure on any of these things. He seems like a good fella.. shrug. Foottrack, earlier offered a palatable response. If nobody, at least, tried to steer them clear of camping at this place then it's on them. The actions have the same outcome despite apologists (or grumps), the place pays.
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Re: Will Wood (Zpacks) is off to the OT soon

Postby FootTrack » Fri 23 Feb, 2018 1:40 pm

Given the far-reaching potential of social media, the high visitation to the area, and large number of people who are likely unaware of the sensitivity of alpine environments, I think that it is reasonable to question such practices.

It would not be incomprehensible to think a photo or video like this could have significant negative flow-on repercussions for the landscape up there. One only has to look at Wedding Cake Rock in Royal NP to gain an appreciation for how social media can influence visitor trends.

Given the demographic that take on the Overland Track, there are also safety issues to be considered. I feel that trusting (sometimes very inexperienced) walkers to make appropriate decisions on whether to camp or not in light of the prevailing conditions, is an accident waiting to happen. It’s an exposed, relatively remote mountain, with a potentially treacherous descent if ill-equipped people decide they have made a poor decision.

Although over-regulation can be cumbersome, I have to echo bobcrusaders sentiments. I think if people can’t make appropriate decisions in relation to minimal impact principles, camping should be formally prohibited from the mountain. Let’s not forget that Mt Ossa is in a national park after all, and the primary purpose of a NP is environmental conservation. The area has not been set aside as a theme-park. It's a privilege to visit there, not a right...
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Re: Will Wood (Zpacks) is off to the OT soon

Postby Warin » Fri 23 Feb, 2018 2:24 pm

Gustaf Weindorfer "This must be a national park for the people for all time. It is magnificent, and people must know about it and enjoy it." 1910.

The National Park was formed in 1922, thanks in no small part to the work of Weindorfer. I think his primary purpose was to ensure the continued the continued enjoyment of the area by people. Nature conservation should be compatible with the enjoyment of the people, not a question of what is secondary or primary.
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Re: Will Wood (Zpacks) is off to the OT soon

Postby South_Aussie_Hiker » Fri 23 Feb, 2018 3:15 pm

Given the far-reaching potential of social media, the high visitation to the area, and large number of people who are likely unaware of the sensitivity of alpine environments, I think that it is reasonable to question such practices.


Absolutely. But the issue should be taken up with Parks. If the general feeling is that it’s not acceptable, write a letter. All the evidence I see suggests they did do some research - and strictly followed hard rules like no drones in a NP.

I’m not arguing for camping on Ossa. I’m arguing against ignorant comments like this.

Negligent And Irresponsible. Don't be like Will


Typical. It’s easier to sling mud from the sidelines than get involved and make a positive difference if it’s soenthing you believe in.

One thing is for sure... after this reception, I doubt Will or any of his group will want to return to Aus.
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Re: Will Wood (Zpacks) is off to the OT soon

Postby FootTrack » Fri 23 Feb, 2018 3:43 pm

Hi SAH,

Yep, I've already sent emails off to both Parks Tasmania and ZPacks and am awaiting their responses.

As previously mentioned, my initial motivation for commenting wasn't to slander the ZPacks team but to educate others and start a conversation about the broader issue.

I'll leave it at that - I've got some uni work to tick off!

Cheers.
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Re: Will Wood (Zpacks) is off to the OT soon

Postby Nuts » Fri 23 Feb, 2018 4:02 pm

Were any comments slanderous? :shock: How so?

I'll admit the wag bags aren't too popular yet, but we'll try. Correspondence is fine, but with whom? There's nobody left ( :lol: )
Here I am doing a third thing (from the sidelines).

We all need to take responsibility. And we need to hold our parks political masters to account, to do so as well. (that's a fourth thing)
We can all do these things!

(Banned camping may be necessary, to me it seems a outcome best left for when defeated :( )
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Re: Will Wood (Zpacks) is off to the OT soon

Postby Orion » Sat 24 Feb, 2018 3:46 am

Nuts, if there is already clear evidence of overuse on the Mt. Ossa summit plateau then it would seem that the way to deal with it would be clear, unambiguous limits or an outright prohibition against camping there.

There's nothing quite like the OLT where I am but there are heavily visited and impacted areas. We have entry quotas, mandatory wag bag carry-out zones, places with limits on the number of nights, and of course numerous no-camping areas. Social media has had an undeniable effect on some of the more popular walks.

The hostility I referred to is something I frequently see aimed at a certain style, usually people who walk fast. I think the underlying fear is that the style represents a change in the culture of walking, one focused less on the place and more on ticking the box and uploading selfies. The scorn is often undeserved and mostly a reaction to trends that seem out of our control.
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Re: Will Wood (Zpacks) is off to the OT soon

Postby Nuts » Sun 25 Feb, 2018 12:03 pm

If the booking system(s) limit the numbers to similar/capped levels there may be no need for prohibitions.
As it stands, our park service 'Leave no Trace' guidelines do indeed make camping on top of Mt Ossa 'doing something wrong'.
( http://www.parks.tas.gov.au/index.aspx?base=406 )

All communications, in line with these guidelines, should be aimed at discouragement. Iv'e no reason to suspect they aren't.
If you have been discouraged, what happens next is a choice to take part in neglect, or not.

What has been obvious (for a long time) is a need to sort out toilet issues up there.
We can have a toilet at Pelion pass but it doesn't address any effect of pooing anywhere higher. And given day-walkers to Mt Ossa may not be carrying a trowel etc.

I'd choose a info board and rack at the Pelion Hut toilet offering those waste bags to carry to Kia Ora.. just that..
I'd then not listen to excuses..
We'll pick up our warm dogs poo and carry that a way..
We'll sit on a communal seat, over a (excuse me) festering, fly-blown cess pit..

Some visitors don't understand, in this age, why even an active composting toilet isn't achievable out there. WAG (waste) bags, still early days, it's shaping up as a matter of demographics for the reaction. Some europeans seem to be able to identify what it is without question, while i'm still trying to formulate the latest introductory spiel.

We can have a toilet at Pelion Pass, another in the area. This is the model we can grow with. Choices are made, however some quite subtle. It's time for these things now but what happens as we build up eg. waste and heli services. Being businesses.. always looking for growth and afforded influence. Why on earth would they ever support WAG bags anywhere. As happens, lobby against such things is very much more likely. We could cut in half the necessary toilets and flights for this developed track ingress.. minimising our impact, support a more sustainable waste 'industry' and therefore a proper effort at LNT & sustainable tourism.. or not.

So much bigger than simply supporting/ or not the latest transgression. I don't have any Z packs gear (hear it's pretty good). Easy for me to swap the subject for the eg.Kathmandu / Aldi corporate junket. I suspect support would be more circumspect from some other members here. If the Z packs team take responsibility/ remove the camping references from their vid, cut the place some slack, there is simply no issue left (here).
"The guides are all complaining there's mobile reception and hot showers," Godfrey laughs.
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