Need more options to establish new routes-places without time lag
Many of our leaders want to wait for snow reports or weather forecasts a week or so before an activity before they post the activity, but the current process for centralized review and posting creates a time lag that makes this virtually impossible. Can you train and empower a small group of route-place administrators out in the branches to increase the ability to process these submissions more quickly? Considering the wide range in quality of the 'reviewed' routes-places showing up now, I think that you could set up a group of trained and accountable volunteers who would do at least as well and take their responsibility just as seriously as the staff does. Also, can you offer an option for a leader to put up an activity to an unreviewed route-place with the idea that the route-place wouldn't go into the official database until it had been reviewed?
We have caught up on our summer backlog and are now turning routes and places requests around in under 48 hours. Leaders are also doing a better job of submitting content-rich routes and places. We’ve made improvements to the process, and more are on the way.
We do have the option of having multiple bookings allowed for certain routes/places based on route and land manager and we do utilize it on a number of locations. If there is a place like that makes sense for that to happen please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
We have three Mt Pilchuck routes, because one route uses the normal hiking trail, one is on the other side of the peak and one is a cross country route via Heather Lake. The routes don't overlap until they get to the top of the peak. It is similar to us having different routes listed for Mount Rainier via Emmons or via the DC route. Because parking is limited at Pilchuck and we want to limit our footprint each of the routes/places we also have a disclaimer on each of the routes and places that says
IMPORTANT NOTES TO LEADERS
LEADERS NOTES: "Mount Pilchuck is also done as a day hike and as a cross country snowshoe via Heather Lake. If you are planning a scramble that plans on ascending or descending via the regular trail please check the day hike listing and snowshoe route listing to ensure we don't have more than 12 people from The Mountaineers on the same trail on the same day. "
You can add a new route place and schedule an activity to it before the route/place is published. But anyone who finds the activity and clicks through to the route/place details will get an error. Members and guests do report these as error, so please do refrain from posting activities to new Routes & Places until they have been published.
We have caught up form the website launch and summer backlog, and have been editing and publishing newly requested Routes & Places within the promised 48 business hours and often much faster. Also the better the submission, the quicker the turn around... and the submissions are getting better!
Dennis Miller commented
The process is centralized because the PC does not want leaders to circumvent the trip conflict mechanism that they've built superimposed on routes. The underlying premise of managing trip conflicts using routes is flawed, There are a handful of routes to the Pilchuck Lookout, but we certainly don't want that many parties there at the same time. The Wonderland Trail is 93 miles and can take a week, more than one party should be allowed on that route at the same time, provided they are too near each other. But how to know that. Oh yes there are other routes on parts of the Wonderland Trail, so how to avoid two parties both at reflection lakes at the same time using different routes, Certainly we could allow a trip to the Enchantments ending on the same day another trip to the Enchantments started. Especially, if they were both already permitted.
Bottom line, managing trip conflicts fairly and effectively is a pipe dream (more like nightmare). On the other hand, a passive approach is relatively simple: Notify trip schedulers of any other scheduled trips in the vicinity at the same time and trust their judgement about whether it constitutes a conflict.
Dennis Miller commented
I believe it is already possible to create a route (submit a route suggestion, actually) and schedule an activity there before the route is actually approved, The trip, however, does not show in the public schedule until the route is approved,
I was astonished but it worked