News flash: Plenty of people in Colorado regularly engage in outdoor recreational activities after using marijuana. But the notion of a so-called "Hash Hike," slated to take place on (we're pretty sure) Saturday morning on a nearby 14er, has resulted in online vibe-harshing between the Reddit users coordinating it and more traditional climbers. Details below.
The location for the hike is Mt. Bierstadt, which a Westworder who's also an avid climber describes as being one of the easiest 14ers to summit. Its friendliness to beginners is reinforced by the following clip, entitled "My First Fourteener."
Mt. Bierstadt's accessibility means it frequently draws a crowd. During the aforementioned Westworder's most recent visit, earlier this summer, he says people were lined up on the trail waiting for their chance to move even further above sea level.
This video, featuring climbers of all ages, gives a sense of why it's so popular.
Planning to join in the fun are folks coordinating on the sub-Reddit category Ents in Colorado. The page in question is labeled "Hash Hike...The BIG one...Mt. Bierstadt, 9/30/2014."
Yes, the date references September 30, not August 30, but many of the comments allude to Labor Day weekend, among other things. One post reads, "Take only photos, leave only footprints," to which another Ent replies, "Take only photos, leave only footprints. and fat clouds of hash vapor."
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The string also features conversation about a 10 a.m. start time that strikes some people as too late and the possibility of storms. Given that afternoon precipitation has been frequent along the Front Range this summer, one person wrote, "It's a worry, no doubt. But not a huge worry. If a storm comes? it is what it is. Most likely? We won't run into a storm."
As noted by Jeremy Meyers, writing for the Fort Collins Coloradoan, the Hash Hike soon came to the attention of folks who frequent 14ers.com -- and the feedback on that site hasn't been especially positive, as indicated by the page's name, "Bunch of idiot stoners planning 'Hash Hike' on Bierstadt." Some examples of the 289 comments posted at this writing:
Why not get high, wait for the thunder to start, and then take off. You'd have a much better chance at a Darwin award.
Oh, it's one thing to put yourself at risk while hiking, but this is a near admission that these folks plan on driving back to town under the influence.
To me it's about affecting the experience of those around you. I don't care if you smoke, but I don't, and I hate the idea of breathing in anything other than air. To me, breathing in pot smoke on a hike is commensurate with breathing in cigarette smoke. Kind of ruins the experience of getting outside into "fresh" air.
These guys are clearly a bunch of fools.
Soooooo, that's wilderness, right? Also known as federal land? Where it's still illegal to smoke? I wouldn't be surprised if there's a FS ranger following them all the way up, because that's just easy ticket money right there.
Unsurprisingly, plenty of people on Reddit have taken offense to this tone. Here's a representative response:
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Most of those guys commenting don't have any idea about marijuana, and a few of them are just pompous assholes.
Apparently they all think that by me saying if a storm comes that 'it is what it is' by meaning that we'll just trek on through lightning....Seriously, that's how stupid these people are. WE'RE THE STONERS and yet THEY'RE the ones ASSUMING that we'll trek through a storm.....
If we get hit with a storm, we turn around. Plain and simple. Know your surroundings. These idiots act like I've never hiked in the mountains before.
Here's hoping that everyone ends the day safely and in a higher place -- however they'd like to define it.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.