1/1/19: 45 day cancellation policy

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Joined: Oct 10 2006 2:59 pm
City, State: ajo, az

1/1/19: 45 day cancellation policy

Post by grumol »

i've been hiking to the bottom of the canyon yearly for 50 yrs, used to do it staying at bright angel cg, in later years i've stayed at phantom -- for the past 20 yrs i've always gone in winter, due to not wanting to deal with crowds, and long term reservations, like a year in advance(i'm a bit more spontaneous) -- i would wait until a "weather window" appeared in the forecast, then call gc 3 days before, grab a cancellation, and drive up from southern az -- i've been curious to watch the new online reservation system -- i see some openings in january, but not that many -- so my question is, why are people reserving in january, when its too late to cancel, without losing the whole payment? -- after all, without a weather window, the weather can be "intense", even dangerous, and xanterra makes no allowance for what they call"inclimate weather" -- up until 1/1/19, it made sense, cause a person could reserve, than if the weather looked bad, cancel up to 2 days before -- but now this is all changed -- either people have a lot more $$ than i do, and could care less about $52/nite, or they like to hike in rain/snow/cold, or more likely, this policy is so new that they don't realize they're going to lose their $

i've been in the canyon hiking out in winter and had my water bottle freeze up, and that was a good hike -- but i was in the canyon once in spring when it was closed(we were already at the bottom)due to torrential rain, rock slides, dynamiting the trail to clear it -- the hike out, complete with hypothermia, taught me how quickly a fun hike can turn to a dangerous one -- non refundable reservations most of the year make sense, due to the large # of hikers, but winter? -- not practical for working class folks
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Re: 1/1/19: 45 day cancellation policy

Post by nonot »

I haven't heard of a trail closure that required dynamite to solve it in the last 15 years, which is about as long as I think I would have noticed something like that. Maybe they needed some oomph to restore it to mule-ready condition but people are far more nimble. They would obviously close it when moving large rocks due to the risk of taking out innocent bystanders, but that's why there is both South Kaibob and Bright Angel.

Anything they put online will likely encounter lots of people that buy up the spots but no show, and then probably complain if they get charged for the reservation. It's instant gratification to book the spot, and doesn't give people the time to think "should I really be doing this", like the time spent filling out forms, phone calls, etc.

I believe the park service reserves a few of the phantom "backcountry" camping spots for walk ups and "emergencies" so just because there are no advanced reservations doesn't mean there are none at all, but basically you have to show up at the park to get the ones they reserve. However it sounds like you are trying to get a cabin.

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Re: 1/1/19: 45 day cancellation policy

Post by hikeaz »

Mule trips (Xanterra) have the 'inside line' on cabins. Lotteries exude the perception of fairness - but then there is reality. Just like GC river trips.
"The censorship method ... is that of handing the job over to some frail and erring mortal man, and making him omnipotent on the assumption that his official status will make him infallible and omniscient."
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