How about committing by Monday afternoon, 2/11?
I want to pay by 2/15. Since it may be snowing on the trip date, I'd like to get money up front ($7 each) in case we bail at the last minute. If the weather's bad and I hand off the permit so someone on the trip who really wants to go (is more masochistic than me), it'll all be paid.
Usually with shoulder season trips, I like to make a call on the weather on Thursday or so on whether we go. I'd rather throw away $7 and go ski powder than go boating/camping in freezing rain or snow...
Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse