Forum Index > Trail Talk > Rock art: biggest cairn in all of Washington?
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summitseeker
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PostMon Jul 09, 2007 8:08 pm 
So, I was climbing Tower Mountain last weekend and I swear that the summit cairn up there is big enough to be seen from space:


You can see it from above Granite Pass about 2 miles away as the crow flies. The thing has to be about 7 feet tall.  Now that's a piece of work.

I'm thinking it's probably the biggest cairn in all of Washington.  Anyone know of a bigger one?  Or a nicer one?  Or a more elegant one?

Let's see some photos!

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dicey
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PostMon Jul 09, 2007 8:20 pm 
Hmmm.. I don't think I have seen one bigger than that one!

So,
Did you have to summit the summit cairn to claim the summit?  biggrin.gif

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Riverside Laker
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PostMon Jul 09, 2007 8:37 pm 
There was an even bigger one on top of Blum, but someone knocked it down! We was up thar on Thursday and found it missing. Definitely was there in '02. Frankly I don't see why climbers have to build a cairn on summits -- is it ego to prove someone has been there?

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Eric
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PostMon Jul 09, 2007 9:03 pm 
Cairns are OK if the summit is obscure or if it is flat then it is nice to have an identifiable spot to touch to say you been to the top. But for steep and somewhat popular summits it is kinda pointless. Or pointedly pointless depending on the shape of the cairn?

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Spotly
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PostMon Jul 09, 2007 9:48 pm 

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summithound
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summithound
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PostMon Jul 09, 2007 10:10 pm 
dicey wrote:
So,
Did you have to summit the summit cairn to claim the summit?  biggrin.gif

That leads to the question... what is the true definition of attaining the summit of a mountain? Would it be standing at an erect position with both feet touching each other? Would it be standing in the Captain Morgan position with the upper foot on the summit?

Or would it be merely touching the summit with some part of your body? Your hand? Would you need to take your glove off to lay skin to rock? I've often wondered these things. When I summit a mountain, I make sure to at least touch the summit stone with some portion of my body, usually my boot (when it's on my foot of course).

Same thing goes with lakes. What is the definition of being "at a lake"? My personal definition is touching the water and that's what I've always done  hockeygrin.gif. I know, I'm a weird one.

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summithound
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PostMon Jul 09, 2007 10:16 pm 
Well, the lake in itself is the destination so any part of the lake would suffice  biggrin.gif.

A side note to my previous post... my decision to climb the haystack on Mount Si was solely based on my desire to attain the true summit. So, if I ever go missing in the wilderness, it was probably because I fell while reaching out for that highest point, or because I was eaten by a cougar  paranoid.gif.

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Eric
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PostMon Jul 09, 2007 10:29 pm 
I'm gonna guess Abercrombie on Spotly's photo. Abercrombie is a slag heap, plus some people say it is only one foot shorter than Gypsy (7309 vs. 7308) for highest peak in Eastern WA. Supposedly there is a teeny tiny 7320+ contour that you can make out under the plus sign by the summit if you have the paper quadrangle but I'll be damned if I can see it. Regardless, it would not be surprising that people would build a huge cairn to try to boost its height above that of Gypsy. Though this would be a pyrrhic bit of handiwork because man-made alterations don't count for summit heights.

Just gotta touch the highpoint with any part of your body to bag that peak. Clothing counts for the body. I have no idea how a person bags a lake. It seems like you need to at least dip your toe in. Or a fishing pole must go in the water; save that a person should at least toss his hiking partner in.

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Matt
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PostMon Jul 09, 2007 11:04 pm 
I noticed in a recent picture that someone had knocked down the big summit cairn on Blum.  Seems somewhat trivial to build them that big, but even more pointless and mean-spirited to knock them down.  They aren't anything artificial, just a pile of the rocks that were already there.

Blum summit cairn 2002
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Blum summit cairn 2002

Note that according to this photo the summit cairn is about 2/3 the height of Baker.

BTW I agree with Dicey that you can't say you've been to a lake unless you've actually touched the water.

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Mesahchie Mark
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PostMon Jul 09, 2007 11:04 pm 
Dang, that sucker is big!  It's my opinion that summit cairns are caused by poor views and alcohol, hence this short-lived creation on Whitechuck:
Too much free time on top...
Too much free time on top...

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Jason Hummel
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PostTue Jul 10, 2007 3:02 pm 
Matt wrote:
I noticed in a recent picture that someone had knocked down the big summit cairn on Blum.  Seems somewhat trivial to build them that big, but even more pointless and mean-spirited to knock them down.  They aren't anything artificial, just a pile of the rocks that were already there.

Blum summit cairn 2002
1 label
Blum summit cairn 2002

Note that according to this photo the summit cairn is about 2/3 the height of Baker.

BTW I agree with Dicey that you can't say you've been to a lake unless you've actually touched the water.

This was lightening from what I heard. It was there when I summited a few years ago.

This past weekend on the n side of adams I saw some really big ones, but not 7-ft. That's huge!

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boot up
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boot up
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PostTue Jul 10, 2007 3:26 pm 
size isn't everything....
balanced Cairn on PCT
balanced Cairn on PCT

Certainly NOT the biggest, but this for some reason has always been my favorite found "cairn". up.gif

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crwdog
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PostTue Jul 10, 2007 5:02 pm 
there is one below lunch counter on Mt. Adams that is pretty damn big.  It's also got a giant pole sticking up through the middle of it.  I believe it marks a  bunch of campsites before the LC but I don't know why people don't just go 500' higher?!

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Jason Hummel
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PostTue Jul 10, 2007 5:04 pm 
I found this one near chain lakes:

Not big but cool.

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Matt
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PostTue Jul 10, 2007 5:13 pm 
Boot UP & JH,
Cool pics of noteworthy configured cairns.
Style is much more appealing than just size.

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“As beacons mountains burned at evening.” J.R.R. Tolkien
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