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Forum Index -> Trail Talk -> Stuart/Colchuck trailhead to close!
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Slide Alder Slayer
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Joined: 14 Jan 2002
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Post Mon Feb 25, 2002 9:25 pm    Stuart/Colchuck trailhead to close!
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I just received notification from the Leavenworth Ranger District that starting July 15, 2002 the Stuart/Colchuck trailhead will be closed and all access denied for the remainder of 2002 and perhaps part or all of 2003.

It appears that the bridges crossing Eightmile and Mountaineer creeks have exceeded their useful life, are unable to be repaired, and thus must be replaced. Funding has been secured and work will begin July 15th.

Because of “safety considerations and parking congestion,” all access will be denied to the Stuart/Colchuck trailhead

My Enchantment permit through Snow Lakes will still be honored, but nothing was mentioned about permits to the Enchantments through Colchuck Lake.

I was surprised to learn that the Forest Service did not consider a hiker bypass and why they could not tolerate extra parking along and before the Eightmile Trailhead. Maybe I’m way out of line, but it seems excessive.
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Randy
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Joined: 18 Dec 2001
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Post Mon Feb 25, 2002 9:47 pm   
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Some sort of bypass would be nice. Six plus months to construct two bridges or the size we're talking is excessive in my experience, but I'm not entirely familiar with the constraints they're faced with on this project.

This all definitely put a knot in our permit plans for the area this summer. We'll make it in, but with a few extra miles and a bit more up and down than we had hoped for. It'll be interesting to do some recon in the area later this summer. Of course a late night walk through to the Stuart TH is never out of the question.
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catwoman
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Post Mon Feb 25, 2002 10:47 pm   
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I was just at Colchuck last June and don't recall any seemingly bad bridges.  Hmmm..  Did the fire get to them or something?  Are they considered impassable before July 15?  Or is there another way around them?
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lopper
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Joined: 22 Jan 2002
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Post Mon Feb 25, 2002 11:42 pm   
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Night-walks. A time honored Cascade tradition.

A "closed trail" is a puzzling concept. Like dividing by zero, it is a disallowed theoretical construct. Get dropped off by a buddy or spouse, walk a little farther.  The Forest Circus, bless its heart, sometimes gets carried away in its hand-holding role. (see also handwringing and handout-demanding modes).

Sounds like a good year for the Colchuck approach.
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Sore Feet
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Post Tue Feb 26, 2002 12:59 am   
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Yea.  I think they may be overblowing the time needed just a tad.  If I can get a permit, I was going in via Snow Creek anyway, so doesn't hamper me too much.

Closed anything outdoors is a stupid idea when dealing with something like a bridge replacement.  Is it so hard to put a temp up?  Seems just as ludicrous as the King Co. Parks Dept closing parks for the rest of the year because of lack of fundage.  Sure, the fewer people that go there, the less maintainence it needs, but with something like O.O. Denny Park, is blocking the parking lot really gonna stop people from going there?  Stupid.

</rant>  smile.gif

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Bryan Swan
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Waterfalls - www.waterfallsnorthwest.com
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Backpacker Joe
NWH Joe-Bob



Joined: 16 Dec 2001
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Post Tue Feb 26, 2002 9:57 am   
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TYPICAL F/S BS.  Close ONE trailhead because ANOTHER trailhead down the road a mile needs work!  Figures.  Time for petzl Zipka work!  Night run.

--------------
"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I require the same from them."

—Wayne's John Bernard Books in The Shootist
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Stefan
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Post Tue Feb 26, 2002 11:09 am   
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This does seem inappropriate at first glance.  I know I do not have enough information.

I would rather bike than walk that distance--it is a lot faster on the way down.

I think that if they are going to close the road to vehicles to replace bridges that is okay.  But it is not okay to block walkers or bikers.

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Art is an adventure.
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Jammed Bridger
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Post Tue Feb 26, 2002 12:27 pm   
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Hey, is the crick crossing difficult? Can one ford the stream, chaval (Chevy) a log, or whatever?
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Slide Alder Slayer
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Post Tue Feb 26, 2002 8:10 pm   
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I received my notification from the forest service as part of an update for our Enchantment permit. We were holdovers from last years fire.

I plan to express my concerns to the ranger district for their lack of consideration in constructing a hiker bypass.  It will be interesting to here their reply, which I believe will be a congestion issue because of parking.
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Slide Alder Slayer
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Post Tue Feb 26, 2002 8:23 pm   
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This is a copied quote from the recreation update for the Wenatchee National forest web site.

UPCOMING BRIDGE REPLACEMENT: The Lake Wenatchee and Leavenworth Ranger Districts are planning to replace the two road bridges between the Eightmile and the Stuart Lake Trailheads in order to provide continued vehicular access to the Stuart Lake Trailhead. The current bridges are at the end of their life expectancy and need to be replaced.

Access to Colchuck Lake, Stuart Lake, and the Enchantments will be affected during construction, which is scheduled to begin July 15, 2002. Visitors will not be able to enter the Alpine Lakes Wilderness via the Lake Stuart Trailhead while construction is under way. Visitors will be able to access the Enchantments via the Snow Lakes Trailhead, but no permit reservations for the Colchuck-Aasgard Pass route will be taken while construction is in progress. For more information about this upcoming project, please contact Paul Schielke at 509-763-3103 ext. 254 or Lisa Therrell at 509-548-6977 ext. 233.
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McPilchuck
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Joined: 17 Dec 2001
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Post Tue Feb 26, 2002 10:03 pm   
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Thread drift, but maybe related somewhat?
Sounds awful familar to the Dose Bridge in the Olympics being closed for seasons because the new one built was weakened by snow (poor design by contractor) and then planned for a rebuild.  No funds available for that, so the trail has been  closed, at least that's the last I heard on it from a friend who encountered soem rangers over there.  Don't know about the road, probably open for the other trails going up the other river fork.

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in the granite high-wild alpine land . . .
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Dante
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Post Thu Feb 28, 2002 9:49 am   
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What ever happened to common sense or interagency cooperation.  The armed forces have tons of surplus bridging equipment--specifically Bailey Bridges--that could be used as an interim or even semi-permanent solution.  I'm sure there are some National Guard outfits that would be grateful for the training opportunity.  Probably too much red tape nowadays though frown.gif
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Sore Feet
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Post Thu Feb 28, 2002 11:49 am   
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I dunno 'bout that.  When the NPS was replacing the Deadwood Creek bridge on the Mather (410), they used one of those.  And as I recall from last summer, the temp. bridge over Damnation Creek on 20 was one of those steel jobs.  I think it's probably just a matter of *this road doesn't have the traffic to justify putting a temporary bridge in*...

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Waterfalls - www.waterfallsnorthwest.com
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