I FINALLY got a chance today to hunt for Tunnel #1 (the Kissing Tunnel) with a friend and we managed to find it after a painful bushwhack. Rather than going past Tunnel 3 and trying to follow the grade, we opted for a short and direct bushwhack from the Mtn Loop. The various thorned vines were very painful even with several layers on. We found the gully we were shooting for and came out right at the tunnel. It is very cool even though it is flooded and we didn't venture into the water. We found an easier way back and came across a neat pond and beaver dam.
This was the eastern portal; the western portal is completely collapsed. We were a little off course on the hike in so it was pretty brushy, but we found an easier way back- maybe that's the way you came (or did you maybe follow the RR grade from Robe Canyon?). What kind of artifacts did you find? We got a late start unfortunately so we didn't really have time to do much exploring.
The problems at Pilchuck I believe were more political then being snow related, or failed business . Because Pilchuck was actually a park and not a private ski resort, and folks in the gov. wanted it gone, the snow year of '77 was the leverage they needed. Just personal opinion from what I've read on the area......
I have very fond memories of old Monte Cristo. I remember first going up to Monte Cristo in the late 1960's or early 1970's, when I was just a kid in elementary school. At that time, there were quite a few old buildings still standing. I remember that it was a very popular place, and the parking lot up at the town site was always packed with cars. I remember going inside the creaky old lodge, which was originally the cookhouse for the Boston-American Mining Company. I remember that inside the old lodge they sold souvenirs that were fascinating for a young kid, such as glittering chunks of iron pyrite. The first hike I remember going on, from Monte Cristo, was up to Glacier Basin. I photographed the old lodge in the late summer of 1978, and I've included a scanned image of the photograph with this posting.
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