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Scrooge
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Scrooge
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PostWed Feb 27, 2002 6:40 pm 
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For a highly accessible place in the middle of a popular modern recreation area and adjacent to the most famous mining area in the state, the valley of Troublesome Creek remains a peculiar enigma.

Today, there's a nice campground at the conflence with the Skykomish and a 1/4 mile nature trail looped around the one really pretty section of the stream - and that's it. I've talked to people who fished the stream decades ago, and Dan Nelson told me about the abandonned trail that runs almost two miles up the west bank, but I've never seen any written reference to any of it.

What I know about the history of modern exploration - us wink.gif -has been talked about before.

http://www.mcaver.com/tt/scrooge/troublesome.jpg

For starters, I'd like to know if any of the rest of you have done anything in the area, fishing or hiking or whatever.

Next, history ferrets are needed. Once upon a time the abandonned trail must have been an official trail. The sawn-logs extend more than a mile-and-a-half up the valley. Does anyone have or know about (or can you find) maps that show it? What about official mention in Forest Service records? Or could it have been a private projaect like the trails around Big Four?

Logging. As far as I can tell the valley has never been logged (no sawn stumps), yet it's in the middle of an area that's seen lots of logging activity. Most of the North Fork Skykomish has been logged, and the logging roads and clear cuts extend far up Silver Creek. How'd it happen to get skipped? It would have been a relatively easy place to build and maintain a logging road.

Last but not least, mining.  wink.gif  Monte Cristo was discovered from the adjacent Silver Creek valley. Prospectors must have prowled all over it. "The Monte Cristo Area" has one map that shows a few mining claims sketched in (but not identified) in the upper reaches of the West Fork and extending through Hubbart Peak. "Discovering Washington's Historic Mines" makes brief mention of three mines in the "Troublesome Creek Mining District", but doesn't make any other mention of the area. - And that exhausts my resources.

Somewhere there ought to be some discussion of the area, if only to explain why there was so little activity around Troublesome Creek when Galena, Mineral City and Monte Cristo were all thriving mining towns bursting with prospectors and promoters who should have been crawling around that valley like ants.

It's nice to have this pocket wilderness in our backyards, but I'd like to know how it's managed to remain there, waiting for us.  confused.gif

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Sawyer
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PostWed Feb 27, 2002 8:12 pm 
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The references you mention are the only ones I've found also. I have a small writeup about the trail. There is also a writeup by Karen Sykes of the Seattle P-I.

The 1917 Snoqualmie Nat'l Forest map shows a trail going up the Skykomish River with a shelter at Troublesome Creek.

Aha! The Mar. 1905 (reprinted 1924) 30' USGS Skykomish quadrangle topo map shows a trail going up Troublesome Creek. It continues all the way up to a basin etween Hubbart and Twin Peaks. And a spur trail heads up about half way a creek between Scott and Hubbart Peaks. Another spur heads up towards Twin Lakes, and another continues up Troublesome Creek towards Blanca Lake (about half way also). I'll try to copy these to Topo! and post a picture later when I get inspired.
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lopper
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lopper
off-route
PostWed Feb 27, 2002 9:04 pm 
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I hope Sawyer gets inspired soon.  Those old maps are the finest brain candy around.

I got bitten by the T-Crk bug as a high schooler in the early 1970s.  Attractions were many;  the granite slot-torrent, the huge trees, the mysterious Blanca-tint of the water.  I think the W bank trail is an old prospectors route that didn't quite die (except in the slide chutes of course).

Every time we tried to push our route farther up the valley toward Twin Lks, we got worn down by the log-clamboring and the increasingly aggressive brush.  Then we'd get impatient and think of easier, more accessible hideaways with open trails to other timberlines, and we'd stay away for months or years.

I'm glad it's still there the way it has been for whoknowshowlong. I'm thinking a lot about the 'timber cones' extending up to TwinLks from the WFK.
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-lol-
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-lol-
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PostWed Feb 27, 2002 9:24 pm 
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Scrooge
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Scrooge
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PostWed Feb 27, 2002 9:30 pm 
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Majors has the upstream end of that TC trail and spur on one of his maps, maybe the one with his proposed Twin-Blanca traverse, but it only shows by accident. However his source was probably that 1905 (1924) quad.

It's just one more example of Troublesome Creek being ignored. Majors explores every other basin and valley in the area, and talks about Pearsall  "circling" Hubbart Peak on his way to Pearsall Pass and Monte Cristo, but nary a word on TC.

It's mysterious.  biggrin.gif  Ain't it grand? All done on purpose to make things fun for us.

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Scrooge
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Scrooge
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PostThu Feb 28, 2002 6:39 pm 
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Wow! Ran a Google search on Washington mines Troublesome Creek - The top two entries (and the only relevant ones) were Karen's PI article and Steve's "abandonned trails" website. At this rate, the only other relevant text may be Genesis!  dizzy.gif

...................

Tried Washington fire-fighting trails - Steve again.  rolleyes.gif  This is one tough nut.

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Something lost behind the ranges. Lost and waiting for you....... Go and find it. Go!
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Scrooge
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Joined: 16 Dec 2001
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Location: wishful thinking
Scrooge
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PostSat Mar 02, 2002 4:25 am 
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Curiouser and curiouser. Ran a search on Galena Monte Cristo Mineral City. Three of the first five entries were by members of this group: Karen, Steve, and Bryan.

Not only is Troublesome Creek a unique area; it's becoming apparent that this is a pretty remarkable group.  agree.gif

Try a search on Mt Pilchuck if you don't believe me.  smile.gif

And then let us know if you know anything about Troublesome Creek.

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polarbear
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PostSat Mar 02, 2002 8:37 pm 
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Scrooge, maybe Troublesome refers to the process of gathering information on this creek.  Check out this link--it looks like there was/is(?) a gaging station on the creek somewhere.  

http://wa.water.usgs.gov/reports/flood-freq/tab01.pdf

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Sawyer
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PostSat Mar 02, 2002 10:53 pm 
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Attached to this note is my poorly transcribed trails from the 1905 Skykomish 30' quad (reprinted 1924, but doesn't say if anything was changed). It's a little hard to determine trail from creek in some places, so don't pay much attention to which side of the creek the trail is plotted. It would be better to see the original map, in color, at the UW map archives.

While browsing the map, I noticed the first documentation of the olde route over Wilmans Pass (Pearsall Pass) as mentioned in Majors and McClollum "Monte Cristo Area". It does not match the trail to Poodle Dog Pass via Silver Creek. In fact, it doesn't even go to Poodle Dog Pass! So there is another project: find that old trail. It's probably long gone, like the '76 Basin trail which I tried to follow in '98. We managed to get all the way up to the pass from Monte Cristo, but failed to find any trail remnants anywhere past the mines. Did find an interesting new cabin up there though.




TroublesomeCreek1905SkykomishQuad.JPG
TroublesomeCreek1905SkykomishQuad.JPG
 TroublesomeCreek1905SkykomishQuad.JPG (174 KB)
File downloaded or viewed 1467 time(s)

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Scrooge
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Joined: 16 Dec 2001
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Scrooge
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PostMon Mar 04, 2002 5:56 pm 
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Sawyer, I'm beginning to think that 1905 map is almost too good to be true. I wonder if we're not running into cartographic license, like the old-timey mapmakers putting in monsters and ships to fill up the blank areas?

What makes me suspicious is that trail up the East Fork to the base of the Blanca outfall. So far I've not seen even a mining claim up in that area. Uncertainty about that one makes me wonder about the one on the other side of TC, that goes west along the unnamed tributary south of Hubbart Peak. There were a few exploratory mines on that side of the valley, but that trail looks more like it's drawn to follow the watercourse than to go to a specific site. - And so on. A trip to the UW sounds worthwhile.

On Pearsall's route over Wilmans (Pearsall) Pass: did that ever become a trail? I had the impression they started taking the easier route over Poodle Dog Pass pretty early on.

Polarbear, Larch thinks she's seen a gaging station down near the campground, which probably makes sense. .... By the way, digging out that record has got too set some kind of record for grasping at straws.  wink.gif  Which is a compliment.  agree.gif

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Something lost behind the ranges. Lost and waiting for you....... Go and find it. Go!
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polarbear
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PostMon Mar 04, 2002 9:39 pm 
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"no straw too small"
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Sawyer
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PostMon Mar 04, 2002 11:15 pm 
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Heya Scrooge,

I doubt the olde mapps show incorrect trails. I suspect there were mine claims we don't know about. I have found trails that are not mentioned in the usual tomes, e.g. the Devils Lake trail. Anyway, wouldn't it be a thrill to find some old evidence up thataways on any of those spurs off TC?!! An excuse to revisit the area. If only I wasn't in my peakbagging phase instead of abandoned trail phase. One can only be obsessed with one thing at a time (definition of obsession).

The route over Pearsall Pass was indeed a trail of yore. It shows up on Beckey's 1970's map of the Monte Cristo area. It's also mentioned in a couple history books: Monte Cristo Area by Majors/McClollum, and Monte Cristo by Woodhouse. You are right that the easier Poodledog Pass route because favored pretty early in the Monte Cristo mining district history.
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Newt
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Newt
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PostTue Mar 05, 2002 5:49 am 
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Back in the mid 60's I explored this area rather extensively. Unfortunately I remember very little. I had a very good book (it was borrowed) that had mine claims and trails and it seems to me there were a number of  mines in this area. Also a number of trails. All of which never showed up on comventional maps and such. I remember I did use Metzgers maps at the time.
Other than the Library you might they the local Ranger station and maybe the Index Historical Society.
I'm trying to track dow the book and will let you know iffin' I come up with it.
NN smile.gif

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It's pretty safe to say that if we take all of man kinds accumulated knowledge, we still don't know everything. So, I hope you understand why I don't believe you know everything. But then again, maybe you do.
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polarbear
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PostTue Mar 05, 2002 7:57 pm 
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Does the town of Index have any kind of small museum?  That would be the place to find TC info.

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Newt
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Newt
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PostTue Mar 05, 2002 8:15 pm 
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Not really sure here. Maybe the Chamber of Com or a historical society. Should be something with all the history it has.

Also I believe that TC has or did have a gageing station. Don't think that size matters when they set them up.

NN smile.gif

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It's pretty safe to say that if we take all of man kinds accumulated knowledge, we still don't know everything. So, I hope you understand why I don't believe you know everything. But then again, maybe you do.
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