Forum Index > Pacific NW History > Big Four: the Ice Caves, the Inn and the area ..... HELP!
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Scrooge
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PostWed Nov 11, 2009 4:45 pm 
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Memories here on nwhikers go back at least to the 40's and 50's; knowledge goes even further. I'd like to tap that resource.

We're trying to reconstruct the history of the Big Four Ice Caves, as a very small part of peltoms' North Cascade Glacier Climate Project. We have plenty of information for the last few years, the period since the dawn of the digital camera era, but the further back we go beyond that, the spottier our record becomes. We'd like your help in filling in the gaps. ......... Here's what we have now.

1931 Big Four in the spring of 1931 - Everett Library, Joleen Collection
1931 Big Four in the spring of 1931 - Everett Library, Joleen Collection
1949 FFWatts at Big four Inn after the fire.
1949 FFWatts at Big four Inn after the fire.
1993 Avalanche Cone November 1993 Harry Majors photo
1993 Avalanche Cone November 1993 Harry Majors photo
1998 AC December 1998 - source unknown
1998 AC December 1998 - source unknown
2003 ice cave to scale 11-09-03 Scrooge
2003 ice cave to scale 11-09-03 Scrooge
2005 Ice Cave 09-04-05 Scrooge
2005 Ice Cave 09-04-05 Scrooge
2007 Ants 09-02-07 Scrooge
2007 Ants 09-02-07 Scrooge
2009 Avalanche cones at the base of the Big Four cliff 05-27-09 Scrooge
2009 Avalanche cones at the base of the Big Four cliff 05-27-09 Scrooge

History starts yesterday.       biggrin.gif        I have a pretty good coverage ...... for the last two or three years ....... but don't let that stop you from contributing anything relevant. Obviously, the further back you can go (like before 2007), the better.

If you have personal records salted away, please dig them out. Or if you have (or know of) guidebooks or other material that include appropriate references, please tell us about it.

I've focused, here, on Big Four's main avalanche cone, but don't limit yourself to that. If you have anything on the other Big Four snow caves,

Big Four snow cave 1980 Charles Anderson photo
Big Four snow cave 1980 Charles Anderson photo
Snow Cave 3,  08-28-2009 Scrooge
Snow Cave 3,  08-28-2009 Scrooge

please include that. Knowledge of how any of the caves developed will help us better understand the behavior of the snow and ice over time.

For that matter, anecdotes or information about anything in the area would be interesting, even if not necessarily "useful". Back in the first days of nwhikers, Karen started a thread on Monte Cristo around 1979, which wound up including some stuff on Big Four. You just never know.

So let's see what you've got.


Please.           smile.gif

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Dayhike Mike
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Bad MFKer
PostWed Nov 11, 2009 5:32 pm 
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Scrooge wrote:
I'd like to tap that

I totally agree. devilsmile.gif

A completely tangential question I've always had is this: "Why is it called Big FOUR?"

There's five obvious subpeaks. Why not Big FIVE? It could totally give the sporting goods store a run for its money...

BTW - This:

1931 Big Four in the spring of 1931 - Everett Library, Joleen Collection
1931 Big Four in the spring of 1931 - Everett Library, Joleen Collection

is a great pic! Thanks for finding/posting it!

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Schroder
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PostWed Nov 11, 2009 5:56 pm 
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Probably not the perspective you're looking for but here's a couple I dug up
from top of Hall Pk - Aug 1970
from top of Hall Pk - Aug 1970
Sept 1970
Sept 1970
Sept 1970
Sept 1970

I'm sure I have some more recent and maybe some older. I'll keep digging.

I first went to the Ice caves around 1963 and there was no bridge or trail from the river onward. The crossing was tricky and once across, the easiest path was up the creek on the other side to avoid brush.  The old sidewalks to the river were under 4" of water from all the beaver dams around the lodge area.
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Schroder
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PostWed Nov 11, 2009 6:37 pm 
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I knew a lady who use to stay in the Big Four Inn every summer as a child.

Big Four Inn 1923 - Juleen Studio
Big Four Inn 1923 - Juleen Studio
Big Four Inn 1923 - Juleen Studio
Big Four Inn 1923 - Juleen Studio
Big Four Inn 1923 - Juleen Studio
Big Four Inn 1923 - Juleen Studio
Big Four Inn 1923 - Juleen Studio
Big Four Inn 1923 - Juleen Studio
Big Four Inn 1923 - Juleen Studio
Big Four Inn 1923 - Juleen Studio
Big Four Inn 1923 - Juleen Studio
Big Four Inn 1923 - Juleen Studio
Big Four Inn 1923 - Juleen Studio
Big Four Inn 1923 - Juleen Studio
Big Four Inn 1923 - Juleen Studio
Big Four Inn 1923 - Juleen Studio
Big Four Inn 1923 - Juleen Studio
Big Four Inn 1923 - Juleen Studio
Big Four Inn 1923 - Juleen Studio
Big Four Inn 1923 - Juleen Studio
Big Four Inn 1923 - Juleen Studio
Big Four Inn 1923 - Juleen Studio
Big Four Inn 1923 - Juleen Studio
Big Four Inn 1923 - Juleen Studio
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Malachai Constant
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PostWed Nov 11, 2009 6:58 pm 
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Too bad it burned down would have been a great place for a remake of The Shining. eek.gif

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Gsnorgathon
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Mile-per-hour club
PostWed Nov 11, 2009 8:05 pm 
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Dayhike Mike wrote:
Scrooge wrote:
I'd like to tap that

...
A completely tangential question I've always had is this: "Why is it called Big FOUR?"
...

There's a snowfield on the east side of the mountain that sometimes appears as a big 4. As in numeral 4. Bizarrely, the only photo I've ever seen of it is at Big Four. One of the signs at the picnic area (before the Ice Caves trailhead) has a nice photo of the big 4.
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Jake
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PostWed Nov 11, 2009 8:37 pm 
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Big Four Ice Caves Hiking the Big Four Ice Caves Trail published in 1998 by Harry Majors is one good source as is Journal of Everett and Snohomish County History, Number 8, Winter 1988-89. The journal has a piece starting on page 22 called A Winter Tragedy at Big Four Inn, by Dorothy Schroeder.
Those two come to mind right off.
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Kim Brown
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PostWed Nov 11, 2009 10:31 pm 
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Gsnorgathon wrote:
Dayhike Mike wrote:
Scrooge wrote:
I'd like to tap that

...
A completely tangential question I've always had is this: "Why is it called Big FOUR?"
...

There's a snowfield on the east side of the mountain that sometimes appears as a big 4. As in numeral 4.

Clearly visible (w/ binoculars) from Johnson Mtn at the end of Pilot Ridge. up.gif

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Hulksmash
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PostThu Nov 12, 2009 1:02 am 
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Thank you Scrooge up.gif  up.gif   This thread was a great idea!

With regards to the fabled enormous 4 shaped snow field.  I hope some one some where has photo of it to post. hockeygrin.gif

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Scrooge
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PostThu Nov 12, 2009 1:19 am 
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Randy, that was an early snow in 1970.         eek.gif

Sept 1970

And another one of your pictures is very useful.

1970 AC Sept '70 Schroder - key fracture lines
1970 AC Sept '70 Schroder - key fracture lines
2009 AC 11-04-09 Scrooge - key fracture lines
2009 AC 11-04-09 Scrooge - key fracture lines

I've edited your pic and mine to show a couple of key fracture lines in the Big Four cliff. Roughly 300' and 400' above the base, (peltoms may have more accurate figures), they show up clearly "in person" and in many pictures. They provide a very handy "yardstick" for estimating the height of the cone and, particularly, for comparing heights.

Also, thanks for providing the pics from the Joleen Collection. What a neat place. Mal had the right of it ....... if not necessarily for the right reason.         tongue.gif

Jake, I have a copy of "Big Four Ice Caves (thanks to Steve Fox), and I "borrowed" Harry's 1993 pic for my original post. I'll look up that Journal article next time I go up to the Everett Library. Thanks.

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Chief Joseph
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PostThu Nov 12, 2009 3:44 am 
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I have seen a picture of the big "four" somewhere on the web.

I am more worried that the new bridge will not survive. lol.gif

How much did that cost?...... I liked the log crossing or wading way better.

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hyak.net
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PostThu Nov 12, 2009 7:30 am 
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Scrooge
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PostMon Nov 16, 2009 8:36 am 
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Found this 2006 pic while surfing, so we've added one more year to the series.

2006 Avalanche at Big Four 05-16-2006 - Photo by Chris Leavens
2006 Avalanche at Big Four 05-16-2006 - Photo by Chris Leavens

As I said in the OP, it doesn't have to go back very far to be useful history.

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Schroder
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PostMon Nov 16, 2009 9:21 am 
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I found some more.
Here are some from December 2004. I ran into Fred Beckey there that day.

12 Dec 2004
12 Dec 2004
12 Dec 2004
12 Dec 2004
12 Dec 2004
12 Dec 2004
12 Dec 2004
12 Dec 2004

and some from Spring 2006:

18 May 2006
18 May 2006
18 May 2006
18 May 2006
18 May 2006
18 May 2006
18 May 2006
18 May 2006
18 May 2006
18 May 2006

I remember seeing the "4" snowfield from Monte Cristo once. I think I have a photo somewhere. They used to print a postcard of it that they sold at the Monte Cristo lodge.
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Snowbrushy
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PostMon Nov 16, 2009 1:07 pm 
Thanks for the photos
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Schroder wrote:
Here are some from December 2004. I ran into Fred Beckey there that day.

Thank You for the photos, all. Did your girlfriend fall in love with him? Mine did. I can't blame her. He's a sweetheart of a guy and a mountain historian. Another girlfriend once walked deep into the ice cave while my back was turned. When I noticed I yelled at her, "GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE."  A month later some woman was killed in the cave by ice fall. Tragic.
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Forum Index > Pacific NW History > Big Four: the Ice Caves, the Inn and the area ..... HELP!
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