Forum Index > Trail Talk > The Forest Service wants you to stop going in the ice caves
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Schroder
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PostMon Dec 16, 2019 9:12 am 
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Front page on today's Herald
Researchers from two Texas universities studied risky hiking behavior at Big Four

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Kim Brown
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PostMon Dec 16, 2019 9:34 am 
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University of Texas students didn’t think about why there’s no vegetation around the caves. It’s not feasible or sensible to plant vegetation there. And they didn't think about how a person who's been busted might respond to "why did you do that?"

There were lots of great recommendations during an intensive public process a few years ago that resulted in bigger, brighter signs, trail head signage and an OBVIOUS terminus of the trail.

The end of the trail is obvious. We’ve all seen people stop, look at the Grace Tam memorial, and then step over the low, but OBVIOUS rock wall and walk over to the caves - mom & dad sometimes helping their toddlers over the wall. It's awful to see little tiny kids following mom & dad in faith.

I think those who were interviewed fibbed about how they didn't see the end of the trail, in order to cover up their embarrassment at being caught. Not sure if they were asked if they saw the signs - the article doesn't say.

I would never make recommendations based on interviews from people who got asked about why they did the wrong thing.

The students didn't think this one through.

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" I'm really happy about this! … I have very strong good and horrible memories up there."  – oldgranola, NWH’s outdoors advocate.
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Cyclopath
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PostMon Dec 16, 2019 9:43 am 
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Grizzly reintroduction, into the caves.
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zephyr
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PostMon Dec 16, 2019 9:46 am 
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Didn't you all announce that the Stillaguamish River bridge had been removed?  Won't that disrupt the flow of curious hikers to the Big 4 caves?  I thought the problem had been resolved for now.   ~z
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mosey
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PostMon Dec 16, 2019 9:49 am 
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Kinda moot since the bridge is gone now. It appears the "glacier" is shrinking too. so who knows if they'll consider it worthwhile building another one.  frown.gif
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Kim Brown
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PostMon Dec 16, 2019 10:08 am 
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The bridge will be back.

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" I'm really happy about this! … I have very strong good and horrible memories up there."  – oldgranola, NWH’s outdoors advocate.
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Schroder
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PostMon Dec 16, 2019 10:09 am 
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The bridge section removal is only temporary to protect the structure. That doesn't seem to keep people from going there.
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Logbear
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PostMon Dec 16, 2019 10:14 am 
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No bridge.  No problem

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Malachai Constant
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PostMon Dec 16, 2019 11:02 am 
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Great substitute drowning kids for crushing. Extremely dangerous to cross upstream of a sweeper.

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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Stefan
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PostMon Dec 16, 2019 12:01 pm 
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I wonder why the Forest Service doesn't care about me when I go mountain climbing.  Or about  some people when they go whitewater kayaking.

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Kim Brown
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PostMon Dec 16, 2019 12:09 pm 
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The reason Big 4 is getting attention is public demand for it, accidents get a lot of media attention, and probably having to deal with lawsuits. Otherwise, generally, the USFS doesn't do a lot of hand-holding.

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" I'm really happy about this! … I have very strong good and horrible memories up there."  – oldgranola, NWH’s outdoors advocate.
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Malachai Constant
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PostMon Dec 16, 2019 12:23 pm 
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I favor removing the bridge and moving it to the Suiattle to access Lime Ridge and the PCT hockeygrin.gif

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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Windstorm
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PostMon Dec 16, 2019 12:32 pm 
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Kim Brown wrote:
The bridge will be back.

Maybe eventually, but that erosion damage isn't going to make it easy (or cheap). From pictures I've seen, it will most likely require an entirely new bridge. It might be possible to reuse the undamaged footing, but the eroded footing will probably have to be replaced further back from the bank which means the old bridge would be too short to reuse.
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Malachai Constant
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PostMon Dec 16, 2019 12:44 pm 
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The Big Four parking area is a gold mine for the NW Forest Pass.

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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Kim Brown
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PostMon Dec 16, 2019 12:45 pm 
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Windstorm wrote:
Kim Brown wrote:
The bridge will be back.

Maybe eventually, but that erosion damage isn't going to make it easy (or cheap). From pictures I've seen, it will most likely require an entirely new bridge. It might be possible to reuse the undamaged footing, but the eroded footing will probably have to be replaced further back from the bank which means the old bridge would be too short to reuse.

Yes. But my post isn't about the bridge and replacement process. It is related to the comment about the Big4 trail issue being moot because the bridge is out. I don't think it is moot because the bridge will be back.

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" I'm really happy about this! … I have very strong good and horrible memories up there."  – oldgranola, NWH’s outdoors advocate.
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