Forum Index > Trip Reports > Thompson Point/Granite Lakes 24 dec 2018
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kitya
Fortune Cookie



Joined: 15 Mar 2010
Posts: 840 | TRs | Pics
Location: Duvall, WA
kitya
Fortune Cookie
PostTue Dec 25, 2018 9:29 am 
Weird day-before-christmas miracle - sunny on Zorro ridge. I did not expect that. In fact I don't remember it being ever sunny in Middle fork valley (part of it is self-fulfilling prophecy, I often go to Middle fork area only when weather is too bad to go somewhere more exciting). Monday NWAC forecast was still showing considerable avy danger even below tree line for the area, so I was a bit cautious, but there is barely any snow at all - snow coverage is very thin. I didn't use snowshoes until maybe 4100 feet and even after that snow still doesn't fully cover some of the larger bushes, but it is wet heavy snow and it does slide. Finally at around 4600 we ditched the road walking and just snowshed straight up on steep slope as logging cleared most of the trees and it became a pleasant open forest. To my surprise the famous cabin is completely gone, looks like it was finally demolished this summer (by forterra or DNR?) and the area where it once stood is marked with "Do not enter, area closed" signs. Hopefully they will also remove the logging roads, restore grade and let the trees recover. Maybe one day zorro ridge will become not zorro anymore. From Thompson point there are nice views to Little Comrade, Gilford Lakes, Russian Butte and Revolution peak. We could even see Seattle. I should have probably continued all the way to Revolution summit, but days are short and Cookie hoped we can come back soon to buy some dog cookies for her in the North Bend bakery (THEY HAVE THE BEST DOG COOKIES). On the way back we also walked down to Granite lakes, since Cookie wanted to check them out for some reason. Very little snow around them too. 14 miles, 4600 gain https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/3245501793

huron, Fedor
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Randito
Snarky Member



Joined: 27 Jul 2008
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Location: Bellevue at the moment.
Randito
Snarky Member
PostTue Dec 25, 2018 9:47 am 
Awesome. Great looking dog too...

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zephyr
aka friendly hiker



Joined: 21 Jun 2009
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Location: West Seattle
zephyr
aka friendly hiker
PostTue Dec 25, 2018 10:09 am 
Beautiful day up there. 'Love the lighting in your photographs. ~z

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RichP
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Joined: 13 Jul 2006
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RichP
Member
PostTue Dec 25, 2018 10:20 am 
Sad to hear about the cabin but it was planned that way for a while.

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kitya
Fortune Cookie



Joined: 15 Mar 2010
Posts: 840 | TRs | Pics
Location: Duvall, WA
kitya
Fortune Cookie
PostTue Dec 25, 2018 1:08 pm 
RichP wrote:
Sad to hear about the cabin but it was planned that way for a while.
I agree it is a little bit sad, but if the mountain will become more natural eventually, it would be great. Seeing all the logged trees is way more sad.

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puzzlr
Mid Fork Rocks



Joined: 13 Feb 2007
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Location: Stuck in the middle
puzzlr
Mid Fork Rocks
PostTue Dec 25, 2018 2:04 pm 
This information is what I've picked up here and there so not official and probably not completely accurate. The cabin was removed by the DNR on October 24, 2018. The property was purchased by Forterra in 2016 and then transferred to the DNR. Per a conversation with the local DNR office there are regulations about structures inside NRCA boundaries and keeping the cabin wasn't an option. They got an estimate for hauling it all out but that was too expensive and they aren't allowed to burn structures on this category of property. During interactions about the Fairy Cabin they learned the FBI was willing to practice their bunker busting techniques and blow up the cabin. After the explosion tons of debris was hauled down via helicopters and taken to the dump by Wade Holden's Friends Of The Trail group. I wish the cabin could have stayed and been open to the public, but failing that I wish I could have documented the destruction. I recommend visiting Thompson Point in the next ten years before the trees grow tall enough to start blocking the amazing view. I made a trip up there in May 2017 after the DNR owned it to get some photographs of the inside knowing its days were numbered.
Thompson Point cabin upper floor
Thompson Point cabin upper floor
Thompson Point cabin lower floor
Thompson Point cabin lower floor
Refrigerator from Thompson Point cabin post explosion
Refrigerator from Thompson Point cabin post explosion
Debris from Thompson Point cabin being hauled away to the dump after being helicoptered off the mountain
Debris from Thompson Point cabin being hauled away to the dump after being helicoptered off the mountain
The most unsightly Zorro peak roads were decommissioned in the late 90s. I don't think the remaining roads up to the cabin will be worked on because there's no longer any access for equipment because of the Granite Lakes road-to-trail conversion. That was done before Forterra was able to purchase the property.

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Bernardo
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Joined: 08 Feb 2010
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Location: out and about in the world
Bernardo
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PostTue Dec 25, 2018 4:17 pm 
Nice hike, nice pictures! Too bad about the cabin.

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fourteen410
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fourteen410
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PostWed Dec 26, 2018 1:34 pm 
Thanks for the heads up about the cabin Kitya and thanks puzzlr for the additional details and pics. Interesting to see inside the cabin - appears that it was in pretty good condition.

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BigBrunyon
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Joined: 19 Mar 2015
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BigBrunyon
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PostThu Dec 27, 2018 2:00 am 
Seeing them colors big way upon that ridgeline

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Slim
This space for rent



Joined: 31 Aug 2004
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Location: Falling off a turnip truck
Slim
This space for rent
PostThu Dec 27, 2018 10:23 am 
Love the pictures - both Kitya's and Puzzlr's. I'm a little sad to see the cabin go but glad they're not decommissioning the road. I would love to see a trail put in to the Giffords some day. It's a pretty little valley and the lakes are nice too.

"Lean mean money-making-machines serving fiends"
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mosey
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Joined: 18 Dec 2018
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mosey
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PostSat Mar 16, 2019 8:55 am 
Bit of a bump but I noticed the lack of cabin from a nearby peak recently... It was built well and it's sad to see it go. I could rant all day about the DNR, but here're some pictures of it on a particularly sunny day in case anyone else if feeling nostalgic.
southward pano
southward pano
on the road to grandma's house
on the road to grandma's house
looking towards Seattle
looking towards Seattle
lincoln logs closeup
lincoln logs closeup

Now I Fly
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Backpacker Joe
Blind Hiker



Joined: 16 Dec 2001
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Location: Cle Elum
Backpacker Joe
Blind Hiker
PostSat Mar 16, 2019 2:00 pm 
I remember the days when you could drive a two wheel drive car up there. I never got inside it, but it looks to have been made well. I wonder what the point of it was in the first place? There was no water near it. There must be video of that explosion some place. That would be something to see.

"If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide." Abraham Lincoln
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mbravenboer
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Joined: 20 Oct 2013
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mbravenboer
Member
PostSat Feb 03, 2024 12:42 pm 
I couldn't find any photos of the blown up Thompson Point cabin on nwhikers and this seems like the best thread to share them. It's kind of a mess. Lots of metal on the ground and the thing apparently was supported by concrete that is still there. Not sure that removing it is an improvement this way. If you plan on going: until the first switchback is a bit of an slide alder battle, but it gets better after that. Seems like a lovely snowshoe if there is a bit more snow. Plenty of views still. There is currently more snow then appears here in the photos (probably cleared by the wind). I'd guess ~3-4 feet in most places. Postholed waist deep a few times.

hikerbiker
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