lookout alongside Salt Creek canyon high on Mt Adams

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Chip Down
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lookout alongside Salt Creek canyon high on Mt Adams

Post by Chip Down » October 24th, 2020, 4:19 pm

I know some readers here have an interest in old lookouts, so thought I'd share this.

Yesterday I was high on Mt Adams, looking downslope to enjoy the scenery and to keep an eye on descent routes for later. I saw what looked unusual, not natural. Like a shelter. Binoculars confirmed some sort of aberration, appeared to be man made. At that point I wasn't sure if my descent route would take me that way, but eventually it did, so I watched for it.

My observed structure was along the east rim of Salt Creek canyon, so that made it easy to find (i.e. it wasn't just randomly placed with no landmark nearby). When I arrived, I was ambivalent: pleased that it was indeed a manmade structure, but disappointed it was just a shabby lean-to. But it was obviously constructed from leftover materials; nobody hauled big bundles of lumber up here just for a primitive shelter. I knew something larger must have been nearby.

As I continued down, I saw more lumber, wire-bound bundles, some as big as 4x4.

Finally, I saw what I was hoping for: ceramic insulators, evidence that communication equipment was here at one time.

If you know anything about a cabin high alongside the Salt Creek canyon, please share.
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retired jerry
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Re: lookout alongside Salt Creek canyon high on Mt Adams

Post by retired jerry » October 24th, 2020, 5:19 pm

they built a lookout at the summit, abandoned after a few years

http://www.willhiteweb.com/washington_c ... ms_038.htm

that doesn't match what you're describing though

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Don Nelsen
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Re: lookout alongside Salt Creek canyon high on Mt Adams

Post by Don Nelsen » October 24th, 2020, 5:41 pm

Chip,

Great find! You are making me have a longer and longer list of things to go and do. :)

Also, Loved your TR about your Salt Creek hike. When I hiked Stagman on the 6th, I made note of the upper part of that area and took a couple of photos for future reference.
Image

The ridge above that big moraine looked really inviting for an exploration and you beat me to it!
Image

dn
"Everything works in the planning stage".

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jime
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Re: lookout alongside Salt Creek canyon high on Mt Adams

Post by jime » October 24th, 2020, 6:46 pm

Check out pages 8-14 here for some history on the lookout & sulfur mining on Mt Adams.
http://www.alpental.com/m/1964.pdf

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Chip Down
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Re: lookout alongside Salt Creek canyon high on Mt Adams

Post by Chip Down » October 24th, 2020, 7:24 pm

There's some fascinating history on that summit cabin. Fun to see pics when it's bare, as I think I've only seen it with snow. I know I was up there in August one year, but it was exceptionally snowy, the year Baker set a world record.

Don, from the top of Salt Creek Canyon, I started up that sawtooth moraine, but hit a knife-edge section, and since I was just playing around and exploring, picked another goal. I wonder now what approach I took decades ago when I ascended the cleaver between White Salmon and Avalanche. Regarding the ridge: many years ago, I was ascending the SW Chutes. Boooooring. So I veered left in search of adventure and headed up the ridge, then dropped into that triangular snowfield seen in your last pic. Notice the top edge is guarded by steep rock, but there's a little exit gully, and from there it's easy to get to Pikers or summit.

bushwhacker
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Re: lookout alongside Salt Creek canyon high on Mt Adams

Post by bushwhacker » October 25th, 2020, 12:11 pm

Looks like someone moved some of the boards since I was up there :o .
IMG_0745.JPG
My guess was that it was fencing for back when there were zillions of sheep roaming around there. Since that spot is located right next to a canyon or maybe there was an upper elevation limit they wanted to have to chase the sheep around. At some point after Adams became a wilderness in 1964 maybe someone gathered up all the fencing and bundled it up with whatever wiring was laying around. The lean to was probably someone at a later date playing 'Survivorman'.

My other guess was it was part of the phone system from the top to some place at the bottom. Though looking at old maps the only seemingly logical place one would think they would run a phone line to would have been the Gotchen Creek guard station which is a long ways from those boards. 'jime's attachment has some great information about all the issues they had with the phone line(s). Didn't realize they used two lines. One for communications and one for a ground. Must have been miles of the stuff. Early thinking was that you had to have the communications line up off the ground (wood posts?) for it to work which later proved to be false.

Space alien landing zone is my third guess 8-) .

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Chip Down
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Re: lookout alongside Salt Creek canyon high on Mt Adams

Post by Chip Down » October 25th, 2020, 5:38 pm

Once again, Bushwhacker has pics of my Mt Adams discovery.
Bushwhacker, save me the trouble and just tell me where to go next :D
A livestock fence seems plausible.
BTW, I've seen cattle on RTM trail in that area.

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Don Nelsen
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Re: lookout alongside Salt Creek canyon high on Mt Adams

Post by Don Nelsen » October 25th, 2020, 7:17 pm

bushwhacker wrote:
October 25th, 2020, 12:11 pm

Space alien landing zone is my third guess 8-) .
Sounds good to me. I think I saw their footprints in the snow last Thursday. ;)
"Everything works in the planning stage".

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