U.S. Forest Service On-Site Coordinator Joe Gibbens has announced that the closure of all public and private access to Monte Cristo has been pushed back a year. Thus the existing county road to the townsite as well as trails off it to Gothic Basin, Glacier Basin, and Silver Lake will be open as normal through 2014. Reasons for delay included the wet spring delaying the resumption of construction on the new access road from Mowich to the bottom of Hap’s Hill, state Department of Ecology approval procedures running into summer, and the need to incorporate cultural resources information into the work plan. During this work season contractors intend to finish the three new bridges on the access route plus other smaller road tasks. This new portion will remain closed to the public through 2014. In addition, sampling wells will be dug at the hazardous materials depository site below town, and sampling will be conducted at the Mystery and Justice mines for possible drainage water treatment. Project benefits from the delay are lower contractor costs and having to place temporary culverts across Glacier Creek a single time rather than twice.
Snow depths still prevent hiking and biking to the town. Unlike last year the number of windfall trees across the road appears minimal. For those with road permits, driving is possible to the avalanche/picnic table area 3/8 of a mile in. Keep alert to National Weather Service forecasts for river, avalanche, and runoff conditions.
At 6 p.m. our board will hold its spring planning meeting at Third Place Books in the Lake Forest Park Town Center. Members always are invited to attend. For further information, contact President Kal Klass at email@example.com.
Mark your calendar for Saturday June 7 at noon for our annual meeting and potluck at the Verlot Public Service Center old timber office. Come to hear updates on what is expected to happen this summer, how we and the public are affected, and what we can do to get through this odd period. Your thoughts and opinions are valued as we decide how to proceed. New members and visitors are always are welcome!
MCPA, a private non-profit 501) (3) organization, has its dues year starting every May to coincide with normal access to Monte Cristo. Our dues are $24.00 per year, with an additional $18.00 cost for an optional annual key to the county gate at Barlow Pass. With the clay slide blocking the county road at 6/10 of a mile, parking is available there along the roadside. Notarized liability waivers from MCPA and Snohomish County also are required for drivers. Donations to MCPA are income tax deductible.