View of destruction inside Mount Pilchuck ski
lodge: "We just can't protect it."
(The Herald, October 1983, photo by JIM LEO)
Vandals win at Pilchuck ski lodge; Forest
The U.S. Forest Service has decided to quit fighting
vandals who have been slowly destroying the old ski lodge on Mount
"We are preparing to advertise to have it torn down
or moved," Claude McLean, ranger of the Forest Service Darrington
District, said Friday. He expected the building would be gone by
this fall or next spring.
The two-story, 2,911-square-foot structure was the
main building of the old Pilchuck ski area, at the 3,000 foot level,
east of Granite Falls.
When the ski area closed in 1980, the Forest Service
regained possession of the real estate, including the buildings. The
ski lifts and other buildings were moved by the former ski area
operators, but the lodge was kept as a headquarters for the Young
Americans Conservation Corps
"The YACC died last fall and without anybody there,
we just can't protect it," McLean said.
Vandals have stripped away the protective plywood
and broken out the windows and doors. Extensive damage has been done
to the exterior and interior walls and other parts of the structure.
McLean said the Forest Service will leave it up to
the bidder to determine whether to dismantle the building or remove
it intact down the seven-mile road to the Mountain Loop Highway. But
he expects it would be too difficult and expensive to move the
McLean said the two-lane, paved road to the ski area
probably will be allowed to deteriorate into a standard one-lane,
logging road. But he expects it will be retained in that condition
to serve a campground at the lodge site.