This is a fairly late trip report, but better late than never.
I’d been prompted by Ben Singleton-Polster to remove the log jam that threatened the bridge over Barr Creek for over a year. I had intended to do this when we upgraded the bridge and re-skinned the hut at the end of August, but I thwarted myself by forgetting the handle for the tirfor in my trunk.
The broom in the Harrison Hut was farcically worn. I was supposed to take up a replacement in August but forgot that as well.
I tried to trick someone on the message board into joining me to pull the log jam and hike the broom up but failed. I guess I’m getting too old, crotchety, and lame for the cool kids to hang out with me. I got one of my co-workers, Nick, fired up about the trip and he went for it.
We crossed the Lions Gate a little after 6:00 on Saturday morning and didn’t do anything ridiculous like stop at Tim Hortons, so we got hiking around 9:30 or 10:00.
By the time we got to the landslide lookout, the broom had exploded just from being strapped to my almost-empty pack. This wasn’t particularly impressive. I carried it the rest of the way in my hand to prevent further damage.
Nick is in good shape, but his boots were bollocks so he had to mummify his feet with duct tape. We got to the bridge at2:15, and I ran up to the hut to fetch the tirfor. We got about half the logs out by the time it was getting dusky.
I repaired the broom by stuffing a piece of rebar down the hollow shaft. It’s annoyingly heavy now, but it does more or less what a broom is supposed to do.
The next morning I regraded the area around the outhouse to make sure that we didn’t end up with run-off overflowing the pit and washing turds all over the place in the spring. Nick woke up and took a couple pictures just as I finished, so the timing was perfect. There was a 20L bucket of perishable food and a few cans of stuff left in the hut, which I hiked out.
We finished up the log jam removal by 2:30. We had five slings, a 1-ton tirfor with 30 feet of cable, a 12-foot chain sling, and a 5-foot quarter-ton chain hoist. We needed absolutely every one of those things, and we weren’t needing anything we didn’t have, so I felt pretty good about what I’d packed.
The only part that was a little disturbing was that one of the larger trees in the jam was largely buried in rock. I spent about 30 minutes barefoot in the creek pulling rocks off the log, which was interesting because every time I’d pick up one rock, the current would make some of the other rocks roll downstream. I didn’t have any rocks large enough to do damage rolling over my feet, which was nice.
Once the log jam was removed, the flow through the creek was significantly different than before, with much more of the water going down the hut side. The lower water level on the trail side revealed that the bottom of the rock that the bridge rests on is a total farce. It’s this multi-ton block balancing on this toaster-sized rock. I’m going to have to shore that up; otherwise the rock is going to come down and take the bridge with it sooner than later. Once that’s done, though, I’ll really be able to rest assured that the bridge is going to be there for decades.
There was a bunch of steel left over from the original cheesetastical bridge mounting. Some of it had been hiked part-ways down and some was left at the bridge. That plus the tirfor and the hut food made a reasonably heavy albeit compact pack on the way down.