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View Full Version : Info needed on East Mountain (VT)



jn316
06-03-2006, 09:39 AM
Is the road open for walking? Is it gated? How far can you drive? etc....
Any info appreciated on this mtn/Cold War relic.
thanks!

dms
06-03-2006, 12:41 PM
The road used to be open to foot traffic, but I understand that the new owner has closed that off, and you must get permission from him to go in via the road. You can always bushwack up from the Seneca side, but I understand that it's pretty thick going from that direction.

Dennis C.
06-03-2006, 02:42 PM
Gee Dennis, the road was closed back in "our day" too. I remember talking to the (then) owner of that property in a little nearby town. She also denied us permission to use the road. At first she wanted to know why we wanted to go up there. We mentioned doing all the NE 3000 footers. "Well that's one peak you're not going to do!", was her gruff reply. Needless to say we came up the "back way" bushwhacking as you suggested. It wasn't a bad choice .... but conditions do change over the years.

dms
06-03-2006, 03:38 PM
Dennis, when I last did it in October, 2000, the "lady" you spoke of was no longer the owner, and you could drive in on Radar Road to the gate where the paved road to the summit begins. There were signs on the gate saying foot traffic was welcome, but not vehicles or ATVs. The present owner, who desires to build wind turbines on the summit is the one who has closed the road to foot traffic. As to coming up from the Seneca side, John Swanson told me that route was pretty thick with spruce growth.

audrey
06-03-2006, 07:46 PM
Cantdog,

I hope I never see another summit so horribly abused. The views and the company were the highlights of that day...oh, and Mohamed's cold beer!

dms
06-03-2006, 07:48 PM
Were you folks able to get into the large summit building on your trip? In 2000, we were able to get up to the roof, but without flashlights, we couldn't have made it. Fantastic views from the top.

audrey
06-03-2006, 08:01 PM
All the buildings were wide open, if I remember correctly. We weren't quite sure where the high point was, so we wandered all over.

dms
06-03-2006, 08:08 PM
Audrey, there actually was a summit register back in 2000, it was in the woods on the south side of the road just before you get to the buildings.

dms
06-03-2006, 08:58 PM
For some more interesting information on this interesting mountain, go to www.easthavenwindfarm.com/

Mohamed Ellozy
06-03-2006, 11:07 PM
I did this one with Mohamed, Little Bear, Audrey and Pat about 2 years ago.That was a fun weekend!!!

We did Signal and Butterfield on Sat. June 5, 2004, and East on Sunday. All three are county highpoints (which is why I wanted them) and also 3,000 footers (which is why Audrey wanted them). The others came for the fun of it :)

The summit of East Mountain can be viewed as an interesting artifact or as a despoilt area, either descriptions fits. What I remember best are the views of the Whites from far to the northwest, familiar mountains seen from a new angle.
The views and the company were the highlights of that day...oh, and Mohamed's cold beer!Uh yes, perhaps I did have a few cold ones in a cooler which sort of happenned to be in the trunk.

Nate
06-05-2006, 08:25 AM
Have the conditions of access changed since Papa Bear went up there in '04? Back then, one needed to check in with the caretaker if they wanted to drive up Radar Road from the west, but the gate for the east approach was unlocked. Even back then, the final four-mile approach (once leaving Radar Road) had to be walked because that last stretch of road was closed to vehicular traffic.

jn316
06-05-2006, 03:22 PM
If permission is needed now, does anyone know whom to ask?
PM if you prefer.
Thanks.

RoySwkr
06-05-2006, 05:57 PM
Someone told me the caretaker's name last summer, but of course I've forgot already, but he had an office in downtown Concord VT if that helps anybody.

More trip reports:
http://www.cohp.org/vt/vermont.html#Essex

Nate
06-06-2006, 09:15 AM
I was looking at the most recent trip report, from Charles Zerphey (on the county highpoints website), and he states that all the gates were locked. I wonder if he was coming from the west, or if all the access gates for Radar Road are locked (including the one(s) on the eastern end of the road)? I wonder if anyone has been up there recently who could verify this.

Dennis C.
06-13-2006, 08:46 PM
Cantdog, that's quite some historical article from the land owners. With all the problems they've had, it's no wonder the lady didn't want us going up there.

Papa Bear
06-14-2006, 09:16 AM
Have the conditions of access changed since Papa Bear went up there in '04? Back then, one needed to check in with the caretaker if they wanted to drive up Radar Road from the west, but the gate for the east approach was unlocked. Even back then, the final four-mile approach (once leaving Radar Road) had to be walked because that last stretch of road was closed to vehicular traffic.
I was there the same week as Audrey and company. I went in from the east side and got permission from a very nice man (Del) whose house was right by a gate. I actually called the the wind farm company which I got from the net and spoke to the president (sounds like a one man company). He said sure, just talk to Del and he'll let you in. Going through here got me on a road that meets the other road at the upper gate. The rest is the same. It turns out the lower gate of that other road - from the south at Gallup - was open, so I needn't have bothered. But that all seems irrelevant now with new owners.

And yes, all buildings were abandoned and open to the adventurous. I never got to the roof of anything but I got some good second story views. Here's a view:

http://gallery.backcountry.net/albums/papabear_2004_vermont_june/abx.sized.jpg

Now I may be wrong, but I thought the top of the mountain was not owned by the wind farm company - just the area below the summit and the roads. Ayone know? And furthermore, there may be multiple owners - one may own the east lower gate, another the south lower gate. Someone may need to do a little research here.

That article was from 1990 and is, I guess, is pre-windfarm. Maybe the windfarm company bought some or all of the land from the guy featured in the article.

Nate
06-20-2006, 06:48 PM
I made some calls up to Vermont, and after speaking to the Granby town clerk, the timber company, and the windfarm people, I think I have the official line regarding access to East Mountain. Much of the land around East Mountain (or at least the part that Radar Road passes through) is owned by a timber company. They currently don't have a problem with hikers using their property. They said the Gallup Mills end of Radar Road is usually unlocked, unless it's mud season (I neglected to ask about the Heartwellville end of the road). The summit of East Mountain is still owned by the windfarm company. Further, I learned from them that at present the state doesn't allow them to permit visitors to the summit, due to the asbestos content of the old buildings. Supposedly this is specifically posted at the gate for the paved summit road (where it departs from Radar Road). Why asbestos is an issue now and it wasn't two years ago, I don't know, but considering the gentleman (who was incredibly pleasant and friendly by the way, as was everyone I spoke to during this process) could have simply denied me access without giving a reason, I have no reason to doubt what he told me. I further learned that this isn't a permanent situation, but they don't know when they'll be able to permit hikers access to the summit again.

Nate
10-25-2006, 07:13 PM
I was up in the area recently, and to this date the Heartwellville end of Radar Road still sports a locked gate. As for the Gallups Mills end, a fair amount of locals head in there to go hunting, and it's posted at the gate for the summit road that it's okay for hunters to proceed on foot. For the collections of buildings halfway up to the summit road and on the peak itself, both are clearly posted as "Authorized Personnel Only." Since all the structures are severely run down, vandalized, and overall suffering from advanced decrepitude, it's easy to understand why. Then again, from what I saw, the true highpoint isn't among the buildings on the summit, but a point not too far south off the road just before it enters the off limits area. Poking around the trees there, I was unable to find a canister, but considering how much traffic from locals this peak seems to get, I'm not surprised it's been removed. Then again, as I write this, it seems like perhaps I could have been a little more thorough in my search for the highpoint, but since the trees were more snowy than I was dressed for, had the highpoint been well into the woods I could have easily missed it (although at the time it didn't seem likely that there was a higher spot than the boulder/outcropping I found (it was under enough snow that I couldn't tell which)). Perhaps whoever goes up there next will examine that summit copse more thoroughly than I did and report back here).

dms
10-25-2006, 07:36 PM
Nate, I believe that you are correct as to the location of the summit high point, just a bit south of the road before you encounter the buildings. There used to be a register there. Did you see anyone else up there when you were hiking? BTW, the roof of the largest building has incredible 360 views.

Nate
10-25-2006, 08:07 PM
Dennis, since moose hunting season happened to be in full swing when I was up there, the pull out near the bottom of the summit road was full of vehicles (one authorized truck even made an attempt to reach the summit during my walk, but had to turn back due to icy conditions). Then again, I only encountered two groups during my excursion. I can only guess how much traffic I would have encountered if I'd gone up a different time of year.

bill bowden
10-26-2006, 12:41 PM
The high point certainly seemed to be outside the cleared/built-up area but my friend and I missed finding any register as well. The badly run down buildings there and on the road in seemed terribly sad..no clean up, no remediation, just abandoned.

Raymond
10-27-2006, 12:46 AM
This makes me think of the building on the top of Equinox. What's the story with it? When I was there in July it looked pretty decrepit, but there was a radio playing somewhere inside.

RoySwkr
01-02-2008, 07:33 PM
Just read "The Disposable Man" by VT mystery author Archer Mayor, the book ends with an improbable shootout on one of the radar buildings and the cover has a completely bogus illustration of the summit

The book does have some interesting historical info obtained from Ed Sawyer

Mtnbuster
01-04-2008, 01:29 PM
Hi Ginger Lang and I did this mtn back in Sept 12 1999 with no problems to speak of . The 1st approach was from the west, but the road past a house was gated. Looked at the atlas, found a road from the SW, drove to a T intersection (no gate ) the road to the left was the 1st one we tried. Took a rt passed several buildings and then the road went left and right up the mtn. There were a few cars on top. Were able to get on the roof, and the foliage was great with real nice views all around. Came down and looked for the jar after dropping down over 250' to meet the drop from coll to top. The jar was actually a large plastic bag with tape on tree aways in from the top. Had a great time. Bill Bowden and I tried the same thing years later, but the T intersection was now gated and locked. Glenn

davy
01-04-2008, 02:30 PM
Here is a link to a Cold War Air Force Radar Site complete with Photos, Maps Timelines Equipment listings ect.:

Link: (http://www.radomes.org/cgi-bin/museum/acwinfo2x.cgi?site="Lyndonville+AFS+(North+Concord),+VT"&key=LyndonvilleAFSNorthConcordVT&pic=LyndonvilleAFSNorthConcordVT&doc=LyndonvilleAFSNorthConcordVT)