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DayTrip
04-25-2014, 05:04 PM
There was a post on The Hiking The 4000 Footers Facebook group that the classic summit sign atop summit of Moosilauke was gone, post and all. Anyone know if there would have been some sort of legitimate maintenance that would be the reason for this? I wouldn't have thought they'd remove everything includding the pole and all but it also seems unlikely someone would have yanked the whole thing out and stolen it. At least I certainly hope not. That is probably one of the most recognizable signs in the Whites.

If anyone has any local knowledge explaining the missing sign I'd be curious to know. No one on the Facebook group has a explanation.

TJsName
04-25-2014, 05:13 PM
Last time I saw it was with Tim. Perhaps he took it as a Single Season Winter 48 memento? :D

summitseeker
04-25-2014, 06:45 PM
That would be a sin, with a capital "S" if someone did in fact make off with the iconic sign.


With the post being gone as well we arrive at two most likely scenarios.

1). The sign and post are both being replaced by legitimate personnel. However, why would they remove the sign and post without replacing it?

2). D-Bags have made off with it. In their haste they took the whole kit and kaboodle below tree line, removed the sign, tossed the post, and have incurred bad karma forever.

Or, lastly, it was the work of aliens.

With a serious lack of cows to abduct above tree line and having reached the maximum amount of knowledge that can be gained by probing they have opted for a new means of analyzing our planet. IMHO

Just a thought...

Z :D

Scubahhh
04-25-2014, 07:41 PM
Doc Benton?

David Metsky
04-26-2014, 08:24 AM
Doc Benton?
The Good Doctor never seemed to have a thing for signs. Buildings on the other hand...

Put in a call to the DOC in Hanover and let them know. I can't imagine a reason for taking down the 4x4 post (I remember hauling that up there, it's pressure treated and weighs a ton) but the sign is replaced on occasion. The sign didn't look to be in bad shape last time I saw it so I don't know if that's likely.

RoySwkr
04-26-2014, 09:54 AM
The USFS has been removing summit signs as fast as they can, even though this violates Appalachian Trail signing guidelines. Dartmouth owns the summit, so they perhaps control the existence of this particular sign and should know if removal was legitimate. If non-approved, I consider it more likely to be a pseudo-environmentalist than a souvenir hunter.

bikehikeskifish
04-26-2014, 10:19 AM
Cabot's sign was gone in mid-March, come to think of it... And no, I didn't take the Moosilauke sign, and confirm it was there on 3/19.

Tim

sdways01
04-26-2014, 10:33 AM
I was there Thursday and both the sign and post are missing from the summit. At the Glencliff/South Peak Spur/Carriage Road junction... the South peak sign was on the ground just into the trees, the post on the Carriage Road had no signs on it, but one was on the ground (looks like two belong on the post), and there was also a seemingly random post stood up in the trees next to the South Peak spur that has had a sign on it in the past but nothing right now.

The south peak spur sign matched up with a hole in a small tree (based on the arrow on the sign) and I put that back in place the best I could without tools. The sign on the ground if I recall looked like it had broken and fell. That post looks like it has had a second sign on it as well, but I didn't see one. With the seemingly random post in the trees, I assumed some sign maintenance was going on, but it snowed to early or things haven't melted enough for them to finish. Maybe this post is the post for the summit sign?

I didn't think to take any pictures of those signs while I was there.

nartreb
04-26-2014, 04:07 PM
As of a week before Tim was there, the summit sign was losing the last of its paint but otherwise undamaged; the glencliff/south peak/carriage road signs had no significant defects that I can recall.

http://www.davidalbeck.com/photos/moosetime.html

This is not likely to be related to official maintenance.

It's a long walk from the summit to the south peak spur with a heavy post; maybe someobdy planned to take the whole thing home but got tired and took the other signs instead.

Guthook
04-28-2014, 06:38 AM
Sectionhiker.com has a post this morning about the missing sign and mentions many of the summit cairns have been knocked over.

I don't see why anyone would speculate that the Forest Service did this-- you could just ask them, but knocking cairns over doesn't seem like a FS kind of thing. At the very least, has anyone brought this up to the Dartmouth Outing Club or Forest Service to make sure they're aware?

David Metsky
04-28-2014, 09:41 AM
So I called my friend at the DOC and he was confirmed that they didn't take any actions. He thought this might have to do with the Forest Service standardizing all the signs along the AT and he was going to call them to find out what's up. He knew that those signs were going away but thought the FS would coordinate with the DOC.

TCD
04-28-2014, 10:46 AM
I haven't been these peaks, but take a look at earlier threads about the routes up Owls Head - knocking over cairns is very much a Forest Service activity.

DayTrip
04-28-2014, 10:56 AM
I haven't been these peaks, but take a look at earlier threads about the routes up Owls Head - knocking over cairns is very much a Forest Service activity.

Isn't that only because Owl's Head is an unofficial trail and they are supposed to discourage use of unapproved trails? Moosilauke is clearly different I think.

I hadn't heard about the cairns. Certainly sounding like vandalism at this point. Does this happen often in the mountains? Only recently been following hiking forums so I'm new to having access to the kind of info available here. I'm hoping this is an isolated case.

thegibba
04-28-2014, 11:02 AM
Owls head is in a wilderness area. That's why they knock the cairns down over there. The moose is not a wilderness area. I thought DOC was in charge of maintenance on the moose. I don't quite see why the forest service would bother messing with cairns and signs there. The cairns are also a safety issue. I do remember signs being posted somewhere (I forget where. Possibly Acadia) that existing ones should not be altered and new ones not be built.

David Metsky
04-28-2014, 11:23 AM
While the land on Moosilauke is Dartmouth owned and maintained, the AT is a special case. The FS has authority to mandated standards and enforce them. The FS have decided to standardize signs all along the AT and that may explain their removal. It was planned and discussed with the DOC but the logistics weren't finalized yet. But all those signs were planned to be replaced.

There is no reason that I know of that would explain knocking down cairns up there - they meet all the trail maintenance guidelines.

David Metsky
04-28-2014, 01:45 PM
Spoke with the DOC who has been in communications with the FS. Neither of them are responsible, so it's most likely vandalism. The FS is investigating and is making up new signs to replace the missing ones.

peakbagger
04-28-2014, 02:38 PM
A lot of historical signage is going to be removed if they truly replace all the signs along the AT with the new federal signs that appear to be made out of surplus stock left over from a McDonald's booth.
It will be interesting to see how well the new material holds up in the long term.

thegibba
04-28-2014, 02:51 PM
It would certainly be interesting to see what they do at the top of Eisenhower. Really, it would be interesting to see what they do at any other peak that doesn't have a sign. Will they throw one up on Lincoln?

Edit: I had mentioned throwing a sign on clay but remembered its not on the AT.

TDawg
04-28-2014, 03:05 PM
Eisenhower would sure take a while to scatter! Although the AT skips Ike, as well.

jniehof
04-28-2014, 03:12 PM
While the land on Moosilauke is Dartmouth owned and maintained, the AT is a special case. The FS has authority to mandated standards and enforce them. The FS have decided to standardize signs all along the AT and that may explain their removal.
Does NPS just delegate to USFS throughout NH, then? It seems odd for USFS to be enforcing standards on an NPS trail on DOC land.

David Metsky
04-28-2014, 04:34 PM
Does NPS just delegate to USFS throughout NH, then? It seems odd for USFS to be enforcing standards on an NPS trail on DOC land.
We always interacted with the FS, through the ATC. Not sure if the NPS gets involved or if the USFS is enforcing NPS standards. Yes, the NPS administers the AT but we dealt with the FS on a day-to-day basis when I was dealing with this.

bikehikeskifish
04-28-2014, 06:36 PM
Summit-signs-taken-down-on-the-Carters has some information on the USFS policy regarding summit signs and cairns...

Tim

Raven
04-28-2014, 06:37 PM
A lot of historical signage is going to be removed if they truly replace all the signs along the AT with the new federal signs that appear to be made out of surplus stock left over from a McDonald's booth.
It will be interesting to see how well the new material holds up in the long term.

If word gets out along the AT that the signs are being replaced, those historical signs may start to disappear fast.

RoySwkr
04-28-2014, 06:56 PM
There is no reason that I know of that would explain knocking down cairns up there - they meet all the trail maintenance guidelines.
The FS has removed a number of large cairns above treeline and used the material to build stone walls - look at your old photos of Thunderstorm Jct, Eisenhower, etc. [That doesn't prove they did it here, but the same folks that encourage such action by the FS may have done it here feeling it is an improvement.]



Eisenhower would sure take a while to scatter! Although the AT skips Ike, as well.
Most of the Eisenhower cairn is already gone...


Summit-signs-taken-down-on-the-Carters has some information on the USFS policy regarding summit signs and cairns...

Note that this policy conflicts with the NPS policy for the AT, which generally encourages summit signs - note photos by AT hikers

TJsName
04-28-2014, 07:15 PM
If word gets out along the AT that the signs are being replaced, those historical signs may start to disappear fast.

Is there reallu that big of a crowd that will only steal a sign if they know it is going to be replaced?

Raven
04-29-2014, 04:57 AM
Is there reallu that big of a crowd that will only steal a sign if they know it is going to be replaced?

I doubt it's a large crowd. It only take one person to take a sign. In my experience, when people know something old is about to be replaced (and possibly discarded), they are more likely to consider taking it than they would otherwise.

I would doubt that the ATC would broadcast their information for that very reason. Have you seen what people pay for AMC signs at the auction? A few went for $1500-$2000 this last year, and they weren't AT summit signs.

And with the increase in sign vandalism I have seen in the past number of years, I'm not giving the benefit of the doubt as much as I used to.

TJsName
04-29-2014, 12:17 PM
I doubt it's a large crowd. It only take one person to take a sign. In my experience, when people know something old is about to be replaced (and possibly discarded), they are more likely to consider taking it than they would otherwise.

I would doubt that the ATC would broadcast their information for that very reason. Have you seen what people pay for AMC signs at the auction? A few went for $1500-$2000 this last year, and they weren't AT summit signs.

And with the increase in sign vandalism I have seen in the past number of years, I'm not giving the benefit of the doubt as much as I used to.

I'm not sure I know anyone who would be willing to snag a sign regardless of it's status, but perhaps I am naive. I did see the prices fetched for those AMC signs, but my understanding is that it's also a fundraisers for the AMC. I'm not sure those buyers would get the same in retails, but perhaps I don't know the market very well.

David Metsky
04-29-2014, 01:21 PM
I'm not sure I know anyone who would be willing to snag a sign regardless of it's status, but perhaps I am naive.
Unfortunately there are those folks out there - collectors who will pay for something that is rare and sought after.

Hillwalker
04-29-2014, 03:00 PM
Does NPS just delegate to USFS throughout NH, then? It seems odd for USFS to be enforcing standards on an NPS trail on DOC land.

Several years ago, during the period of time when I was the AT Corridor Monitor Coordinator for the DOC, the NPS "Administratively transferred" the AT Corridor within NH to the USFS, WMNF. I used to have a copy of the transfer document, but turned it back into the DOC with all my maps, deeds, and easements. Two file cabinets full.

peakbagger
04-29-2014, 03:21 PM
There was a fairly active but sporadic market on "legal" signs. I generally look at the results of the RMC sign auctions which are still pricey. The RMC retired signs used to be sold at Moriah Sports in Gorham and I know at least one VFTT reader who bought a few :) and used to have them hung in her office. I think most groups have switched to an annual auction and thus the supply has dried up. MATC will not sell them due to the fear of establishing a market.

I perceive that at least some of the signs being auctioned are selected as much for their notoriety as for their condition. I have always been surprised that some entrepreneur hasn't started selling reproductions of the infamous yellow USFS treeline warning signs.

David Metsky
04-29-2014, 03:27 PM
The FS has removed a number of large cairns above treeline and used the material to build stone walls - look at your old photos of Thunderstorm Jct, Eisenhower, etc. [That doesn't prove they did it here, but the same folks that encourage such action by the FS may have done it here feeling it is an improvement.]
The DOC does trailwork up there, not the Forest Service. And we've built fairly extensive scree walls over the years. It seems that whoever did this did so as an act of vandalism.

TJ aka Teej
04-29-2014, 09:26 PM
Wait, what? Cairns being removed? Cairns saved my life once.

David Metsky
04-29-2014, 09:47 PM
Wait, what? Cairns being removed? Cairns saved my life once.
Someone knocked them over. They'll be rebuilt.

iagreewithjamie
04-30-2014, 08:07 AM
The FS has removed a number of large cairns above treeline and used the material to build stone walls - look at your old photos of Thunderstorm Jct, Eisenhower, etc. [That doesn't prove they did it here, but the same folks that encourage such action by the FS may have done it here feeling it is an improvement.]

That works only if the wall is as big as a cairn. Something tells me a wall wouldn't remain visible beyond a couple of good snow storms. Kinda useless if you ask me. But it is ironic that many of those cairns were built out of old stone walls, and now they're being knocked down to build walls.

IQuest
04-30-2014, 09:17 AM
I believe that the "stone walls" are more to protecect the fragile vegatation than for navigation.

David Metsky
04-30-2014, 11:23 AM
I believe that the "stone walls" are more to protecect the fragile vegatation than for navigation.
Correct, the walls are not intended as navigation aids. Keep in mind that in winter on top of Moosilauke the wind generally carries most of the snow away in the bare areas so the function somewhat in that capacity. And the cairns on Ike and T-Storm junction were far bigger than was needed for navigation.

Either way, that's not what happened on Moosilauke according the to FS.

iagreewithjamie
04-30-2014, 01:07 PM
Vandals amaze me. Who would go through the effort of climbing a mountain just to tear stuff down? This week, I passed some graffiti in the middle of a remote river - who would paddle 6 miles into oblivion to tag a rock?

Grey J
05-01-2014, 02:22 PM
Vandals amaze me. Who would go through the effort of climbing a mountain just to tear stuff down? This week, I passed some graffiti in the middle of a remote river - who would paddle 6 miles into oblivion to tag a rock?

An oblivious rock-head?

miehoff
05-01-2014, 06:16 PM
Ok. I have the sign, ok? It is in a location that I AM NOT going to obviously tell you, but the sign is uncomfortable and it is in a city environment. I CAN say, the elevation is taking a toll. We (my team), occasionally throw ice and spray it with cold water. We take it outside for sun and extreme solar exposure. If it's lucky, we bury it under snow and ice for prolonged periods.

THIS WILL NOT CONTINUE!

We will return the sign after receiving all of the "I climbed this-and-that" patches, a full and instant senior member status on VFTT, and a $200,000.00 gift card to any Common Man restaurant or Spa and premier parking at every trailhead.

WE ARE SERIOUS! DON'T PLAY GAMES! IF WE DON'T RECEIVE A REPLY IN THE NEXT 24 HOURS, WE WILL ADMINISTER A 40 GRIT PAD VIA ORBITAL SANDER AND SLOWLY TURN YOUR "SIGN" INTO AN ORGANIC MEMORY!

LET'S PLAY BALL!

iagreewithjamie
05-02-2014, 09:50 AM
and a $200,000.00 gift card to any Common Man restaurant or Spa

That won't last you very long. The Common Man cost more than most places I eat in Boston.

sierra
05-03-2014, 08:48 AM
Ok. I have the sign, ok? It is in a location that I AM NOT going to obviously tell you, but the sign is uncomfortable and it is in a city environment. I CAN say, the elevation is taking a toll. We (my team), occasionally throw ice and spray it with cold water. We take it outside for sun and extreme solar exposure. If it's lucky, we bury it under snow and ice for prolonged periods.

THIS WILL NOT CONTINUE!

We will return the sign after receiving all of the "I climbed this-and-that" patches, a full and instant senior member status on VFTT, and a $200,000.00 gift card to any Common Man restaurant or Spa and premier parking at every trailhead.

WE ARE SERIOUS! DON'T PLAY GAMES! IF WE DON'T RECEIVE A REPLY IN THE NEXT 24 HOURS, WE WILL ADMINISTER A 40 GRIT PAD VIA ORBITAL SANDER AND SLOWLY TURN YOUR "SIGN" INTO AN ORGANIC MEMORY!

LET'S PLAY BALL!
Without seeing " Proof of Life" you aint getting squat.

Driver8
05-07-2014, 10:29 AM
Any update on this? Have the signs at least been replaced?

David Metsky
05-07-2014, 02:36 PM
I spoke with the DOC and they hope to have temporary signs up by this weekend.

Driver8
05-07-2014, 04:55 PM
Cool. Thanks for checking in, Dave.

David Metsky
05-16-2014, 11:10 AM
Unfortunate Update from my friend at the DOC.

The sign just across the bridge at the base of the mountain at the Ravine Lodge has been taken, post and all. This is private land, not part of the National Forest, so the USFS won't be involved. It's beginning to move past the annoying stage. The DOC will be checking eBay and other places online to see if they show up for sale and would appreciate any help.

sierra
05-16-2014, 12:44 PM
I cannot comprehend the stealing of trail signs. How can anyone enjoy a stolen sign? or have the heart to sell one for that matter. Talk about bad karma. I sincerely hope they get caught, if in fact that turns out to be the case.

Raven
05-16-2014, 12:58 PM
Unfortunate Update from my friend at the DOC.

The sign just across the bridge at the base of the mountain at the Ravine Lodge has been taken, post and all. This is private land, not part of the National Forest, so the USFS won't be involved. It's beginning to move past the annoying stage. The DOC will be checking eBay and other places online to see if they show up for sale and would appreciate any help.

I've checked ebay a few times to see if any Moosilauke signs have shown up. Nothing over the past two weeks. I figured I'd buy it and ferret out the thief.....and then deal out a bit of old fashioned vigilante justice. ;)

miehoff
05-16-2014, 02:59 PM
Bold moves. Not cool.

Hillwalker
05-16-2014, 04:12 PM
I wonder if they will eventually show up in an AMC hut croo's possession?

TJsName
05-17-2014, 10:02 AM
I wonder if they will eventually show up in an AMC hut croo's possession?

Has this been an issue before?

David Metsky
05-17-2014, 11:08 AM
I wonder if they will eventually show up in an AMC hut croo's possession?
No, they won't. There are a lot of Dartmouth kids working the hut croos.

J&J
05-24-2014, 11:13 AM
Took me a while to find this in my collection but vandalism goes back a long way on the Moose. Some things will never change.

A reward poster printed on some sort of cloth (linen?) dating back to the time of the old Tip Top House.
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-gIBEt5CRtfY/U4DCsjgqm0I/AAAAAAAAHdQ/PFBOuqc0orM/s800/P1370481.JPG

An old postcard of the old Tip Top House (with a few changes) and owned/operated by the DOC.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-N18vE72k_SQ/U4DCq8Zr7UI/AAAAAAAAHdI/LB6BfrF6WCM/s800/P1370482.JPG

Scubahhh
05-24-2014, 02:34 PM
No, they won't. There are a lot of Dartmouth kids working the hut croos.

Ha! I wouldn't be surprised to see those signs decorating the bars in a couple fraternity basements.

Scubahhh
05-24-2014, 06:23 PM
The new sign's just not the same, eh?
4955

Driver8
05-25-2014, 11:13 AM
The new sign's just not the same, eh?
4955

Oof. Heavens.

David Metsky
06-16-2014, 07:57 AM
I suspect the summer trail crew will get the assignment. They should be starting up soon.

Scubahhh
07-07-2014, 04:35 PM
Happy to see a new BRIGHT orange summit sign on Saturday!5020

Driver8
07-07-2014, 05:28 PM
Hurrah and huzzah - the way it should be! Thanks for sharing the news, Scubahhh.