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Old 12-19-2011, 10:15 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Panamint City (Cabin Maintenance Thread)

My wife and I are planing to spend a few days up there and were wondering about consumables and maintenance.
Is there anything that we could help stock the cabins with that anyone knows of? We were just wanting to give something back to the Cabins and the visitors. I cant remember if there were propane stoves in the hilton, hippy or sourdough Cabins or not? Any other stuff that we could do to help out Maintenance wise?

Any recent visitors that saw something that needed attention? Please post up.

I also thought this may be a good continuing thread for visitors to check in on and post what they may have done or brought to the cabins and what could be brought by future visitors.
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Old 12-21-2011, 12:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Krap--- WHEN we could drive up--- years ago now-three or four times a year-- we used to take up PVC pipe to replace that which was cracked in the winter freeze---- clear out the springs, replace propane bottles, lay in firewood for the air-tite stoves, make repairs on several cabins, set out mice bait/traps, CLEAN and make liveable several places, haul OUT a lot of trash-----


but our wheelin to Panaminmt City is apparently a thing of the past-
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Old 12-21-2011, 04:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yea you are right and it sucks!.
Was thinking of figuring how to set up a solar panel to a deep cycle at the Hilton. At least be able to have a light or 2. I will take a look and report back what needs done.
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Old 12-21-2011, 05:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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There was a solar setup installed at the World Beater cabin a few years ago. Someone stole it.

What really needs to be done is trash removal and maintenance. Trash is where you find it, and you will. Maintenance is things like keeping the water line and spring clear, cleaning rodent droppings, cleaning...

Also, someone had been making a habit of leaving their empty wine bottles on top of the cabinet in the kitchen. Word is that most/all were removed last year. If you see any please take them out.


Everyone I chat with that had visited by vehicle, and has returned since the closure on foot has commented about the trash and general deteriorating condition of the cabins up there. Its really going down hill. Do what you are comfortable with, and report back with things you think need to be addressed when you return.



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Old 01-01-2012, 12:36 AM   #5 (permalink)
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PC always needs supplies for the water system. That's a good place to start.

1/2 inch PVC is always handy for patching up water lines in the Hilton. (There was a good supply of fittings and glue the last time I was there)

The Cistern that feeds the Hilton and the hydrants in town needs to be cleaned out and the lines need disinfecting. Asking someone to carry a half gallon of bleach up there is asking a lot, but if you brought some up, that would be awesome. (you can leave it on the shelf in the bedroom closet) I hope to build up a supply of bleach so that once it warms up, I can crawl inside the tank and go to town on it.

The Castle could use 1 1/2 inch rubber couplers for its water supply line.

What PC really needs is a heavy lift chopper to carry in a few loads of supplies and carry out all the trash.

I miss the good old days.

Pic taken the last weekend the canyon was open
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Old 01-01-2012, 08:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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My wife and I spent Christmas plus a few days in Panamint City. I will post up what we were able to accomplish manitenance wise. I also have a list of things that could be done in the near future.
For now enjoy the story if you like...

http://pirate4x4.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1033529
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Old 01-04-2012, 08:26 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Ok here are a few of the things we were able to accomplish. We spent the bulk of or time at the sourdough cabin. I felt like we could do the most good there until the rat problem gets under control at the Hilton.

-The first day we spent some time piecing the water system back together. 5 break repairs later we had flowing water in the cabin.

-We spent a fair amount of time cleaning up around the cabin. It had seen many users and was getting pretty trashed on the front porch area. Kelly spent several hours repairing some of the brick work.
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Old 01-04-2012, 08:30 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Flowing water and yard duty.
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Old 01-04-2012, 08:34 AM   #9 (permalink)
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We spent some time cleaning. Removed a mouse nest from under the bed,
Our last day there we soaked the crap out of the areas that had mouse droppings with bleach water.
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Old 01-04-2012, 08:39 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Ok things that need to be done at Sourdough...
We met a guy (college professor) up there that is bringing 8 college students up some time this month. We talked about things that need attention. I am pretty sure he is going to use his class as pack mules. So I am guessing the water system is going to be in top notch condition soon!

This Valve needs changed. It has been frozen to many times and just does not work anymore. I am not sure Steve the college prof guy will get to that.
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Old 01-04-2012, 08:51 AM   #11 (permalink)
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As Panamint Charlie said the best thing that could be brought to both cabins is Bleach I will add Decon to that list. If you do nothing else jst bringing that stuff would be a huge help.
The Hilton is in rough shape but can for sure be saved if the mouse and rat problem gets under control. Bleach and Decon! Lots of it!

As far as trash, it looks better up there than it did a year ago but it doesn't look near as clean as it does in Panamint Charlies picture and some of the old time pictures when you could drive the trash out.

Beyond the rodent problem the next largest issue is where people are shitting near the hilton. Its in the creek bed up stream about 200'. That is a big issue! Being a concentrated, exposed shitting area in a creek bed is a bad idea. All snow melt and rain water rinse it right through the rocks and into the flowing water underground. Which as you know pops up as a surface stream just a little ways down Surprise Canyon.
A large latrine needs to be dug somewhere out of the creek bed or the toilet fixed in the hilton. If it doesn't get done by my next visit I will take that task on.
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Old 03-04-2012, 08:39 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Bleach and Decon!

Any one been up in a while? Kelly and I were going to go after KOH but we were pretty wore out. Hope to be back soon.
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Old 05-03-2012, 07:50 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Any visits or reports?
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Old 05-04-2012, 04:41 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I just joined here as someone from another forum alerted me to this thread. I'm heading up next weekend (5/10-5/13/12). I will bring bleach and decon for the Hilton...as much as I can carry. I'm a bit of a pack mule (60+ lbs usually), so a full gallon of bleach should be do-able.

I'm waiting to hear back from user "stan" on panamintvalley.com, as he was recently up there and said he has a list of needed items. I emailed him but haven't heard back yet. If anyone knows him, have him post on PV.com or here please. Thanks!
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Old 05-04-2012, 04:51 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I just joined here as someone from another forum alerted me to this thread. I'm heading up next weekend (5/10-5/13/12). I will bring bleach and decon for the Hilton...as much as I can carry. I'm a bit of a pack mule (60+ lbs usually), so a full gallon of bleach should be do-able.

I'm waiting to hear back from user "stan" on panamintvalley.com, as he was recently up there and said he has a list of needed items. I emailed him but haven't heard back yet. If anyone knows him, have him post on PV.com or here please. Thanks!



This is awesome! Thanks for doing that. Can you giv a report back on the running water situation at the Hilton and the Castle? There was a guy named Steve that had 10 ish people coming up in December I think it was. He was going to replace a bunch of water line and spend at least 1 full day doing maintenance with his 10 people. I hope it looks great up there and that huge rat living in the hilton is gone.
Look forward your report back.


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Old 05-04-2012, 08:48 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I just joined here as someone from another forum alerted me to this thread. I'm heading up next weekend (5/10-5/13/12). I will bring bleach and decon for the Hilton...as much as I can carry. I'm a bit of a pack mule (60+ lbs usually), so a full gallon of bleach should be do-able.

I'm waiting to hear back from user "stan" on panamintvalley.com, as he was recently up there and said he has a list of needed items. I emailed him but haven't heard back yet. If anyone knows him, have him post on PV.com or here please. Thanks!
Are you the dude I brought up there with the dog that got the IV drip? Sorry, I forgot your name. Was it Chris?

I too was waiting to hear from Stan. I guess his TR pretty much sums up what he saw up there. Waiting on that "list' though

"Well we made it again. Last time up to PC was 2 years ago, we tried last year but gave up when we saw 10+ cas parked at the trailhead - most I had ever seen, yipes!! Me, my daughter and a friend got to Novak Camp (OK, Chris Wicht Camp) about 4:30PM on Friday. This time no other cars were at the trailhead!! We had planned on camping at the roads end but figured we would start the hike since we had a few hours of daylight left. Got to the top of the falls about 7PM, set up camp, had dinner and went to sleep. The stars were bright and the frogs were croaking loudly.
Up at 6AM on Saturday, and on the move by 7AM. Made it to the PC by 11:30AM. The Hilton looked a lot better than it had 2 years ago. It had been cleaned up and looked spiffy. The "Hippie Cabin" was the worst, the front door has come off its hinges, and was really nasty looking inside - lots of junk scattered around, rodent droppings all over etc. We stayed at the Castle. The Castle has been well maintained, water was running and the place was relatively clean. I made a few repairs to some leaking pipes coming from the spring. The last logbook entry had been 2 weeks ago. Some of the bedding (old sleeping bags) on the bed had become rodent infested, so we took them to the dump. Next time up I will bring a cheapie old sleeping bag to replace it.
The fireplace worked fine as did the water heater for the tub. Made some minor repairs to the front door - to keep rodents out. The deadbolt handle to the outside has broken, the door can no longer be latched from the outside.
We spent Saturday exploring the area, went to the lower Wyo Mine, and up to Tompson Camp and the RAWS station. The weather was great, mid 40's at night and high 60's daytime. Only one other group (three folks) were up there with us, nice.
Sunday morning we had breafast, spruced up the place, and hit the trail by 9AM. We took our time on the way out, saw some burros, wildflowers and enjoyed the springs and waterfalls, and got back to the car at 2PM. Even picked up some trash along the trail - come on folks!!! Drove to PS to get cleaned up and met Dave Bricker (hi Dave, met you last year, same time, same place), and we talked a bit about PC and our hike up there.
Got back home at 12:30AM, tired but with wonderful memories. Very happy that my daughter has been able to see PC and get to know this part of history - she was been there before, and likes it as much as I do. It is also nice that the kid still enjoys doing stuff with her old man!!
PC is a cool place, my first time there was in 1972, when I drove a VW van up.
If anyone is heading up tp PC, I have a "list" of a few things that the place could use. I won't list them here, but let me know and I will write an additional post. Take care all...



I just got back from nine days in the valley and spent some time with the guy who re-plumbed the Hilton bathroom a few years ago while my wife and I where up there staying at the Castle. He was planning to head up there for a few days this week and he's prolly back by now. His plan was to bring up a kitchen faucet to replace the old leaker and take care of anything else that he might be capable of.

I'm gonna shoot him an email right now and see if he's back.

Beware that there is a rather large group going up there the same weekend that you are going. It's gonna get pretty cramped in town.

Have a good time up there. Let us know how it goes.
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Old 05-04-2012, 11:14 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Yes, I gave my dog the IV. I had brought a small group up from another forum, and then another couple (Dav) met us the next day on that trip. I've also wheeled a few times with B-spec, Rubiblue, etc, but don't have a rig right now. I've bumped into you or seen your truck (blue, correct?) in Ballarat more than a few times!

Hmm...any more info on the group heading up next week? Who, how many, from where? I've never seen the overflow cabin, but it sounds like we might be forced to stay there. Though I recall reading a report that it doesn't even have a door anymore.

Unless...do you know the itinerary of this other group? If we hike up in the middle of the night Thursday/before dawn Friday morning (please tell me there aren't too many cougars frequenting Surprise right now...?!), then we might grab the Castle before the other group arrives.

I'm really thinking about hauling some supplies up on another near future trip on a Sked or a Bob trailer. I think with a little teamwork we could get some more substantial supplies up there if you think they're needed. Anyway, update me when you can!
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Old 05-05-2012, 09:38 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Cool! I had a feeling it was you.

I didn't pay too much attention when I was being briefed on this group's itinerary. Once I found out there was going to be between 12-15 people in the group, I got turned off. That's way too many people for me. I think they were heading up Wednesday and staying until Sunday morning. They are coming up from San Diego.

That overflow cabin is the cabin on the hillside directly behind the Hilton. For years it was called Pirate's Place. (per the sign that hung above the door for years until someone removed it. I assume for firewood)

I haven't heard from the dude who went up this week yet.
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Old 05-06-2012, 10:50 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Awww man, that's such a bummer! 12-15 people?! That means all 3 cabins would be full, and I'd have to pack a tent.

I suppose we could backpack up South Park instead and stay there, the friend that I'm bringing hasn't been to any of these places so it would all be new to him. I would hate to get up to PC and then have no where to sleep but the Wyoming. lol.

I don't know...what do you think?
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Old 05-06-2012, 02:53 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Awww man, that's such a bummer! 12-15 people?! That means all 3 cabins would be full, and I'd have to pack a tent.

I suppose we could backpack up South Park instead and stay there, the friend that I'm bringing hasn't been to any of these places so it would all be new to him. I would hate to get up to PC and then have no where to sleep but the Wyoming. lol.

I don't know...what do you think?

The weather is nice just bring your bags and sleep under the stars. Sourdough canyon is quite pleasant and a great place to throw out your bed roll.


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Old 05-06-2012, 05:00 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I just got back, last night, from a week trip. Stayed at Briggs cabin.
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The weather is still good, T-shirt and shorts in the valley, sweat shirts and pants in the higher up elevations.
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Old 05-15-2012, 11:29 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Well, I'm back in town...long story short, we changed our plans at the last second when we heard a large group of about 15 people was headed to Panamint City this weekend. We ended up hiking up South Park Canyon to Briggs Camp instead.

For the record...the hike up South Park is significantly more difficult than the hike to Panamint City. Wow, did I under estimate this one! Total distance on foot (tracked on the Garmin 62s) was 9.08 miles from Ballarat to Briggs Camp...4 miles down Wingate Rd to the turnoff, then 5 miles up South Park.

It stayed at a pretty constant ~100 degrees until after 8pm sometime, then the needle very slowly crept 1 degree at a time down to somewhere in the 80's by the time we went to sleep. Overnight low reached 69-70 or so, but stupid me packed a 20-degree bag. lol.

Cabins were full, but the party in Stone let us sleep on the porch and were gracious enough to share their food with us too. We had a good time. They let us put some rounds through some toys they brought...including a Ruger Blackhawk .44 Mag, and a scoped Mosin-Nagant (packs quite a wallop...effective range of 800 yards easily w/ scope!). I'm not a huge gun person, as I'm about 75% city boy and 25% rural - but it was just plain fun.

The party in Briggs Cabin had at least 1 hot-headed moron, and they were the kind of people you'd like to think don't share this area with us. I can't recall their names, but someone who reads this, PLEASE CHECK THE BRIGGS LOG BOOK for their info and look out for them in the future!

Here's the short version...we get up to camp (2 people, 1 dog), all of us completely out of water and obviously worn out and in need of shade and drink. We saw there were people in Stone, so we limped past to Briggs just to check. We saw it was occupied but headed toward the porch. A man and woman greeted us, and I asked if there were any extra bunks...they said no. No worries I said - mind if we grab a spot of shade and maybe some water for a few minutes? He said OK, but then saw the dog - "Is he OK with other dogs?" he asks.

"Oh yes, he's friendly with everything, including burros." I reply. So we head into the patio with the couple and a couple smaller dogs come to investigate us. One of them snarls and snaps at my dog, and so naturally, my dog does the same in return...not a big deal at all, as dog owners know it's a pretty common thing and it's not hard to separate them. My dog is VERY calm (10 year old lab/newfie), and to anyone who knows animals, it was clear my dog wasn't trying to hurt anything, just standing his ground.

Well, in comes Mr. Hot Head...I want to say his name was Fred? He lives in Hawaii, and was wearing some sort of Hawaii Forest Service garb. Well, he rushes over when he heard the snarl, and comes up to me and my dog with a golf club in one hand, and the other hand palmed the handle of a good sized knife on his hip.

"I don't think that will be necessary..." I said to the guy, indicating his temptation to use weapons to separate the dogs (which were already separated easily about half a second after it started...it wasn't anything at all, the other guy just picked up his little dog...I think it might have been a Basenji).

Mr. Hot Head: "Man, you can't just sneak up on us like that. You surprised the hell out of me. You don't just barge into someone else's camp."

Me: "Actually, we've been standing here in full view for about 5 minutes now, talking to two other people in your party who had invited us in..."

Mr. Hot Head: "And I didn't know you had a dog, we have small dogs in here."

Me: "Yes, I noticed...one of those small dogs was the aggressor, not mine. My dog is trained and well socialized."

Mr. Hot Head now sees the U.S. military rucksack, and the butt of a revolver sticking out of my bag...

Mr. Hot Head: "You in the service?"

Me: "Yes."

...at this point, one of the women there who was friendly had kind of asked to no one in particular, "can I fill this for them with the water from the tub?" Mr. Hot Head heard the woman say this and instantly barks, "NO, that's MY tub."

Then he says to me, "Well, no shooting around here. I've had enough with guns. I don't need those anymore. If you want to shoot, go down to Suitcase."

ME: "Listen, I'll go below Stone. That's far enough. I'm a little tired to walk miles down the road to fire a .22"

This guy was pushy, drunk, and short tempered. He also acted like he owned the joint. He proceeds to tell us they had been there for TWO WEEKS.

And get this...there were 5 people in their party - 3 men, 2 women. They had initially tried to take BOTH CABINS for TWO WEEKS...the 2 women in Stone, and the 3 men in Briggs. They "graciously" agreed to let another family stay in Stone cabin, though, after the other family was about to leave in disgust at how selfish this group was.

Anyway, we befriended the group at Stone - a very nice family from Simi Valley. Grandpa (Ret. Navy), Dad (Ret. Air Force), his son, and a friend. When they heard what kind of welcome I had over at Briggs, they instantly asked "let me guess - the jerk with the knife on his hip?!" Turns out they had a similar encounter.

We had a great time with the family in Stone, and we slept on the porch. The only side trip was up to Suitcase, and we hiked all the way past it to the peak of that hill. The rest of the weekend was just relaxing, napping, and a little bit of shooting (they drove down to the bend near the road to Suitcase to appease the jerk in Briggs).

I will NOT be doing that one on foot again - I think I'll wait until I have another 4x4, hopefully in time for Fall Haul. Depending on work schedule, I should be able to get out there again sometime between September and December. Until next time!
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Old 05-15-2012, 11:06 PM   #23 (permalink)
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I am sorry people have to be like that. It sounds like you still had a good trip.
Until their is a major rain, you don't need much to get to Briggs.
Example from 2011:
Stock tires.


Bone stock KIA!^^^^

2012:


Upgraded KIA!

Rock sliders on a KIA!
He hasn't finished them yet, but still!



If you took any pictures, please share them.
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Old 05-16-2012, 11:08 PM   #24 (permalink)
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You know what, I was actually looking at those Sportages, but they're out of my price range. LOL! My quandary is that I'm trying to find a "fuel efficient" 4x4. The hardest stuff I do is the PV area and maybe Deep Creek/John Bull, so I don't need anything extreme.

I was looking at Samurais/Sidekicks and Sportages, but then started looking at XJ's, ZJ's, and Monteros (even though they aren't good on gas, I'm more familiar with them).

I prefer an enclosed (SUV) body...if you have any other ideas, shoot them to me here or via PM! Thanks!

Oh, almost forgot...no camera this trip, we were packed too heavy as it was! Next time!
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Old 05-17-2012, 12:30 AM   #25 (permalink)
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The only thing I know about that KIA, is that it has an actual low range in the t-case. That is a plus. He lifted it since last year, but I have to admit, I never inspected it. I do know he burned a quarter tank, while every one else was filling up with gas cans.
If I remember, I will e-mail him for more info.
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