Fifteen years of heavy use has taken a toll on the stovepipes in our Santiam Pass shelters. Last fall the collar between the stove and pipe at Brandenburg had rusted through and there was serious rust at the top of the pipe near the roof. The pipe finally failed in January and attempts to repair were unsuccessful in our heavy snows.

When we visited Brandenburg in early February the pipe was lying on the floor and there was a “DO NOT USE” sign on the stove. Do not try to light a fire, if you visit Brandenburg.

Similarly, the stovepipe at North Blowout has rusted through near the roof and smoke pours into the shelter when the stove is lit. The stove at North Blowout should not be used until the pipe is repaired.

The one bright spot at present is Island Junction shelter. When Jeff visited in early February, the stove was burning and there were no problems with the pipe. However, Island Junction may experience the same rust damage soon, since it is the same age as the other shelters. Replacing stovepipes at Santiam Pass will be a summer priority for Deschutes National Forest and Willamette Chapter volunteers.

– Jim Todd

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