After the startling photos [see note below] in the Province [23 April 1952], a mountain-climbing friend [Howie Rode] suggested we should take a trip up there and see what this group did. I recall it was April when we made the trip in Howie's canoe from Gillies Quarry on the Pitt. It was a considerable distance. We were prepared to stay overnight at Defrauder Creek in a cabin abandoned by the loggers. The cabin was in fair condition and we started hiking up the logging road.
After about a mile we came to snow and the trail was well packed by the other men. Black film tabs from Speed Graphic press cameras littered the trail. The snow became a lot deeper but it was now packed and easy going. Their trail ended where a tree was cut for a mining claim post. But this wasn't legal with just one post. Howie had a prospector’s license so we spent the following day cutting trails and marking the required claim posts.
After staking the claim posts we returned to our canoe. The weather had changed and it looked ugly. The lake can be a real beast and it was dangerous. So we hugged the shore in case of a spill. About half way down, a roaring hail storm came up the lake and we covered ourselves. That hail was roaring but ended soon so we safely reached the car and home.
Howie Rode asked me if I wanted to be a partner in the claim but I told him I think this is a publicity stunt to promote newspaper sales. I know a lot of mining history with vivid stories from BC. I also liked exploring abandoned mine sights but would never enter one, knowing it could be fatal.
So Howie filed the claim and then told the newspaper men that their claim wasn't recognized by omission. They were raving mad. But when it settled down they paid $500to Howie. He was lucky and I said I have no regrets about it. We often went climbing mountains with the Canadian Alpine Club which the both of us were active members.
Note: After paying off Howard Rode, the journalists went out again and staked another eight claims in the same area--doubtless in the correct way.
22 July 2008
This and an full account of Howard and Fred's expedition can now be found in the Web site Miscellania section. Click here to read the entire file.