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UER Forum > Archived Canada: Alberta / BC > Kitsault, BC - abandoned molybdenum mining town (Viewed 10005 times)
cyrwashere 


Location: Prince Rupert, BC
Gender: Female




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Kitsault, BC - abandoned molybdenum mining town
< on 12/5/2010 3:25 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Hello, I wanted to start a new dialogue about Kitsault, BC. There is a thread in the archive about this, but the last post was five years ago. I was hoping someone else might have something to add to this discussion.

For the uninitiated, Kitsault is a company town built in the late 70's to house the workers and their families of a molybdenum mine. However, the mine was only operational for 18 months. The town has sat abandoned since the early 80s, but all of the buildings and homes are still standing. A caretaker has existed on the grounds since then and has been maintaining the lawns and buildings. The town is at the end of a very narrow and treacherous unpaved road about 2 hours outside the town of Terrace, BC. There is also a dock there and I believe it can be accessed by boat down the Portland Canal.

Kitsault has its own website. The town was purchased for $7 million by a guy from the US who wants to make it into a resort. However, afaik, there has been no development in recent years. I was able to go in July of this year and it looks like all of the original buildings and roads are intact.

Here's the website: http://www.kitsault.com/
It's actually kind of creepy.




I also wanted to share my story about visiting Kitsault this year. I wanted to add it to the Kitsault location on here but I can't yet, as I'm not a full member. My boyfriend and I went there on our second date. I live in Stewart BC and he lives in Kitimat, both pretty awesome UE destinations in their own right. He had come to visit me in Stewart but all the restaurants in Stewart (and Hyder AK) were closed, so we decided to visit New Aiyansh to find breakfast, as neither of us had been before. The road to New Aiyansh is just off Highway 16, and it's a gravelly mess that leads you through the Nisgaa lava beds. We never got to see the lava beds, though, because we passed a turnoff with a sign that read "Kitsault". We looked at each other and both said we wanted to go. So, we did.

However, I hadn't brought my camera and his camera had dead batteries... I kick myself for that every day!

You definitely need a vehicle with 4WD for this road, probably a truck or SUV that sits high off the ground as the road can get rocky due to mini avalanches and fallen trees. As well, make sure you have a full gas tank, extra gas in a jerrican, good tires, lots of extra bottled water and a picnic lunch. Bring a camera or two, bear spray, bear bangers and definitely sunblock and bug spray. The drive there and back, as well as the walk down to the town and back, make this an all-day trip even before you factor in the time you'll spend exploring. There is absolutely nothing along the road from Stewart all the way to Kitsault, so you need to make sure you can get in and out, and have what you need to survive the whole day. Once you get to the end of the dirt road, the road splits in two, with one small road leading to the mine which is very clearly marked and closed off, and looking pretty foreboding. The other mine leads toward the town, but there are no signs. Eventually you reach a metal gate and you must continue on foot for about an hour. When we did this, I was dressed for a lunch date, and was wearing sandals. The road from the gate down to the actual town is VERY winding and steep, and I wished I had been wearing good walking shoes.

The first thing we saw was a few greying apartment buildings off to the side. We could see a big parking lot further down the hill in front of what looked like a big warehouse. It turns out the warehouse contains the Maple Leaf Pub but I'm not sure what else. We could see a black bear wandering around in the lot. As we watched, a short schoolbus came roaring up the hill at top speed and pulled into the lot and started chasing the bear. It galloped into the woods and the driver pulled over to the warehouse and went inside. Although I expressed concern at being killed and eaten by some kind of cannibal squatter, my date was confident and together we approached the warehouse and called to the guy inside. He came out to talk to us... he happened to be a super nice caretaker who told us we were free to explore. However as we continued down the hill, we saw a man in a pickup driving up the hill towards us. He stopped and explained that he was the main caretaker and that we would be allowed to explore as long as we signed in at the main office and recorded our names and contact info in their guestbook. He also told us that we could walk all the way down the hill to the dock, but could not enter any buildings or go down into the downtown area. He also said that we could come back and explore again as long as we called ahead, and told us to look him up in the phone book.

Even though we weren't allowed to see the downtown area, we did walk by lots of houses. The main office was small, and seriously looked like the decor hasn't changed since the 70's -- we're talking wood-paneled walls, yellow vinyl-upholstered chairs, and rotary phones. I guess they still have running water in some parts of the town, and the caretaker was able to give me a glass of water from the tap (but it was extremely cludy and grey, and tasted like metal and chemicals). The outside of most of the buildings were weather-worn, and a few had boarded up windows, but there was nothing visibly wrong with them. We passed a handful of lots where houses had once stood, but their foundations were bare and filled with overgrown dirt. The roads were all paved and free of debris, and the street signs were all still there, although they looked pretty old-fashioned. You could tell it hadn't been lived in for a while, though. The sidewalks were overgrown with moss, as was the dock. They had nailed new boards and a metal grate over the old dock, so I am assuming it is used. I think the only way one can get to Anyox (another good UE site) is by boat from Kitsault, so I'm assuming that's part of why that dock sees any action.

I really want to get back there, if I can, next year. It is truly awesome and beautiful and creepy -- it reminded me of a model town in a New Mexico nuclear testing site, like the ones shown in the movies The Hills Have Eyes and Indiana Jones. Ideally I'd want to get into some buildings or at least photograph the outside without being restricted by a caretaker, but since they are there every day and some of them live on-site, I don't know if it's possible. There are actually tons of amazing sites in Northern BC that I have plans to visit, but some require more equipment than others... like boats and ATVs. In the meantime, I have amazing pics of Stewart and Hyder, and want to add them as locations in the future. Beautiful.
[last edit 12/5/2010 3:43 AM by cyrwashere - edited 1 times]

Sapper 


Location: Edmonton
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Re: Kitsault, BC - abandoned molybdenum mining town
<Reply # 1 on 12/5/2010 4:57 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Been meaning to check out the place at some point in the future, thanks for the info.

team haymaker 


Location: Burlington, Ontario
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Re: Kitsault, BC - abandoned molybdenum mining town
<Reply # 2 on 12/5/2010 5:46 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
thats a pretty great story.
I've always been more interested in these types of ghost towns over any other abandonment

yohan12 


Location: Chilliwack B.C.
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Re: Kitsault, BC - abandoned molybdenum mining town
<Reply # 3 on 12/5/2010 5:50 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
I would love to go up there one day. I cant imagine how amazing it must be

thegerm 


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Re: Kitsault, BC - abandoned molybdenum mining town
<Reply # 4 on 12/6/2010 11:17 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
How bad is the road in more detail? Is it just rocky and uneven all of the way? Also when looking from satellite there seems to be a clusterfuck of other roads to it and the road seems to cross a river without a bridge...?

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Bizz 


Location: BC, Canada
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Re: Kitsault, BC - abandoned molybdenum mining town
<Reply # 5 on 12/6/2010 11:42 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Thanks for sharing! I've been dreaming about, and sort-of planning how to get up there soon. So if you call ahead, the caretakers don't mind you coming by?

Post some of your other locations in new posts; It's a good way to get full membership.

Do not attempt to stop with hands or genitals.
Accidental_Protege 


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Re: Kitsault, BC - abandoned molybdenum mining town
<Reply # 6 on 12/7/2010 8:06 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
that sounds like a crazy fun place to check out.

I grew up in Terrace and have been to Stewart before when I was younger. I'm going home to Terrace for this x-mas, and I would definitely like to check this place out while I'm up there.

Zikan 


Location: North Shore
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Re: Kitsault, BC - abandoned molybdenum mining town
<Reply # 7 on 12/8/2010 7:13 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Thanks for posting. What a time capsule!

Yaweh Qanna 


Location: Burnaby BC
Gender: Male


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Re: Kitsault, BC - abandoned molybdenum mining town
<Reply # 8 on 12/8/2010 10:53 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Global did a special on Kitsault a while back on the 6 pm news. I think it was this past summer, but I haven't been able to find the video. I did however manage to find this on YouTube:

Wings Over Canada - Kitsault BC: http://www.youtube...atch?v=X1rG6ZqoZq0



live forever or die trying
retro_pilot 


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Re: Kitsault, BC - abandoned molybdenum mining town
<Reply # 9 on 12/8/2010 6:45 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
i found another Kitsault video ...

http://www.youtube...atch?v=AVv8RoY_f14

thegerm 


Location: Edmonton
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Re: Kitsault, BC - abandoned molybdenum mining town
<Reply # 10 on 12/10/2010 12:11 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by retro_pilot
i found another Kitsault video ...

http://www.youtube...atch?v=AVv8RoY_f14


The roads in that video weren't that bad, my nissan can make that. at least there's signs down the dirt road to it also.

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cyrwashere 


Location: Prince Rupert, BC
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Re: Kitsault, BC - abandoned molybdenum mining town
<Reply # 11 on 12/13/2010 9:15 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
re: roads,

we were in a big ford pickup and it was okay, occasionally bumpy. I don't think my sunfire would have been able to handle it though! I think it's good to have really good tires and a vehicle that sits high up off the road. in some places it's just gravel, in others it's badly pitted and strewn with debris. I had an accident earlier in the year where I accidentally ran over some rocks from a small surprise avalanche and punctured my tranny fluid pan. and my boyf/the pickup owner blew a tire on the way back to Kitimat via the road that goes through the lava beds.

we've checked it out on Google Earth, and there are indeed lots of random roads that seem to lead to it or around it. not sure if those or old logging roads, but I think so. I'm not sure what condition they'd be in.

cyrwashere 


Location: Prince Rupert, BC
Gender: Female




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Re: Kitsault, BC - abandoned molybdenum mining town
<Reply # 12 on 12/18/2010 7:27 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
apparently 'they' have completed a feasibility study and it looks like Kitsault might become a thriving mining town again...


http://www.avantim...com/s/kitsault.asp -- avanti mining corp's info site on kitsault

http://www.avantim...g-Robust-Economi.. -- december 16/10 press release


the price of molybdenum has gone WAY up just in the last year...

http://www.lme.com...lybdenum_graph.asp



soon our ghost town may actually be a real, lived in town
for those who want to make it out there while it's still "ghostly", better do it soon!

Mowgli-dog 


Location: Vancouver, B.C.
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Re: Kitsault, BC - abandoned molybdenum mining town
<Reply # 13 on 12/20/2010 4:32 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Interesting. How does this jive with that guy that recently bought the town of kitsault and his plans of turning the town into some sort of eco-utopia hippie headquarters?

"We sleep safely in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm." -George Orwell

Rest in peace, my pal Mowgli - the best dog there ever was.
KAPS 


Location: Vancouver BC.
Gender: Male


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Re: Kitsault, BC - abandoned molybdenum mining town
<Reply # 14 on 12/22/2010 4:19 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Has anybody ever seen the molybdenum mine?

Azazel 


Location: British Columbia
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Re: Kitsault, BC - abandoned molybdenum mining town
<Reply # 15 on 12/29/2010 10:40 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Never seen any pictures of the actual mine, to be honest, and with Avanti working there now I doubt you could really just walk in and start snapping off shots.

Didn't they complete reclamation of the old mine back in the 90's, or am I mistaken?

mortimer 


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Re: Kitsault, BC - abandoned molybdenum mining town
<Reply # 16 on 1/5/2011 11:22 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
The latest:

http://www.theglob...rt/article1856512/

yep.
Mowgli-dog 


Location: Vancouver, B.C.
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Re: Kitsault, BC - abandoned molybdenum mining town
<Reply # 17 on 1/6/2011 4:25 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Ah yes, I didn't think the two would work well together.

"We sleep safely in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm." -George Orwell

Rest in peace, my pal Mowgli - the best dog there ever was.
mortimer 


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Re: Kitsault, BC - abandoned molybdenum mining town
<Reply # 18 on 1/6/2011 8:20 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
I'm kind of curious to see who's got more money how the right of way is interpreted.

yep.
Carl Ham 


Location: Rural Manitoba
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Re: Kitsault, BC - abandoned molybdenum mining town
<Reply # 19 on 1/25/2011 5:52 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
I saw a documentary on recently made documentary on Kitsault, and now a rich business tycoon is planning on making this place livable again.

Long Live Gary Numan
UER Forum > Archived Canada: Alberta / BC > Kitsault, BC - abandoned molybdenum mining town (Viewed 10005 times)
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