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Famous mineral localities: Green Monster Mountain, Prince of Wales Island, Alaska.

Fine specimens of epidote and Japan-law twinned quartz from Prince of Wales Island, Alaska have long been familiar to collectors, despite having appeared only sparingly on the specimen market since the locality was discovered early in the 20th century. In recent decades the patented epidote claims on Green Monster Mountain have yielded many more fine specimens including not only world-class epidote and quartz but also magnetite rosettes, goethite pseudomorphs after pyrite, grossular, calcite, amphibole pseudomorphs after pyroxene, and the finest known crystal groups of clintonite.



In the summer of 1967, Peter B. Leavens and Richard W. Thomssen undertook a Smithsonian-sponsored expedition to do mineralogical field work and gather mineral specimens on Copper Mountain and Green Monster Mountain, Prince of Wales Island, Alaska. In their ensuing article in the Mineralogical Record (1977), Leavens and Thomssen wrote that these two occurrences constitute "one of the great mineral localities of the world"--a judgment apparently shared by Peter Bancroft, who included a chapter on Prince of Wales Island in his book Gem and Crystal Treasures (1984).

It was my privilege--in fact, it was the adventure of a lifetime--to be the third member of that field party in 1967. Subsequently, after nearly a decade of struggles and false starts, I leased the Green Monster claims. Another incredible stroke of good fortune later occurred when my friend Tom Hanna and I were able to purchase the Green Monster property. Tom and I have traveled to the site numerous times over the years, and yet we are still enthralled and excited by the isolation and rugged beauty of this island, which we like to call our "home in the heavens."

I have learned a great deal since my first encounter with Green Monster Mountain; it seems to me that a first-person description of mineral collecting at the locality as Tom and I have come to know it during these intervening years is in order, if not long overdue.


Green Monster Mountain (899 meters in elevation) on Prince of Wales Island is located about 52 kilometers west-southwest of Ketchikan, Alaska. Prince of Wales Island is the largest island in southeastern Alaska, and the third largest in the United States. Covering more than 4,190 square km, it is approximately 210 km long and up to 75 km wide. Pleistocene glaciers covered all but the tops of the island's tallest peaks, and numerous fiords extend deep into the mountainous island to create a highly diverse landscape (USFS, 1994).


Green Monster Mountain lies immediately south of a 4 km-long portage near sea level that separates Hetta Inlet on the Island's west side from the West Arm of Cholmondeley Sound on the east side. Copper Mountain (the other famous epidote occurrence on Prince of Wales Island) is 5 km to the west of Green Monster Mountain and, at 1,194 meters, is the second highest peak on the island. Lakes formed by Pleistocene and Little Ice Age glaciers immediately surround Green Monster Mountain on three sides, and the terrain rises steeply from the south shore of the West Arm to the near-summit elevations of the epidote claim. Access is by helicopter or seaplane; only a few logging roads near sea level exist in this remote area.

Rainfall estimates for the mountain vary from about 500 cm to 600 cm a year, earning it the dubious distinction of being one of the wettest places on the planet. Snowpack typically begins to accumulate in October and remains until early summer. Swarms of biting insects are a major threat to sanity throughout the collecting months.

Presently the Green Monster Mountain property is under careful and systematic exploitation; no trespassing is allowed, and prospecting and collecting by visitors are strictly forbidden.


From 1902 to 1923, chalcopyrite was mined in the Copper Mountain mining district on Prince of Wales Island. The major mine, the Jumbo, produced 5,000 tons of copper and minor but important amounts of gold and silver during that period. It was during these decades that epidote and quartz crystal specimens were first encountered on the island. Since the locality is remote, the topography rugged and access extremely difficult, serious collecting took place very infrequently in the following decades. One major expedition was mounted in 1935 by the famous collecting team of Edwin Over and Arthur Montgomery, who recovered many fine specimens from both Green Monster Mountain and Copper Mountain (Montgomery, 1937).

In 1967 our Smithsonian party spent two midsummer months on the Island, investigating the geology and mineralogy of the Copper Mountain mining area. (Old epidote specimens from both localities are sometimes labeled "Sulzer," after an abandoned mining settlement at the head of Hetta Inlet several kilometers to the northwest of Copper Mountain.) Of the hundreds of samples of epidote, quartz, pyrite, clintonite, orthoclase and other species we recovered, only a small percentage were specimen-quality. Virtually everything we collected went to the Smithsonian Institution, although a few specimens followed Peter Leavens and me to the University of Delaware (where he was an associate professor and I an undergraduate geology major) to join the Irenee DuPont Mineral Collection, a recent bequest to the University.


While digging on the mountains on Prince of Wales Island that summer, I thought I missed my home in Delaware, but after arriving home I realized I no longer "belonged" back East. I had bonded to that distant Alaskan island and dearly missed it. And so I returned to the remote and magnificent place several times during the next eight years. I eventually discovered that the Green Monster and Copper Mountain claims were the private property of Mr. Eskil Anderson of Spokane, Washington, and that since the early 1960's the Green Monster claims had been leased to Lee Myers and his partner, Virgil Gile, both of Wrangell, Alaska.

In 1975 I moved to Alaska with my young family, and in 1976 we ventured from Juneau to Spokane, where I confessed my trespasses to Mr. Anderson. Eskil was good enough to accept my best Green Monster specimen as restitution, and furthermore he offered to lease the claims to me.

For the next three years my family and I worked on the claims, together with Clayton Rasmussen of Anchorage, Alaska. Lee Myers and Virgil Gile retained collecting privileges. During this time our finds were modest and sporadic, but the hope of breaking into a major pocket kept us going. In the summer of 1977, I found a pocket large enough to crawl into (I called it the "Mama" pocket), but the entire contents were corroded beyond redemption. After a pout of anguish and frustration, I attacked the rock with renewed determination, and soon found another, smaller pocket containing several bright epidote and quartz specimens. Now I knew that the locality still had potential.

In December 1979, Clay Rasmussen tragically died in an auto accident, and Eskil agreed to allow my Juneau friend Tom Hanna to become my new lease partner. Shortly afterwards, another situation that had been coming to a head for years ultimately led to a change in ownership status. Many people were beseeching Eskil for permission either to collect on the Green Monster claims or to buy them outright. After Clay died, their solicitations increased. By late 1980, Eskil offered to sell the patented claims to Tom and me, simply, as he told us, to "get those guys off my back." The price and terms of the sale were challenging, and we may not have been able to complete the payments except for a fortuitous coincidence: the first Alaska Permanent Fund dividend checks of $1,000, to which every resident of Alaska had been declared entitled, arrived just a week before a crucial payment on the property came due!

After we closed on the purchase, Tom went to the relevant government agencies to obtain title insurance and to officially record the transfer of ownership of our newly purchased property. He was shocked to discover that the Green Monster property had been quit-claimed to another party by a document that had not been found in a title search by the title insurance company! Eskil Anderson was equally shocked because someone had forged his signature to the quit-claim document and had back-dated it to six months before our date of purchase. The recording agencies had somehow accepted this fraudulent deed and had filed it according to date. Had Tom not spotted the discrepancy, we could have lost the property at any time and been open to a lawsuit for all mineral value we had ever recovered. After months of legal and investigative action, we gained clear title to the property through the Alaska courts. During the investigation, several other problems having to do with the title were also found and cleared up, so whoever had attempted the fraud had actually done us a favor.

In 1986, as a result of the Alaska Native Lands Settlement, all private holdings within the Tongass National Forest were resurveyed. The Green Monster property lines were reestablished, a move that eventually led to the accurate placement of our property on the latest land ownership maps.



As a condition of his partnership with me, Tom Hanna insisted that the property be closed to other collectors. Reluctantly I agreed to this condition, as it would protect our considerable investment. Over the years our decision to keep the claims closed has proven wise. For one thing, it might well have saved some lives: the isolated and dangerous terrain is no place for the unfamiliar and uninitiated (Culp, 1972), and the chronically cold, wet and windy weather could delay an emergency evacuation for days (our 1967 expedition had been extended four and a half days by a vigorous storm, after we had run out of food). On another trip, this time in October, Tom and I were nearly blown off the ridge in our tent by a particularly nasty storm. We were also stormbound over four days beyond our scheduled pickup and had run out of food, except for a box of soggy rye crisp and a six-pack of Rainier Ale that we found bobbing near the shore of Lake Josephine. Restricting collector access to the locality was important also because good specimens from the mountain are a rare and finite resource which could be exhausted in very short order if too many "guest" collectors are allowed to work there.

Although we continue to enlarge the most productive area, we are finding fewer crystals each year. Our primary work site, which we have partitioned into three areas--the upper, middle and lower workings--is now approximately 150 meters long and from 5 to 20 meters wide. We have sawed, chipped, chiseled, plug-and-feathered, drilled and blasted through a relatively thin weathered zone and into underlying fresher skarn. The newly exposed, less weathered garnetiferous rock consists mostly of vuggy, coarsely crystalline, reddish brown to deep molasses-colored grossular-andradite interspersed with irregular areas of amphibole. This rock quickly wears out steel tools. Even diamond saw blades (at $150 a pop) last less than half as long as they normally would elsewhere. Tom Hanna and I prefer to describe this skarn rock not so much in geologic terms but in visceral ones, e.g. "unyielding, flesh-eating, tool-wrecking, clothes-shredding, gritty, grimy crud." And because it is a third again as heavy as "normal" rock such as granite, the skarn is a backbreaker to shovel and move in wheelbarrows!


The following two paragraphs summarize Leavens and Thomssen's description (1977) of the general geology of The Copper Mountain Mining District and the mineral paragenesis there.



The rocks in this portion of the island are intensely metamorphosed and folded sediments of the (probably pre-Silurian) Wales group which occupies the core of the Prince of Wales-Kuiu anticlinorium, a structural arch which trends northwest for several hundred kilometers through southeastern Alaska's coastal islands. Composite igneous stocks, consisting primarily of granodiorite but also including gabbro and syenite units, were intruded during the lower Cretaceous, further deforming the Wales group metasediments. Skarns and aureoles of metasomatic minerals formed at the contacts between the intrusive igneous rocks and the marbles and calcareous schists of the Wales group; smaller dikes composed of granite, basalt and lamprophyre further intruded the assemblage, some before the main contact-metasomatic activity, some subsequent to it.

Two main mineralized pocket zones in the Copper Mountain and Green Monster Mountain skarns resulted from this metasomatic activity. On the west flank of Copper Mountain, where a 3 km-long roof pendant of marble and schist was isolated and engulfed by granodiorite, a particularly rich, vuggy, predominantly grossular-andradite skarn developed, with diopside, quartz, magnetite, epidote, orthoclase (variety adularia), and "uralite" (amphibole pseudomorphs after diopside) crystals being quite well developed in the vugs. Hydrothermal activity also introduced and concentrated chalcopyrite and other sulfides which were exploited for copper and minor amounts of gold and silver by the Jumbo and other small mine operations. A second pocket-rich skarn, remarkable for its epidote but also containing quartz, magnetite, altered pyrite, clintonite and amphibole crystals, is exposed on Green Monster Mountain.



The igneous rocks which intruded the metasediments (creating textbook examples of contact metamorphism) emanated from the Copper Mountain and Jumbo Mountain pluton (mostly diorite), whose eastern margin impinges upon Green Monster's complex assemblage of impure marble and schist (Wright, 1915). In my opinion (from field observations extending well beyond those of my predecessors), most of the rocks which crop out on the productive western flanks of Green Monster Mountain are products of assimilation into the contact skarn. We have not encountered any recognizable dikes or tension fissures in the prime epidote-producing areas. Along the lower perimeter of the middle and bottom workings we have encountered a distinctly different skarn assemblage consisting of rhodonite, massive epidote, and a chocolate brown mineral in a fine-textured gray-green matrix (see under diopside).

The Copper Mountain pluton did not do all the heavy lifting to form Green Monster's skarn. The complexity of the contact rock, the diversity of crystal forms, and the paragenesis of minerals all imply that an additional and perhaps more complex relationship exists with a relatively small igneous (diorite?) plug that penetrates the Green Monster metasediments just west of the summit and extends under the summit on its north side. A curious mineral transition is associated with this plug: the skarn to the east contains no free quartz, little epidote, and a higher-temperature mineral assemblage. Leavens and Thomssen (1977) note a resemblance between this iron-poor, magnesium/calcium-rich skarn and the Crestmore, California skarn. The skarn to the west, by contrast, contains a wide distribution of quartz, epidote, magnetite, and iron-rich sulfides along with products of their oxidation.



A well-developed, several-hectare field of karst terrain abuts the south and southwest margins of the plug. Specimen-quality crystals have never been found along the contact with the karst terrain; however, excavations might confirm a potential for crystals in this area.

Diorite also crops out a short distance downslope from the productive area, implying that this portion of the contact was squeezed from three sides by intrusive magma. Thus caught in a compressive vise, the wedge of productive skarn was almost completely mobilized and metasomatized, then recrystallized. Volatiles released in the process could only ascend, and their ascent created several convoluted, tube-like channels or pipes that extend sinuously from the lower right to the upper left of the work site. The presence of igneous intrusive rocks on three sides of the crystal-producing area also suggests that the pocket area is more limited in extent than we had first expected.

The contact between the skarn and the igneous rock becomes difficult to trace in places as it plunges down both sides of Green Monster Mountain's western ridge. On one side, the contact is exposed in a high-angle slope. Rasmussen once thought that this side should contain pockets, but it was too steep to be explored properly without climbing gear. The productive side is only slightly less steep. When I first located the epidote area in 1967, I clung to alpine vegetation with one hand while trying to hack some footholds using a pick with the other. Over the years, we have sculpted the precipitous slope into terraces with high walls that unfortunately increase the risk of falling rock.



Significant pockets, which range in size from a few tens of centimeters to (very rarely) as big as bathtubs, seem to fall into two categories: pockets in tandem associated with what may have been hydrothermal conduits, and isolated pockets not obviously associated with structural features. A third category is possible: pockets near or adjacent to conduits that exhibit both conduit and isolated properties. Admittedly, these categories are speculative, but they do offer an empirical explanation of the occurrences and contents of the pockets.

(1) Conduit pockets. Tube-like conduits or pipes were created by the ascent of volatiles released when intrusive igneous magma compressed and remobilized the skarn zone. I suspect that a relationship exists between the conduits and a fault system which bisects the three work areas. The faulting is inferred from linear zones of pale tan gouge and hydrothermally altered skarn. As seen today, these highly convoluted pipes are generally between 50 cm and 1 meter in diameter. Of the four pipes we have encountered, two may be as much as 15 meters in length; however, we have not definitively located either their beginnings or endings. Associated pockets have been somewhat open-ended, allowing corrosive hydrothermal and/or meteoric solutions to move through them. In many cases these solutions have attacked exposed crystal faces during and after the final growth stages, producing "Janus-faced" epidote crystals (crystals with poor luster on one side and excellent luster on the opposite side). Moreover, epidote crystal habits progressively change over the length of the conduit pockets: the further removed from the fault system where, presumably, the conduits originate, the more elongated are the epidote crystals. Twinned crystals become rarer at distance also, whereas in the areas of the conduits closest to the fault system, virtually all epidote crystals are twinned.

Late solutions circulating in conduit pockets precipitated additional quartz and other minerals from elements leached from the epidote and host skarn, and likely from the intrusive body as well. Two such minerals, chlorite and a dark fibrous amphibole, occasionally interfere with late-stage epidote growth. On the positive side, chlorite commonly forms attractive inclusions in quartz. Many pockets within and along the conduits yield large quantities of quartz crystals presenting a stunning array of habits and inclusions. However, these pockets have yet to yield any magnetite or Japan-law twins of quartz.

Most of the Green Monster Mountain sulfides occur in pockets associated with the hydrothermal conduits. Specifically, sulfides (and their oxidation products) are concentrated in--and sometimes extend beyond--the top left portions of conduit pockets. They can occupy up to perhaps a fourth of the pocket volume. Five times we have exhumed from such pockets large masses of pyrite, chalcopyrite, iron hydroxides, and minor amounts of secondary copper minerals; the largest of these masses was found in 2001 and weighed more than 50 kilograms.



Two pockets associated with a high-angle conduit in the lower workings contain an abundance of limonite and minor chrysocolla. In part because of hydration, the limonite completely plugged over 2 meters of the conduit, effectively cutting off the flow of corrosive fluids. In 1990, I found sharp, bright epidote crystals and crystal fragments--remains of a long-gone pocket--so tightly packed in the limonite that I risked breaking them during extraction. Sulfides and euhedral pseudomorphs after sulfides are virtually absent in the bottom area.

(2) Isolated pockets. Isolated, seemingly randomly distributed pockets have been formed by the dissolution of calcite blebs; such pockets have no obvious structural interrelationship, and no direct connection to hydrothermal conduits. The calcite blebs were produced during the mobilization of calcium carbonate during contact metamorphism, and the subsequent recrystallization in what is now the pocket zone of the skarn. Eventually the calcite crystals dissolved, leaving garnet-lined voids that became host to a sequence of minerals precipitated from later hydrothermal fluids. Many of the isolated pockets were once lined with a second generation of calcite which also later dissolved away.

Isolated-pocket contents also show other differences from the contents of conduit pockets: they are not as rich in sulfides, they usually contain quartz twins, and they have produced attractive magnetite rosettes. Quartz and magnetite formed contemporaneously with epidote and with a third generation of calcite as euhedral crystals. Some of the quartz and calcite crystals contain magnetite and epidote inclusions. Late-stage minerals found in these pockets are the result of more limited quantities of nutrients drawn from the host rock and from minerals such as calcite, already formed in the pockets. Some quartz crystals grew as doubly terminated floaters or aggregates of floaters directly from residual pocket juices, and most incorporate inclusions of chlorite. Quartz crystals with inclusions from the earlier epidote and quartz growth phases often continued to grow, encapsulating chlorite in their outer portions and occasionally producing exceptionally sharp en echelon phantoms. When held to a bright light, these prisms reveal the sequence of inclusions. Earlier inclusions of actinolite "hair," magnetite, and, more rarely, epidote are predominant within the clearer crystal cores. During the final stages of crystal growth, chlorite became the predominant inclusion, clouding the outer areas and terminations of the prisms.


A few of the isolated pockets have been disrupted by faulting. A high-angle fault which cuts between the upper and middle workings has caused the chemical destruction of at least three large pockets nearby, including my corroded "Mama" pocket of 1977. The strike of another and more important fault, the one that appears to be structurally and hydrothermally involved with the conduit pockets, extends through the middle of our productive ground and, as best we can determine, runs parallel to the strike of the productive area; that is, it traverses the slope from the lower right to the upper left. This fault is presumed to have extended the exposure of nearby pockets to hydrothermal solutions, sometimes nourishing epidote crystal growth and sometimes corroding the crystals. While this fault had sufficient displacement to produce varying amounts of crushed and altered skarn, only slight lateral displacement is evident. It is possible that much of the displacement occurred normal to the hill slope, i.e. the fault projects toward our faces. The gouge reveals that movement along this fault continued after the skarn crystallized. The majority of pocket contents in closest proximity to the fault have been crushed, and their crystals are either shattered or decomposed. Many of the broken crystals that survived have rehealed fracture surfaces, suggesting that crystals continued to grow while movement on the fault was still taking place.

While the immediate region surrounding Green Monster Mountain and Copper Mountain has no recent history of seismic activity, earthquakes still occur relatively frequently under the ocean floor west of Prince of Wales Island and are presumed to be associated with a southern extension of the dynamic Fairweather Fault. Evidence that earthquakes shook the localities for a long time includes a few adjacent epidote crystals with deeply abraded "touch points" where eons of earthquakes rubbed them together following collapse of the pocket contents.


(3) Pockets exhibiting conduit and isolated characteristics. We have encountered several pockets that exhibit both isolated and conduit characteristics, particularly in the upper workings where the skarn looks like a train wreck, with few recognizable patterns. Here the skarn, with its relatively abundant pockets of all sizes and varieties of contents, is severely distorted, leaving us less certain about structural patterns and pocket relationships. Pockets with blocky, Janus-faced epidote crystals with quartz twins and an abundance of chlorite were found next to pockets containing sharp, untwinned and elongated epidote prisms and quartz twins. All but one of the 12 sizeable pockets that I am aware of having been found in this roughly 10 X 30-meter area contained Japan-law twins; Tom Hanna's "Papa" pocket of 1995, which yielded perhaps the most spectacular cluster of epidote, calcite and quartz ever to come off the mountain, had no quartz twins (see discussion of this specimen under epidote).


Actinolite [Ca.sub.2](Mg,[Fe.sup.2+])[.sub.5][Si.sub.8][O.sub.22](OH)[.sub.2]

The fibrous "byssolite" variety of this amphibole referred to by Leavens and Thomssen (1977) occurs rarely and sporadically, mostly as crushed tufts in small, isolated pockets farthest removed from surface weathering. Before weathering, this actinolite was a widely distributed pocket mineral, as evidenced by beautiful green sprays and by fibers included in quartz prisms recovered from several pockets, particularly in the lower workings. One gemologist, Joe Taylor of Fairbanks, has cut lovely green gems to 20 carats from this quartz.


Actinolite may be the dominant amphibole species in the material long called "uralite"--fibrous, dull grayish green, woody-looking pseudomorphs of amphibole after pyroxene crystals (most of them probably diopside). In the middle and upper workings, euhedral uralite "crystals" to three centimeters have been found sparingly in small pockets along with "byssolite"-included quartz. I cannot recall finding uralite with epidote. I retrieved what had once been a "byssolite"-included quartz group in two parts because a uralite crystal which had formed a weak link between the two pieces had broken; where the uralite grew against the quartz crystals, dense sprays of "byssolite" inclusions extend into the quartz.

Some 20 years ago, Tom explored the skarn/diorite contact to its end northeast of the summit. In the process, he found a solution pocket lined with mostly small, dull uralite crystals averaging less than 3 cm, and looking very much like the well-known uralite from the Calumet iron mine in Colorado. However, several specimens further in the pocket were fresher, with attractive, thin-bladed, dark green 2-cm crystals covering the matrix. Many of the crystal groups were attached to hunks of amphibole matrix weighing 5 kilograms or more. After hauling several of these hunks over 2 km back to base camp, Tom swore that one specimen grew to weigh at least 50 kg. We wondered then if they were worth the effort; the fact that over the years we have sold only one or two confirms our doubts.

Calcite CaC[O.sub.3]

As previously mentioned, calcite recrystallized from marble was originally disseminated as massive blebs throughout the skarn. When this calcite dissolved, garnet-lined voids were left behind, and later hydrothermal activity turned these into crystal pockets. We have opened a few pockets containing gray-white solution-sculpted vestiges of the original calcite blebs coated with a sticky black mud. Only two of these pockets contained sharp epidote crystals.

The earliest phase of crystal growth in the voids began with a new generation of calcite and minor amounts of quartz and magnetite, creating an (unfortunately) unstable base for the later phase of crystal growth, when milky gray-white to translucent white scalenohedral calcite crystals to 12 cm developed. These "dogtooth" crystals are contemporaneous with the quartz, epidote, magnetite and pyrite crystals for which the locality is famous.

The first calcite crystals recovered from Green Monster that I am aware of were found in 1974. In 1984 I hand-chiseled into a pocket in the upper workings that contained the largest calcite crystals yet found on the mountain: pale gray, slightly resorbed individuals to 14 cm on matrix with epidote, quartz and magnetite. After a bath in dilute hydrochloric acid, some of the broken scalenohedrons revealed epidote, quartz and magnetite inclusions. This bathtubsize pocket, found only 3 meters above the dead "Mama" pocket of 1977, produced exceptional specimens of all four minerals. Tom Hanna's smaller but important "Papa" 1995 pocket was discovered less than 2 meters away.

We found no calcite crystals on this mountain in 1967 because we worked almost entirely in near-surface pockets where meteoric water had dissolved the calcite. Specimens recovered from most near-surface pockets are found in collapsed jumbles on the pocket floors, since the early rind of calcite which once held the crystals to the pocket walls had disappeared. In some cases, late-stage hydrothermal fluids and not meteoric water may have removed the calcite. Most specimens found in pockets that were subjected to either solvent have distressed epidote and unfortunate voids where significant calcite crystals once existed. Some of these specimens still have chunks of garnet matrix barely attached to shells of quartz and epidote; the calcite rind completely dissolved and left wide gaps between the crystal shells and the matrix. These specimens are fragile and frustratingly difficult to field-wrap and transport.

In the lower workings last year, we spotted several gray, simple rhombohedral calcite crystals up to 2 cm long, in the farthest reaches of a tubular pocket over 1.5 meters long. Several quartz prisms from this pocket have rhombohedral voids where calcite crystals were once included. This pocket produced unique "jackstraw" fans of epidote (see later under Epidote).

Chalcopyrite CuFe[S.sub.2]

In the early 1980's, Tom Hanna and I found a few dozen nodules of chalcopyrite near the extreme southern property line. Isolated floaters in calcite, they had been freed by weathering. Ranging in weight from a few grams to a kilogram or more, the nodules are surficially oxidized and have a bronze patina. A 20-meter exploratory adit cut into the site suggests that the early prospectors must also have found some of these nodules of potential copper ore.

Only four pockets contained chalcopyrite and its oxidization byproducts as significant components of their sulfide zones. All other pocket-hosted sulfide zones found to date showed little to no evidence of copper mineralization. Tom Hanna recalls finding a single weathered chalcopyrite crystal measuring 3 cm in a uralite pocket on the northeast side of the Green Monster summit.


Chlorite Group

Chloritic clay, a product of low-temperature retrograde metamorphism and possibly also of corrosive meteoric water, occurs in many pockets as milky green to dark green, fine-grained inclusions imparting a greenish color to quartz. Chlorite-group minerals also occur as components of muddy pocket residues. Pockets with "chloritic quartz" typically contain epidote that has been dulled and rounded by chemical dissolution, suggesting that the corrosion of epidote may have contributed to the formation of chlorite.

Chrysocolla (Cu,Al)[.sub.2][H.sub.2][Si.sub.2][O.sub.5](OH)[.sub.4] * n[H.sub.2]O

Chrysocolla occurs sparingly in the bottom workings as a latestage oxidation product, primarily coating quartz and epidote crystals. The occurrence is restricted to a few interconnected pockets farthest removed from the surface. Quartz/epidote specimens with a wet-looking, sky-blue chrysocolla coating were stunningly beautiful when first brought to light in 1993. After drying out, however, most of the coating spalled off. Epidote surfaces beneath this chrysocolla layer possess the highest luster of any epidote we have found.

In the upper workings, minor amounts of chrysocolla were found in a collapsed portion of the sulfide/oxide bleb associated with the 2001 pocket. This is the only occurrence of chrysocolla in the upper area.

Clintonite Ca[Mg.sub.2]Al[Al.sub.3]Si[O.sub.10](OH)[.sub.2]

A very limited number of excellent clintonite specimens, with sharp, lustrous, intensely green rosettes to 1.5 cm, have been found to the east of Green Monster Mountain's igneous plug. Most specimens were found in 1967, weathered free of enclosing calcite and lying loose in the soil. Over the years we have exposed a tough, calcite-rich, non-garnetiferous skarn that had two small residual calcite blebs enclosing several fine specimens of clintonite. Prospects for additional specimens from this area of the skarn are slim.

Ambiguities in nomenclature have historically arisen in the classification of the trioctahedral brittle micas: seybertite, valuevite, brandisite, holmite, xanthophyllite and others have all been used in the past to denote separate mica species. Forman et al. (1967) conclude that all of these terms, most of which have referred simply to differences in the colors of specimens, should denote varieties of the single species clintonite. Nevertheless, Thomssen and Leavens (1977) still referred to the deep green rosettes from Prince of Wales Island as "xanthophyllite." Bayliss (2000) declares "xanthophyllite" an obsolete synonym for clintonite.


Tom Hanna and I have not seen clintonite from any other locality with such rich green color and perfect rosette form.

In 1977, Dick Derrickson of Wasilla, Alaska, a friend of Clayton Rasmussen, found one small zone with pale green clintonite sheets and partial rosettes associated with pale grossular crystals similar in color to Asbestos, Quebec specimens. To my knowledge, only one good clintonite specimen of this type was found.

Diopside CaMg[Si.sub.2][O.sub.6]

Wright (1915) reports that diopside "is of widespread occurrence in the Copper Mountain area." It seems logical, therefore, that the Green Monster skarn would contain appreciable amounts of this pyroxene. Unless I am blind or just haven't been looking closely, diopside is rare on Green Monster Mountain. Careful examination may reveal more occurrences of diopside, but I recall only small subhedral to anhedral grains of what appears to be diopside associated with small hercynite octahedrons and clintonite rosettes near the summit.

Two small exposures of atypical, grayish green, aphanitic skarn that host splotches of pink rhodonite, massive epidote and an unknown brown mineral have been exposed at the lowest peripheries of both the middle and lower workings (see under Rhodonite). Tests are needed to determine whether this grayish green host skarn is composed primarily of diopside.


Epidote [Ca.sub.2][Al.sub.2]([Fe.sup.3+], Al)[Si.sub.3][O.sub.12](OH)

Epidote is, of course, Prince of Wales Island's "crown jewel" mineral. The beauty of its crystals and the diversity of their arrangements amaze us each time we find a significant pocket. Such an event happens roughly once every five years.

The Green Monster claim has produced epidote crystals in a wide range of sizes, from microcrystals forming druses on quartz to individual crystals that are among the largest in the world. A specimen I found in 1982, now on display in the University of Alaska's Fairbanks museum, has a perfect centerpiece crystal 15 cm long and weighing approximately 3 kg. A damaged and incomplete crystal found earlier in the upper workings weighs over 3 kg.




As we penetrate into deeper and fresher skarn, we are finding brighter and less damaged crystals than those found in earlier years. Tom Hanna and I now expect to see at least a few specimens of epidote crystals on garnet matrix in the deeper pockets, whereas none of the 1967 epidote crystals and groups came out on matrix.

However, it isn't always the case that fresher, brighter crystals and matrix specimens are found below the surface weathering zone. About half the pockets we have encountered appear to have been affected by late-stage hydrothermal conditions unrelated to surface weathering. These are the hydrothermal conduit pockets that produced the "Janus-faced" epidote: dulled, rounded, and often coated with low-temperature minerals on one side, and perfectly bright on the protected side. The most seriously affected crystal surfaces are oriented face-up in the pockets. Some epidote crystals in these conduit pockets show various degrees of arrested corrosive attack and regrowth; in one such pocket in the core of the middle workings, Tom Hanna found a serrated single crystal nearly 15 centimeters long that is textured by dissolution and regrowth. In many cases, associated quartz prisms may contain up to six en echelon phantoms.




The locality has produced epidote crystals in an extraordinary variety of habits. A 2 X 3 X 4-meter zone in the lower workings has produced the blocky tabular crystals for which the locality is famous, as well as unusual crystals elongated on the a axis, with {001} and {102} termination faces; slender twinned prisms with "feathered" terminations; highly elongated prismatic crystals measuring to 8 cm with "stepped" terminations and associated with chloritic and byssolitic quartz; flattened and slightly curved, smaller crystals nearly identical to those found in Copper Mountain's Jumbo #4 mine; one or two black, nearly opaque, flat, dime-sized, pseudo-hexagonal tablets; and unusual fans and aggregated fans of bi-colored "jackstraw" crystals, some of which penetrate, or are penetrated by, single prismatic crystals and crystal clusters of heavily included quartz.

The jackstraw epidote is so distinctive that it deserves special mention. Some of the fans appear as dark green, partially flat, hollow shells with pale yellowish green, fragile, weakly connected crystal "splinters" partially filling the hollow core. Most fans under 6 cm in length are flat and presumed to be solid. A few doubly terminated fans reveal a starting point (literally) from which the tightly interwoven, parallel to subparallel "crystallites" extend and diverge, forming a classic fan or spray shape with an array of tiny bi-colored terminations around the arc perimeter. Several fans resemble interpenetrating twins that intersect obliquely at approximately 70 and 110 degrees.

I discovered the jackstraw epidote pocket in the lower workings in the summer of 2003, while hand-chiseling in the far end of a pocket Tom Hanna had opened with the Punjar chipper in 1996. Each year since then we have worked in this old pocket, a ritual that starts by shoveling slough out of the 1996 cavity (the slough is deposited by winter avalanches crashing down the steep hillside). We are not completely masochistic. Each year we motivate ourselves to muck out the old pocket because it is nearly in the center of a pocket-rich zone; clearing it out also gives us hope that we will eventually carve out a place in which to huddle and gain partial respite from the bugs during dry weather or the cold rain and wind during storms. (On Green Monster Mountain, either the bugs or the bad weather get you; there is no relief.)

The 1996 pocket begins in and extends just beyond a fault with a gouge zone up to 20 cm wide, and much of its contents were crushed by movement along the fault. Pocket detritus in the gouge yielded an occasional intact single crystal tightly crunched together with the sorry remains of by gone crystals. The intact portion of the pocket--the part we muck out each year--produced slender, prismatic but mostly broken epidote associated with the mountain's largest and perhaps most pleasing green chloritic quartz crystals.

In 2003, after shoveling the crud out for what seemed like "the hundredth time" and then chiseling for hours while crouched in very uncomfortable positions, I encountered a small area in the furthest corner of the void that contained dense chloritic mud enclosing quartz crystals. At this point I was already some four meters into the mountain, a distance attained by 25+ years of intermittent hard labor. I followed the quartz lead until it revealed a soft, tube-shaped area 50 cm in diameter and completely filled with chlorite, partially altered frowzy actinolite, heavily included quartz, many crystal fragments, and many jackstraw epidote specimens from microcrystals to crystal clusters some 30 cm in diameter. Indeed, this pocket never really opened up; it just "softened up." Most of the epidote fans recovered are Janus-faced and damaged, compromising their appeal. Nevertheless, enough quality specimens were recovered to earn this pocket and its nearby companions a prominent place in the mountain's history.

The emptied tube, which we could barely widen, was just wide enough to crawl into (provided we kept our arms in front of us). It extended over a meter and a half straight into the mountain--up to the place where Tom Hanna found an adjoining pocket that went for another meter and a half at a right angle. By now, we had to pretzel our bodies at the waist to get around the right angle, keeping arms outstretched so that we could do wrist-action chiseling and not get stuck, hold a flashlight in our teeth and somehow extricate specimens while dirt fell in our ears, mouth and eyes. Space was so tight that I had to cut a hammer's handle in half and use shortened chisels to work down the rock walls. We also had to back out frequently to allow fresh air inside.

As an encore, I spotted several quartz prisms jammed together halfway back in the roof of Tom Hanna's pocket. When I gently wiggled a couple of the prisms, about two handfuls of specimens suddenly broke loose and tumbled down. I tried to slow the jackpot with a twisted backhand but could only watch in dismay as the specimens cascaded to the floor.

This assemblage of pockets is associated with a hydrothermal conduit, as evidenced by the differentially corroded epidote, the tubular shape of the pocket zone, the voids occurring in sequence, the absence of Japan-law twins, and the gradation of the epidote crystals from blocky to acicular habit. This system differs from the two confirmed conduit systems in the middle work area in that it is horizontal and extends almost directly into the mountain. The other bottom-area conduit, three meters to the left, was also different, being near-vertical and mostly plugged with limonite and minor amounts of chrysocolla.

Years of toil have shown us that the majority of the Green Monster claim's most spectacular matrix specimens occur in isolated, relatively unweathered pockets with no obvious connection to the hydrothermal conduits. One such specimen, a plate over 30 centimeters wide, is covered with brilliant epidote crystals to 10 cm, clear quartz crystals, and two translucent, only slightly etched calcite scalenohedrons, each measuring over 5 cm. This piece is now is on display at the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals in Hillsboro, Oregon. It came from Tom Hanna's isolated 1995 "Papa" pocket that was tucked deep within the high wall of the upper workings. Curiously, this pocket contained no Japan-law quartz twins whereas every other pocket in the immediate vicinity produced more than a few twins.

An anomalous toilet-bowl-sized pocket was found within a horizontal cleft on the west side of the north face of Green Monster Mountain's igneous plug. It was mostly filled with pulverulent actinolite and poorly formed blocky crystals of epidote to 10 cm exhibiting severe interference from "byssolite," but it contained minor, broken quartz. The horizontal cleft that hosts the pocket is poorly defined and extends for several meters along the near-vertical wall some two meters above a steep but vegetated talus slope.


Goethite [alpha]-[Fe.sup.3+]O(OH)

Goethite pseudomorphs after euhedral pyrite crystals are common in the middle and upper workings, especially in most of the larger epidote pockets. No pseudomorphs have been found in the lower workings. The pseudomorphic crystals are dark chocolate-brown to gunmetal-blue, thumbnail to miniature-size floaters, and in most cases are quite sharp, although some are slightly rounded, having begun to weather to mixed iron oxides ("limonite"). The largest pseudomorph I have seen is a deeply weathered cube almost 8 cm on edge. It was nestled in limonitic soil at the site of the 1977 "Mama" pocket which was ruined by an adjacent fault long ago.



A limited number of goethite pseudomorphs measuring 2 cm or more have been found in a sulfide-rich, iron-gossan-stained zone a few meters wide which cuts across the ridge above and to the northeast of the epidote area and to within a few meters of a site which produced ochre-included quartz.

Infrequently, goethite pseudomorphs after pyrite rest on epidote crystals, and vice versa. While the pseudomorphs do occur in pockets with quartz and/or magnetite, they have not been found attached to crystals of these species.

Gold Au

Gold occurs very sparingly in the masses of sulfide and oxidation products that are found in the conduit pockets. In 2002, I noticed several very small (less than 0.5 mm) gold crystals attached to a 2-cm goethite pseudomorph after pyrite found in a particularly large sulfide zone of a pocket we had uncovered the year before. I have crushed several samples of the oxidized sulfide material from this pocket and panned out gold specks. We have shoveled most of this kind of material, along with waste rock, down the debris slope over the years, and Tom and I sometimes wonder how many kilograms of copper and troy ounces of gold we have thrown away.

Grossular [Ca.sub.3][Al.sub.2](Si[O.sub.4])[.sub.3]

Up to 80% of the skarn in and around the epidote area is composed of grossular-andradite garnet, with grossular predominating. On rare occasions we have found dark brown, subhedral, rough-surfaced dodecahedral crystals lining small pockets. The largest crystal is a fragment speckled with several small magnetite rosettes. Had it been a complete garnet crystal it would have been nearly 30 cm in diameter. However, most individuals are usually less than 5 cm. Specimen-quality epidote is not usually found in these pockets; it is likely that the garnet pocket linings and any associated grossular crystals had to be dissolved in order to provide at least some of the elements needed to precipitate the prized epidote, quartz, calcite and magnetite crystals.

Small chunks (to 5 cm) of grossular with surfaces comprised of tightly intergrown dodecahedral crystals occur near the east summit of Green Monster Mountain. Viable specimens have formed where there was just enough interstitial calcite to allow a few crystals to grow without touching. Derrickson's specimen of pale grossular and clintonite (see above under Clintonite) appears to have been an anomaly; however, additional work here might uncover a few more sherry-colored grossular specimens.

Hematite [Fe.sub.2][O.sub.3]

Splendent pseudomorphs of goethite and hematite after pyrite crystals to 6 cm were once found near the summit of Copper Mountain. On Green Monster Mountain, however, hematite is found only as small patches of reddish ocherous soil containing quartz crystals, and as ocherous inclusions that give these quartz crystals a reddish color. Along the ridge above the primary epidote area and just east of the iron gossan zone, a collapsed surface pocket yielded many such quartz crystals, some doubly terminated, to 10 cm, of rose-red to russet-red hues; a few of the crystals also have partial coatings of green drusy epidote. Unfortunately, all but a handful of the crystals have dull surfaces. We believe that Virgil Gile found the majority of these specimens in the mid-1970's.

Another set of small surface pockets crops out along a very steep slope a few dozen meters to the northeast of this site. Here I have found small, slender, grayish-pink, hematite-included quartz crystals to 3 cm long, and a few frost-damaged clusters of the same crystals on weathered epidote matrix. The host rock here suggests a potential for additional pockets.

Hercynite. [Fe.sup.2+][Al.sub.2][O.sub.4]

Sharp black octahedral crystals of the iron-rich spinel hercynite and small grains of what may be diopside have been found loose in the thin alpine soil along the west slope of Green Monster's summit plateau some 40 meters southwest of the clintonite site. Most of the hercynite crystals measure less than 5 mm, although exceptionally they reach nearly 1 cm.

Humite (?) [Mg.sub.7](Si[O.sub.4])[.sub.3](F,OH)[.sub.2]

At the clintonite site we have found small, brown, stubby and somewhat flattened monoclinic crystals (a few measuring to 1 cm) occurring both enclosed in calcite and loose in the soil and often intergrown with clintonite. We believe they are a species belonging to the humite group, but we are not aware of any determinative work having been done on them. Weathering and (we believe) organic acids have weakened and partially dissolved many of the crystals.

Laumontite [Ca.sub.4][[Al.sub.8][Si.sub.16][O.sub.48]] * 18[H.sub.2]O

Over the years, Tom and I have encountered just one zeolite, laumontite, on Green Monster Mountain. In most cases the species occurs as crystalline coatings and as slender, unattached, white to pale tan, translucent prisms to 1.5 cm. Within hours of their removal from pockets the prisms dehydrate, turn an opaque off-white and start to decrepitate. The laumontite coatings typically are admixed with final-stage quartz and form a tenacious "skin" on epidote groups that had the misfortune of ending up on the floors of pockets. Invariably the surfaces of epidote crystals beneath the laumontite/quartz coating are either damaged or corroded, suggesting that both late-term species may have grown parasitically on the epidote.

Magnetite [Fe.sup.2+][Fe.sub.2.sup.3+][O.sub.4]

Fine specimens of magnetite occur in many of the fresher isolated epidote pockets. To my knowledge, magnetite has not been found in conduit pockets. Rosettes of black to dark silvery gray, very thin platy magnetite crystals exceptionally reach 5 cm across. Prismatic quartz crystals commonly lie on, and sometimes project from, the magnetite aggregates. Rarely, Japan-law quartz twins perch upright on them. Magnetite rosettes (or "wheels") have been found in close association with epidote only in the middle and upper workings. Indeed, no magnetite at all has been found in the lower workings, only some 50 meters distant. Several small pockets have produced magnetite rosettes with varying numbers of quartz crystals and only minor amounts of epidote; at times the magnetite is still attached to the grossular-andradite pocket linings.

Leavens and Thomssen (1977) initially thought the specimens to be hematite "roses," since they looked so similar to Swiss specimens. At some point I tested several of the rosettes with a magnet and found them to be strongly magnetic. What appear to be tiny distorted octahedral faces along the outer edges of the rosette lamellae argue against the notion that the magnetite replaced hematite. Leavens (personal communication) suggests that the rosettes exemplify extreme spinel-law twinning.

In 1977, I found several splendent magnetite rosette "floaters" up to 3 cm in diameter along the crest of the ridge above the epidote site. This partially decomposed pocket was within 2 meters of one of our 1967 holes which had produced a few poor-quality weathered epidote crystal shards. Several of the magnetite rosettes were affixed to a 25-cm fragment of a single crude garnet crystal. This pocket also contained a considerable number of off-white to pale green chloritic quartz clusters up to 3 cm; these had partially overgrown fragments of relatively fresh-looking grossular-andradite.

Aggregates of magnetite octahedrons averaging less than 2 mm with a few individuals to several millimeters occur sparingly along the central part of Green Monster's plateau summit. This magnetite occurrence is associated with small mafic dikes.

Malachite [Cu.sub.2.sup.2+](C[O.sub.3])(OH)[.sub.2]

Malachite has been found in only two pockets to date. Distinct, splendent, deep emerald-green, slender, acicular prisms of malachite (?) crystals grouped in tufts to almost 1 mm were recovered from a relatively large sulfide/oxide bleb that occurred with a large epidote pocket found in the upper workings in 2001. Within this pocket, malachite also formed minute botryoidal crusts on dark brown to black iron oxide and manganese oxide breccia, and massive malachite occasionally filled small interstices. Several years earlier a collapsed pocket in the middle workings produced minor amounts of malachite coloration admixed with iron hydroxides. Careful analyses of the minerals from the malachite occurrences may reveal other species of secondary copper minerals.

Orthoclase KAl[Si.sub.3][O.sub.8]

Although we have not found orthoclase as recognizable crystals on Green Monster Mountain, the species is mentioned here because of the many excellent specimens of complexly twinned translucent crystals that were recovered years ago on nearby Copper Mountain (see photographs in Leavens and Thomssen, 1977). Because the two skarns occur on opposite

sides of the same igneous intrusion, it is possible (and we hope) that areas of feldspar enrichment containing euhedral crystals exist somewhere within or adjacent to the Green Monster contact zone.

Pyrite Fe[S.sub.2]

Fresh sulfides have rarely been found on Green Monster Mountain, although we have found several sharp pyrite crystals with only a thin skin of goethite. I have two uncoated, unaltered pyrite specimens, a thumbnail dodecahedron and an aggregate of crystals from a conduit in the middle workings.

Most Green Monster Mountain pyrite occurs in sulfide blebs admixed with secondary minerals resulting from sulfide oxidation and infrequently with chalcopyrite. Goethite pseudomorphs after pyrite reveal a characteristic that the original pyrite shared with the locality's quartz and epidote: a propensity to crystallize in widely varying forms. Although very rare, highly stepped iron-cross twins occur here, as do cubes, cuboctahedrons, octahedrons and dodecahedrons. We have not found pyritohedrons.

Pyrrhotite [Fe.sub.1-x]S

An apparently isolated mass of crystalline pyrrhotite occurs within a nearly black gossan-covered polysulfide orebody located some 50 meters southwest of the Green Monster Mountain summit plateau. This rusty "sore" covers just a few square meters at the surface and appears to contain pyrrhotite, pyrite, magnetite, chalcopyrite, and probably some manganese oxides, in unknown proportions. The early prospectors stockpiled several tons of the ore that they excavated from a small prospect pit and then marked the heap prominently on their claims survey. The extent of the mass, which plunges almost vertically, has not been determined. The U.S. Forest Service surveyor used the stockpile as a known reference while remapping the property in 1986. However, the magnetic mineralization in the area required him to compensate for his nonfunctioning compass.







Quartz Si[O.sub.2]

I almost prefer finding a pocket of aesthetic quartz crystals to finding a pocket of sharp, glassy epidote ... almost. Attractive and rich in crystal forms, Green Monster Mountain quartz deserves more recognition than it has generally received among mineral collectors. It is distributed throughout the epidote area and has been found in every producing pocket.

It might be easiest to list varieties of quartz not found on Green Monster Mountain. We have not found gwindels, smoky quartz, citrine, agate, faden quartz, beta quartz, globular quartz, "hopper" crystals or scepters. We have found crystals resembling "rocket quartz" crystals (described by Dibble, 2002), with prisms widening toward the terminations such that the crystals are commonly mistaken for scepters, and we found reverse scepters in the jackstraw epidote pocket.

Nowhere on Green Monster Mountain have we seen quartz as a primary skarn mineral, and it has yet to be recognized east of Green Monster's igneous plug. However, quartz grew during every phase of hydrothermal mineralization in the skarn to the west of the igneous plug, and consequently its varying habits and variety of inclusions serve as important indicators of sequential hydrothermal activity and weathering processes that have affected the host pockets.

The only downside to specimen quartz from Green Monster is that the crystals are relatively small: individuals rarely exceed 5 cm. However, prisms exceeding 12 cm have been retrieved from the lower workings, where hundreds of quartz and quartz/epidote specimens have been found. Almost all the quartz from the lower workings is heavily included with chlorite and, more rarely, actinolite, epidote and one or two minerals yet to be identified. Many of the epidote clusters from this area feature quartz points larger than those from the middle and upper workings. We have also found prisms with fensters resulting from incomplete overgrowths. Reverse-scepter crystals, and single crystals containing inclusions of tiny white monoclinic crystals of an unknown species, are both unique to the lower workings. Curiously, I have never found a Japan-law twin, or quartz grown epitactically on epidote, in this area. (Tom Hanna insists that he has found one or two Japan-law twins here, so I am keeping an open mind.)

In the middle and upper workings, we have found several variations on Japan-law quartz twinning, including one or two that have not, to my knowledge, been reported from elsewhere. The upper workings have produced the majority of specimens of quartz twins and of epitactic quartz on epidote. Several exceptionally rare four-way (X-shaped) Japan-law twin floaters with inclusions of cloudy gray-green chlorite have been found here. Most pockets in this area have yielded at least a few Japan-law twins. In 1991, a narrow tubular pocket less than a meter long yielded over two dozen Japan-law twins, some with clusters of slender epidote crystals and untwinned quartz crystals.

A letter dated June 23, 1992 by Si and Ann Frazier (to Richard Thomssen and Michael Kokinos) regarding a treatise by Rudolf Rykart (1989) helps to better understand Green Monster Mountain quartz. Translated and summarized by the Fraziers, Rykart's treatise categorizes quartz from Alpine veins (Zerrkluft) in two distinct etiological and morphological systems designated as "Bambauer" and "Friedlander" quartz. According to Rykart (1989), "Differences in Bambauer and Friedlander quartz structures are of fundamental importance to many aspects of mineralogy and geology." Bambauer quartz typically forms as long prismatic crystals in lower-temperature, vein-associated cavities that underwent a "changeable milieu." Bambauer crystals grow relatively rapidly and not uniformly, often nucleate spontaneously to form doubly terminated floaters, and exhibit Dauphine, Brazil-law and Japanlaw twinning.



In Friedlander quartz, crystal growth rates are slow, and the crystals always develop from pre-existing quartz grains and splinters. Brazil-law twins are rare, and Japan-law twins do not occur. Crystals often show strongly distorted tips and prismatic to steep rhombohedral habit. Gwindels occur only in Friedlander quartz.

The Bambauer description seems to approximate most closely the quartz found in both conduit and isolated pockets on Green Monster Mountain. However, there are notable differences in the quartz from conduit pockets. For example, we have rarely, if ever, found Japan-law twins in them; prisms frequently display features that indicate prolonged growth, such as multiple layers of inclusions and aberrant growth features (e.g., "bent" or distorted prisms resulting from dislocation in the pockets and growth interference from adjacent or attached crystals). The crystals are also consistently larger than those found in isolated pockets, and doubly terminated "floaters" are rare to nonexistent, although some "doubly terminated" prism sections have resulted from the rehealing of break surfaces.

At some juncture, we hope to do a more thorough investigation of Green Monster quartz with respect to Rykart's categories. In so doing, we may come to better understand the sequence of events that produced Green Monster's remarkable specimens.

Rhodonite MnSi[O.sub.3]

Ten years ago we encountered rhodonite in the lower workings. It occurs sparingly as irregular, crystalline blebs in a very tough, gray-green portion of the skarn, on the downhill side and to within a meter of epidote pockets (see under Diopside). The rhodonite blebs typically are less than 2 X 5 cm, are a warm but irregular pink, and are admixed with minor amounts of other minerals including quartz grains to 3 mm. Some of the blebs are sandwiched in a narrow, 4 to 8-cm vein and possess an irregular rind of chalk-white and rootbeer-brown minerals; portions of the rind also contain compression folds. (My wife Mary says this rhodonite looks like dollops of raspberry sorbet surrounded by vanilla ice cream and light chocolate.)

Within the past three years we exposed a similar vein or dike hosting smaller inclusions of pale pink rhodonite in the extreme lower margin of the middle workings. This assemblage also occurs along the outer margins of a pocket-rich area. The site of Over and Montgomery's big find in 1935 is less than 10 meters to the upper left of this exposure. This part of the middle area is also closest to the lower workings, suggesting that the two rhodonite occurrences could be part of the same lithologic unit.

A few small boulders of float containing fresh, rose-pink, coarsely crystalline rhodonite with minor splotches of a dark-brown semi-translucent mineral were found in the talus below the north-facing highwall of Green Monster Mountain's igneous plug. This rhodonite was easy to spot, as the pink color stood out like Easter eggs in the thinly vegetated talus. The source for this rhodonite has not been determined.

Scapolite Group

Tan to bone-white, intergrown and deeply striated spine-like crystals of a scapolite-group mineral to 10 cm, some with surface splotches of black manganese oxide and other minerals, were found loose in the soil just below the crest of the ridge and a few paces west of the iron-rich gossan zone and ocher quartz location. This area faces north and is snow-covered most of the year, which might explain how these crude but strangely appealing crystals went unnoticed for many years.

Titanite CaTiOSi[O.sub.4]

Small pale tan to straw-yellow crystals presumed to be titanite are uncommon but widely distributed in pockets throughout the productive area. Most crystals are less than 3 mm, although one "giant" from the lower workings exceeds 1 cm. Tom Hanna's 1995 "Papa" pocket in the upper workings produced sharp, buff-yellow titanite crystals up to 8 mm perched on epidote. Some magnetite rosettes are generously speckled with microcrystals of titanite.


The region around Copper Mountain and Green Monster Mountain has changed noticeably since 1967, although the biting insects are as ferocious and the storms as persistent as ever. At the end of their article, Leavens and Thomssen (1977) report having heard wolves in the distance one rainy, lonely collecting day. Before 1996 but not since then, Tom and I have twice seen wolves less than 20 meters from us on our site. A huge black bear freely roamed our property for a decade, but I last saw him in 1988. I rather miss the old guy and the wild spirit he represented. Tom and I respect the remaining wildlife, mind our manners, and hope that the indigenous creatures will be allowed to carry on forever. Logging on Native corporation lands has resulted in large clear cuts to within 6 to 8 km from our property boundaries and, for the first time in our lengthy tenure, we sometimes hear faint sounds of machinery instead of the voices of animals while we are out on the mountain.


Much work remains to be done at the site. Because of the steep slopes, hard rock, and lack of roads, the complete extent of the remaining crystal-bearing ground may never be fully determined. Moreover, the steepness of the work areas places severe limits on any use of heavier equipment, and moving such equipment by using a helicopter and sling is prohibitively expensive-hence our present reliance on very small mechanized equipment and on hand tools. We often ponder our various options, knowing that all will require considerable effort, resources and planning. While we intend to continue refining our small-mechanized and hand-tool collecting techniques, we are no longer willing to risk drilling and blasting to expose the pockets. The destruction of a big bottom-area pocket in 1993 taught us in a very sad and costly way how easily explosives can ruin crystals. We unknowingly drilled to within 20 centimeters of the pocket chamber, loaded and lit the hole. In a microsecond, a great number of valuable specimens were turned into epidote chowder.

Tom and I still need to confirm the identities of several Green Monster Mountain mineral species. We also need to determine the structural relationship between the lower workings and the middle and upper workings. Subtle but distinct differences exist which, if better understood, may further our understanding of this mountain's remarkable specimens and their occurrences. For example, why is it that, with just one giant exception (the crystal on display in the University of Alaska Fairbanks Museum), epidote crystals elongated on the 'a' axis have been found only in the lower workings? And why do chalcopyrite, malachite, magnetite and goethite pseudomorphs after pyrite occur only in the middle and upper workings while limonite and chrysocolla are prominent only in the lower workings? Indeed, limonite in the high-angle lower workings conduit was so dense that it appears to have prevented the migration of later fluids that might otherwise have compromised many fine specimens. Except where faulting bisected our 1996 pocket, all but a few small surface pockets in the lower workings produced very sharp epidote. We have hopes that more pockets may be found under, between and beyond our three main work areas.

In the coming years, we expect more changes in the region surrounding our mountain. Eventual development of nearby lakes and streams for hydroelectric power is a near certainty, and further logging in the lower valleys of the region is likely. New prospecting and mining techniques will invite renewed production of important metals on the island, and expanded road systems will be built to support the needed infrastructure. Meanwhile, our activities on the top of Green Monster Mountain will continue to be compatible with the wild and remote beauty that still graces this region. We'll savor our search for crystals by employing small mechanized and hand tools whenever it is practicable to do so, and by applying our hard-won local knowledge and intuition. Our prime rewards are the delight of discovery and the privilege of witnessing the beauty and majesty of the land. We look forward to frequenting the Green Monster Mountain claim for as long as we can drag our wrinkled bodies to the work sites.


Thirty-seven years have passed since Professor Peter B. Leavens and Richard W. Thomssen organized the 1967 Green Monster Mountain expedition, and to this day I feel deeply grateful to Peter for inviting me to be the third member of that expedition.

Both Tom Hanna and I extend our heartfelt appreciation to Eskil Anderson for entrusting the ownership of the Green Monster property to us: thank you, Eskil! We also owe Marshall Koval our thanks for sharing his knowledge of mining techniques, and for his uncanny ability to be first in line to purchase specimens following our collecting trips. We refer to Marshall as "our banker."

For their hard work and expertise, we thank the seaplane and helicopter pilots who have transported us safely to and from the mountain over the years. Peter Johnson (retired) and his son, Thor Johnson; Ken Eichner (retired) and his grandson, Erik Eichner; Dale Clark; Dave Spokely; and Ed Todd (deceased) have been especially helpful.

I am immensely grateful to my long-time partner, Tom Hanna, for working with me so hard and devotedly on the Island these many years, and for contributing many wise suggestions during this article's composition. My old college friend Tom Moore, now an editor of the Mineralogical Record, provided valuable editorial advice and assistance, as did reviewers George Robinson and Anthony Kampf. Editor-in-chief Wendell Wilson's skilled photography, graphics and final editing greatly enhanced the article's quality and clarity.

I am deeply indebted to my first wife, (now) Fran Jameson, for her patience and support during those difficult early years, and I deeply appreciate my present wife, Mary Toland, for her enthusiastic willingness to participate in my mountain experiences.


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Douglas C. Toland

667 Meadowview Road

Sagle, Idaho 83860
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Author:Toland, Douglas C.
Publication:The Mineralogical Record
Geographic Code:1U9AK
Date:Sep 1, 2004
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