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Plowing GTS

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Plowing GTS

Old 05-13-19, 11:26 AM
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indyfabz
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Plowing GTS

Posted photos so far:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/glacie...h/46919479134/


Looks like they are making good progress. It's been very warm in the park the last several days. There was a line of cars at the west end entrance yesterday. Wondering if it was for moms' day brunch at the lodge. Checked the web cams a bit ago. At least one kayak on Lake McDonald. I am slated to be in Whitefish on June 26th but am going to skip the park this year.


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Old 05-13-19, 05:58 PM
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If there is one job I would not want it is that one. Not sure how the men and women that operate those things can sit dow because that have to be as bog as basketballs.
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Old 05-14-19, 04:50 AM
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They also have to worry about avalanches along some stretches. They often have spotters to watch for potential slides. Plowing gets halted if there is a danger.
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Old 05-14-19, 08:51 AM
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Even though I've been up and down that road, I didn't realize it was so steep or so far down until I saw that first picture.

Time to start planning next year's vacation -- this year's already spoken for.
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Old 05-14-19, 09:07 AM
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Been up the west side 4 times. If you map it out, there are no sustained sections over 8%. But it is long. According to RWGPS, it's 22 miles from Sprague Creek Campground (near Lake McDonald Lodge) to Logan Pass. However, the first 11.5 miles are easy. Total elevation gain is 3,362'.
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Old 05-14-19, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Been up the west side 4 times. If you map it out, there are no sustained sections over 8%. But it is long. According to RWGPS, it's 22 miles from Sprague Creek Campground (near Lake McDonald Lodge) to Logan Pass. However, the first 11.5 miles are easy. Total elevation gain is 3,362'.
What would you say is the average overall climb?

But main thing keeping me away is so many freaking people. I have seen photos of some of those trails and I swear there are less people on the street in Pittsburgh at lunch hour.
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Old 05-14-19, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
What would you say is the average overall climb?

But main thing keeping me away is so many freaking people. I have seen photos of some of those trails and I swear there are less people on the street in Pittsburgh at lunch hour.
Depends where you measure it from. I have always started from Sprague Creek Campground:

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/29983137?beta=false

As you can see from the profile, the first 11.7 miles are gently undulating. To the extent you gain any altitude, you barely notice it. If you put your cursor on the profile, left click and drag to the right to highlight the entire route, it returns an average of 3.6%. But if you start at mile 11.7 and do the same thing, you get an average of 5.5%. You can cut down the distance by starting from Avalanche Campground at mile 6.4 of the above map, but you don't cut out much climbing by doing that.

Yes. The trails can be crowded, especially at the pass. The relatively short hike from the visitor center to Hidden Lake is quite popular once it becomes easily passable. (Still too much snow on the ground when I was there in 2017.) The backcountry is a different story. Did a week-long, guided backpack tour there in 2013. Just me and the guide. Saw one group of day hikers on one trail. Other than that, we encountered the same number of people as moose (5). One of those people was a trail crew member who was leading a team of mules carrying trail clearing equipment and supplies. Another two we only saw because one of them was ill and they had strayed from their backcountry permit to get out of the wood sooner than planned.
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Old 05-14-19, 11:39 AM
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Going to the Sun Road, aka Logan Pass, is neither particularly steep nor particularly high. But it is an especially beautiful road. You can find gradient charts using google. I've climbed the pass twice from the west side and hiked on various trails on both sides of the park, and crowds were not a problem. Many other national parks receive more visitors.
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Old 05-14-19, 12:06 PM
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It is my understanding that the ride from East Glacier to St. Mary is not a fun ride. Is this true? Also, the shuttle does not carry bicycles. How hard is it to slap a bike rack on a shuttle?
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Old 05-14-19, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
...But main thing keeping me away is so many freaking people. I have seen photos of some of those trails and I swear there are less people on the street in Pittsburgh at lunch hour.
On the great majority of trails you will see very few or no people. Short hikes are popular, obviously, so expect to see folks at Hidden Lake, Avalanche Lake, Iceberg Lake, Grinnell glacier. Any thing signed from the road attracts more people. Trails which require you to read a map and plan are less popular. Few people are willing to undertake much more than a 5 mile hike.

The Highline Trail will have hikers near Logan Pass, but probably more than half turn around after the first mile or two. You won't see many people till you get to Granite Park Chalet, where folks also hike up from the Loop. Head over Swiftcurrent Pass and down and you probably won't see anyone until you near Many Glacier. Highline trail from Logan Pass to Many Glacier (15 mi) is a great choice for beautiful scenery.

I've been to GNP early and late season, avoiding the high season and most of the people. I prefer late season when the trails are not muddy - a week or two before everything starts to close down is a good time to visit. West Glacier, Logan Pass and St Marys are often crowded, but get a ways off the pavement and you will have the Park to yourself.

If you can hike 10-15 miles then there are plenty of places where you'll see hardly anyone - you may even wish for more hikers to reduce your odds of surprising a grizzly bear.
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Old 05-14-19, 01:18 PM
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Cool pics!

In addition to what @seeker333 says, get an early start. Crowds don't show up til 11 or 12 most days. We got to Avalanche Lake fly fishing at 730am, there wasn't another person there til 930-10. By noon when we were heading out, there were literally hundreds of folks on the banks.
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Old 05-14-19, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
I prefer late season when the trails are not muddy - a week or two before everything starts to close down is a good time to visit.
My shuttle driver from the park to Whitefish said the same thing. Throngs of tourists gone and less buggy. The backcountry campgrounds were very buggy in July because they are always near lakes or streams for water. My guide liked to see how many mosquitoes he could kill at one time when he fired up the Coleman stove to prime it.
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Old 05-17-19, 11:21 AM
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Looks like they are getting/got more snow at the pass. Another web cam lens is blocked by snow, but the reading says the temperature is 23. Those trees you see were more exposed and not snow covered earlier in the week, when temperatures at the pass were in the 50s. It was gorgeous and in the 60s on Mothers' Day. Look at the west entrance cam and saw several cars waiting to get in. Probably taking moms for meals at Lake McDonald Lodge. I are dinner there one night in 2017. Pretty darn good. Some sort of salad, mussels and steelhead trout entre.

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Old 05-27-19, 06:45 AM
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Bump

Plows have reached Logan Pass from the west.


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Old 05-29-19, 04:32 AM
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Avalanche traps cyclists:

https://kpax.com/news/flathead-count...he-speaks-out/
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Old 05-29-19, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
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Old 05-29-19, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
"an unusual avalanche blocked them from returning down."

Not what I was expecting from the headline. The way back was cut off for 8 hours. Kind of sucks, but when you are there and see crews digging out a path for you, that's kind of different from being "trapped" in an avalanche somewhere in backcountry. Also, I find it amusing how there's a couple just casually sitting on the stone wall, filming, not at all concerned. Maybe they were further away than the video makes it seem, but I just can't help it and shake my head thinking that people these days would rather pull out their phone and film something then run away from the danger.
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Old 05-29-19, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by autonomy View Post
"an unusual avalanche blocked them from returning down."

Not what I was expecting from the headline. The way back was cut off for 8 hours. Kind of sucks, but when you are there and see crews digging out a path for you, that's kind of different from being "trapped" in an avalanche somewhere in backcountry.
Yeah. I actually used "strands" when I posted the link in Addiction. Forgot to edit my post here.
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Old 05-29-19, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post


I hope there were no Donner Party descendants in the group.
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Old 05-29-19, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by autonomy View Post
...I find it amusing how there's a couple just casually sitting on the stone wall, filming, not at all concerned. Maybe they were further away than the video makes it seem, but I just can't help it and shake my head thinking that people these days would rather pull out their phone and film something then run away from the danger.
Selfie tourism evidently is the new thing to do. Listening to NPR program this morning, I heard some National Park visitation has increased dramatically due to folks making their way there for the "selfie" opportunities. I thought this theory a bit unlikely until five minutes later when I saw this news headline "Mandy Moore celebrates reaching Mount Everest base camp", (see attached selfies):

https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/29/enter...est/index.html

Granted the multi-day backpack into EBC would be a significant accomplishment, but compared to what Everest climbers undertake, it would be like driving to a trail head, parking, snapping pics of yourself with trail sign in background, then leaving without undertaking the actual hike.
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Old 05-29-19, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
Selfie tourism evidently is the new thing to do. Listening to NPR program this morning, I heard some National Park visitation has increased dramatically due to folks making their way there for the "selfie" opportunities. I thought this theory a bit unlikely until five minutes later when I saw this news headline "Mandy Moore celebrates reaching Mount Everest base camp", (see attached selfies):

https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/29/enter...est/index.html

Granted the multi-day backpack into EBC would be a significant accomplishment, but compared to what Everest climbers undertake, it would be like driving to a trail head, parking, snapping pics of yourself with trail sign in background, then leaving without undertaking the actual hike.
This is going to get offtopic, but what you're talking about really is a thing. I've seen angry threads on Instagram with people berating the author for not sharing the exact location of the photo. Look at all the articles about the superbloom in California and massive crowds of people flooding tiny towns after seeing Instagram pictures and wanting to replicate them. The social media effect has been an ongoing theme in rescue threads on VFFT (e.g. see top post https://www.vftt.org/forums/showthre...silaukee/page2). People see all these fantastic places and want to replicate the experience/pictures often without any understanding of the dangers/conditions.

And Everest climbing... plenty of pictures and videos of the human traffic jams up there; someone even called it DisneyWorld for the rich (too many guided trips), from your own link: https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/27/asia/...ntl/index.html
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