[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
[cdt-l] Another Colorado question
>Now you started another story, but did not finish it. Why did they kick you
>out>of Glacier? (Trail closure because of bears? Too much snow?) How far
We have lots of stories ;-)))
We were lieing in bed at our campsite at Reynolds Creek one cold rainy
evening, after a very long day trudging through the snow on both sides of
Piegan Pass. We were heading south through the park. A ranger tracked us
down (from our reservations) to tell us that a bear at Red Eagle Lake had
torn up a couple of packs the night before, so they were closing the trail
past the lake and the campsite where we planned to stop. The funny (odd)
part was that they said, "If it's a black bear that is acting up, we'll
remove it. If it's a grizzly, we'll remove the hikers." I heard that the
trail and campsites were closed all summer.
We discussed options with the ranger and her contact on the radio and were
told we might be given permission to hike past the bear and do a 24+ mile
day over snow-covered Triple Divide Pass to the campsite at Atlantic Creek
(not really feasible given the amount of snow) or we could walk the highways
around the park (not a viable option either.) Since we had already hiked
the length of the trail in Glacier the year before, we decided to just
leave. It was really disappointing at the time. I was impressed, however,
with the fact that the park didn't just put up signs and leave it at that
(we saw a 'trail closed' sign the next morning) but instead let us know
personally what was going on (and made sure we didn't ignore their trail
>A little more background would also be interesting (at least to me). It
>sounds>like you started your trip in East Glacier on May 30 and hiked south
>to Warm>Springs. Went back to East Glacier to hike north to Canada. Were
>you headed to>Waterton or Belly River? Why did you go north instead of
>south in Glacier?
Other way around. We started at Warm Springs (near Butte) on May 30 - on a
snowy Montana spring day. (Two inches of snow in downtown Butte.) We wanted
to start early, not wait until the Park trails opened at the end of June.
1999 was a high snow year, and spring thaw was about three weeks late.
They only opened the road through the park the week before we got there, and
then it was closed while we were there because of a slide. Anyhow, we hiked
north for 3 weeks to East Glacier, where we borrowed a car from a terrific
trail angel, Mark Howser, to get our permits at Two Medicine Ranger Station.
We looked at both alternate routes through the park. The campsites on the
Highline Trail were closed, and the trail was still completely snow-covered,
so we decided to do the lower Belly River Route instead. We didn't want to
rent a bear canister, as we would have had to do if we had hiked the
Highline Trail and slept at undesignated sites, especially since we would
then have had to return the cans to St. Mary's again (a long drive.) After
going through the Bob in solid snow, we were hoping for less snow in
Glacier. Except for Red Pass, the first stretch was not difficult. Just cold
and wet with rain, sleet and snow. Besides, Jim and I had already hiked the
Highline Trail, and we wanted to check out the alternate Belly River route.
It was very pretty, especially heading north to south, since that way you
are heading into the high mountains, not away from them. Hiking north to
south, we hoped that the snow would be less by the time we got down to the
higher Triple Divide and Pitamakan Passes. The rangers told us the trails
hadn't yet been hiked, except for two thruhikers who went through the week
before we arrived. Their footprints were gone by the time we went over
Piegan Pass. We hitched from the road near Reynolds Creek campsite to East
Glacier, took Amtrak to Shelby, MT, then Greyhound to Warm Springs. That
was a nice drive. We were upset at having to cut the route through the
park, but given the weather (really nasty), the conditions (solid snow) and
the fact that we had already done the CDT there in much better conditions,
we were able to accept the change in plans pretty easily.
One of these days, we may put our journal out on the web, but if you're
really interested, I can email it to you. It's long (about 140 pages) but it
gives a pretty good idea of what it was like out for us.
Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com