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GNP conditions
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David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
GNP conditions on 08/15/2011 10:07:20 MDT Print View

An impressive number of folks have PM'd me lately, so I thought I'd put up what I know. With our records snow year and late summer the BC office in Glacier has spent all summer redirecting folks whose original routes were made, for them, undoable.

By now the majority of snow hazards are about as good as they're going to get. Passes like Dawson, Triple Divide, Stoney Indian, and Browns are clear or nearly so. Larger snow hazards like Boulder Pass and Ahern Drift on the northern highline are still, reportedly, in a condition which mandates an axe and crampons. Frankly, they're likely to remain so all year. Rumor has it that trail crews won't even be bothering with Ahern this season. A few other passes, like Gunsight, are a bit in between. Two weeks ago I used an axe and crampons on three occasions on the eastern side of Gunsight, for about 200 yards total. I would not have wanted to be without them. It's been warm since, so they might have melted out enough to get around them, but that's taking a chance. It's worth noting that what snowfields are left now are ery hard from so much melt-freeze.

In short, the melt off in Glacier is a good month to six weeks behind schedule, which means that things are almost as good as they're likely to get this year. A bonus is that the alpine flowers are similarly behind schedule, and places like the Fifty Mountain meadow, which typically peak in July, are still in the height of bloom right now.