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Winter Trip to Glacier National Park

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Winter Trip to Glacier National Park

Postby johnwbarkhausen » Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:10 am

I'm trying to plan a ski/winter mountaineering trip to Glacier, but I can't find much information online. I've found some information on day trips, but nothing concerning longer trips deeper into the park. I know the road will be closed, but that may add to the adventure and the remoteness. Has anyone out there done any winter ascents, ski trips to the area, or gone exploring when the road was closed? Anybody have any ideas? Thanks for any help.
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Re: Winter Trip to Glacier National Park

Postby peakhugger » Mon Oct 01, 2012 12:01 am

Long trips deeper into the park will put you in serious avalanche country in most places. Although GNP is not techinically in the advisory area, avi reports here will give you a good idea of what might be out there: http://www.glacieravalanche.org/currentadvisory.cfm -but note that the east side of the park may have substantially different conditions.

Not many folks venture far into the park in winter. Two obvious winter/spring mountaineering milestones were just recently attained.
In 2010 all six 10,000ft peaks were climbed in winter by a single individual and ski descents of all six by a single individual were just completed this last winter.

Make sure to get a free GNP winter trip permit for overnight travel.

And maybe call around to local ski shops in Whitefish/Kalispell later this fall if you don't get more of a response here. I'm not local, so I don't have any other tips.
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Re: Winter Trip to Glacier National Park

Postby rebelgrizz » Mon Oct 01, 2012 1:00 am

I am a local, but I don't claim to be an expert on winter travel in GNP. However, I will say this, you don't have to travel into the backcountry to expose yourself to avalanche danger in the park. Going-To-The-Sun-Road suffers from avalanche damage every winter on both the east and west sides of the Continental Divide...and I'm referring to the road at some of its' lowest elevations...particularly on the west side at the Red Rocks area coming off of Cannon Mountain. I suggest contacting the park directly...they will probably discourage you, as they should.
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Re: Winter Trip to Glacier National Park

Postby pyerger » Mon Oct 01, 2012 3:19 pm

I lived up there for ten years, and have done minimal winter trips in the park, mainly because it is a hard place to get into. The peaks are steep, the valleys are deep, The avy danger can be extreme, and you can bet on waist deep snow! the park has to different personalities, the east side of the park tends to be sunny, windy, and cold. The westside, temperatures are more moderate, with calm cloudy days, and DEEP SNOW. Take this with a grain of salt, old man winter will dictate what G.N.P. will be like.
as far as recommendations, Como park, from MCdonalds lake will get you to the backcountry . It.s about six miles in.
Although not in the park, Jewel basin is a popular winter playground,for backcountry skiers,and snowmachiners,, Check out the glacier Mountaineering Societies web site for up to date beta.if your not set on Montana, Colorado is a great place for backcountry winter trips, Sunny days, windy, so the snow tends to pile up on certain sides of the mountain, making the other aspects almost snow free, and travel easy.
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Re: Winter Trip to Glacier National Park

Postby stevec » Sat Oct 06, 2012 4:31 pm

John - I also happen to be looking for information... did you find anything? Im going to go ice climbing in hyalite from 9 dec for a week then will head up to glacier for xmas and new year after yellowstone and cody. The mrs and I intend to wander off into backcountry for 4-5 days and see what we can climb. Will take full high altitude expedition boots and winter gear from home here in Europe - so wont be moving fast..hope to camp somewhere low/mid mountain and make a couple of summit dashes. The last time I carried that much stuff was climbing for couple months in antarctica ... this time though we cant bring over skis as too much stuff with ice gear as well so will have to make do with snow shoes. Thinking of going in on the east side due to likelihood of less snow...let me know if you find out anything useful
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Re: Winter Trip to Glacier National Park

Postby richardlayne » Tue Nov 05, 2013 8:31 pm

So how did the trip go? Where did you go? I realize these question are several months delinquent, but I am still curious. If you went then you probably now know that GNP has plenty of reasonable and safe areas where one can still get close to those phenomenal views the park is famous for.
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