Amber, Danni and I headed up yesterday to check on Sperry Chalet is Glacier. Make sure it was still there and all. Unfortunately what with the cold and blowing snow I neglected to take actual photos of the actual chalet. So you’ll have to take my word that it’s alright
With effectively no snow low down snowshoes v. skis was the question of the day. Amber brought skis, Danni and I brought ‘shoes. For the first 3 miles, carrying the ‘shoes was the clear winner, the next few miles, with moderate snow, was a bit of a draw, and the last 2 miles, with knee deep trail breaking in powder, had Amber kicking our asses. When she took over the lead the pace accelerated drastically, and I had to expend lots of effort just to stay even in second wheel.
The summer route up is pretty safe under all but the worst conditions. There are a few spots where caution and avy gear isn’t a bad idea.
The Sperry cirque is very nice in summer, but really comes in form during winter. I’d like to see the NPS and concessionaire take some leadership and open the chalet during winter. A winter trail could be routed around the aforementioned danger areas, supplies could be laid in before the snow flies, and a broken trail would keep it within reach of the select masses. [We took 4:30 on the way up, over double a summer pace given comparable effort.]
The days may be longer, but it’s still the time of year when a dawn to dusk mission is only nine hours.
Driving back from the Gallatins a few days ago we came into rain around Drummond, and back into the Mission/Flathead to a new-years thaw. It’s hard to live here, with the inversions and general lack of sun, and also have little snow. Yesterday was a reminder of why it might be worth it, anyway. And plans are afoot that will get me back into the Glacier BC on a very regular basis this winter, seeing things from a perspective not available to me until now.
Look for some good stuff a week from this evening.