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Topic "Logan Pass (1 of 3)" started by Dave Stephens on Jun-07-2006
Topic "Fun Skiing at Logan's Pass (1 of 3)" started by Dave Stephens on Jun-06-2005

Topic: Logan Pass (1 of 3)
Author: Dave Stephens
Date: Wednesday, June 07, 2006 08:43 AM

On Sunday, 04 June, Blair and I went down to Logan's Pass to climb Bearhat Mtn and ski down the east face. Unfortunately, due to the road still being closed, our approach was a bit more than it normally would have been, so we opted to pass on Bearhat and just bag some turns.

The Going to the Sun Highway usually opens for the Memorial Day weekend, and you can check the status of the highway online, but Blair and I have been going skiing down there on the first weekend of June for the past few years, and the road has been open every time. Wouldn't you know that the first time we don't check the road status, it's still closed.

We arrived at St. Mary's (eastern park entrance) at 0800, and once we discovered that the road was still closed, we debated our options. We could have turned back and headed for Waterton or some other area, but we were outfitted for skiing, so our options were quite limited. From St. Mary's to Logan Pass is 17 miles, but the highway was open for the first 13 miles. That meant we had to walk the final 4 miles (1200 ft of height gain) up the road. That's only 6.4km, so not really a problem.

We were hoping to ski the road, but there wasn't a spec of snow until you were about 300 yards from the pass. For those familiar with the area, we didn't hit snow until we got to the Big Drift. Of course, the lack of snow meant that we would have to walk (not coast) back out. UGH.

Once at the Pass, there was plenty of snow. In fact, the vistor's centre was still half covered in snow. Knowing that we didn't have the time to still do Bearhat, we just wanted to get some turns in. But where should we go?

We went up to Hidden Pass, and looked for short cuts down to Hidden Lake. Unfortunately, it's all cliff, so you have to go waaaayyy out to the west, then circle back down to Hidden Lake. This is the approach for Bearhat. After better exploring that area, we then went back up to the nub between Reynolds and Clement and skied a few laps on that. It was good fun.

I should mention that it was raining most of the day, so with the wind picking up and we were soaking wet, we decided to call it a day. We skied back down to the vistor's center, then packed up our skis, and hiked back down to the truck. We looked like a couple of drowned rats, but it was still fun. Skiing in June is better than doing chores around the house.

Dave Stephens

Topic: Logan Pass (2 of 3)
Author: Linda Breton
Date: Wednesday, June 07, 2006 09:12 AM

Dave, did it look like it was snowing at the higher elevations, or was it just warm enough to be raining everywhere?

PS. Glacier Park could at least have the courtesy to shovel a little snow back onto the highway up to where it's closed. ;-)

Linda Breton

Email: peaksdarkandbright@yahoo.ca

Topic: Logan Pass (3 of 3)
Author: Dave Stephens
Date: Wednesday, June 07, 2006 03:37 PM

Nope. It rained to the summits, but it was cooling of as well left. If it continued to rain Sunday night, I wouldn't be surprised if it turned to snow.

Dave Stephens

Topic: Fun Skiing at Logan's Pass (1 of 3)
Author: Dave Stephens
Date: Monday, June 06, 2005 10:01 AM

On Saturday, 04 June 2005, Blair Piggot, Kevin Nemeth, and I went down to Logan's Pass (Montana) for some scrambling and skiing. The idea was to escape the rain in Southern Alberta, and since they just openned the "Going to the Sun" Highway to Logan Pass, the skiing should be pretty good. Similar to our trip two years ago on 07 June 2003, our plan was to scramble up the east face of Bearhat Mtn, then do some yo-yo skiing for the rest of the day.

Unfortunately, when we arrived at Logan's Pass, the fog and clouds were so thick, we couldn't see anything. Nonetheless, we set out to give it a try. Our route would go over a pass between Mt. Clement and a ridge between Clement and Reynolds. For those who haven't been there, this is very similar to going between Dolomite and the ridge between Dolomite and Cirque Peak.

As we wondered around blind in the fog, we decide to pull out the map, compass and GPS. That's when we discovered that Blair's map didn't have any ticks or grid lines, so my GPS didn't have anything to pin-point to where we were. I could only use it for way points and finding our way back. So, we had to rely on the old compass and map skills. From that, we could tell we were on a southeast facing slope, but we couldn't tell which mountain we were on. Blair figured we were on the side of Clement (Dolomite) and I figured we had passed the pass and we were on the side of the ridge. Not knowing where we were, we gave up on trying to find Bearhat Mtn, and decided to just ski the slopes we were standing on.

We hiked up the slopes and I found a cliffband, which told us we were on the side of Clement, not the ridge now that we sort of knew where we were, we still decided to stick with the skiing. We'd just ski whatever slope we were on. As it turned out, according to the GPS, our slope was about 500 ft in length, and the skiing was pretty good, especially earlier in the day. We did a few runs on that, then decided to head back toward the info center.

On the way back, we came across some teenage local kids who were playing around with a big jump that they had built. They had come up with their downhill gear and they were hitting this jump, getting 20-30 ft of air, doing 360s, etc. They were having lots of fun, and we were enjoying watching them. One of the older locals, not keen on hitting the jump, decided to ski down the slope above the jump. Blair and I hiked up the slope with him, which wasn't too steep (maybe 35 degree) and it was the type of snow conditions where you knew you'd release a wet slushy slide behind you, but you'd be able to out run it without any problems. After watching the one local guy ski down the slope, sure enough, when he finished, a big slushy pile came crawling down after him, but it stopped right beside the jump. I decided to go a bit higher and a bit further over. After all... who wants to ski down something that has already slid? My slush pile went all the way down the slope and stopped right in the middle of the kids landing zone. Ever see a couple of "joe-cool, teenagers" who's pants are 5 sizes too big, and 12 inchs below their waist, throw a fit and stomp their feet!!! It was like I just put an end to their world. I knew I'd release a slushy slide, but I didn't think it would go quite that far. So, now that their fun was over and we didn't have anything to watch, we all packed up and went home.

Now for the food update. Right after crossing the US border, Kevin starts talking about this steakhouse in the small town of Babb, Montana which is rated as one of the best "hole in the wall" steakhouses in America. Then all day, Kevin is trying to get Blair to jump a cornice or something. If Blair did a 360 (we called it the Grampa Twist), Kevin would buy him a steak dinner. So, listening to all of this, I get the impression that we're going for a nice steak dinner on the way back home. All day, I'm really looking forward to it. So, as we're driving home, we drive right through Babb and right on by the steakhouse. This time, we didn't even stop for coffee!!! That's two weeks in a row that I've been shunned for food. I should mention though, that we did stop at the Dairy Queen in Cardston. This is a place, I haven't been to in a long time, and I've lost nearly 20lbs this year. I resisted all urges to have the Flamethrower burger, but I did go with a "small" order of fries (something called the family-sized basket). Next weekend, we're probably going after Mt. Yarrow again, and we better not drive by that place in Twin Butte without stopping!!!!!

Overall, the trip was fun. Disappointing that we didn't bag anything, but the skiing was fun, especially in the morning. Oh yeah... When we got back to the parking lot, all of the clouds and fog lifted. That's when we could see where we were verse where we should have been.

Dave Stephens

Topic: Fun Skiing at Logan's Pass (2 of 3)
Author: Linda Breton
Date: Monday, June 06, 2005 02:10 PM

Good for you guys for getting out anyway. It was a bit of a weird weather weekend. I'm looking forward to hearing what happens in that Yarrow return trip (and whether you will ever get to stop for real food somewhere ;) ).

Is that Twin Butte restaurant the Mexican food place I keep hearing about?

Linda Breton

Topic: Fun Skiing at Logan's Pass (3 of 3)
Author: Dave Stephens
Date: Monday, June 06, 2005 03:26 PM

Yep. That's the mexican food place you keep hearing about. While most of their stuff is TexMex, they also have elk burgers, buffalo burgers, buffalo steak sandwichs, etc. I'm hoping to have a full report on next Monday.

Dave Stephens