Saturday, December 4, 2010

Back to Glacier

The weather had finally appeared to be stable long enough for Jeff and I to take a look in Glacier National Park for ice. Previous trip this year had been shut down by cold temps and poor avalanche conditions. This time thing seemed to look ok, not perfect, but doable.

We got to the Park, packed up and headed in. To our amazement, we saw what appeared to be very fresh grizzly bear tracks on the trail. We were a little alarmed but didn't put to much thought into it. As we continued up, the tracks were there the entire way.

We finally got a little concerned when we knew we would be spending the next two days in the same basin as the bear. The likelihood of having an encounter is so slim we decided not to worry.

Snow continued to fall all night and we could occasionally hear the snow pack settling out. We knew avy conditions would be bad, but figured we might as well ski tour around and do some testing to check snow stability.

We skinned half way up to Mt. Edwards and dug a pit. The snow pack held some old rain crust layers and when Jeff applied weight to the block, it failed immediately. We got back on our skies and got the heck out of there.

With snow conditions too unsafe to reach the ice or ski, we just toured around the basin, broke camp and headed home. Despite poor conditions, we still had a great time. It is always better to go take a look then to make decisions from the couch.

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