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Re: Glacier:Going to the Sun Road Clearing Continues

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avatar Glacier:Going to the Sun Road Clearing Continues
June 12, 2009 07:39AM
http://www.missoulian.com/articles/2009/06/12/news/top/news01.prt
Plowing through Glacier: Crews battle fallen trees as they try to open Logan Pass
By MICHAEL JAMISON of the Missoulian
WEST GLACIER - Carl Thomas' troubles began back around Christmas, though he didn't know it at the time.
Snow was piling up fast and deep, a winter's worth in a few short weeks, loading the rocky heights of Glacier National Park. That's where Thomas has worked these past eight years, part of a snowplow crew that each spring must carve a precipitous path across the famed Going-to-the-Sun Road.
On the heels of those heavy snows, winter warmed and a drenching January rain soaked the snowpack. And then the pack ran, thundering down in tremendous avalanches that scoured all the way to frozen rock.
On the heels of those heavy snows, winter warmed and a drenching January rain soaked the snowpack. And then the pack ran, thundering down in tremendous avalanches that scoured all the way to frozen rock.
Hurricane winds raced ahead of the slides, uprooting trees that were tumbled and tossed, churned and chewed in a high-speed slurry of ice and snow. One slide - some 500 feet across - ran for nearly two miles, hammering across the switchbacking Sun Road twice.

That was Thomas' trouble, though it would be months before he understood.

As he rounded the bend this spring, four months after the slides hit, the sharp smell of fresh pine hit his nose. And there, like green sprinkles on a tremendous snow cone, were the trees - ripped and shredded and tangled in a massive field of ice.

“You've never seen so much tree debris,” Thomas said. “Big trees, everywhere.”

Some were snapped off, some ripped right out by their roots.

“Every year there's a surprise,” he said of the Sun Road plow work. Some years, it's rocks. Some, it's snow.

“This year, it was trees.”...................



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
avatar Re: Glacier:Going to the Sun Road Clearing Continues
June 12, 2009 07:41AM
Global Warming
avatar Re: Glacier:Going to the Sun Road Clearing Continues
June 12, 2009 07:50AM
Always like to monitor their progress as they pioneer through (wish that they would document the Tioga plowing in a similar manner - although Tioga is almost childs-play compared to sections of GttS):
http://www.nps.gov/glac/photosmultimedia/photogallery.htm
avatar Re: Glacier:Going to the Sun Road Clearing Continues
June 12, 2009 08:00AM
Tioga would be a snoozer except maybe around Olmsted and Yosemite Creek IMO.
I think I mentioned this once before but Tioga is a road my mother would be fine and dandy riding in the car in.
Going to the Sun Road... no way...
avatar Re: Glacier:Going to the Sun Road Clearing Continues
June 12, 2009 08:09AM
Quote
bill-e-g
Tioga would be a snoozer except maybe around Olmsted and Yosemite Creek...

and the slide areas of Lee Vining Canyon (but that is CalTrans' problem as far as the NPS is concerned).
avatar Re: Glacier:Going to the Sun Road Clearing Continues
June 21, 2009 03:22PM
Quote
bill-e-g
Tioga would be a snoozer except maybe around Olmsted and Yosemite Creek IMO.

A plow operator was killed near Olmsted. That's why the road opens so much later these days.
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