Workers Having Difficulty With Snow at Glacier - News, Sports and Weather

Workers Having Difficulty With Snow at Glacier

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GLACIER NATIONAL PARK - With summer just around the corner that means Glacier National Park will start to see a boom in attendance, but one area of the park has been giving workers all they can handle.

We got up within a mile of Logan Pass, but crews have a long way to go. The snow pack was well above average this year and it didn't peak until May 8, a little later than normal.

"It's not just like plowing a street in the city. You're dealing with snow that's 10 to 15 feet deep and it's a process to get down to the road's surface," explained Eric Knoff, an avalanche expert that works with the Park.

About 19 guys split between the east and west sides are working five days a week to clear the Road, but that's not all that has to happen. They've got to put the guard rails back up, clean up landslides and rocks that have been falling on the Road, and get the bathrooms ready for people.

It's tough because each morning the avalanche experts put out a forecast and then actually go out to the snow slide paths, thousands of feet up, to see how stable it looks. If it's looking foggy, rainy, or at all questionable, the crews can't work.

"Some of the fun work is over. Now it gets to be difficult," said Stan Stahr, a road specialist with the Park.

These guys have been at it for weeks and there are still parts of the Road crews haven't touched yet.

"Well I won't say what I was told years ago, but when we get done it'll be ready to open. That's all I can tell you. It's a ways away," said Stahr.

Park officials can't really give us an exact day, but it's pretty safe to say the road won't be ready by June 20, the day that was being tentatively marked. It could be several days or even weeks later if the weather turns nasty.

No one with the Park seems too worried about how this might hurt the tourist season. Sure, the road is a major attraction, but they point out that there's still a lot to do in the Park. In just these past three months, the Park has racked up tens of thousands of visitors without the Road's help.

Luckily, no one in the road crew has gotten hurt this year.

This weekend, you can see for yourself what our reporter got to see. You can only drive as far as Avalanche campground, but you can hike or bike as far past that as you want.

On weekdays you can't go up so far because crews are working.
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