Critical Road Update

Submitted by JoJo on Wed, 12/26/2007 - 15:25
Jose Castro, Bozeman District Ranger, has approved a one time plowing of the Hyalite Road to the Blackmore Parking Lot. This is to facilitate access for everyone, but particularly for the Bridger Ski Foundation -Nordic Tour scheduled for this Saturday, December 29th. [b]Now read carefully what all this means to climbers:[/b] Barring a major snowfall tonight (Wednesday) Gallatin County will plow the road Thursday morning starting at 9:00 am. If it snows, other County Roads get priority and they will reschedule to try again on Friday morning. The entire canyon will be closed at the bottom while they are plowing. They are expecting it to take 4 to 5 hours but plan on all day in case something breaks down. During this time, Nancy Hallstrom from the USFS will be at the lower gate to answer any questions the public might have. As members of the SMCC, Jim Earl and I am volunteering to go up the canyon ahead of the snow plow work with any vehicles already there and, if need be, coordinate with the snow plow operator to help them get around each other. If anyone else can get the day off, we could really use another volunteer or two so please call me ASAP at (406) 581-1716. [b]We are VERY STRONGLY encouraging that all climbers go to Pine Creek (or elsewhere) on Thursday the 27th. Or if you must really go up Hyalite, do so well before 8:00 am and don't try to come back down canyon until after 4:00 pm.[/b] Thank you all for your patience with the road being closed temporarily while they plow. This will be a big benefit to the entire Bozeman recreational community. [b]It is encouraged that everyone take advantage of this privilege and use the improved access to get out and enjoy all Hyalite has to offer.[/b] Plowed roads fall under State Law which prohibits both motor vehicles and snowmobiles. Thus snowmobiles will be restricted from the road below Blackmore through Saturday the 29th. After the 29th it will revert back to the current regulations which is use on the roads only to both the Emerald Lake and Grotto Falls Trailheads and not beyond. [b]Visit for more details on the entire Travel Management Plan and the recent changes affecting Hyalite Canyon.[/b] This one time plowing is due largely to the hard work of Gallatin County, the Bozeman District Ranger as well as the ongoing commitment of the Southwest Montana Climbers Coalition (SMCC) and the Bridger Ski Foundation (BSF) to work with all user groups to create a beneficial Hyalite experience. If needed, the SMCC is committing up to $1,000 toward a plowing fund which has been matched by the BSF. This has all happened in just the last few hours so I will be posting more information and details as it becomes available. Look for a press release in Thursday's Bozeman Daily Chronicle and possibly posted here as well. Regards, Joe Josephson

Anonymous (not verified)

Wed, 12/26/2007 - 19:39

Ice Climbers, As you know, Gallatin County will be plowing the Hyalite road tomorrow, December 27 (See Jojo's message below). On Saturday, December 29, Bridger Ski Foundation-Nordic is sponsoring the annual Hyalite Ski Tour. This is not a race, but a fun ski event that is open to the entire community. There will be over 25 km of trails groomed for both classic and skating and many more km available for those seeking untracked backcountry adventure. In addition, BSF has rented the newly refurbished Maxey Cabin. The Cabin with be stocked with warm food and "refreshments" for all who pass by. Ice climbers are encouraged to take advantage of the plowed road this Saturday. Spend a day on the ice and stop by Maxey Cabin afterward to join your skier friends for a warm drink. What more could you ask for? As the event organizer and on the behalf of BSF and SMCC, I invite all of you to bring your family, friends, dogs, etc., and enjoy a day of skiing or climbing in Hyalite Canyon. Getting the government agencies aligned to make this happen took enormous effort. Let's show them how much Hyalite means to all of us by participating in this event. If you have further questions, please ask. Now get out there and climb! Thank you, -Tom Kalakay Executive Director-Southwest Montana Climbers Coalition

I'm headed out there from WA you know if we will be able to drive in past the Blackmore TH parking lot to access climbing areas (such as Genesis) after the plowing this morning?

The Hyalite Road was plowed today so ice fishermen and skiers can easily reach Blackmore and ice climbers will have no problems getting to the Grotto Falls Parking Lot. Snow tires and/or AWD/4WD is still required as the road is slick and there will be lots and lots of traffic the rest of the weekend. There will be skiers, families, dogs, you name it on the road and throughout Hyalite. [b] Please drive slow (25 mph max) and be super careful going around the many blind corners. Stay on your side of the road. Slow down, if not stop, to allow cars passing opposite directions. No parking is allowed anywhere along the main road #62 except at Langhor (limited), Blackmore and Grotto Falls Parking Lot.[/b] We are blessed with an unprecedented opportunity to enjoy all that Hyalite has to offer. It is now up to us Hyalite users to be safe and respectful. Don't let your eagerness to get to the trailhead get in the way of smart driving. Remember, safety is the number one concern for the Forest Service and all of us for that matter. It is our responsibility to not ruin it. The East Fork Road is still passable but not without significant clearance and skill. There will undoubtedly be many skiers on the East Fork Road on Saturday so it is advised for climbers to stay in the Main Canyon that day. Spread the word and ask, if not demand, your fellow traveler(s) to be responsible. Thanks.