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Anyone on Beartooth Hwy lately?

San Francisco...
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Anyone on Beartooth Hwy lately?

How much snow is left, are the views still sweet with snow left, and how much does construction effect the experience?

Trying to decide if go Billings- Beartooth all the way into Yellowstone, Beartooth to Cody to Yellowstone, or just go west to Bozeman and then down into W Yellowstone.

Billings, Montana
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1. Re: Anyone on Beartooth Hwy lately?

The road construction is not on the pass. It is on the Wyoming side by the 'Top of the World Store'. I usually go over the pass Memorial Day Weekend when it opens. It was opened on Friday and Saturday. We were going to go on Saturday but pushed it back to Sunday and it was closed again due to snow. The National Park Service is responsible for plowing the Wyoming side of the pass and decided not to do it for awhle so it was just opened to the MT/WY state line for awhile.

When are you planning on going? My grandson and I will be going up for our annual June camping trip into the park the last week of June. We have been getting a lot of rain/storms through Montana lately along with cooler temps. I would imagine there will still be snow on top of the pass the end of June- though most of it will be away from the highway.

You can go into my profile and check out the pictures of the top of the pass when there has been snow.

Deb

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2. Re: Anyone on Beartooth Hwy lately?

Thanks for the info, those photos are helpful. Looks like some georgous hikes in the area too. It'll be later this week if we do it, we're visiting Billings now...

Billings, Montana
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3. Re: Anyone on Beartooth Hwy lately?

If you're in Billings right now, you're hopefully not anywhere near where the tornado touched down this afternoon. I live 3/4ths of a mile from where it touched down. I was on the phone with my mom and between the sounds of the golf-sized hail that was hitting my house and what I'm sure was the sound of the tornado it was pretty loud.

Deb

San Francisco...
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4. Re: Anyone on Beartooth Hwy lately?

We were lucky, the area where we're staying squeezed in between two of the worst cells, we are over on the west/south outskirts of town.

Billings, Montana
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5. Re: Anyone on Beartooth Hwy lately?

I was going to add some information about the pictures I have in my profile but the storm was getting pretty bad so I decided to get off the computer. I just checked and I posted at 6:21 which was 4:21 our time. The tornado hit at 4:30ish!

Anyway, the pics of the snow on the pass on June 26, 2008 and May 23, 2009 are taken pretty much in the same area. 2008 was a very wet and cool spring. Some of the areas we hike still had spring-like runoff in the streams the end of July. Last year we went over the pass Memorial Day and then again on June 22nd. There was absolutely no snow at the top of the pass other then some small patches here and there. I was really kind of surprised it had melted that fast.

I was going to try to do a daytrip over the pass last week but my grandson was too busy with orchestra camp so we didn't make it.

Deb

western WA
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6. Re: Anyone on Beartooth Hwy lately?

Go over the pass rather than going to Bozeman and West Yellowstone, for sure!

Taipei, Taiwan
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7. Re: Anyone on Beartooth Hwy lately?

Hi, on June 8 we went to Silver Gate from Red Lodge through the Beartooth Hwy, and on the next day to Cody through the Chief Joseph Hwy. The weather was great on June 8 and the views were magnificent. On the Beartooth Hwy the road condition was excellent with snow plowed to roadsides, forming continuous "snow wall" around the Beartooth Pass. On the Chief Joseph Hwy the scenery was also very beautiful. It was really the "Highlight" of our ten-day trip in the western side of Montana.

San Antonio, Texas
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8. Re: Anyone on Beartooth Hwy lately?

I hate to hear the Beartooth is having such a cool and wet spring, especially after reading that the winter seemed a bit milder than some other recent years. That could kill my idea of going up Granite Peak's SW colouir at the end of August, as I'd need the ice to have melted out there like it has by that time in some of the past years to make an attempt (no way I'm going up the steep icy snowfields that are in that colouir in late August in cooler years).

Deb, 2008 was considered a really strong snow year for the area, correct? Would you say 2010 in the Beartooth with it's cool and wet spring is shaping up to be like 2008, or more like 2007 and 2009 (two years I have read about people doing the trip without needing axes and crampons). Thanks!

Edited: 22 June 2010, 22:26
western WA
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9. Re: Anyone on Beartooth Hwy lately?

Pretty technical question. You might want to call a ranger station or an outdoor store in Red Lodge.

I don't know of an organization like the Mountaineers in MT, but I know there is a group of climbers who would help out with that kind of information -- if you can find them.

San Antonio, Texas
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10. Re: Anyone on Beartooth Hwy lately?

Oh, I wasn't asking for any kind of assurances or whether anyone knows if this specific path would be doable without ice climbing skill/equipment at that specific time. I have talked to a few people and gotten lots of photos and tips from climbers who have done it before via the route I'm thinking of, but none of them are locals. I figure the conditions can change really quickly, and are not easy to predict. I have a backup plan in case Granite isn't reasonable (I'd really like to see the Grasshopper Glacier, for one). I'm just eager to hear from someone who is in the area about what kind of year it has been so far in relation to a couple of others.

Edited: 23 June 2010, 03:58
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