GLACIER NATIONAL PARK – After Glacier National Park plow crews reached Logan Pass last weekend, Monday, 13 bicyclists were stranded on the road an unusual avalanche blocked them from returning down.
Lauren Alley with Glacier National Park tells MTN that crews received a dispatch call around 3 p.m. notifying them that people were stuck. Luckily no one was injured in the process.
MTN spoke with Richard Bridges who was one of the thirteen bikers stranded on Going to the Sun Road. Bridges is no rookie to riding Going to the Sun Road. Having ridden the road many times, Bridges says he was surprised when snow started sliding down the mountain, blocking the bikers from getting down the road.
“It was just sliding. You could see it move and there was a slide, every several minutes a big slide would come down,” says Bridges.
Alley with the park says, this incident is uncommon and the mistake Bridges made was descending from Logan Pass later in the day. She says with warmer weather avalanche danger increases.
“If you start to see what we call roller balls or snow balls coming down the mountain or if you see fresh snow on the road or certainly if you see snow crossing the road, time to call it a day,” explains Alley.
Unsafe for the bikers to cross back over the snow to crews, Alley says it took park crews eight hours to reach the stranded bikers and plow a path for them to ride down. Park crews plowed through the snow creating a safe path for the bikers to take.
“They said they were going to bring up a loader and it was already parked up there, they had been working on that part of the road. So, the park service was great,” says Bridges.
It was nighttime before Bridges returned safely to the parking lot. While scary, this incident won’t stop him from riding Going to the Sun Road again.
“I think I’m going to ride next weekend again,” laughs Bridges.
Reporting by Maren Siu for MTN News