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Thread: Beartooth Highway Closure

  1. #1
    Registered User nyfty's Avatar
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    Cool Beartooth Highway Closure

    From Montana DOT...."Due to an avalanche in Montana US 212 will only be open from Yellowstone National Park Northeast Entrance to Long Lake road closure gate, approximately 17 miles east of the Highway 296 intersection (Chief Joseph Hwy). Please check the Montana Department of Transportation website. http://www.mdt.mt.gov/travinfo/ for updated closure information.

    Well now I need to re-map my route to Gillette!
    Jim Nyffeler
    Lincoln NE
    '10 F800GS, '04 R1150R
    BMWMOA 110521, IBA 8936

  2. #2
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    You may not have to re-route. An avalanche generally describes a snow event, and based on the recent weather in the West that is not surprising. If that is the case, it should be cleared well before mid-July. However, if it triggered a landslide, that would have the potential to require a lengthy cleanup.

    212 is a wonderful road; one worth riding many miles to experience. Let's all hope it is merely a snow issue!

  3. #3
    Registered User redclfco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyfty View Post
    From Montana DOT...."Due to an avalanche in Montana US 212 will only be open from Yellowstone National Park Northeast Entrance to Long Lake road closure gate, approximately 17 miles east of the Highway 296 intersection (Chief Joseph Hwy). Please check the Montana Department of Transportation website. http://www.mdt.mt.gov/travinfo/ for updated closure information.

    Well now I need to re-map my route to Gillette!
    naaaa, this type of stuff occurrs all over the high country in Colorado/Wyoming, Montana in June...It's still spring in God's country!

    I KNEW if one guy started writing in threads of "uh oh watch out for the cold and snow beware the ice of the mighty high country" that the message to others would be construed that THE MIDDLE OF JULY would contain huge white drifts, snow mobiles, highwind blizzards....all that is nonsense! The high country in July is absolutely gorgeous, wildflowers everywhere, and the most perfect time to see the high country in MT, WY or CO. Don't let the guys trying to scare you enjoy their little joke! Those of us who grew up there know differently! With the huge drought affecting much of the west, this snowy spring is a gift from GOD!

    By the middle of July, 212 will NOT be closed, nor will be Snowy Ridge in Wyoming outside of Larimie, Nor Trail Ridge Road outside of Estes Park, nor will be Independence pass outside of Aspen, nor will be any road in the high country. Will you still see drifts? Hopefully! It makes for good pictures for home of you on your RT posed in front of the 20 remaining ft. of snow that is left from the original 60 ft. drift it was in May and June! the thing to watch out for is the throngs of tourists in their checkered short pants and black socks to their knees taking pictures from their winnebagos!

  4. #4
    Fido
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyfty View Post
    From Montana DOT...."Due to an avalanche in Montana US 212 will only be open from Yellowstone National Park Northeast Entrance to Long Lake road closure gate, approximately 17 miles east of the Highway 296 intersection (Chief Joseph Hwy). Please check the Montana Department of Transportation website. http://www.mdt.mt.gov/travinfo/ for updated closure information.

    Well now I need to re-map my route to Gillette!
    The Montana DOT website depicts this as an avalanche closure. Very typical in May and June. Ussually lasts no longer than a day or so. The site does not say this is a summer long closure.

    Montana DOT further mentions that these can occur during the summer...and to consult their site for current status. (A standard comment in the high country).

    I live in Colorado (Go Buffs!)...we can see avalanche closures on the high passes in early June...especially after a heavy snow season. But they are cleared quickly. By the time July rolls around you will see patches of snow on Beartooth...but nothing so severe to cause an avalanche. Avalanche closures in July are quite rare. ( I've driven the pass a number of times in July). You should be OK.

    The Montana site did note that there is some construction on the Beartooth this next week...but it will result in traffic delays not closures.
    Last edited by Fido; 06-12-2008 at 11:56 PM.

  5. #5
    Registered User redclfco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fido View Post
    I live in Colorado (go Buffs)

    79 vintage..Go Ralphie!

  6. #6
    Fido
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    Quote Originally Posted by redclfco View Post

    79 vintage..Go Ralphie!
    69 Vintage here. (Nebraskan who went to CU).

  7. #7
    Registered User nyfty's Avatar
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    Avalanche vs Landslide

    Gentlemen: Thank you for the clarification. I attempted to go over the Beartooth in late August of (I think) 2004. I left Red Lodge early one morning and fought the shifting wind and hard rain all the way till crossing into Wyoming. At which point I rode into a white out. Since I live in the Great Plains I've experienced a white out or two. But none where you could "fall off the mountain". I turned around and rode back to Red Lodge and then the low route to Cody and on to West Yellowstone that day. Ending in a snow storm just before leaving Yellowstone National Park. If I remember correctly the following spring there was a "landslide" that closed the road for most of that next summer.

    The mountain won that day but I vowed to return. With the rally in Gillette this year I figured this would be my chance. This time from Cody via Chief Joseph Hwy and then to Red Lodge.
    Jim Nyffeler
    Lincoln NE
    '10 F800GS, '04 R1150R
    BMWMOA 110521, IBA 8936

  8. #8
    Registered User redclfco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyfty View Post
    Gentlemen: Thank you for the clarification. I attempted to go over the Beartooth in late August of (I think) 2004. I left Red Lodge early one morning and fought the shifting wind and hard rain all the way till crossing into Wyoming. At which point I rode into a white out. Since I live in the Great Plains I've experienced a white out or two. But none where you could "fall off the mountain". I turned around and rode back to Red Lodge and then the low route to Cody and on to West Yellowstone that day. Ending in a snow storm just before leaving Yellowstone National Park. If I remember correctly the following spring there was a "landslide" that closed the road for most of that next summer.

    The mountain won that day but I vowed to return. With the rally in Gillette this year I figured this would be my chance. This time from Cody via Chief Joseph Hwy and then to Red Lodge.
    Jim,

    You are entirely correct that high summit weather can be volatile, and I have seen snow for short duration, then immediately followed by Blue sky light breeze and the 70s..All in an afternoon!

    My way is to try to hit the high passes before 2:00 pm on average to miss the bad weather. And always bring twice the layers you originally were going to bring, and a pair of extra gloves or two. Then, as the saying goes, go climb that mountain! I can't wait myself! Maybe see you there!


    Dale

  9. #9
    MT State of mind
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    There is not much use in worrying at this time. That is actually not the first closing this season, we've had a lot of snow and that is the problem. Whether or not it is open when you get here will depend on the weather at that time, not now. So far, the new construction (from the complete washout a few years ago) is holding. The opening of Going-to-the-Sun Road is also behind schedule.

  10. #10
    judjones
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    Even if Beartooth Pass should be closed for some reason, Sunlight Basin is a worthy alternative. By some lights, it is a better ride. Or, I suppose you could always cut off from Top of the World and try a descent of the Morrison Jeep Trail. Even on a bike that could never make it up, you ought to be able to get down anything.

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