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Hyalite Canyon Winter Ice Climbing Access

Submitted by JoJo on Tue, 12/02/2008 - 22:36

Contribute to support Hyalite Canyon Road plowing efforts.


Bozeman, MT… The Gallatin National Forest is pleased to announce a new plan for winter use of Hyalite Canyon, made possible through partnership with the Southwest Montana Climbers Coalition, Bridger Ski Foundation, Gallatin County, and other local groups.

For the 2008/2009 winter season, Hyalite Road (FS Road #62) will be plowed and remain open to vehicle traffic to Grotto Falls Parking Lot until April 1st. The road will be more regularly maintained from the mouth of the canyon to Blackmore Day Use area (at the reservoir) and will be plowed less frequently from Blackmore to Grotto Falls. This winter configuration is somewhat of a trial run in which the partners will review the success of the plan and make any appropriate changes for next winter. The Gallatin National Forest published a Hyalite Over-snow Vehicle Use and Winter Trails Map that is available at http://www.fs.fed.us/r1/gallatin/ .

“This collaborative partnership to manage winter access into Hyalite represents an unprecedented level of commitment from everyone involved. These working solutions should become a model for land managers everywhere on how to navigate the complex interests and recreational demands of public lands with such unique assets as Hyalite Canyon,” said Joe Josephson, Southwest Montana Climbing Coalition Director and Regional Coordinator, Access Fund Regional Coordinator, and Ice Climbing author.

“The Gallatin Forest is grateful to those who worked tirelessly during the last couple of years to craft this plan,” said Jose Castro, Bozeman District Ranger. “We believe the entire community will benefit from having better access to this area. This plan helps the Forest implement the Travel Management Plan decision to provide front country, family friendly winter recreation opportunities and better access for ice climbers and others to the Hyalite area.”

The success of this collaborative plan depends on everyone who enjoys this area. There are several things you can do to help:

· When using the Hyalite Road, go slow and be courteous to all other traffic and user groups.

· Remember – safety is the number one priority for everyone involved. Don’t do anything that puts your safety or the safety of others at risk.

· Follow Travel Plan use restrictions, which provide opportunities for recreationists to enjoy this area.

The Gallatin National Forest’s Over Snow Vehicle Use Maps, which include the Hyalite Winter Plan, are available on the Forest’s website or by visiting a Gallatin Forest Office near you.

CRITICAL GUIDELINES WHEN TRAVELING THE HYALITE ROAD:

* If someone else is stuck or otherwise in trouble, help your neighbor.

* Always carry a shovel or two in your vehicle when driving the Hyalite Road. It is not uncommon to get one or two tires stuck. A shovel solves this quickly and turns an all day epic into a few minutes of digging.

* AWD/4WD and or snow tires are recommended. Difficult winter driving conditions exist beyond the Reservoir so please do not attempt to drive beyond Blackmore without a shovel, the proper vehicle and driving skills.

* Below the Reservoir please drive slow (25 mph max) and be super careful going around the many blind corners. Some are solid ice.

* Stay on your side of the road.

* Above the Reservoir please drive even slower (20 mph max) and watch closely for oncoming traffic. Slow down, if not stop, to allow cars passing opposite directions.

* Beyond Blackmore, no parking is allowed on the main road except at the Grotto Falls Parking Lot.

* Spread the word and ask, if not demand, your fellow traveler(s) to be responsible.

Thank you all for your continued efforts, love and support of Hyalite winter recreation.

We need your help!

If you are interested in getting involved in the Hyalite Road issue please contact Joe Josephson at (406) 581-1716 or joe at firstascentpress dot com.

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