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Entries in Glacier National Park (78)


Rangers handle second fatal fall in a week in Glacier

(WEST GLACIER)- For the second time in less than a week, Glacier National Park has been the scene of someone dying in a fatal fall.

Just days after a Missoula man died while apparently trying to BASE jump from Mount Siyeh, a young Idaho man died Thursday just a few miles away on the Going-to-the-Sun Road. 

Glacier National Park rangers recovered the body of 18-year old Brandon Luis Avalos of St. Maries at the bottom of a 100' cliff near Big Drift, just east of Logan Pass. Their investigation showed Avalos had been traveling with friends when they stopped to see the view. When he didn't return to the car, the group thought he might have been hiking up to Logan Pass and remained in the area. When he didn't return overnight they called for help.

Rangers believe Avalos climbed over a guardrail and fell to his death. 


Going-to-Sun Road re-opens, at least for now

GNP photo(WEST GLACIER)- The popular Going-to-The-Sun Road reopened to through traffic Monday after a week that saw several closures because of wintery weather on the Continental Divide. 

During an unseasonable cold spell last week, the popular sightseeing road had to be closed over Logan Pass because of the snow and winter driving conditions. 

However, much of that snow has now melted, at least off the roads. So traffic could resume over the scenic route. 

Still, time is drawing short to enjoy the trip. Rehabilitation work isn't happening on the west side of Logan Pass this year, but it is on the east. That means the last time to drive to summit from the east side will be this coming Sunday, September 21st.

Weather permitting, cars will still be able to access Logan Pass from the west until October 19th. 


Glacier Park visitor rate remains strong 

Dennis Bragg photo(WEST GLACIER)- The latest reports show Glacier National Park remains on pace to possibly break the 30-year old visitation record, with nearly 1.9 million people coming through the park gates by the end of August. 

That puts the park on project to possibly beat the 1983 record of 2.2 million people, but just as importantly, could be the busiest year since the park's centennial in 2010. 

However, early fall weather could cut the number of visitors, especially if the weather trends continue through September. There's also the threat of another government shutdown, such as cut park visitation off last fall, although Congress has pledged to not let that happen.


Glacier Park officials issue safety warnings after two hiker deaths

Glacier National Park photo(WEST GLACIER)- Glacier National Park rangers are warning hikers to be completely aware of their medical conditions, and take precautions in the hot weather, after two visitors died from cardiac arrest in the past few days. 

GNP reports on Monday, a 61-year old man from Illinois was hiking at the Hidden Lake Overlook when he experienced chest pains and had to be airlifted from Logan Pass. 

A 67-year old Indiana man was hiking near St. Mary Falls when he suffered cardiac arrest and died at the scene despite efforts by a ranger and other hikers to give him CPR. 

Also on Monday, a 79-year old woman lost consciousness while hiking on the Loop Trail. rangers helped her at the scene, although she was able to walk out. While they were leaving, the rangers encountered another young boy who was overheating. Another man had to be airlifted off the Loop Trail when he experienced pains from a kidney stone.  

Tuesday morning, a 75-year old man from California needed help while hiking on the Iceberg/Ptarmigan Trail near Many Glacier. Family members and park rangers tried to revive him and an airlift was arranged, but he died at the scene. 

Park officials say visitors need to be considering their personal safety and well-being while hiking, and especially take steps to avoid dehydration while hiking at a comfortable pace, allowing enough time at the higher elevations. 


Washington woman taking photos when she fell to her death in Glacier

(WEST GLACIER)- Investigators say a Washington woman was taking photos when she fell into McDonald Creek over the weekend. And despite valiant efforts to save her, 33-year old Abigail Sylvester died from her ordeal. 

Glacier National Park rangers say Sylvester was with her husband along the lower section of McDonald Creek, near the bridge below Upper McDonald Creek Falls, when she slipped and fell into the fast-moving stream. GNP spokeswoman Denise Germann says Sylvester's husband jumped into the creek and tried to save her, but she was swept away and over the lower falls, which drops some 30-feet. 

Several visitors jumped into to help, including a volunteer fireman, after Sylvester was found downstream. She was airlifted to Kalispell Regional Medical Center where she died later. 

Park authorities are always warning people to use extreme caution around the park's waterways, noting drowning is the leading causes of accidental death in Glacier. 

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