Tracks off McGill Upper Shoulder

The McGill zone, which is right on the western edge of Glacier National Park, tends to offer up great skiing in most conditions.  Although quite a popular area, most of the traffic seems focused on Mcgill shoulder, and if you are willing to push further up Bostock Creek shredding opportunities abound.  

Still standing tall....

The Bostock/McGill area has recently been affected by the changes to the Parks Canada Permit Areas and closures, see map below.  This used to be the go to zone when all else was closed, but with the increased traffic a new permit zone has been created ( #13)  to prevent any skiers being within a  900m radius of the 105 Howitzer shot placements in the area.  Completely understandable, I have seen a lot of the shrapnel from this heavy artillery around in the summer, and it would ruin your day pretty quick.  It strikes me as a little odd that they have not provided a corridor for travel deep into the drainage for the great skiing  well  beyond the danger zone.   A corridor is in place for Connaught Creek,  which unfortunately focuses a large number of people to serious exposure from the huge slide paths that feed into Connaught Creek when the Grizzly shoulder Permit area is closed.   Bostock Creek is a much safer option in my opinion, so hopefully this will be addressed.

I am happy with the new permit system so far, as long as they continue to be prompt with the postings each morning, and carry on with the fine tuning.  Somewhere around 1000 annual permits have been issued for the Glacier National Park’s new permit system, which means that a LOT of  people have sat through the 30 min presentation.  GO EDUCATION!

The CP Rail issues (completely seperate deal) get under my skin a little bit though.  This major corporation has decided to enforce its trespassing law on anyone crossing the tracks in areas not designated for  such.  This could mean huge fines if caught, and cuts off a good number of great skiing zones.  There are plans for designated crossings at Flat Creek  and Smart Creek, which is a good start.  Still, isn’t this a National Park?  How can a private corporation tell me where I can or cannot go?  I am free to travel in serious avalanche terrain, assessing the various hazards and making the appropriate terrain choices etc, but I can’t be trusted to get across a 40 m railway right of way without getting  smoked by a train?   Hopefully this issue will be resolved soon, I like to be able to EXPLORE our National Parks.

Bostock/McGill Permit/Closure areas.

 In the map above,  red #19 indicates the Fidelity PERMANENT Closure, and yellow #13 indicates the new McGill Permit Area.  Black lines show our uptracks and red our descents on this day.

Joey, hard boot split boarder.

The race is on...

Dave setting the track for run# 3, run # 1 in the back.

Lunch at the lake.

Last run: Joey shreddin'.

Joey getting us home on the sketchiest part of the day: the Trans Canada Highway.

What a sweet day at Mcgill!

 

 

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