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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    198

    Beartooth Pass conditions?

    Anybody need up to Beartooth Basin and the surrounding areas recently? My son and I are thinking if heading up there from Colorado this weekend and we’re wondering how the snow is holding up. We were up there last year about two years ago, mid sure how this year is though. Lots of snow this past season but it is after all almost July.

    Anyone have any beta?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Bethel, Maine
    Posts
    725
    Things are holding up pretty damn well, and I can only imagine what they'd look like if we hadn't gotten such a warm April.

    Gardiner Headwall on Tuesday:

    (yes, that's a little misleading due to the fresh snow, but it still looked pretty damn good driving by yesterday)

    Basin Thursday night for the solstice ski:



    I don't have a current photo, but Rock Creek was starting to get a bit thin. With the good snow up top, I don't think I'd bother at this point unless the road were closed—the top of the headwall is still in good shape, but it looks like only the main line offers continuous skiing the whole way down, and the bottom 1/3 was melting quick. As of last weekend, though, it was definitely still possible to ski all the way to the bottom and just walk around the bottom of the boulder field (not across the top of it, unless you're a glutton for punishment).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    2,495
    as of 2 weekends ago most of the campground spots on the main fork and the west fork were reserved up for the weekend (friday & saturday). palisades campground above town is free, quieter, but not terribly scenic. finding a decent dispersed campsite up either of the forks likely tedious. much better options on the other side of the pass, but a longer drive to ski.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Denver
    Posts
    857
    The kiddos and I found a pretty sweet campsite up a random 4wd road on the cook city side of the pass Saturday night (I think FR 188 on the maps) and skied the ski area on Sunday. We had a great time!










  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Sandy
    Posts
    2,012
    Wish I could have gotten up high last weekend. Wth happened to the other thread anyways? Nice stoke everyone. I'll repost this one of rock creek last weekend. All we could ski since the road was closed.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Bethel, Maine
    Posts
    725
    Quote Originally Posted by dunfree View Post
    as of 2 weekends ago most of the campground spots on the main fork and the west fork were reserved up for the weekend (friday & saturday). palisades campground above town is free, quieter, but not terribly scenic. finding a decent dispersed campsite up either of the forks likely tedious. much better options on the other side of the pass, but a longer drive to ski.
    The Cooke side of the pass is also more definitively grizzly country. It's a good idea to keep a clean campsite and follow bear-country protocol in either place, but they are not as common on this side of the pass.

    Also, if you're going to and from a campsite on the Cooke side of the pass, make sure you keep an eye on the fuel gauge. It's something like 60-70 miles from Cooke to Red Lodge, and driving up and down mountain passes isn't good for fuel mileage. Top of the World has gas, but it ain't cheap (and even Cooke has been more expensive than buying fuel in the park when I've compared).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    2,495
    cooke was ~$3.50 a gallon vs. ~$3 elsewhere last week, definitely a mark up.

    also r.e. bears the first 3 FS campgrounds outside of cooke city are only hardsided vehicles, no tents allowed. tents are allowed at the cgs closer to the pass.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    SEA>DEN>Spokanistan
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    1,439
    Quote Originally Posted by devon View Post
    My son and I are thinking if heading up there from Colorado this weekend
    Hey hey, will be out there is weekend too!


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
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    SEA>DEN>Spokanistan
    Posts
    1,439

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    North Bend, WA
    Posts
    683
    19BBIBTB?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    on the rivah, VT
    Posts
    2,123
    Not super meaningful for beta, but RC was still skiing great last tuesday. We were out for a few rainy days and even though the pass was closed, we had a blast. Thanks to those who answered some of my questions in the other thread now seemingly long gone.

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    go Go GO!

    19-20: 79. 18-19: 86! 17-18: 80. 16-17: 56. 15-16: 40. 14-15: 33. 13-14: 56ish. 12-13: 51. 11-12: 65. 10-11: 69. 09-10: 65.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    198
    Thanks everyone for all your input. Headed up Saturday for a long weekend. Now I just need to navigate the hordes of July 4th campers and find a place to camp!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
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    SEA>DEN>Spokanistan
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    How touchy is the pass, I am seeing a small chance of snow this weekend. Will 1" shut it down?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Bethel, Maine
    Posts
    725
    Quote Originally Posted by SkiLyft View Post
    How touchy is the pass, I am seeing a small chance of snow this weekend. Will 1" shut it down?
    Maybe.

    Most of the time, it's drifting that shuts it down, not just new snow. The forecast and time of day also matters--if NPS looks at the forecast and thinks it's going to be a battle for days, they'll lock the gates and wait till things clear. A quick hit of snow with sun and warmer temps forecast is less likely to be an issue.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Montucky
    Posts
    1,347
    Hoping to get up to the pass tomorrow. Driving from Bozeman. Anyone headed? Already there?


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Impossible to knowl--I use an iPhone
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    12,083
    FYI, upper lift is done--supposedly forever. Running the lower lift on the flat for race camps, which requires a hike out. Hopefully they figure something out.
    [quote][//quote]

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    PNW
    Posts
    5,397
    Quote Originally Posted by Dexter Rutecki View Post
    FYI, upper lift is done--supposedly forever. Running the lower lift on the flat for race camps, which requires a hike out. Hopefully they figure something out.
    ???
    life ain't guaranteed, love your people while you can

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Sandy
    Posts
    2,012
    Quote Originally Posted by Norseman View Post
    ???
    Per their facebook they are done for the year due to mechanical issues with the upper lift. Tried to post a screenshot but phone won't cooperate.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Bethel, Maine
    Posts
    725
    Quote Originally Posted by snowaddict91 View Post
    Per their facebook they are done for the year due to mechanical issues with the upper lift. Tried to post a screenshot but phone won't cooperate.
    Quote Originally Posted by Beartooth Basin
    Well folks, we’re sad to announce an early closure to our season for more lift maintenance issues. It’s been a year of challenges, and we just can’t seem to catch a break.

    It’s the challenges that make us stronger. We’ll keep dreaming big and pouring our hearts into this place.
    Thanks to everyone who came up this season, those who tried, and everyone else that shared a moment of stoke with us.
    Long live locally owned community ski hills and don’t ever lose the #spiritofskiing.!! ����
    I was hoping to ski lift-served Wednesday just because July 4, but I'll settle for hiking. Serious bummer for the Basin crew, they've had more than a few challenges this year after not being able to open two of the last three due to low snow, and it's a super-cool establishment.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Montucky
    Posts
    1,347
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    For all those interested in the Beartooth Pass conditions, here's an update.

    They're good!

    I hiked up and around the Gardiner Headwall yesterday, did some snow climbing and general fucking around. You could ski here for a day or two and be very entertained.

    Sadly, I was also informed that the upper lift had broken on the summer ski area. Seemed like a bummer, but hell, there's a ton of area up there to hike for turns.

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    I'd add that much of the terrain at the headwall is overhung by large 10 - 30' cornice. I scouted the ridgetop in the photo above, and ended up descending far lookers left into the dogleg chute on the southeast ridge. The stuff closest to the road is the most skiable. If you're into climbing snow and using ropes, some crampons and rappeling could get you into several pretty cool slots in the middle.

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  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    798
    Anyone know what Rock Creek Headwall is looking like?

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Belgrade, MT
    Posts
    108
    Quote Originally Posted by lucknau View Post
    Anyone know what Rock Creek Headwall is looking like?
    I went up yesterday for some laps to find out the lift was down. I just moved to Belgrade so I'm not familiar with the area but did take some photos on the way down. I think have one of the headwall but can't post because of new account. I can send it separately if you want

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Bethel, Maine
    Posts
    725
    Quote Originally Posted by lucknau View Post
    Anyone know what Rock Creek Headwall is looking like?
    As of 3:00 p.m. yesterday, it looked like you'd be straightlining on one ski to avoid downhiking on the apron. Aside from that one spot, the main line looked perfectly skiable almost to the bottom (far enough down that you can go below and traverse under the boulder field on foot, rather than walking across it). I'd assume there'd be some downhiking involved at this point, but most of the main line should still be skiable. Other options would definitely be more sporty (most of them have melted out at some point in the line, I think there may be a skiable option next to main line if your definition of "skiable" includes a lengthy straight run at 35 degrees or so).

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    SEA>DEN>Spokanistan
    Posts
    1,439

    Beartooth Pass conditions?

    Yeah, wicked bumbed!! Got up there yesterday and their main lift (1#) broke so that was out... needless to say ended up finding some pretty great creamy turns!! Still plenty of snow up there for anyone needing their July day!
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    Regarding camping —

    I camped right off FR 2412. The road up is in decent shape (my stock landcrusier made it up fine). Once you pass over Hellroaring creek there are several places that you can set up camp! I chose right next to the creek.
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    For those of you looking at heading up there next year (@alpy). Throw these into google maps and it will take you there (45.0477620,-109.4508590).

    A few other things: AT&T has great LTE service in Red Lodge and maybe 3-4 miles down the road. After that there is no service until you are out of Yellowstone on the Cooke City side.

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  25. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Tejas
    Posts
    6,212
    Quote Originally Posted by SkiLyft View Post
    Regarding camping —

    I camped right off FR 2412. The road up is in decent shape (my stock landcrusier made it up fine). Once you pass over Hellroaring creek there are several places that you can set up camp! I chose right next to the creek.
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    Ah, yes. I know that road well. You been up to the end up of it? The Hellroaring Plateau trailhead. Quite a site to behold. About a half mile hike beyond that is where I proposed to my now wife, actually! Looked like some great skiing back up in there too, but all some serious hike-out terrain, so never did it. I mostly stuck to the stuff right off the highway for easy laps.

    Thanks for the memories. Saw your pic and recognized it right away.

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