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a group of people riding skis on top of a snow covered slope

March 23, 2024

Is the Glacier still Open? 

I’ve been receiving a lot of calls lately asking if we can still make it to the Glacier. As of today, March 23, 2024, we are still taking tours out to the Glacier. As always, we asses the conditions on the day of the tour and make the determination wether or not it is safe to head out to the “Blue Ice” of Spencer Glacier. However, we have limited the tour time to the morning only in the hopes of preserving trail conditions as long as possible. 

One area we monitor is the snow pack conditions. Although there may be several feet of snow, the snow itself may not be suitable for riding on. We have several terms for snowpack, terms such as; “Mashed Potatoes” or “Hero Snow”. Hero Snow is a very hard snow pack with a hard crust, making it possible to walk or ride almost anywhere. This tends to occur after the snow has warmed above  freezing and then freezes again. Mashed Potato snow is fairly self explanatory. It’s soft and mushy, occurring once the temperature above 32 and stays that way for an extended period of time. When the snow softens and you step off the packed trail, you’ll most likely sink up to your hip. Even walking on the packed trail can leave deep footprints and if a snowmobile track spins out, it could leave deep grooves.

The Glacier is roughly 14 miles from the trailhead through a braided River valley. As such, there are many water crossings and sloughs that we must navigate over and through. When day and night temperatures remain above freezing for multiple days the water crossings tend to open and we typically can no longer access the Glacier. 

So with that said, we continue to monitor the snowpack, ice thickness and day/night time temperatures. But please don’t fret, even if we cannot safely make it to the Glacier we do have an alternate route that we can take that is an equally exciting snowmobiling experience. The Turnagain Pass Snowmobile Tour is a real backcountry experience. You’ll traverse through splendid forest, under majestic mountains, along winding rivers. The “play area” is a big draw,  you’ll be allowed to try your hand with a little  free ride time with instructions from our guides.

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