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Odds and ends

by CHRIS PETERSON
Editor | March 23, 2022 7:20 AM

A couple of interesting odds and ends I’ve heard in the past few months.

First off, don’t be surprised if there’s more corporate control of the business in West Glacier. I won’t get into details, but Pursuit Glacier Park Collection is apparently eyeing the purchase of another property and business in the area.

It sets up an interesting dynamic with Xanterra controlling the Park-owned properties and Pursuit owning what amounts to most of West Glacier Village and a big chunk of Apgar Village in the Park boundaries.

Of course, everyone is officially mum on the whole deal, just as they were when Pursuit (then Glacier Park Inc.) bought the Lundgren property in 2014 and the Belton Chalet in 2019.

The rumors far preceded those announcements. Pursuit is part of the Viad Corporation, which is publicly traded, so news leaking out of an acquisition is typically frowned upon, as it can have an impact on the stock, among other things.

Pursuit already owns the Glacier Park Lodge in East Glacier, Grouse Mountain Lodge, the Prince of Wales Hotel in Waterton Lakes National Park, the Belton Chalet, the West Glacier RV Park and Cabins and the Glacier Basecamp Lodge in Columbia Heights, which includes the new Starbucks.

I know folks who work for Pursuit and they’re good people, but I also worry about the “mom and pop” tourist business getting the squeeze.

I wonder when Xanterra will buy a business or two in West Glacier. I can think of one off the top of my head that would be a perfect fit.

——

The snow in Glacier right now is absolutely horrible. Of course, it is spring, so it’s to be expected. I recall a few years ago when I made a spring trip up the North Fork and the temperatures rose into the 50s, then crashed and it snowed — hard.

It set up the most miserable trip of my life, as I was “postholing” with skis on. One ski would break through the crust and the other would stay on top. It did this for miles.

To add insult to injury, the new snow was wet and heavy and sticky.

The conditions right now aren’t quite so bad, but by late afternoon on most days the base is failing and it turns to slush. In the mornings, if it’s cold enough at night, a crust forms, which may or may not hold your weight.

The snow is still knee deep in most places, so you might take three steps, then bust through without skis on and sometimes you bust all the way through even with them on.

It’s easy to understand how all of this is tough on ungulates like deer and elk. They can’t get around much and the fat reserves are at their lowest.

Warm days and cool nights should, however, make for some good spring fishing. The big fish are on the move and there’s often a little black stonefly hatch on the mainstem.

One of the biggest cutts I’ve ever caught was in the Middle Fork on a black stonefly hatch in that window between winter and runoff where the water is still clear enough and it hadn’t warmed up enough to muddy the water. They say Lincoln Creek is responsible for most of the early mud in the lower Middle Fork.

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