Sperry work underway

Print Article

A helicopter drops supplies into the Sperry Chalet complex Sunday.

Work began Sunday on the second phase of reconstruction of the Sperry Chalet.

A host of helicopter flights were hauling in supplies and materials as crews started putting scaffolding up.

The work is being done by contractor Dick Anderson Construction of Helena.

Anderson, through sometimes heroic efforts, finished the $4.08 million Phase I of the contract last fall.

That phase included a new foundation, walls, floors, interior steel frame and a temporary roof on the structure. The next phase completes the roof, all of the finish work, and repairs the masonry on the 105-year-old building under a $4.73 million contract.

The work should be completed this fall and the chalet is expected to reopen to the public in 2020.

The main dormitory of the chalet complex was gutted by the Sprague wildfire in August 2017. All that was left standing was the stone walls after the fire.

The Glacier National Park Conservancy played a key role in getting emergency funding to stabilize the structure and has continued to support the project through the reconstruction phase, paying to keep the kitchen crew working at the dining hall to feed the crew.

The chalet held up well over the winter. There was no snow on the ground at the chalet on Sunday, which meant crews were able to start work immediately instead of shoveling snow.

Typically snow lasts into July at the chalet, but this year the snowpack was a little bit below normal and recent heavy rains have melted a lot of snow.

The kitchen staff was also busy cooking. The first dinner for the crew was chicken a la king, they said.

The dining hall is also open to the public for lunch.

The Park Service notes that the area around the chalet is closed to the public to keep people out of the construction zone. In addition, trails and campgrounds at Lincoln Lake and Snyder Lakes have been closed to give grizzly bears a quiet buffer in the area because of helicopter flights and construction activity.

The hike to Sperry is a long and hot one — about 6.4 miles straight uphill for more than 3,300 feet and there’s almost no shade and little water for several miles. It used to be a wooded glade, but the fire burned away most of the trees, though the landscape promises to burst with color in a few weeks as fireweed has sprouted up en masse along the trail.

Print Article

Read More Front Page Slider

Hungry Horse bridge dedicated to fallen soldiers

November 13, 2019 at 7:39 am | Hungry Horse News About 50 people braved the chill of the Bad Rock Canyon on Veterans Day to dedicate the South Fork of the Flathead River Bridge to Flathead Valley veterans who have been killed in action. More than ...

Comments

Read More

After 54 years, man reunited with mom through DNA testing

November 13, 2019 at 7:42 am | Lake County Leader A small crowd gathered around Craig Blair as he nervously waited to greet his mom at Glacier International Airport in Kalispell Oct. 16. His small, hand-written sign had drawn a number curious onlook...

Comments

Read More

School board to begin search for new superintendent

November 13, 2019 at 7:54 am | Lake County Leader School District Six will soon begin its search for a new Superintendent to replace Steve Bradshaw after the school board “reluctantly” accepted his letter of resignation at their regular meeting Mond...

Comments

Read More

With bison perhaps returning, Glacier to study east side elk herd

November 13, 2019 at 7:46 am | Hungry Horse News Glacier National Park will embark on a comprehensive study of its east side elk herd in the coming years. Elk are a common sight in Glacier’s east side valleys, particularly in the spring and fall,...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 892-2151
PO BOX 189, 926 Nucleus Avenue
Columbia Falls, MT 59912

©2019 Hungry Horse News Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X