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WeatherWise: locked in on the Beartooth Highway

Posted at 6:56 PM, Oct 02, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-04 18:28:13-04

HELENA — The Beartooth Highway is one of the most scenic drives in Montana. The high-elevation road is prone to closure due to winter weather, with the chance increasing in late spring and early fall.

But some may not know that it is possible to be locked behind the gates as crews prepare to shut down access. That's what happened to KTVH Chief Meteorologist Curtis Grevenitz recently.

Curtis took the opportunity this past weekend to find some snow and do a little hiking on the Beartooth Pass. After several hours in the wilderness, he returned to his vehicle to find a marker on his car and a card from the Wyoming Highway Patrol explaining the highway's closure.

The highway had been closed at Long Lake on the Cooke City side and at the Montana-Wyoming state line on the other side of the pass.

Curtis was aware of the approaching storm and checked the Montana Department of Transportation webpage for the status of the road before heading to the top of the pass.

MDT noted the impending closure, but sometimes things happen, and don't go as you have planned. Curtis says he was not the person to find themself locked behind the gates on the pass.

Turns out this can happen more often than you might realize. Curtis checked the card left by the WHP Trooper closely, he found the trooper left the gate code on the card. That allowed each person with a card to open the road gates and let themselves out.

And now with another storm dropping snow in on the Beartooth Pass, it's possible that this pass weekend was the last time people might drive the road until next spring.

And now you are little more WeatherWise.