Montana aerial photographer crucial to Sperry Chalet rebuilding efforts

Posted at 11:34 AM, Feb 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-20 13:38:10-05

KALISPELL – Rebuilding efforts for the Sperry Chalet in Glacier National Park are underway, but at 6,000 feet high, access to the site is limited.

So a Flathead-based photography company GravityShots is stepping in to help.

In the summer of 2017, the historic Sperry Chalet burned down in the Sprague Fire in Glacier National Park. After the historic landmark was destroyed, Flathead resident Adele Scholl knew she had to help.

That’s when Glacier Park Conservancy approached her.

With the elevation, architects were having trouble working on designing the reconstruction. With her knowledge of aerial photography, Scholl and her partner Jeff took some of the first pictures of Sperry Chalet during the winter following the fire.

Architects now use these photos to create blueprints and designs for the rebuild.

They said without their pictures, rebuilding efforts would not be possible. Scholl said getting the vital photography is not easy, however.

“You have to compensate for the movement of the aircraft and also filming through the windows,” Scholl said. “So that combined, you kinda lose shutter speed when you’re up there. And doing video is even that much harder because you’re moving and then you’re vibrating with the aircraft.”

With the help of Scholl, the chalet is expected to be complete by next summer.

-Reported by Maren Siu/MTN News