Americas

13 cyclists stranded on Going-to-the-Sun Road after rock slide

Thirteen cyclists were left stranded on a Montana road on Monday after a sudden rock slide streamed down the side of a mountain.

The slide left debris near the so-called “triple arch” section of the popular Going-to-the-Sun Road — one of the roadway’s most recognizable features.

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The National Park Service said that although no cyclists were injured in the slide, it left the group unable to return down the mountain for a number of hours.

Two Glacier National Park volunteer bike patrol units reported the slide and stayed in the area for more than four hours until park rangers were able to gain access to the site.

A park road crew then cleared the rock slide and begin cutting a path through the avalanche debris to open the way for the stranded cyclists. The operation took approximately eight hours, according to the NPS, and involved more than a dozen park staff and volunteers.

Going-to-the-Sun Road is a narrow mountain highway prone to rock slides and avalanches. The NPS said it’s not uncommon for the park to have one or two incidents each year where visitors become trapped on one side of a slide.

In fact, a different section of Going-to-the-Sun Road referred to as “the loop” was closed to pedestrian and cycle traffic on the same day due to a rock slide that blocked the road and prevented emergency vehicles from being able to pass through.

According to a Monday news release, cyclists were photographed walking over the slide activity to continue their cycling trip up the road.

“If you see fresh snow on the side of the road or across the road, even if you are excited about your bike trip, turn around,” Chief Ranger Paul Austin said. “Take responsibility for your safety and though disappointing, plan on heading out another day.”

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