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Sperry Chalet nearly restored after devastating fire

Posted at 6:34 PM, Sep 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-18 16:21:16-04

The Sperry Chalet was severely burned in 2017 during the Sprague fire, but the lodge is now in phase two of a mutli-million dollar restoration effort.

More than 16,000 acres of land burned in Glacier National Park during the Sprague fire in 2017. The money for the Sperry Chalet restoration primarily comes from the Glacier National Park Conservancy.

Along the 3,300 vertical incline and six mile trip to Sperry Chalet, you can still see burnt and broken trees that were damaged from the Sprague fire.

Sperry Chalet Site Supervisor TJ Lashley says that because of the lodge’s high altitude and remote location, it’s been difficult to get restoration supplies to the area.

“Anything that comes in on your back or pack mule train or my favorite is the helicopter operations” Lashley said.

A helicopter flies to the Sperry Chalet once a week or every other week to bring in materials for the restoration project.

Lashley says that restoring the lodge has been such a grueling job that two crews are needed to do the work. Every eight days, a crew from Great Falls will switch off with a crew from Helena.

“It is a pretty long stint. It wouldn’t be anywhere else but you wouldn’t have your hotel room, your TV ­-- you can’t get away from any of the other guys, any of the other workers. You’re up there for eight days straight,” Lashley said.

The restoration is expected to be completed by this October, and the chalet will open in the summer of 2020.