Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Where Did Ray Hike in Glacier Park?

#ThrowbackThursday: Let's see if you can guess where Ray hiked in 1913 from his description on this postcard!

Ray states, "I just came back from about a thirty mile ride on horse back. We went up to one of the camps for supper and then took a boat ride and started back here at 7:30 and arrived 9:30. Fifteen miles each way."

Hint: What building is this photo taken of?

Friday, August 23, 2013

My Office, The Treasure Chest

By: Cassandra Sunell

Currently, I am the marketing and social media coordinator for Glacier Park, Inc. (GPI), and my office is located adjacent to GPI’s Grouse Mountain Lodge property in Whitefish, Montana.  I am in a typical office with a computer, desk, corkboard, and an awful relationship with the printer. However, as I look out my window, I can see (literally as I am typing this) a family of deer eating away at the grass. I can also see the eastern tip of Whitefish Mountain Ski Resort in the background, hear the sound of golf balls being hit from the 17th tee-box at Whitefish Lake Golf Course, and smell the wildflowers surrounding the property.

The treasures that lie outside my office are simply remarkable and I don’t take any of them for granted at all, but I have  found great admiration for the treasures inside my office  as well. Upon my first week of working at GPI, I was left a box of historic photos, books, post cards, letters, and other Glacier National Park memorabilia dating before 1913. I use many of these photos for our “Throwback Thursday” posts on our social media platforms, so Wednesdays have become nearly one of my favorite days of the week, as I dive into stories from the past.  I often state that Wednesdays are when I open up the “Treasure Chest.”

One of the photographers, whose album photos date back to the1920s, is Doctor Ector Boscatti.   Dr. Boscatti worked as a Red Bus “Jammer” driver during his summer breaks from the University of Oregon Medical School. From the photos, you can see he climbed nearly every ridge across the park and had some extraordinary journeys with many other drivers and workers from the various lodges. Another “Treasure Chest” find includes a series of postcards that have been addressed to a woman named Ella in Wisconsin, from a gentleman named Ray from Midvale, Montana. It appears he had helped in the construction of Glacier Park Lodge, as he describes the extreme weather building the lodge and then later on tells stories of his backpacking trips and boat rides in 1913.

Looking through the photos and reading the personal stories has been a unique experience, as I  now walk in the same lodges, climb the same trails, and  capture the same photos nearly a century later. It’s mystifying to ponder that those who worked in and around the park, had the same enamor for their jobs and the park’s  remarkable surroundings, but didn’t have the ability to share their experiences like I am able to now via the internet. I have the opportunity every week to reach into my “Treasure Chest” an
d share their stories with the world—stories that may have only been told to a small number of people.

In recent weeks, the development that GPI’s near 32-year contract to operate the concessions in Glacier National Park is not being renewed at the end of this year has come as a shock to many, including myself. We take great pride in the opportunity we’ve had to work at many of Glacier National Park’s properties—it has been an honor. The loss is disappointing; however, moving forward, we are excited to continue making long-lasting memories as the “Gateway to Glacier” at GPI’s many owned lodges and properties in and around the national park—Grouse Mountain Lodge, the Princes of Wales Hotel, Glacier Park Lodge, St. Mary Lodge, Cabins and Motel, and the Stewart Hotel—so that a century from now, someone else at GPI will have a “Treasure Chest” to dig through on Wednesdays. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Grouse Mountain Lodge Location Chef Position

The position of Location Chef for Grouse Mountain Lodge will be posted until 5pm on Friday, August 23, 2013. Interested and qualified candidates should complete the Position Opportunity Application and attach a current resume, and return to me no later than the 23rd.  

This opportunity is based out of Grouse Mountain Lodge, and is a full-time, year-round position.  Full benefits (medical, dental, vision, 401(k), vacation, sick time, holidays) are included.

Apply for this position by filling out the online job application: 

Job Description

Oversees Kitchen staff to ensure a quality guest and staff dining experience. Must operate in a timely and ethical fashion while adhering to recipes, standards, safety, and food cost guidelines. Work directly with the F&B support staff in a positive manner to ensure all GPI sanitation regulations and requirements are met. Must assist in other departments and do related work as required.

Conducts regular physical inventories of food supplies and provides inventory to Executive Chef upon request.
Delegates responsibilities of production and communicates proper instructions to staff.
Follows up to ensure completion. Enforces all Company policies and regulations.
Establishes controls to minimize food and supply waste and theft.
Maintains pre-set budgets in labor and food costs with the help of Corporate staff members.
Manages (plans, directs, schedules, supervises, evaluates, rewards and disciplines) all tasks performed by Kitchen staff.
Generates prep list for each station.
Must complete all paperwork assigned by the Executive Chef.
Maintains Food Safety logs.
Must spend at least 50% of each shift working in a designated kitchen position.
Will rotate work schedule through all shifts, and will work a minimum of 2 evening shifts per week. Oversees ALL deliveries for accuracy with Storeroom Manager and completes paperwork deemed necessary by the Executive Chef.
Participates in all GPI Health Inspections and QA Inspections.
Plans and organizes daily production levels according to forecasts of covers per meal period.
Produces a quality product in a timely fashion for guests and employees.
Responsible for the implementation of menus for hotel Dining Room and Employee Dining Room (EDR).
Presents creative daily specials for the Dining Room.
Trains, instructs, and motivates seasonal staff in proper knife handling, sanitation, safety, food preparation, and guest and staff satisfaction.
Works directly with the General  Manager to ensure positive employee morale.
Works with the Executive Chef on all aspects (menus, ordering, set-up, etc.) of special events.

3-5 years executive chef experience required within a hotel or restaurant setting.
Must have a strong background in sanitation and pass GPI Sanitation class.
Serve Safe Sanitation Certificate required.
Culinary degree preferred or equivalency in work experience.
Good organization and communication skills required.
Must give instructions clearly and precisely and follow up in a reasonable amount of time.
Must be able to manage under pressure when necessary.
Must be able to physically operate all kitchen equipment
Must be able to work at a competent level in all kitchen positions.
Must be able to write clearly and precisely.
Must be knowledgeable in plate presentation – depth, flavor and guest needs.
Must be team-oriented, positive, and upbeat.
Must have experience in food costing, kitchen accounting, scheduling, production standards, and creation of a quality product.
Must have knowledge of food and labor cost controls.
Must have the ability to supervise and train employees, to include organizing, prioritizing, and scheduling work assignments.
Strong interpersonal skills required.
Must be pleasant, helpful, friendly, outgoing, enthusiastic and courteous in dealing with co-workers.

Work Environment
Job requires standing for long periods of time, walking, bending, handling, reaching, grasping, lifting 50 lbs., and repetitive motions.
Kitchen environment may have times of high noise levels.
Kitchen  in a historic hotel. Climate control equipment may or may not be present.
Non-smoking environment.
Varied hours, split shifts, holidays, AM and PM shifts required.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Top 10 Favorite Hikes in Glacier Park: Voted by our Facebook Fans

In May, we asked our Facebook followers "What's your favorite hike in Glacier National Park?"  Here’s the list of the top ten hikes our followers voted for:

10.  Gunsight Pass - This 20.6 mile hike begins at the Jackson Glacier overlook and ends at Lake McDonald Lodge.  This can either be a full day hike or it can also be split by camping along various campgrounds along the way or with a stay at Sperry Glacier Chalet and a side trip can be taken to view Sperry Glacier.  

Photo by

 9.  Medicine Grizzly Lake – A scenic 6.2 mile hike that begins in Cut Bank and is settled in the basin below Triple Divide Peak.  George Bird Grinell coined the term “Crown of the Continent” from the streams that flow into the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic Oceans that are sourced from Triple Divide Peak. 

Photo by
8.  Dawson Pass – This hike is known to be strenuous, but is one of the most scenic in the park.  This hike begins at Two Medicine Lake and can begin by crossing the lake by boat to the other most western side of the lake.  After crossing the Continental Divide over Dawson Pass, one can continue to Pitamakan Pass, looping back to Two Medicine for a 14.8 mile loop or by retracing their steps back for a 9.4 mile round-trip.

Photo by

7.  Ptarmigan Tunnel – This trailhead begins at the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn and is a 10.7 mile round-trip, passing Ptarmigan Falls and Ptarmigan Lake.  The 240-foot Ptarmigan Tunnel was originally built for horses and early park tours by the Civilian Conservation Corp in the 1930's.

Photo by

6.  Avalanche Lake - This hike is one of the most traveled trails in the park, due to its location that is at the head of the Going-to-the-Sun road and opens before a majority of the other trails do in the park.  The hike passes through the Trail of the Cedars, and is rated as a moderate 4.5 mile round-trip hike. 
Photo by Flickr

5.  Siyeh Pass Trail – This strenuous, yet rewarding 8.4 mile trek begins about 2 miles east of Logan’s Pass and gives excellent views of Preston Park, which is a popular location for grizzlies.  The mountain and the pass were named by George Bird Grinnell for a Blackfoot Indian by the name of "Sai-yeh," which in the Blackfeet language means Crazy Dog, or Mad Wolf.

Photo by

4.  Cracker Lake - This 12.6 mile hike begins at Many Glacier Hotel and can be accessed by way of horse or by foot.  Glacial silt gives this lake its unique aqua hue and is surrounded by multi-colored mountain where you can still see an old mining site if you choose to take a side adventure.

3.  Grinnell Glacier – This 7.6 mile trip is a great way for hikers to be up close to a glacier in the park.  The trailhead begins at Many Glacier Hotel, where you can reduce your hike by 3.4 miles by taking a shuttle boat across Swiftcurrent Lake and Lake Josephine before beginning your ascent to the glacier.

Photo by Glacier Park, Inc.

2.  Highline Loop The most popular route of this trail, is the 11.6 loop that begins at Logan’s Pass and follows along the bottom of the Garden Wall, through Granite Park, and finally descending to the “The Loop” where hikers can take a shuttle back to their vehicle at Logan’s Pass.

Photo by Glacier Park, Inc.

1.  Iceberg Lake -  This iconic and popular 9.7 mile hike begins at Swiftcurrent Motor Inn and follows the same path towards the Ptarmigan Tunnel.  This lake is surrounded by towering peaks, thus reducing sunlight to the lake allowing for the ice and snow to the edges of the lake shore and cliff walls, resembling icebergs. 

Photo by