Latest GNP death raises questions


KALISPELL, Mont. - Glacier National Park covers 1,500 square miles. It's remote and, in some cases, dangerous.

"Drowning and falls are both leading causes of death in Glacier National Park," said Glacier National Park Spokeswoman Denise Germann.

We took a closer look at the area where Abagail Sylvester slipped and fell. It's rocky and slippery, but it's not the only dangerous part of the park.

Trail maps and signs are posted all over the park warning visitors of the dangers.

Germann says that 95 percent of the park is made up of wilderness, so she says using caution when out in remote areas is very important.

We wanted to find out more about how people can make sure they aren't putting themselves in dangerous situations.

"The weather can change out here. The wind patterns are really hard to tell what it's going to do," said Ian Damon, who works for Glacier Park Boat Company, a boat rental on the shore of Lake McDonald.

Damon broke down some of the things he tells customers before they rent a boat or kayak on Lake McDonald. He says they wear life jackets and make sure they don't go too far from shore.

"Especially the paddleboards, kayaks and canoes, we just tell them to keep a reasonable distance to shore so if there was something happening, you can make it back in time," Damon said.

The bottom line -- the wilderness here is beautiful and vast, and the choices visitors make determine whether their visit is safe.

"It's that experience. We always remind folks about some of the hazards that are out there, but it's individual choice on what you do, where you go, and what you might be doing," Germann said.