Backcountry Web Pages Down Since Aug 14th

Are you a seasoned hiker, or just starting out? Let us know your questions or experience with the backcountry permit process.

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sbosecker
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Backcountry Web Pages Down Since Aug 14th

Post by sbosecker »

Glacier's Backcountry Advance Reservation Availability Webpage, What's Avaialble Tonight Webpage & Trail/Campsite/Area Postings-Closed Webpage have been down since at least Saturday (Aug 14th) morning.

I sent an email this morning asking about the status of same. (There's always the chance that folks on the inside aren't aware of an issue - Ha!)

I just got a response:

We are having problems with some of the websites and are working with the Denver offices to resolve them. Unknown repair time.

Emlon Stanton


Hopefully they will be back up soon.

Scott

zozeppelin
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Re: Backcountry Web Pages Down Since Aug 14th

Post by zozeppelin »

Still ongoing and it’s not just backcountry availability, it’s closures, trail status, campground status, etc. Complete blackout of what is going on.

orin
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Re: Backcountry Web Pages Down Since Aug 14th

Post by orin »

And it is not the first time the sites have been down this summer. I was having difficulty using them to plan a trip the end of June. And even when the sites are working I regularly have to wait several tens of seconds for What's Avaialble Tonight to load. They need an overhaul of their entire system.

sbosecker
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Re: Backcountry Web Pages Down Since Aug 14th

Post by sbosecker »

This morning (Aug 19th) I sent a gentle followup query regarding the malfunctioning web pages. This afternoon I got a response.

Teams are working on it, but I would contact the backcountry office at 406-888-7859. They may have information on the campsites and trails before you get here.

Emlon Stanton


The suggestion for to me contact the backcountry office was a result of me indicating that it would be nice to "have a plan" when I walked into the Apgar Backcountry Office.

If anyone wonders why this post had come in fits & spurts - I have been getting random server errors when I tried to post. Perhaps that issue has been resolved.

Scott

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Re: Backcountry Web Pages Down Since Aug 14th

Post by zozeppelin »

I left a message to the BC office to see what the status is, as I'm starting travel Saturday. Not knowing if sites/trails are closed in advance and not being able to plan alternatives in advance is frustrating.

August 25th (yesterday) the trail status page updated to acknowledge the issue: "Currently these links are not working. We hope to return them soon."

In this day and age, I'm not sure how it's possible to have a website go down for almost 2 weeks, in peak season. Hackers? Server died with no backup or mirrors? At a minimum put a manual update out there or on facebook or twitter or something.

Facebook webpage banner: "Before visiting Glacier, make sure to check current conditions in the park." How?

If anyone is at the park, I'd really appreciate a 'closure' update on trails and camps.

zozeppelin
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Re: Backcountry Web Pages Down Since Aug 14th

Post by zozeppelin »

BC office called back (props to them) and said currently no closures (except a spot at Grinnell?)!!!

sbosecker
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Re: Backcountry Web Pages Down Since Aug 14th

Post by sbosecker »

zozeppelin wrote:
Thu Aug 26, 2021 10:03 am
...August 25th (yesterday) the trail status page updated to acknowledge the issue: "Currently these links are not working. We hope to return them soon."

In this day and age, I'm not sure how it's possible to have a website go down for almost 2 weeks, in peak season. Hackers? Server died with no backup or mirrors? At a minimum put a manual update out there or on facebook or twitter or something...
zozeppelin,

I too am pretty frustrated by the lack of information regarding backcountry campsite "availability".

I have noticed that most of the URL's associated with Glacier NP's website begin with www.nps.gov/glac/
while the missing web pages start with www.nps.gov/applications/glac/

I've been using these missing pages for at least 15 years - I remember scoring a 3-day trip in 2006 as a result of using the advance availability page. To the best of my memory, these pages physiclal appearance haven't changed in all that time. I can't speak to whether the URL's have changed over the years.

I wouldn't be surprised if the server that hosts these "applications" didn't undergo a operating system upgrade (security?) that didn't play nice with this ancient software. I would speculate that there isn't the money and/or manpower available to fix whatever trainwreck happened a couple of weeks ago.

The only weird thing with that theory is that I always got the impression (via personal observation) that the backcountry offices uses these same basic tools (obviously with ability to edit the data vs. read only) to manage backcounty permitting. So how are they doing that if my scenario is correct?

...and, as noted in another post, they had a similar - but much shorter - outage earlier this year. Somehow they got that duct-taped back together for a little while.

Regardless, if all goes well I will be in the backcountry office on the afternoon of September 1st. We'll see how fast I can think on my feet. HA!

Best regards,

Scott

zozeppelin
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Re: Backcountry Web Pages Down Since Aug 14th

Post by zozeppelin »

I asked today and they said it was a server / licensing issue. I didn’t pry further.

While I was picking up my permit, a “hard side only” many glacier came across the radio due to bears getting into human food.

sbosecker
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Re: Backcountry Web Pages Down Since Aug 14th

Post by sbosecker »

zozeppelin wrote:
Sun Aug 29, 2021 2:21 pm
I asked today and they said it was a server / licensing issue. I didn’t pry further.

While I was picking up my permit, a “hard side only” many glacier came across the radio due to bears getting into human food.
zozepelin,

You're probably either in the backcountry or soon will be but...

Thanks for the report regarding the "cause" of the outage.

As to the "hard side only" in the Many Glacier campsite. I've never pitched a tent there and always thought that would be a gutsy thing to do for reasons that should be pretty clear right now. I suspect there is more likely to be a less "food disciplined" type of camper in a front country campsite ...and the bears know this.

Best regards,

Scott

zozeppelin
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Re: Backcountry Web Pages Down Since Aug 14th

Post by zozeppelin »

Well, a month later, and after the season has ended, they have acknowledged the issue and are giving daily updates on Facebook. :roll:

https://www.kpax.com/news/local-news/fl ... ms-offline

sbosecker
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Re: Backcountry Web Pages Down Since Aug 14th

Post by sbosecker »

I don't know how long they've been back in business but the Trail Status pages, Trail & Area Closings & Postings page and Advance Availability pages seem to be functioning again.

What's available tonight is not working.

Scott

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