Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Was this our fire season ending storm???

Katie at Cobalt Lake on Labor Day

The trail was snow covered and slick within a half-mile of the lake

On the trail to Cobalt Lake the ground cover was a blaze of color
I had to check the fire conditions in Glacier and along the Front this Labor Day weekend.
Since late last week we have gotten pounded by steady rain and I had heard that there was some snow at higher elevations.  I had to see for myself.
Sure enough, there had been rain and snow, and the temperatures had dropped drastically.
We stopped at the Izack Walton Inn for a look at what could have been a catastrophe and checked out fire lines near the cross country ski runs and viewed charred trees on the ridge tops above this historic old inn.
We had hoped to drive a loop through Glacier, going through Logan Pass, but heavy snow had closed the pass and we had to retrace our steps by to East Glacier where we spent the night.
The following day, snow or no snow, we decided to do the 12 mile round trip hike to Cobalt Lake in the Two Med beneath Painted Tipi peak.
We had unsettled, windy weather and didn't find snow until about a mile from the lake.  Within a half mile of the lake, the snow became fairly heavy --- about four inches.  The trail was covered just below the lake, and it was slick where the trail was steep.
The mountains were gorgeous with the snow, but the most beautiful aspect of the hike was that the ground cover was in glorious color:  bright oranges, reds, yellows and chartreuse.
This is the time to be on the east side of the Continental Divide to see the ground a blazing.
Is this our fire ending snow?
It is supposed to warm up and get windy, which could dry things out and reignite the many blazes.
Let's hope so.
Snow tips Sinopah's southeast buttress.

The south facing flank of Sinopah

There's usually a moose hereabouts below Rising Wolf peak

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Tom, how was the Crawford Creek trail? I was on it summer before last and it was sorely in need of some tlc. Charlie Adams, Helena

Tom Kotynski said...

Charlie: Definitely needs some work, but still fun for a quick trip. Wish'd I had time to have explored above in Belt Park. Hope you had a great Glacier season

Tom Kotynski said...

Charlie: Definitely needs some work, but still fun for a quick trip. Wish'd I had time to have explored above in Belt Park. Hope you had a great Glacier season