Thursday, January 07, 2016

A warm and sunny Glacier Park ski: Lubec to East Glacier

The stars aligned for the ski trip this bright, sunny January morning

Enjoying a leisurely lunch in a sun-lit snow field

The route is pocked with stream crossings 
It was in the single digits when we started out from Great Falls, headed for East Glacier Park for our weekly Wayne's Wild Weekly Walk (hiking group for old guys).
I packed triple layers of clothing for the 9-mile ski from Lubec (False Summit) to near the Glacier Park Lodge.
When we started, the temperature was in the mid-20s, the skies clear, and the wind was calm.
We skied in shirtsleeves, without hats and slathered in suntan lotion.
We encountered some crusty snow at the beginning;  it had been warm enough to melt and freeze the surface in the open.
But, in the trees, we encountered almost perfect touring snow.
Although I prefer the 15.8 miles Marias Pass to East Glacier ski, this truncated version is a great alternative if you don't have the time (such as when there are short days).
We found many signs of wildlife, particularly moose.
The Park Service made the trip easier by putting in several new bridges, where in the past we had to negotiate many creek crossings on snow and ice bridges.
I've done this ski trip many times before, always dreading the last four mile of downhill when icy trail makes skiing treacherous.  Not so on this trip.  Perfection.
At the high point above Railroad Creek

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