Tuesday, April 10, 2018

A rite of Spring: Two Medicine Lake ski

On the Two Med Road with Scenic Point Mountain in background

Katie near her favorite bench in front of Two Med Lake 
The buried Two Med Camp Store

We've finally had a break in the weather, with the Great Falls Tribune announcing as news that temperatures might rise to 60 degrees for the first time since November.
Knowing this is coming, Katie and I took an early morning trip Monday to Glacier National Park to do the ski to Middle Two Medicine Lake out of East Glacier Park, a 10-miler roundtrip with about 1,200 feet of elevation gain and loss.
This is a ski on a snow-covered road with the snow going fast.
It had already been plowed, with about four inches of new snow on top of that which melted off throughout the day.
The road is open to the park boundary and it is another 4 miles from there to the lake.  Adding a Trick Falls side trip and skiing out onto the lake brought us to nearly 10 mies.
As the snow began to melt, we climbed up onto road berms to ski, at points at least 6-8 feet above the road.
On the way to the park we traveled U.S. 89 and were able to catch the annual snow geese/tundra swan migration against the alpineglow of the morning sunrise;  truly one of the most amazing sights in Montana.
We had a Spring mix of weather, which ranged from rain to graupel, and lots of wind, particularly once we reached the lake.
There's a ton of snow in this country.  It looks like the dead of winter.
At the lake and Two Med Campground large drifts bury structures.
I was able to climb on top of the Two Med restroom building in front of the camp store and thought about doing the same on the store, but the roof's steep pitch deterred me.
I skied out onto the lake, which is still solidly frozen as far as I could see, to the boat launch piers.
The Two Med River as it comes out at the Trick Falls is running, although the large side stream is frozen over.
The snow is Spring snow, but plentiful.
I can imagine that within a week at these temperatures that the road will be clear of snow between the boundary and Trick Falls and open enough for bicycles.
There are years I have been able to drive to the falls by now and walk to the lake.
Too much snow this year!
We viewed the snow geese migration with the Rocky Mountain Front as our backdrop

Geese lifting off enmasse

A shot of the geese up close in a grain field


Daniel Howell said...

Hey Tom! Found your blog this morning as a sip my morning coffee, inspiring content. Look forward to following your adventures in the future. I am planning a trip this weekend and am having a hard time acquiring some information you may know. I will be going in the north side of Gibson Reservoir for a three day trip. Do you happen to know how much snow is on the north side of the reservoir? If you dont know, do you have a guess? Thanks for any insight you may have!


Tom Kotynski said...

Dan: Really couldn't say. Lots of snow in high country, so you may encounter drifts.