Sunday, February 25, 2024

Winter slips away: 747, Deadman, snow shoeing on Middle Fork Judith


This has been one of my  poorest back country ski seasons.

There is snow up there, finally, but its quality and quality are questionable, and the warmer weather is melting what remains.

In the past couple of weeks I've skied the 747 loop, and Deadman, and snowshoed the Middle Fork of the Judith Wilderness Study Area a ways.

The 747 Loop had the most consistent snow.  We picked up tons of snow on the bottom of our skis on Deadman, and the snow (and ice) were melting on the Middle Fork.

I enjoyed the Middle Fork snowshoe trip the most, partly because we shoed directly on the ice-bound river itself, and partly because I love the area so much.   This was a part of Wild Montana's winter snow shoe program.

The Middle Fork WSA is threatened because U.S. Sen. Steve Daines wants to the release the area for management by the Forest Service, potentially threatening the areas' wild character. 

The Middle Fork showed through the ice in only two small spots.  Otherwise, it supported the weight of the group of 13 snow-shoers quite well.

We shoed parallel to a good cross country ski track.   Seeing that, I wished I had tried to ski the Middle Fork before.  Noted.

I've seen robins and flickers in my yard and friends have seen meadowlarks.

Other migrating birds are more noticeable now, too.


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