Saturday, January 18, 2014

Montana Life

         Ok so it's mid January, I know some you have skied.  Maybe meadow skipping, cross country skiing with new babies, skipping over rocks in the Wastach,  boot packing up dirt with tears in your eyes in California. I'm truly sorry CA.  Even Jake is tired of seeing his rock climbing trip to Blodgett Canyon as the last trip report, so here we go  In my new home northwest Montana we've been skiing.  We were lucky enough to have some steady snow through December and into January.  With consistent small storms and occasional bigger dumps the snowpack has been good.   So I thought I would get down to showing some pictures of some tours we've done to keep the stoke alive. With Canada only an hour to our north it's hard to tell the difference sometimes, let's see if you can.  It snowed many different forms over the last two months from blower powder, to smooth graupel, and heavy cream.  Currently we are in a high pressure so it's been great for getting out and skiing out in the peaks.  Versatile snow off the summits but mostly consisting of what I like to call the "velvet".
         I've been fortunate enough to have some time off in the beginning of the season and some good ole Boyz and Galz to go skiing with.   We have mainly been skiing the Great Bear Range which is accessed down the middle fork of the Flathead River.  We just refer to it has the "Middle Fork".  The Swan Mountain Range which is on the east side of the Flathead valley got some early dumps and the snowpack has been deep. Were still waiting for Ovando to get good.  Glacier National Park's southern end around Marias pass has also been treating us well, with a little less snow but still great skiing.  We had several concerning layers one being a rain crust from November, but as the snow piled up they became more stubborn to activate in tests.  The only downside is it's about an hour drive to get to any of the good backcountry spots.  Getting up early and long approaches and that I'm getting used too.

That's the meatier part of the Middle Fork including the highest in the range Great Northern

New friends and new mountains heading up Stanton Peak, GNP.  We skied the south face which is the ridge on the right skyline.

Jay on his  college winter break collecting data for his thesis...
more like two week ski bender.

Katy surfing the cream dream on Java Peak.

Descending down a south chute towards stanton lake.

The jack rabbit finds a hole skiing into Rescue Creek.

Chris getting it good Spider bowl, Swan Range.

Descending the Backstrap off Elk Mountain.

Gaelen soaking in the sunshine on Essex mountain.

The massive Nyack mountain and Great Northern in the background.

The Ambassador Buf on a deep day in Marion lake.

Thanks to our sponsors, the triple decker PBJ. 
More photo's coming this week.