Snowy day with icy trails; No views of Sawtooth Mountain
We had one ominous note before the hike started. Our hike leader Len reported that one couple hit a deer on their way to Augusta and had to be towed.
We had another bit of disappointment in the snow levels. Since we had had almost two weeks of warm weather, there wasn't enough of the white stuff to snowshoe, so we opted instead for ice cleats/yaktrax and hiking boots along with trekking poles to help stabilize us.
The lower part of the trail, near the creek was very icy; even the yaktrax had a hard time gripping the packed snow, so our leader Len took us high to the ridge in hopes of getting us out of the bottoms, which held the most ice. However, even the higher parts were slippery with frozen ground and a dusting of new snow.
We ran into a young couple coming down from the top who reported that a man up ahead was hunting wolves and calling them in with a device. Not wanting to get too near, the group took another route. With the snow starting to come down harder and wind picking up a bit, the leaders decided to call the day a few miles short of the proposed hike length of eight miles.
Although the day was mostly overcast and cloudy, we did get a few peaks at the sun and blue sky; one such opening revealed one of Sawtooth Mountain's "teeth," but that is all we saw of the surrounding Rocky Mountain Front's majesty today.
After the about-five mile trek, the group headed back to Augusta, where the GiG opted for a stop for lunch at the Buckhorn Bar. Unfortunately, Latigo and Lace was closed for inventory, or we would have stopped there too to peruse the fabulous art and gifts at the little country store.
The trip home was fine, with no real snow on the roads; however, as soon as we approached Great Falls, the snow worsened and we faced our first icy roads of the day. Great Falls had significantly more snowfall than the surrounding area, a perfect time to get home and warm up.
Who went: Susan, Kathy M, new member Jenn, Gail, Bonnie and Katie (Mary N with her husband didn't travel with the "girls."
Tom K's gps recording of this hike