GiG Gets Pinched by HiPo; Unlucky at Shake-a-Day; But Snowshoeing Fun, Shopping, Camaraderie Prevails
Frozen Belt Creek Provides Backdrop for Warm Day
Calm-Before-the-Storm Morning Hike to Sulphur Springs
Tree Wells and Avalanche "Woofs" Make for a Scary, Long Day
We Welcomed Rose to a GiG Mountain Climb: in the Snow!
Don't Tell the Hunters: Elk Everywhere on Flesher Pass
First Hike of the New Year Gets Hearts Pumping
Our first hike of New Year 2019 was a climb of Porphyry Peak (pronounced "pour furry") on a sunny day that turned to almost blizzard conditions.
Six of us crammed into Katie's Traverse at 8 a.m. for the trip up to Kings Hill pass. We parked at the pass and got on trail by 9:30, arriving on top at 11:30. We made good time, gaining over 1,000 feet of gain in some patches of challenging snow necessitating trailbreaking. But we traded off the lead to give legs a rest as needed.
On the way up, we enjoyed the sunshine playing on the surrounding mountains; but by the time we reached the top, a wall of clouds hung overhead and the wind had started picking up. It was blowing snow in our faces, several of us were getting cold, so instead of having a picnic outside by the lookout tower, we decided to head over to the Showdown warming hut. Besides, we could purchase a cup of hot cocoa and use a better outhouse on the ski hill side of the mountain.
We stayed in the hut about a half hour, just enough time to warm ourselves, but we didn't want to stay too long with the storm brewing. So down we started as the flakes were forming. We really raced down the mountain, not taking any rest breaks, with the winds and snow increasing as we went. By the time we reached the car, the roads were snow-covered.
We had an interesting drive to Neihart, since the center line was impossible to see, Katie was thankful for the rumble strip in the middle. But the funny thing was, as soon as we reached Neihart, the storm lifted and we could see blue sky again beyond the wall of clouds, so the storm was isolated to the mountain.
After a quick bathroom and drink stop at Bob's Bar to say "hi" to Janice the new owner (we saw Tony doing the last bit of books for the year--he said he had to do his last "quarterly books" and then he was out of there for good), we made it back to Great Falls at 3:15.
Overall, it was a great "get-in-shape" for snowshoeing hike.
Who went: Susan C, Susan W., Sue, Sara, Mary S, Katie
Gail Solves Snafu with Brand New Snowshoes
The 7 of us left 4 B's parking lot at 8:30 and headed up highway 89 towards Kings Hill Winter Recreation Park just beyond Newhart with Susie M. and Susan C. as our drivers.
The roads were essentially clear most of the way and with very little traffic. We arrived around 9:40 am in the parking lot and began to don our snow shoes and other gear when Maria mentioned that she needed assistance with her brand new MSR snow shoes. She just wasn't able to adjust the straps effectively to allow for comfort when walking. Some of our ladies with MSR experience, stepped in to assist but without success. There were a few frustrating moments struggling with her equipment when Maria said " I've got enough problems right now!". In the midst of this.. Susan C. found a black plastic piece of something un known to anyone around.. We decided to leave the plastic piece at the car in case we would need it later. As we headed across the parking lot to the head of the trail, Brenda, began to fiddle with her new snow shoes and seemingly had trouble with the fit of them, too!!
Gail, in her wisdom, came to the rescue and determined that both pairs of snow shoes still had some of the packaging materials attached to them which interfered with appropriate fit!! Tis explains the mysterious black piece that Susan C. found near her car!! AH HA!! Once that was settled, we headed up our trail with Gail in the lead and Susie M and Susan W. as sweep. Now the adventure would begin!!
And what a beautiful day to snow shoe. The temps were actually perfect with wind from the south at 10 miles per hour. Once we travelled into the trees , the temp stabilized to 32 degrees which turned out to be very comfortable. With blue skies, we headed toward the hut on the Chaser trail where we met Fin and his wife. The were wonderful to take a few pictures of our group and explained that they were involved in the support of trail maintenance at Silvercrest and are acquainted with Katie and Tom!!
After a brief 15 minute rest break, we moved on and headed up the hill into the wide open field (not well marked) in search of the final loop of Springboard trail. It took us a total of 2 hours to complete all 3 loops and return to the parking lot!! We headed down the road to Bob's Bar for a late lunch- and had a nice visit with the soon to be new owner , Janice. (gave her a copy of the Silvercrest Trail map)
We arrived back in Great Falls around 2:30 pm ! Attendees: Susie M., Susan W., Susan C., Vicki, Maria, Brenda, and Gail.
Check our completed hikes in the archives below or upcoming on our calendar.
Girls in Glacier and Katie Kotynski