Race to Make the Superbowl Kickoff Speeds Gals on 747 Trail
Search and Rescue Operation Starts the Day
Christi, Paula, and Debra went on an adventure up Mount Helena. After a quick stop at Bob's Valley Market (where they have flushies... no restroom at the trailhead), we headed to the Dump Trailhead on Mount Helena. The weather was great with a few suspicious clouds in the distance. We quickly decided to don our yak traks.
We ventured to the top of the mountain, getting passed by some trail runners! After enjoying the views and snapping some pictures, we headed back down. Thankfully the weather stayed beautiful. We headed to The Broadwater for lunch, then 2 of us enjoyed the hot springs.
There is a nice sitting area with comfy chairs and a couch for anyone who doesn't want to enjoy the water. We did, however, get a good reminder that you shouldn't stay in the hot water for too long! Yes, there's more to the story, but you will have to ask us face to face.
Paula and Debra then headed back to Great Falls while Christi stayed in Helena (bet that's a surprise!)
Who went: Chrisit, Paula, Debra
Ladies Show Newbies How to Snowshoe
It was a beautiful day today to hike up to Porphyry Peak. We were accompanied by 6 other ladies, some of whom are very new to Great Falls (a few were military) and couldn't believe their good fortune to be in this new, serene, and much slow-paced surroundings. It was fun seeing things through their eyes!
A couple had never snowshoed before and really enjoyed it. We spent about 30 minutes at the top, having lunch, hot cocoa, etc. One gal had brought along home-baked cookies which all enjoyed.
We had sun the entire day. It felt pretty warm. With some being new to the area, we stopped and hiked (didn't snowshoe) to the upper Memorial Falls, took some pictures of the partially frozen waterfalls and then drove back to Great Falls. Below is a group photo during lunch and one of some of the gals, including Nora, at the beginning. Nora and Judy got their first peak of 2020 in!
Who went: Judy and Nora (plus other women new to snowshoeing)
Snow and Wind Turn to Sun and Views Along Flesher Pass
'You Can Let Your Pants Down' in the GiG
ewbie Doreen got indoctrinated into the GiG quickly as several humorous incidents happened this day along Jefferson Creek.
The first took place at the Inconvenience Store in Neihart during a bathroom break. As they entered, they said hi to the three men enjoying their coffee. All went well until Gail came out from the stall without realizing that she still had her pants down as she approached the cashier to pay for some candy. They were down around her legs yet she hadn't even tripped Gail quickly looked up to see if the men had noticed--she didn't think so. Luckily, this is winter, so she had her pink long johns on--not too much different from Yoga pants. She felt so bad, she bought pasta as well as her M and M's. Anyone else would have run out in embarrassment.
But Gail's fun wasn't over. When the gals started down Jefferson Creek, Gail pull out her camera just to fling it into a snowbank. Luckily again, the camera was fine after she brushed off the snow and dried it off. The day was beautiful and the weather warm; the gals saw a few others out enjoying the trail, including Steve Taylor, former mayer or Neihart, and his wife Annie, who both stopped to say 'hi' to Gail.
After lots of laughs, the gals continuted on their hike, making it just past the bridge before turning around.
Then it was off to Bob's Bar for lunch. Everyone enjoyed their meals from hamburgers to Rueben sandwiches. They arrived back in Great Falls at 2 p.m.
In the end, Gail said, "What I like about this group, the GiG, is that you can get out and talk and let your pants down."
Who went: Gail, Doreen, Ann, Bonnie W
Gals Bag First Peak on the Way to 20 in the year 2020!
Susan and Viki led a hike for MWA to climb Porphyry Peak. They had 11 people, including a lady who had come from Emigrant and two from Bozeman, who had stayed in White Sulphur Springs the night before. So the group from GF left town at 8 a.m. to meet these three plus Darryl from Great Falls who said he would meet them at the top of Kings Hill.
However, when the group arrived, no Darryl. So they started out anyway without him. Even if the leaders wanted to call, there is no cell service in the area.
The day was nice with some wind and the group did have some trail breaking despite our group breaking half of it the week before. That much more snow had fallen since we made tracks. The first incident that happend was that Viki realized that with the deep snow she needed gaiters, so she and Amber returned to the cars while the others waited. During the wait, many started to get cold. Luckily, it didnt' take them long to return.
Then another incident: The part around the new fencing was still a bit confusing and Susan and Viki didn't want anyone to fall in or trip by the fencing, which was hard to see as the snow was covering most of it. In an attempt to go around the fence, the group got too close to some trees; poor Rose fell into a tree well as she negotiated around it. But everyone pitched in to dig her out.
As the group made its way up the mountain, someone came up quickly behind them--it was Darryl. He realized his mistake: he had gone to Silver Crest instead of Kings Hill. So he drove up the mountain and followed the snowshoe tracks.
Everyone made it to the top, with the GiG gals bagging their first peak on the way to 20 peaks in 2020. Dissapointingly, the Top Rock warming hut wasn't serviing any food, not even hot cocoa, on this MLK day.
After eating lunch at the Top Rock, the group flew down the mountain, not stopping at all on the two miles to the bottom and back to the cars.
We arrived back in Great Falls at 3 p.m.
Who went from GiG: Amber, Susan, Viki, Rose
One GiG Group Breaks Trail for Second Group to Follow at Teton
After three years of the Teton Canyon Road being closed in the winters, the GiG was pleased to snowshoe one of their favorite trails.The road has been closed since the Teton Pass Ski Resort couldn't find a buyer. Luckily, a local man did purchase it and opened it in January this year. Therefore, the road is now being plowed.
The group that went Saturday was the trailbreakers. We figured we were the first ones to be on this trail in almost four years, so it was pretty special. We didn't see any evidence that anyone had come before us except on the North Fork Waldron Creek section.
The day was a bit windy at first as we geared up, but the grey turned to blue by the end of the day with occasional flakes. And yes, the snow was deep, so we did blaze a nice path for the gals coming the next day, some of whom were new to the area.
After our three-mile trek, we ate at the ski hill. Although the menu is limited with the new owners, everyone felt the food was good: sausage/potato soup, chili, quesadillas and cheeseburgers along with hot cocoa.
We left at 7:30 and arrived back home around 3.
The second group the next day had easy sailing on the trail and, therefore, went a little farther toward the bowl. Desirae had rented snowshoes from Bighorn and had trouble with them. Again, Bighorn had given one of our gals men's snowshoes that kept falling off.
A few ventured off trail a bit to see how deep the snow was. Others were happy for a broken trail. But everyone had to break a bit of trail on the return along the road as the snowplow had piled up snow covering the tracks from the day before. Since the last part is uphill, the trail breaking was a bit hard on a few of the gals.
They too ate at the ski hill, but the cafe got things a bit mixed up. Not everyone got what they ordered..
We left GF at 8 a.m and returned by 3 p.m.
Who went Day One: Nora, Josy, Paula, June, Susan, Katie
Who went Day Two: Sara, Viki, Judy, Susie, Amber, Susan, Jaye, Desirae
Snowy Day, Deep Power Don't Deter Five Gals From Snowshoeing
With predictions of below-zero weather coming the next day, five gals headed out to hit the snow before the deep freeze. What they found was deep, deep powder, fluffy flakes and a bit of wind, but they had a wonderful day.
We started at 9:35 with a slight breeze and a few flakes falling, but the temps were fairly warm. The deep trailbreaking kept us warm as we traded off going up toward Showdown. However, once we turned onto the O'Brien Creek trail, the snow became even deeper without much of a base, and Amber took over most of the trailbreaking. Boy, were the rest of us ever grateful. She plowed right through thigh and --at times--hip deep powder, earning her another trail name: Snow Plow.
With Amber leading, we were able still to make pretty good time, reaching the park area where the snowmobilers play around noon. Here it was quite windy as we were out in the open: no time for a leisurely lunch, we grabbed a few bites before tackling the infamous very-steep-uphill powerline part of the trail.
As we approached the climb, those who had done it before teased the newbies a bit as the trail actually looks much worse than it is. So we lifted our televators and tackled the hill quite well.
We only saw two snowmobilers, who passed us at the top of the powerline. Otherwise, we had a quiet day and saw no one else until we reached the cars and happened upon a snowshoer just heading out. We told her we had broken trail for her.
We finished the trail by 12:35 and headed to Bob's bar for some drinks and soup. We were able to see Janice this time. She greeted us with a hug, was our server and said she hasn't settled in enough yet to join us on an adventure but she hopes to sometime. She also said the business was going well; she had two great cooks, but she would be closing on Mondays and Tuesdays, the two days the ski hill isn't open.
Then we had an uneventful ride home, except for a plow covering Susan's car with gravel and ice breaking loose from her grill and flying at the windshield, frightening us; We arrived home around 3 p.m.
Sidenote: the gals were asking Katie about how she was feeling after her accident. She explained about her hip and ribs but also about the PTSD from the accident and how driving a car is a bit frightening right now. The others shared their accident stories and how they still feel afraid or have flashbacks in certain driving conditions or if a car pulls out in front of them.
Who went: Susan, Debra, Rose, Amber, Katie
Check our completed hikes in the archives below or upcoming on our calendar.
Girls in Glacier and Katie Kotynski