After Cold Spell, Belt Creek is Frozen Enough to Cross Safely
After 18 days of sub-zero weather, we were fairly certain the creek crossing on the Sluide Boxes lower trail would be sufficiently frozen to cross without falling in, which it was, luckily.
We left Great Falls at 9 a.m. to face a five-mile stretch of dense fog that caused us to wonder if it were wise to continue. However, careful slow driving saw us into clear skies a few miles down the road. We also faced some ground blizzards and high winds. But once we geared up and hit the trail, the deep canyon protected us nicely from the breezes. And the sun came out, making for a bluebird day, which we commented on how blue the sky was.
There was one other car in the parking lot and an already broken trail. We mosied by the the remnants of Camp Don Bosco with commentary from Sheila who told us tales of Catholic youth misbehavior as well as how the camp was laid out. We saw mattresses, bunkbed frames, stoves and couches. We also saw a boiler and old rusted car frame along the creek, remembrances that a railroad once ran through this canyon to bring in miners and take out silver ore.
Then we got to the first creek crossing. The ice was solid wtih no issues. But the second one was a bit soft by the shore, so we took some tentative steps before going for it. But no events on any crossing. However, on the way back, we did see where the person in front of us, who wasn't on snowshoes, has fallen through the soft spots, so he did get his boots a bit wet. Our snowshoes distributed our weight, so none of us got into the water.
We arrived back home at 1:30 with no bad roads and only a bit of ground blizzard in one spot. Who went: Sheila, Randi, Doreen, Viki and Katie