Participants: Steve Schombel, David and Julie Kahl
It was snowing all day at Lolo Pass, we met at 9:30 to try and get up there before the parking got filled up, but there was plenty of parking. We got our season parking sticker. David opted to ski around some of the closer in trails while Steve and I snowshoed up the snowshoe trail on Pack Ridge. It climbs steadily for almost a mile/1.61k to the highest point on the east end. There was a well established trail that had been packed at sometime and it was easy going. The snow clouds below us had things pretty much socked in so there were no expansive views from up there. We followed the trail down the south slope of the ridge, it got steep in places. The snow was dry and powdery and didn’t make for good traction. In some of the steeper spots we got out of the track and “pressed steps,” kinda the opposite of kicking steps -transfer your weight to the back of your snowshoe and let the tail consolidate a step under it. While executing one of these on a steep section in some brush I got my snowshoes tangled up and fell rolling off into the snow. My glasses skimmed the new snow on the surface and I ended up with snow packed behind my glasses. Took care of that and used some tree aid to get back up. Shortly a section came up, hemmed in by trees and steep enough that we both slid down it on our butts. At around 2 miles/3.22k that was enough for our first time out. David was finishing up just as we did and we had lunch in the warming hut. There was still plenty of parking. The roads had gotten snow packed and icy/slushy and travel home was slow, particularly back in town.
Leader: Julie Kahl