Skiing to Hogan Cabin

Skiing to Hogan Cabin
Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest
Montana
December 24-26, 2015

Hogan Cabin.jpg

In typical backpacker fashion, I did my solemn duty of taking off the Thursday before a federal holiday falling on a Friday to schedule a two-night trip followed by a day of rest. A stroke of good fortune allowed me to book Christmas Eve and Christmas night at a small, rustic Forest Service rental cabin in the mountains of the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest . . . read more at TrailGroove Magazine:

http://www.trailgroove.com/blogs/entry/63-skiing-to-hogan-cabin-beaverhead-deerlodge-national-forest/

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Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness

Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness
Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest
Montana
October 7-11, 2015

Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness

Hiking from one beautiful place to another on pleasant and well-maintained trails is a great way to spend five days. Doing so with a good friend and cooperative weather makes a great experience even better. Throw in a few synchronous strokes of good fortune and you end up with an incredibly rewarding and memorable adventure.  Continue reading

Upper Miner Lake, Rock Island Lakes and Little Lake

Upper Miner Lake, Rock Island Lakes and Little Lake
Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest
Montana
September 3-6, 2015

Little Lake

Labor Day Weekend usually means crowded trailheads and fairweather backpackers fitting in their last trips of the year, but that’s no reason not to plan a trip and take advantage of the extra day off work. Just something to plan around. I’d chosen a somewhat remote area of the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest for a three-night trip in an attempt to lose some of the crowds, but I think the forecast did most of the work in ensuring me a good shot at solitude. Depending on the elevation, the forecast for Thursday to Sunday called for rain, snow, thunderstorms (or a mix of all three) and highs between 45 and 60 degrees. Lows would be dipping below freezing at the higher elevations. Not an ideal forecast by any means, but not miserable enough to completely cancel the trip. As the Scandinavian saying goes, “No such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.” Continue reading

Torrey Lake, Pioneer Mountains

Pioneer Mountains
Mono Creek Campground, Backpacking to Torrey Lake
Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest
July 17-20, 2015

Wildflowers

Experiencing a new landscape with an old friend always makes for a memorable backpacking trip. For this particular trip, the new landscape was the East Pioneer Mountains of Montana and the old friend was Justin, who I’ve known since we bussed tables in Louisville, Kentucky together over a decade ago. This would be Justin’s first trip to Montana and my first trip to the Pioneers. It would also be our first time backpacking together since a trip in Great Smoky Mountains National Park taken shortly before I moved to Montana. I spent a fair amount of time planning this trip and I’d like to think the trip returned results equal to, if not greater than, the effort put into its planning. Continue reading

Chief Joseph and Gibbons Pass Area

Chief Joseph and Gibbons Pass Area (Cross-country skiing)
Bitterroot and Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forests
February 14-16, 2015
[This trip report was published in the March 2015 newsletter of the Bitterroot Cross-country Ski Club: http://bitterrootxcskiclub.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/March-2015-Newsletter.pdf ]

Pack and skis

Known for its classic cross-country ski trails and charming warming hut, the Chief Joseph Pass area is also an ideal destination for multi-day cross-country ski tours. After looking at maps and getting advice from people familiar with the area, I decided to attempt an ambitious loop using a combination of the groomed and ungroomed roads and trails. On a sunny Saturday afternoon in mid-February I skied out Broadway with my winter backpacking gear, food for three days and a camera on my hip. Continue reading

May Creek Trail

May Creek Trail (cross-country skiing)
Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest
January 17-18, 2015

Beauty and Pleasure. Indifference and Power. Nature seems to have the inimitable ability to demonstrate these concepts in their most pure form; in their essence. While I’d dipped my toe into this notion on previous trips over the years, I experienced complete submersion on this particular cross-country skiing trip in the mountains of Montana. I can speculate on reasons why, but an accurate definition or explanation is beyond my combined abilities of observation and expression. Maybe next time. Maybe never. No harm in the pursuit. Ski along . . .