Montana Outdoors

December 27, 2007

Let it snow

After yesterday’s hike, three miles still remained to make my goal of 1,300 miles this year. Those last three were the hardest. I walked them today on two feet of snow:

Showshoe 1

Snowshoe 2

The last time I used snowshoes was in the late 50’s and they certainly have changed. Back then they looked like something Paul Bunyan and his wife might have used at Wimbledon and felt as though you had tied small boats to your feet. Today’s version are a vast improvement. They are awesome!

A winter trail atop Loneman Divide.

Winter trail

Snow country in western Montana’s Cabinet Mountains.

Snow country

Looking back on my trail. “Leave nothing behind but tracks on the snow: bring nothing back but memories and photographs.”

Tracks in the snow


  1. Thank you, Montucky. New to this and attempting to find others, outdoor photography. I really enjoyed finding your site tonight and I thoroughly enjoyed looking at your photos. It will take me a while to check them all out, but now at least I know where to go. Best wishes!


    Comment by outdooraddict — December 27, 2007 @ 7:07 pm

  2. Sorry, thought Montana Outdoors and Montucky were one in the same. Like I said, new to this. Comment is for Montana Outdoors. Will do better in the future.


    Comment by outdooraddict — December 27, 2007 @ 7:25 pm

  3. I still have two pairs of those old fashioned snowshoes. I know this sounds mean of me but, I LOVE to tease folks into trying them out … for days after I’m left doubled over in laughter! šŸ™‚


    Comment by Janet Wilkins — December 27, 2007 @ 7:37 pm

  4. Looks like two feet of snow, traipsing through two feet of snow.

    Very Thomas Moran-ish landscapes.


    Comment by Pinhole — December 27, 2007 @ 8:14 pm

  5. Congratulations on hitting your mileage goal. I wanted to try snowshoes this year, but haven’t gotten to it yet. Looks like you’ve got some awesome snows so far.


    Comment by wolf — December 27, 2007 @ 10:12 pm

  6. outdooraddict,

    Thanks for visiting and commenting. I just use Montucky as a net name, but I call the weblog Montana Outdoors because that’s about all I post about. I’m pleased that you like the photos. They are all from western Montana, most from fairly near where I live. My hope is that those wo enjoy the beauty will join in protecting it!


    Comment by montucky — December 27, 2007 @ 11:06 pm

  7. Janet,

    Yup. it’s a real trip watching someone try the old shoes! What a difference the new version makes! It still takes maybe twice the energy as regular hiking, but those old ones were complete killers!


    Comment by montucky — December 27, 2007 @ 11:09 pm

  8. Pinhole,

    This is a favorite area not far from home. The divide is a choice pass route for the movement of elk, moose and bear across the Cabinets and I can intercept the divide at several points. It’s only about 4300 feet where I was today, but there’s much more snow there. I hope next summer to hike the length of it, about 15 hard miles.


    Comment by montucky — December 27, 2007 @ 11:13 pm

  9. Thanks, wolf!

    I’ve been interested in snowshoeing but remembered the old versions (from 40 years ago) and didn’t pursue it. My son bought me a new pair for Christmas and the improvements are incredible. These are awesome! More work than regular hiking, but with these long winters, now I can get up on many of my favorite trails all year. I feel like a little kid with a new toy. I bet you’ll enjoy it!


    Comment by montucky — December 27, 2007 @ 11:23 pm

  10. That is soooo great! Hey, are these newer guys easier to use? no tripping falling on your tush etc…? Last time I tried them I think I was fifteen (okay okay about twenty plus years ago and they were cumbersome to say the least) If so.. I know what to put on my Christmas list next year!


    Comment by aullori — December 28, 2007 @ 1:16 am

  11. All the difference in the world! Mine are Atlas 1230’s and advertise “Spring loaded suspension”. Turns out that’s a good name. They rotate at about the ball of your foot so when you lift your foot the shoe tip comes up to clear the snow ahead. Then you take a pretty normal step. The old ones were sized so you could park a Suburban on one, but these are sized by weight. Also very light (the pair weighs 4 lbs). Even turning around is easy. You’ll love it!


    Comment by montucky — December 28, 2007 @ 9:14 am

  12. Wow! Your new snowshoes sound terrific. I’m kinda laughing at what you and aullori are writing here cause I know that the old snowshoes that I have, well, when you turn it’s as if your turning an aircraft carrier. And, if you fall, well … that’s just plain h _ _ _ to get back up!

    Hmm. I’ve got a birthday coming up in February!


    Comment by Janet Wilkins — December 28, 2007 @ 11:07 am

  13. Yes, they made things different in the, shall we say, “earlier times”. When I was a kid I inherited a pair of skis that were old even back then. They were made of wood and if you were lucky you could turn them around in one of the larger states, but certainly not on any hill I tried. Brutal! There are some things to be said about the modern world at that.


    Comment by montucky — December 28, 2007 @ 11:15 am

  14. awesome! what a way to finish your trek goal! congratulations! I am amazed that you hike this much and appreciate that you share it all with us! šŸ™‚

    yesterday I saw a calendar that was photos from Arizona…I thought of you and your picts and how they would make an excellent calendar…


    Comment by silken — December 30, 2007 @ 8:15 am

  15. silken,

    It’s such a privilege to be able to get out and see Montana’s wild country. That males any effort worthwhile. I really hope that the photos will encourage others to get out and enjoy our natural world wherever they are.

    I still like the calendar idea and have several others but haven’t had time to work on them yet.


    Comment by montucky — December 30, 2007 @ 8:58 am

  16. Wow, congratulations – that’s an accomplished goal to be proud of! I don’t think I ever came close to that, even when I was training to day-hike Mt. Whitney. Well-done!


    Comment by Adam R. Paul — January 1, 2008 @ 9:52 pm

  17. Adam,

    I found that it does take a bit of dedication to keep up the average, but it has been very worthwhile for me in many ways. I really recommend it and intend to keep it up.


    Comment by montucky — January 2, 2008 @ 12:02 am

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