Montana Outdoors

December 10, 2017

A visit to Corona Divide

Filed under: Cabinet Mountains, Winter — Tags: , , — montucky @ 11:38 pm

High pressure has been in place over western Montana for what has seemed like an eternity, trapping low stratus clouds and freezing fog over the Clark Fork River. Viewed from the valley, the clouds dim the light and obscure the mountain tops (and sometimes the mountains themselves) that surround it. Sometimes however, that can bring an opportunity for seeing some very pretty scenery if you can get above the clouds. On a hunch today I took a forest road for fifteen miles to the Corona Divide about three thousand feet above the valley and it turned out to be just above the low dense clouds. The following are some of the ninety photos I brought back from the Divide today.

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

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43 Comments »

  1. Beautiful scenery and I love the last image in particular (as it makes me feel as though I’m standing on the road deciding which path to take to go onwards). This has to be one of the few posts where the sky is overcast in your landscapes. (neither good nor bad, just different atmosphere). Hope the fog clears soon so you get some of those white landscapes I love.

    The low cloud reminds me of going up a cable car above the cloud cover in Austria in Jan 1978. It was a magical sort of landscape with just puffy cotton wool clouds floating in the valley below.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Vicki — December 10, 2017 @ 11:55 pm

    • The left branch of the road leads to Corona Divide while the right fork leads to the Baldy Mountain trail head. I love both places but I’m afraid the right fork is blocked by snow where it goes through a canyon.

      This is a weather condition seen from an unusual perspective. You can see out over the more dense clouds that fill the valley, but are also below a layer of higher clouds aloft. (Like being in the middle of a sandwich.) I prefer seeing just blue sky above the valley clouds but can’t accurately predict that situation. It was also very cold up there today. Taking into account the wind chill factor with a 20mph wind blowing across the divide, about -9ºF (-23ºC).

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — December 11, 2017 @ 12:16 am

      • Brrrrrrr! That is cold, although I find the wind chill factor can be worse than the cold. I don’t mind the cold at all. Last Thursday I got caught in a thunderstorm on the way home from the city. I knew the storm was coming, but thought I’d make it home before it hit. I got rather damp despite a jacket and the umbrella blew inside out, so was quite chilled by the wind before I managed to get hold of a taxi for the second half of the journey. Luckily a change of clothes and hot drink warmed me up when I got home. Flash flooding in the streets again – we sure are having weird weather for the start of summer.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Vicki — December 11, 2017 @ 6:17 am

        • Getting wet and in the wind can be extremely cold. Many unprepared hikers in the high places get hypothermia from it. I bet that taxi was welcome!

          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by montucky — December 11, 2017 @ 9:48 am

  2. What a beautiful landscape. I especially love those “blue” mountains. Thank You.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Sartenada — December 11, 2017 @ 1:11 am

    • The distant mountains really do look blue. I think it must be caused by all of the moisture in the air. Even though it’s cold, it is quite humid now.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — December 11, 2017 @ 9:37 am

  3. Wonderful, magical photos!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by wordsfromanneli — December 11, 2017 @ 1:32 am

    • Sometimes it seems like the high country is prettier in winter than in summer. That prevails until Spring.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — December 11, 2017 @ 9:41 am

  4. You have the eye. And such a gift for taking others along. Thank You

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Anonymous — December 11, 2017 @ 6:16 am

    • I’m pleased that you enjoyed seeing these scenes! It’s beautiful up there!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — December 11, 2017 @ 9:45 am

  5. Nice with a little bit of snow and frost!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by bentehaarstad — December 11, 2017 @ 7:01 am

    • Even at that elevation there isn’t very much snow yet. Just enough to make the forest look pretty. It is deeper a couple thousand feet higher up though.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — December 11, 2017 @ 9:50 am

  6. So beautiful….looks like Narnia in C.S. Lewis’ book The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. It’s hard to pick a favorite because all your photos are lovely but I do like the one with your buddy looking over the landscape. However, I think my favorite is the little snow-covered pine with one cone — I’d use it for a Christmas card. I love it!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Mama's Empty Nest — December 11, 2017 @ 7:46 am

    • The little pine has a whimsical and exuberant look, doesn’t it! I love that attitude!

      I love getting out and seeing the high country at any time of year. Equally, I enjoy seeing how much Buster loves it himself. He is one happy dog!

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — December 11, 2017 @ 9:58 am

  7. Snow creates such beauty, and you captured it well at the Divide. The clouds just adds to the splendor!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by bayphotosbydonna — December 11, 2017 @ 8:46 am

    • It’s not too often that I get to see the valleys full of clouds and so I enjoy that to the fullest. If the snow gets much deeper it will be very difficult to even get up there, but it will be even prettier.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — December 11, 2017 @ 10:18 am

  8. I love when you get the opportunity to get above the clouds like this. It is so serene!! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by adventurethewest — December 11, 2017 @ 10:18 am

    • It doesn’t happen too often, but I love it too when it does.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — December 11, 2017 @ 7:21 pm

  9. Spectacular views, Montucky! The silence must be significant ❤ ?

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Hanna — December 11, 2017 @ 10:20 am

  10. Beautiful pictures as always, I can’t wait to get back to Plains.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by jimsturjimstur — December 11, 2017 @ 10:23 am

    • Thanks. I spent many years away from here, so I know what you mean!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — December 11, 2017 @ 7:23 pm

  11. Wow, those are amazing. I love how Buster also enjoys the view. You have so many diverse places to go from your home base. And the WordPress snow looks great on your shots, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Candace — December 11, 2017 @ 12:08 pm

    • Buster enjoys the views, the snow, the smells, the freedom, everything that I love too. Yes, that’s all part of the allure of living in western Montana.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — December 11, 2017 @ 7:26 pm

  12. I love seeing those clouds from above. I’ve not seen them in the mountains, but in the canyons, and it’s a similar view of nature that allows for a truer perspective of man’s place in the world. Beautiful photos but I’m partial to that small pine with a lone pine cone. It has its own story to tell …

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Teresa Evangeline — December 11, 2017 @ 12:44 pm

    • I also thought that the little pine said a lot about the natural part of the world. More optimism there than we see in the news. The back country, especially the high places provides a perspective that I wish could be felt by everyone.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — December 11, 2017 @ 7:28 pm

  13. Very beautiful sceneries .

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Cornell — December 11, 2017 @ 2:15 pm

  14. That’s a breathtakingly beautiful spot, especially above the clouds. I’m so glad that we have such places in this country!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by New Hampshire Garden Solutions — December 11, 2017 @ 4:43 pm

  15. I’m so happy that you’ve been able to begin capturing some of these wonderful views — for our sake, of course, but also for yours. I know how much you enjoy being out and about in this glorious landscape. I’m fond of that little pine, myself, but the 4th is pretty darned special, too. I like the frost on the trees, and the combination with the blue mountains is fabulous. It’s a perfectly balanced view — neither the trees nor the mountains overwhelm the other. Of course I smiled at Buster. What a great day for him, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by shoreacres — December 11, 2017 @ 10:14 pm

    • Linda, I wish I could share more than just photos of that environment. There are also the smells, the feel and sound of the cold wind blowing across the divide, the expectation of the beauty and the satisfaction of finding it. I was a little sad too because I knew that I was probably the only one who was there that day to experience it all. I plan to return there tomorrow and take a friend with me. I know it will look completely different but just as beautiful. And Buster will have another day of pure enjoyment. I wonder if the thousands of years of instinct residing within him is even stronger than mine as we both celebrate the wild country.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — December 11, 2017 @ 11:22 pm

      • On the other hand, you’re lucky to have some unspoiled wilderness to enjoy, and it’s nice that you can return with a friend — and Buster — for another day and a different experience. Your blog’s our window into places many of us never will see, and I think that’s important in this time when appreciation and care for wild areas is being chipped away at.

        I love your phrase, “the expectation of the beauty and the satisfaction of finding it.” When those two things are joined, there’s nothing better in the world.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by shoreacres — December 12, 2017 @ 8:00 pm

        • There are two diametrically opposed parts to my experience with the wild areas; one the exhilaration of seeing, experiencing and understanding wilderness and the other the helplessness of realizing that at the current rate of development and exploitation it will be only a few centuries before there will not be enough of the natural world left to maintain the balance necessary to support human life.

          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by montucky — December 12, 2017 @ 8:45 pm

  16. Hi Montucky, Such refreshingly beautiful snow scenes! Great photography. Glad you enjoyed the jaunt. I have been in Mexico and Belize where it was warm and sunny. Chilly here in Central Florida today but nothing like your area. Have a wonderful coming week!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by wildlifewatcher — December 12, 2017 @ 8:14 pm

  17. Wow, that’s beautiful! So ethereal and peaceful! Love the trees as well, dripping with icicles. Fabulous, and I’m sure it was heart-lifting to be there.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Jo Woolf — December 15, 2017 @ 2:41 am

    • A visit to the wild country always takes your full attention, perhaps even more on days with weather like that. It’s a wonderful period of mental relaxation!

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — December 15, 2017 @ 8:47 pm

  18. Beautiful stunning photos .. everyone of them. I love the pic of your gorgeous pooch staring into the distance 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Julie@frogpondfarm — December 16, 2017 @ 2:12 pm

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