Montana Outdoors

May 18, 2013

Beyond the Fairy Slippers

Nearly all of my photos result from my frequent wanderings in the mountains and forests of western Montana. The wildflowers in my previous post were encountered on the way to a hike to view the peaks of the Cherry Peak roadless area, something I choose to do at least once every year. After a ten mile drive from the valley to a starting point at 5000 feet and a two mile hike from there up an old road to 6000 feet I arrive at my preferred viewing spot with an open view of the north side of the peaks. Mountains are always viewed best from high places.

Cherry Peaks

Viewing spot

USFS Road 7581

The road at 6000 feet

Wood Violets

Wood violets (Viola glabella) in bloom just below the snow level.

Clark Fork River valley

View to the northwest over the Clark Fork River.

Koo-Koo Sint Ridge

View of Koo-Koo Sint Ridge north of the river from the access road.

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February 11, 2009

Koo Koo Sint ridge, the south slope (2)

Before I forget one more time, here are three more photos that were taken of Koo Koo Sint Ridge near the end of January. I’m starting to look forward to those pleasant summer days and clear steep trails that will once more permit me to return to the top of that ridge and the Teepee – Spring Creek Roadless area.

South slope of Koo Koo Sint ridge

South slope of Koo Koo Sint ridge

South slope of Koo Koo Sint ridge

January 25, 2009

Koo Koo Sint ridge, the south slope (1)

Today for the first time in about two weeks, we had a little sun and clear sky, and the outdoors called. I drove a few miles to the west, considering a brief hike on the Munson Creek trail, but changed my mind when I found that a brisk wind accompanied the semi-clear skies and, with the temperature in the mid teens, it felt a little too far on the cold side of comfortable.

Since Munson Creek cuts north through the Koo Koo Sint ridge, it was a short drive further west to get a good look at the ridge. I was pleased to find that the clouds had pleasantly decorated the upper levels of the ridge, and of course I had to bring back a few photos.

South slope of Koo Koo Sint ridge

South slope of Koo Koo Sint ridge

South slope of Koo Koo Sint ridge

South slope of Koo Koo Sint ridge

South slope of Koo Koo Sint ridge

South slope of Koo Koo Sint ridge

(As David Thompson explored and mapped much of the northwestern United States and western Canada in around 1800, he carried a brass sextant of 10 inches radius and an achromatic telescope of high power. Every night he took his readings from the planets, and the Indians came to call him Koo Koo Sint, “the man who gazes at stars”.)

August 30, 2008

Koo Koo Sint 2

A perspective.

Eddy Mountain photographed from Koo Koo Sint Ridge

Eddy Mountain

There is a lonely lookout tower (one of the few remaining towers that are still in use) on the top of Eddy Mountain. At 6957 feet in elevation it sits 4557 feet above the Clark Fork River (at the bottom of the photo); nearly a mile above it. (If you view the large size version of this photo, you can get an idea of what the lookout itself looks like.)

The Eddy Mountain Lookout

Eddy Mountain Lookout

If the Sears Tower had been built at the river level, and another built on top of it, and still another built on top of that, and if you stood on the very top of all three, you would be almost at eye level with the lookout.

August 25, 2008

Koo Koo Sint 1

As David Thompson explored and mapped much of the northwestern United States and western Canada in around 1800, he carried a brass sextant of 10 inches radius and an achromatic telescope of high power. Every night he took his readings from the planets, and the Indians came to call him Koo Koo Sint, “the man who gazes at stars”.

Last week, despite the efforts of the ever-present vandals who have all but obliterated every single one of the Forest Service signs, by diligently studying the Lolo National Forest map, throwing in just a dash of Kentucky windage and a pinch of luck, I was able to locate the eastern end of USFS trail 445, the Koo Koo Sint trail. Today I hiked the first couple of miles of it.

After leaving the Jeep at the trail head,

08:30 – 2938″ elevation
09:00 – 3367″
09:30 – 3765″
10:00 – 4249″
10:30 – 4748″

At about 10:20 and at 4640″ the trail topped out over the east end of Koo Koo Sint Ridge, providing this view to the east. The high country on the right side of the river is the Cherry Peak roadless area in the Coeur d’Alene Mountains and the high country along Koo Koo Sint Ridge on the left side of the river is in the TeePee – Spring Creek roadless area in the Cabinet Mountains.

Lower Clark Fork River

I thought it was worth the climb and I’m pretty sure David Thompson thought it was too.

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