Monday, April 03, 2006

Easter Trips 2 - nearby

For those who want to get slightly warmer weather without the big commute down to Utah, my suggestion is to hit the mountains West of Augusta Montana(montana map - montana topo maps. While climbing at Blackleaf will likely be a bit frigid, the untapped bouldering at the base should be good. Landing are usually grassy.

boulders at the base of blackleaf

The hiking in the nearby canyons is also pretty good. The ridge to the north of Blackleaf makes a nice easy scramble. The views to the west are fabulous, and the south facing ridges should be somewhat snow free.

west of Blackleaf April 12th 2005

However my pick would be to drive down toward the ski hill off the Teton river. On the south fork of the Teton river you can head over by Lonesome Ridge (north side visible). A road leads to the south side and an easy scramble up to the summit pyramid. Some route finding may be needed to stick to 3rd class terrain near the top. The north side looks like it could have an interesting scramble or two though.

Last April when I was down there, we went for an easy kayak run below Gibson dam. The canyon is pretty, and lots and lots of rock climbing is available. Some routes have even been put up. There are some private hotsprings at the dude ranch at the head of Gibson resevoir. The hike in is about 7km. The valleys up there are large, open and picturesque. However I would guess they will be snowed in for some time.

One more possibility is an easy canoe trip down the Missouri river from Wolf Creek Pass to Cascade. This is just north of Helena. The river is quite windy, but is very beautiful, even if the interstate does wind nearby. some images My personal choice would be to try and make it down the Dearborn. While April still means low water, the scenery is beautiful. The upper sections seem to have some good intermediate to advanced canoeing, and the lower some good begginer / intermediate kayaking.

One of the last option is some back country skiing at top of the world provincial park over by Lussier Hot Springs. You could get some kayaking on the Lower White (II+) or Bull Rivers (II to III+) as well as some turns.

Of coures one could always hit StoneHill, camp out at the campgroung north of the place and west along the dirtroad for about 8km. There is a class IV creek west of Whitefish that offers some moderate kayaking. The Yaak river also has some excellent advanced kayaking


At 4/04/2006 08:24:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, if you haven't had enough winter yet the icefields are in prime season right now and as long as i can get a kitchen pass, i'm sure that's where i'll be for easter. 

Posted by Blair Piggot

At 4/05/2006 04:53:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anybody know much about the Cypress Hills? I have heard there is some good mountain bike trails there, but anything else to do? I have never been out that way and wondering if it is worth an adventure of sorts.  

Posted by Brandon

At 4/06/2006 09:43:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I worked for a summer in the east end. There are some trails you can bike. I think most of them are single track style. They don't have the gradient that many of the ones in the mountains do, so that could be a plus or minus depending on your pespective. The views are nice, and if you are in that area it would be good. Pine forests are a nice change from the spruce ones in the moutains. I am not sure of the east end over by Saskatchewan. Personally I think fire roads over in the front ranges by Augusta would be my preference. However I am not sure if they let biking on the hiking trails that penetrate the lewis clark forest there. 

Posted by chris g


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