Central-western Montana has had an extraordinary winter, which is necessarily leading to an extraordinary spring.  Massive amounts of snow means massive amounts of water, and in the last month temps have yet to get too warm (which is nice, as upper 60s feels stifling at the moment), and have been punctuated with big storms which have been more than cold enough to snow up high.  The grass I planted is growing in our yard, and we’ve had flood advisories for the past week solid, with plenty more snow waiting for true warmth.  Copper Camp Snotel, near the start of the Bob Open this year, is today reading an even six feet of snow at 6900 feet.  Which is a lot, especially on a wide open, south facing slope.

Little Bear and I took a walk yesterday to investigate, among other things, if the proposed TH for the Bob Open was in fact accessible.  It isn’t, and due to parking and camping issues I’m moving the start a ways east, to the North Fork of the Blackfoot River.

We found abundant snow at very low elevations (4400′ in the above photo), with the earliest flowers and forbs just starting to emerge.  A winter like the one we’re just exiting can seem oppressive, but gives many things.  The many elk, mule and whitetail deer, and the handful of trumpeter swans we saw were doing well, and seemed to appreciate the flooded meadows and tall creeks.  Little Bear got to practice important things like postholing, not getting smacked in the face by willows, and eating ramen with a stick.

It will be an interesting trip across the Bob in a few weeks.