[cdt-l] Southbound: Report from Butte
aandg at telusplanet.net
aandg at telusplanet.net
Thu Jul 13 18:10:48 CDT 2006
We reached Interstate 90 at Homestake Pass (8 miles east of Butte) at 6:45 pm
last night and soon we were in a truck heading for town and in an hour we were
eating supper in a 4Bs diner. We stayed in the Super 8 last night as Gail's
back is a bit sore. We'll stay here tonight (13th) also.
The last 5 days (90 miles) from MacDonald Pass west of Helena have not been
the best of the trip. Blackflies have been a nuisance in the day and 2 nights
ago we had the company of a lot of mosquitoes.
3 days ago we were hit by a hailstorm and the 1/2 inch diameter stuff was
painful on the head even when covered with hat and hood and under the trees.
Weather has been hot with afternoon cloud and thunderstorms. Yesterday
afternoon it rained most of the time so it was cooler and we did not have to
carry water. Still, it's better here than in an office!
Note: We found some tentpoles just south of Leadville 3 days ago and I carried
them here. If any SB hiker dropped them please email me soon otherwise I'll
give them to the Ward's Store near here.
Adding earlier reports that failed to post due to the outage of the list:
Report Lincoln to Helena
July 7th: We are in the "Queen City" of Montana alias Helena where it is hot -
and forecast to be 33C tomorrow. We're here to get food and mail some excess
stuff home. Today we had a very good $6.50 Chinese buffet for lunch.
I've just bought food for the next 5/6 days (90 miles) jaunt to Butte. We
expect to leave here tomorrow morning and head for the cooler areas of the
Divide. However it was very hot work for the last 5 miles on the trail coming
into MacDonald Pass 14 miles west of Helena on Thursday afternoon.
We had a very fine high camp right on the divide (about 3 miles north of
Nevada Mountain) on Tuesday night with a very fine sunset and sunrise. Also
4th July fireworks visible and occasionally audible on the plains 3000' below
to the east. The next section to Butte does not follow the Divide so closely
so From the maps it does not look like a
particularly interesting section. Looking forward to the Pintler Mountains SW
Report from Lincoln, Montana 2nd July
We arrived in Lincoln, Montana at around 1pm yesterday and the place was
packed - we'd just missed the parade for Lewis and Clark Days. We did manage
find a spare corner in the Hooper Campground for the tent. Did the laundry
had excellent burgers and shakes at Shake 'n Burger across from the
We then bought groceries for the next 4 days to Helena/Elliston and took a
gallon of ice cream back to camp to eat there. 4 other hikers arrived around
6pm and more expected today. Today having a rest day.
June 20th: After another omelette at Two Medicine Diner we were back on the
trail. Not a very interesting trek to Marias Pass. Met 3 Canadian cyclists at
the pass on a week cycle tour. Camped about a mile after the pass. No rain!
June 21st: Took the low level route with the numerous river crossings none of
which were challenging. Plenty of water on trail as well. We did 19.5 miles in
very fine weather to camp on the pass between the Badger and Elbow.
June 22nd: Another fine day and we hiked over Badger Pass down Strawberry
to near the Gateway junction. Very wet trail in places. 17.7 miles.
June 23rd: We took the alternate route to Switchback pass - used the axe a bit
on a snowfield on the ascent. This is a marvellous place. We camped just above
the pass and I went up Kevan Mountain after supper. The highlight of this
section! 15.1 miles.
June 24th: We then returned to the official route down snowy slopes. But fine
glacier lilies and we were not the first to make this dec\scent this year - a
griz had been down a day earlier. Scenic day but seemed a long 11 miles to
where we camped at the head of Read Shale Creek. Good firm snow in places on
north slopes. Lake Levale a very worthwhile detour.
June 25th: Hot descent through the burned area of Red Shale Creek and a lot of
deadfall across trail. On way up Rock Creek saw a goat on the trail then a
black bear coming the other way. Both hikers and bear left the trail - we
waited until we heard it in the bush then returned to the trail. We then went
on to camp by My Lake and its larches and glacier lilies. Still a lot of snow
around here. 19.2 miles.
June 26th: Took a worthwhile side trip up to Larch Hill Pass - excellent view
north and south from just above pass. Snow on north slopes along the ups and
downs by the Chinese Wall. Down to the Ahern Creek jct to camp. 14.1 miles.
June 27th: Took the alternate route up Ahern Creak to Hoadley Creek. No snow
trail. A little used route but a fine pass. 3 hours of thunderstorms in the
evening along South Fork of Sun River. 15 miles.
June 28th: Over Elbow pass - still 1/3" diameter hail on the ground from last
night. Good trail up Straight Creek. Camped by Dearborn River at Lost Cabin
Creek. 17 miles.
June 29th: Up Blacktail trail then over to South side of the Monitor. Stopped
early rather than do next section in rain. 13.7 miles.
June 30th: A lot of ups and downs (maybe 4000') as we are finally hiking on
divide. Misty at first then cleared. Very fine flower meadows. No snow. Camped
part way up north side of Green Mt with excellent views. 14.3 miles.
July 1st: The final 6.9 miles to Rogers Pass. Not much actual trail here but
easy route finding. Got hitch for 18 miles into town within 15 minutes.
The first 7 days in Glacier National Park were generally wet with snow on the
passes. One bridge was not in place and we could not cross the river due to
the past 2 days rain so we had to bushwhack a lot to take another route.
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