Monday, January 25, 2016

Snowmobiling Seeley-Swan, 2016

We were three days in the Swan Valley, snowmobiling out of the hamlet of Seeley Lake, a short ride at first, a medium ride the second day, both on the east side, and an inadvertently longer ride the third day on the west side. The snowmobile map of the area leaves a bit to be desired, signage rather more to be desired (many unmarked yet groomed intersections), and ditto the grooming itself. Ever heard of adverse camber? Overall, it was a very good initial experience of the season, everything working, with good snow, cloudy, and day-time temps in the mid-30s.
Our campsite at Morrell Creek parking lot; turns out it's a day
use area, sans signage

Riding on virgin groomed trails; the first two days we saw only
seven other sleds, but it got a bit busier Saturday

These are the Swan Mountains, up to 9,000 feet, east of the

Ditto; no, I did not take these pix in black and was
really cloudy

Panning a bit south

Crossing the ridge and looking west; beneath the cloud bank is
Seeley Lake, both lake and town, and beyond, totally hidden
in the clouds, are the Mission Mountains; the Missions, which
we could see from the porch of our home west of Missoula,
are the more impressive range, up to 11,000 feet, lots of
exposed rock, very alpine; access to them is pretty much
barred by the Salish-Kootenai tribes; they have their reasons...

Now on the west side of the valley, looking east, a pano of the
Swan range


And thus

Trail #10 was indicated as groomed on the map; but it wasn't;
we'd hoped to follow it to the highway and cross over to the
east-side trails; but even when we got there, the east-side trail
was completely ungroomed and inaccessible, thanks to a
mountain of snow deposited presumably by the MDOT plows

One of three trees downed across the trail

Not a happy trail-rider...but eventually we got back to the main
west-side trails and across the highway, south of town, and to
our little encampment; snow fell lightly all the rest of  the
afternoon and evening; we had business to attend to in Kalispell
on Monday, so headed north up the Swan valley and crossed over
to the Flathead Valley; the clouds continued, so there will be
no pix of Glacier NP (where snowmobiling is wisely verboten)

PS...the Missions from our house on Horseback Ridge, west of
Missoula, c. 2007; Llazy Ll Lland and Llama Company, LLC

1 comment:

Tawana said...

Your photos are beautiful. Glad you are having a good time.