Wednesday, March 23, 2011


yep, spring has sprung, and the time has come to look for corn lines. sure, northern aspects still hold some soft snow, and with some additional yesterday, worth looking for. but now is the time to start thinking; Peaks!!

which is what i did with a small group down near ovando over the weekend. saturday found us a bit hungover, with crappy weather, wind and clouds. since we had snowmobiles, and i remain a novice, we thought of being sled neckers, at least somewhat. we drove from monture creek to seeley, with thoughts of sledding into town and having a beer. but due to recent logging activity, the trails near the main trailhead were obliviated, and we ended up turning tail and heading back, just in time for an afternoon squall. we logged over 40 miles, good for my experience, but maybe not so good for overall enjoyment for a group of guys who really will never be sledders. not at heart.

on sunday, with slightly more responsible adult behavior, we rose early and got a decent start, and with only a short drive and ride, were at the base of ovando mountain. certainly we could have picked a better route, but we are still learning the area down there. one thing is for sure, there is a lot of terrain, without all that much sledding to get one started.

we were lucky the sun hid around 11am, as the snow never really changed from its frozen, solid state. this mountain does not look that big, but is over 3000 vertical feet, and if you had a full day to expend, you could log some big miles and vert. but with mediocre (dust on crust) skiing, and the drive home ahead of us, we just did an up and down, found a much better route out than in, and were back at the sleds in no time.

montana just has so much space and mountainous terrain. the middle fork of the flathead is barely touched by our vast, diverse group of backcountry users, so when you get to less populated areas, (and believe me, ovando is just a bit less populated), there is a well, Ton of fun.

and one nice thing about sleds, you don't even have to wait to get back to the vehicle for your beer supply. they have a handy pocket for just such a beverage just under the seat. high peaks, corn snow and cold beer! sounds like springtime is in the air.

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