Friday, July 23, 2010

Rockies wildfire prediction

Yep its yet another post related to fire season and its predictions. Just like always only time will tell. We've started to see the nice warm days and some winds. The lower elevations grasses are curing quickly and we've seen our fair share of lightning already. There have been two stumps that tried to burn, lightning strikes I assume, one up near the M and one up Patty Canyon (several weeks ago)

The below highlights were taken from an article over on

• Average fire season throughout the Northern Rockies.
• Below normal potential fire in northern Idaho, far western Wyoming, and western Montana through mid-July due to a cool, wet spring that has shortened the fire season at high altitudes.
• At low elevations, fire fuel is above normal and should burn out by late July.
• La Niña will likely lead to a higher frequency of lightening in the Northern Rockies for the summer.
• Best predictions indicate a short, active fire season in August and September across the Rocky Mountain West that will likely diminish from late September to early October.

Some visual stimulation to go along

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Western Montana lakes

Recently the family and I got out of the Missoula Valley and did some camping near some of Western Montana's finest lakes. We set up camp at Holland lake for 3 nights, relaxing and exploring the lakes shore. There were 2 campgrounds to chose from, both of them were pretty full with many of them reserved for the weekend. The mosquitos were a bit thick, but nothing a little deet couldn't take care of. Reapplication was key. One of the girls faces got absolutely hammered by the little buggers, coincidence that she's the one with the sweet tooth? Hmmm

We hiked up to Holland Falls (3 miles RT) and took in the great views of the Mission Range. I think the girls enjoyed the hike even more than we did, as they rode in the backpacks the entire way. We're thinking this summer might be the last time they take advantage of that luxury.

On of the other days we needed some downtime (see tired of chasing the girls around) so we got in the car and drove down to Seeley. The DVD player was just what the doctor ordered and the girls were soon quiet, call us lazy....whatever. The day use beach at Seeley is great, so we lounged and enjoyed the dull roar of watercraft in the background. A burger and icecream down at Bayside Burgers, we were all set. On the way back up north, we decided to stop at all the lakes and check out their campgrounds.

We checked out the trailhead for Clearwater Canoe Trail, sounded interesting... one of these days I might have to get a canoe and try it out. Lakes Alva and Inez had some nice campgrounds. Rainy Lake looked nice, a little more primitive without the facilities for motorhomes etc. And Lindbergh Lake was beautiful, we couldn't believe all the homes that surrounded the lake.

The next day we picked up camp and headed north up Highway 83 towards Bigfork. Avoiding the tourist trap that Bigfork seems to be, we stopped in a Flathead Lake Brewing Company in Lakeside. They've got a great outdoor seating area and an even better Imperial IPA. Their pizza hit the spot. Next stop was Finley Point on Flathead lake, an awesome waterfront cabin owned by a retired MFD fire chief. We had a great time on the boats. The grand finale? A tweaked right knee, how bad? I'm not sure at this point, but its pretty swollen although it seems to be improving.

All in all we couldn't have asked for any better weather or company. The temps were in the high eighties and low 90's all week, with no wind or clouds. I took quite a few pictures and have whittled them down, have a look over here (there's a few from aren't from the trip in there too)

If you double click on these, they'll open up into a bigger screen for better viewing pleasure. Thanks for looking

Friday, July 2, 2010

Rock skiing

Dedicated? Yes

Sane? I don't think so

Rad? Yes.

Take 2 minutes out of the day and watch how one can actually shred on rocks. Right around 45 seconds is really interesting as he dislodges a boulder on the way down.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Western MT weather pattern changing

Taken from

MISSOULA - Meteorologists from the Northern Rocky Coordination Center in Missoula say that we are in a transition from a "El Nino" weather pattern to a "La Nina" weather pattern.

This shift can make for an aggressive fire season, but Meteorologist Mike Kreyenhagen says that's not the case for us in Western Montana just yet.

"Our research has shown that we have some fairly active fire seasons when we roll out of an El Nino winter and into a La Nina summer. The wild card this year was that this spring was very, very, very wet. And so that has in our mind, knocked down the significant fire potential danger though the month of July."

Kreyenhagen added that he expects the fire danger for the month of August and September to be "normal".

When asked about what kind of winter we may see this year, Kreyenhagen said that if you're a skier then you should definitely considering buying a pass this winter.

"La Nina winters tend to dump a lot of snow, a lot of rain at the end of October. Snow for the high country, hunters are happy, skiers are happy. That's kind of the shift we're expecting."