Last week, I was asked to lead two consecutive hikes in the Whitefish Range for a group of field directors from all over the state from the offices of the Montana Wilderness Association.
The first hike was to Tuchuck on Thursday, the day that it was snowing in the North Fork! Although it was not the kind of day that I would usually hike, a promise is a promise, so we started out in a snowstorm. It was a frigid morning, but we stayed warm by steadily climbing the steep trail leading to Tuchuck. After emerging from the snow-covered forest into the high country, the grey snow clouds kept us from seeing any of the surrounding mountains, including Tuchuck. However, the larch trees were attired in their stunning, golden glory. In the saddle below Tuchuck, we paused to eat lunch hungrily as we shivered in the cold. Since we were still in the middle of the snow clouds and dreadfully cold, we turned back without climbing to the summit of the mountain. What was the point when we couldn’t see anything anyway?
The following day, we hiked to Nasukoin. In contrast to the day before, Friday was sunny in the high country while valley fog lingered below us all morning. The golden larch trees were dazzling along the snowy trail. It was a perfect fall day for hiking!