THE DETAILS

Holland Lake

Saturday, February 18, 1995

After partying in Missoula with Marvo and Terbo's roommate, Dave, we headed for the mountains around noon.

The snow was too spotty to begin skiing right away, so Marvo and I carried our skies about a third of the way to Upper Holland Lake.

Had some rain and snow with high winds during the way in. The trail gains a pretty good amount of elevation but has enough switchbacks so the trail is never too steep.

When we switched to skis and Terbo put on his snowshoes, I could cover ground a lot faster than either of them. Terbo held his own usually quick pace but Marvo was still getting used to his first time on skis. The snow was too sticky on my skis to do much gliding, but it wasn't too tough to go uphill.

Saw a bald eagle during the drive in and a mule deer on the mountanside above our trail.

After four hours of travelling, it began to get dark. In addition, we were really tired and the lake wasn't in sight. We decided to camp on a sheltered part of the trail.

It was the first time using my new tent, but all of us (including the dogs later that night) fit in. It was a bit tight, but the tent proved waterproof in the relentless rain. The downside was that we built up a lot of condensation inside the tent that got us wet.

Because we were so tired, we tried to sleep. However, all of us kept getting woke up by each other, the high winds, the heavy rain, or the uncomfortable snow.

 

Sunday, February 19, 1995

At daybreak the rains continued. We cooked breakfast in the vestibule and ate greedily since no one had the inclination to cook last night.

I got in a tussle with Redwood because he wouldn't eat his food and Elroy was eating it.

Terbo and Marvo took a nap while I tried to hike up to the lake with the dogs. Went a half mile or so, but the snow was up to my waist in places, so I turned back without ever seeing the lake.

The rain looked as though it would never end, so we hiked back down without doing much of anything, besides going up and going down.

The snow was really wet so my skis glided over it easily. There are a few steep inclines that were next to cliffs but I was careful.

Saw a snow white ptargmin on the way down.

About six inches of snow had melted through the night, leaving much of the lower trail covered with ice. On one of the first icy sections I fell and broke my ski tip on some rocks. No major loss, but still a loss because skiing down was fast, fun and easy.

Back at the car, we were drenched. Ate pizza at the Filling Station in Seeley. Got information for this trip from Steve Pinner a ranger for the USFS in Bigfork, 406-837-5081.

Backpacking in Montana