Author Archives: Bill Walker

Trail condition reports for July 27 posted

Inuya Creek Trail No. 79, Flathead NF, July 23, 2018 - W. K. Walker

Inuya Creek Trail No. 79, Flathead NF, July 23, 2018 – W. K. Walker

Two sets of reports in a week!

The July 27, 2018 Forest Service Trail Condition Reports for the Hungry Horse and Glacier View Ranger Districts have been posted to the website Trail Conditions page. Note that the Glacier View entries for trails 2, 19, 26, 40 and 377 list work by the North Fork Trails Association.

These reports contain a fair amount of useful information. Besides trail conditions, they include trail numbers, their official names and end-to-end mileages. The reports may also list information on trail and area closures, especially during fire season.

Note that fire danger is high, but there are no restrictions yet. Please use caution with fire.

Trail condition reports for July 24 posted

Coal Ridge, July 21, 2018 - W. K. Walker

Coal Ridge, July 21, 2018 – W. K. Walker

The July 24, 2018 Forest Service Trail Condition Reports for the Hungry Horse and Glacier View Ranger Districts have been posted to the website Trail Conditions page. Note that the Glacier View entries for trails 2, 19, 26, 40 and 377 list work by the North Fork Trails Association.

These reports contain a fair amount of useful information. Besides trail conditions, they include trail numbers, their official names and end-to-end mileages. The reports may also list information on trail and area closures, especially during fire season.

Note that fire danger is high, but there are no restrictions yet. Please use caution with fire.

Trail condition reports for July 18 posted

Fireweed below Nasukoin Lake, Aug 12, 2017 - W. K. Walker

Fireweed below Nasukoin Lake, Aug 12, 2017 – W. K. Walker

The July 18, 2018 Forest Service Trail Condition Reports for the Hungry Horse and Glacier View Ranger Districts have been posted to the website Trail Conditions page. Note that the Glacier View entries for trails 2, 19, 26, 40 and 377 list work by the North Fork Trails Association.

These reports contain a fair amount of useful information. Besides trail conditions, they include trail numbers, their official names and end-to-end mileages. The reports may also list information on trail and area closures, especially during fire season.

Trail condition reports for July 11 posted

Whitefish Divide Trail (T26) near T3 intersection, July 12, 2017 - W. K. Walker

Whitefish Divide Trail (T26) near T3 intersection, July 12, 2017 – W. K. Walker

The July 11, 2018 Forest Service Trail Condition Reports for the Hungry Horse and Glacier View Ranger Districts have been posted to the website Trail Conditions page. Note that the Glacier View entries for trails 2, 19, 26, 40 and 377 list work by the North Fork Trails Association.

These reports contain a fair amount of useful information. Besides trail conditions, they include trail numbers, their official names and end-to-end mileages. The reports may also list information on trail and area closures, especially during fire season.

Trail condition reports for July 2 posted

Whale Falls, June 25, 2018 - by W. K. Walker

Whale Falls, June 25, 2018 – by W. K. Walker

The July 2, 2018 Forest Service Trail Condition Report for the Hungry Horse Ranger District has been posted to the website Trail Conditions page. The Glacier View District update should be available shortly.

These reports contain a fair amount of useful information. Besides trail conditions, they include trail numbers, their official names and end-to-end mileages. The reports may also list information on trail and area closures, especially during fire season.

Trail condition reports for June 25 posted

Lower Chain Lake, June 15, 2018 - by W. K. Walker

Lower Chain Lake, June 15, 2018 – by W. K. Walker

The June 25, 2018 Forest Service Trail Condition Reports for the Hungry Horse and Glacier View ranger districts have been posted to the website Trail Conditions page. Note that the North Fork Trails Association cleared the Cyclone Lookout Trail (T40) on May 20.

These reports contain a fair amount of useful information. Besides trail conditions, they include trail numbers, their official names and end-to-end mileages. The reports may also list information on trail and area closures, especially during fire season.

How many calories do you burn on the trail?

Whitefish Divide Trail (T26) near T3 intersection, July 12, 2017 - W. K. Walker

Whitefish Divide Trail (T26) near T3 intersection, July 12, 2017 – W. K. Walker

How many calories do you burn hiking with a backpack? Turns out, there’s an equation for that . . .

Hiking with a backpack is a heck of a lot more work than hiking without one. It feels harder, but also you’re burning more calories—which is important to know as you’re planning your snacks and meals for the trip.

This calculator from Outside Online will tell you how many calories you burn if you tell it your weight, the weight of your pack, how fast you hike, how steep the hills are, and how soft or bumpy the ground is.

Play with the numbers, keeping calories constant, and you can find out more than just how much food to pack. For example, how much faster could you go if you lightened your pack by ten pounds?. Or if you know how fast you hike on flat ground, how many miles can you plan to cover on hilly terrain?

Read more . . .

 

Gah! How ticks dig in

Following up on our previous post, NPR has an article, with creepy video, explaining possibly way more than you want to know about how ticks grab on and dig in. It also has some useful advice on removing ticks . . .

Spring is here. Unfortunately for hikers and picnickers enjoying the warmer weather, the new season is prime time for ticks, which can transmit bacteria that cause Lyme disease.

How they latch on — and stay on — is a feat of engineering that scientists have been piecing together. Once you know how a tick’s mouth works, you understand why it’s impossible to simply flick a tick.

Tick's Mouth - Annette Chan-KQED

Tick’s Mouth – Annette Chan-KQED

The key to their success is a menacing mouth covered in hooks that they use to get under the surface of our skin and attach themselves for several days while they fatten up on our blood.

Read/watch  more (if you dare) . . .

It’s tick season, take precautions

Deer Tick, Adult Female - UMaine Cooperative Extension-Griffin Dill

Deer Tick, Adult Female – UMaine Cooperative Extension-Griffin Dill

They’re baaack!

Speaking from personal experience, tick season did its usual early April arrival on the North Fork last year and the nasty little critters likely stayed active into September. There’s no reason to think things will be any different this year. Ticks prefer moist, brushy areas, but even seemingly dry, more open landscape like the trail to Glacier View peak have their share of ticks.

Actually, Glacier View has more than its share of ticks. The lower reaches are heavily infested with the little bloodsuckers early in the season.

So, precautions are in order. The basics are long sleeves, long pants, a hat and vigilance. Light colored clothing makes ticks easier to spot.

Pre-treating hiking togs with a permethrin based spray will actually kill ticks that get on your clothing. The treatment lasts through several wash cycles.

Insect repellent will keep flies and mosquitoes away, but won’t discourage ticks from hitching a ride. They’ll simply walk across repellent-treated areas in search of a tastier spot to dig in.

And, of course, check yourself and your gear thoroughly when you get home.

For more information, here are a couple of useful articles:

10 Important Ways to Avoid Summer Tick Bites (LiveScience)
Preventing tick bites (Centers for Disease Control)

Forest Service ups reliance on volunteers for trail repair

Trail Clearing with 'Silky' Saw

Trail Clearing with ‘Silky’ Saw

More visitors, less money and a mandate to increase volunteer help on trail maintenance. This should be an interesting year . . .

The U.S. Forest Service hopes to double the workload of its volunteer helpers as it attacks a backlog of trail maintenance largely in Montana.

The Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex’s 3,200 miles of trail arrived No. 1 on a Forest Service priority list for trail work last Friday. So did the Continental Divide Scenic Trail; its largest segment passes through Montana. And the Central Idaho Wilderness Complex listing includes a chunk of the Bitterroot National Forest slopping across the Montana-Idaho border.

But no money was attached to any of these priority areas. Instead, the Forest Service is following the National Forest System Trails Stewardship Act of 2016, which commands the agency “to increase trail maintenance by volunteers and partners by 100 percent” within five years of enactment.

Read more . . .