Hike up to a wind tunnel

Trip Start Aug 19, 2010
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Trip End Nov 15, 2010


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Flag of United States  , Montana
Sunday, September 26, 2010

After Anaconda, I drove up along the Rocky Mountain Front range on the east side of Flathead Lake area all the way up to the eastern side of Glacier NP. Really beautiful land and is near where Lewis & Clark make their stretch south to the mouth of the Missouri (sorry I just finished their biography). I had to get one more round in at Glacier in the hopes I'd be able to get to see some bears first hand.

Someone told me the Two Medicine Lake area is very active with wildlife right now so I started from there and had plans to do the 19 mile Dawson-Pitamakan Loop. It's supposed to take you through two stunning passes and there is a lot of wildlife activity in the area. It started as a pretty perfect day with wonderful fall colors coming in... but the wind started to pick up and by the time I got to the Dawson Pass 6 miles in (which is where you are exposed full force to westerly winds)... I LITERALLY could not stand. I had to crawl on my knees to walk. My guess is these were steady 60-70 mph winds gusting to 80 mph or more.. it was one of those things where if you open your mouth your lips and cheeks puff and flap around. Or if you were to let go of your backpack for a split second it would tumble faster than you could catch it. I have video titled "WIND" that shows this. It was quite surreal watching groups of hikers crawling on their hands and knees with 50 pound packs coming from across the ridge.

Needless to say, I did not continue any further as there was some serious exposure for the next several miles. So I came up empty handed on wildlife, but that wind was really quite an experience in itself.
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