Celebrating winter in our wild back yard.

Winter has arrived, and the Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness (FSPW) winter hike season is right behind. In every season, FSPW volunteers lead hikers into and around the edges of the ruggedly beautiful proposed Scotchman Peaks Wilderness, and winter is no exception. Add an extra layer or three, some snowshoes (FSPW has some to loan) or maybe some skis and take a walk into our wild wintery back yard.

Almost anyone interested in an excursion in the snowy mountains of North Idaho and Western Montana should be able to find a suitable adventure with FSPW. Some hikes are more leisurely than others. Some are as gnarly as can be. Each is a unique journey into the wintery world of hushed trails, changed views, new birds and mysterious and not-so-mysterious tracks. On top of that, there is the chance for a companionable outing with like-minded and similarly skilled old friends or a chance to meet new people with common interests. Or both.

. . . there is the chance for a companionable outing with like-minded and similarly skilled old friends or a chance to meet new people with common interests. Or both.

The FSPW winter hike season is just getting started. The first snow shoe walk (so far) is on Saturday, January 11; a moderate and traditional FSPW hike up Lightning Creek to the Regal Creek Trail. Maybe a moose will wander out of the woods, and maybe there will be just tracks. It’s hard to tell what winter wanderers might encounter to generate a little wonder. One thing is assured. Winter in the wild offers a new perspective of the natural world.

Winter in the wild offers a new perspective of the natural world.

The Friends are also seeking winter-loving folks to lead some hikes this winter. A bit of experience and knowledge and a reasonable destination is all you need. Make your proposal for a winter walk — or sign up for one — at www.scotchmanpeaks.org/hiking. If you have questions, we have answers at info@scotchmanpeaks.org

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Categories: Blog, Right Now
About The Author:

Sandy Compton has been program coordinator for Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness since 2009. He is also a storyteller and author of both fiction and non-fiction books, and the publisher at bluecreekpress.com.

In addition to his other duties, he runs the FSPW All Star Trail Team (www.scotchmanpeaks.org/trails), which works on Forest Service trails in the Scotchman Peaks. He is a trail surveyor as well, and a C-Certified Crosscut Bucker/Feller and USFS National Saw Policy OHLEC instructor.

Sandy grew up on a small farm/woodlot at the south end of the proposed wilderness and lives there still. He is also board member of the National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance and a planning team member for the Northern Rockies Wilderness Skills Institute.

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