Click on one of the following to jump to that section. Hit the Back button to return here.
B. General Web Links Re. Local XC Skiing: <== NOTE - CLICK THIS LINK TO DOWN GO TO THE MOST IMPORTANT INFO
C. Descriptions of Local XC Ski Trails:
D. Local Snow, Weather and Road Conditions:
E. General XC & Backcountry Ski Sites & Discussion Groups:
F. MISC. XC Ski Links:
G. Printing hints for maps and other large files:
H. Editing Instructions (to use this page as a template for your personal version):
I. Web Site Statistics:
New? As of 12/07/2012 The
Bitterroot Cross Country Ski Page was revised extensively. Click line B above
to go to the link. Previously major Updates made
01/18/2012. Most but not all are
indicated with an *
Note: Minor updates shown as **
a. Most maps and other graphic files take a long time to load. If you open the link in a "new window" you can continue to "surf" or read the current page while the page with the graphics is opening. In Internet Explorer rest the cursor on the link and Right-Click the mouse and select "Open in New Window".
b. Many pages including most of my "tables" will display best when viewed in Full Screen Mode. Hit the F11 key to toggle in and out of "full screen" mode.
2. Maps: To better understand planned trips and previous trip reports, I encourage you to get three maps:
a. The latest Chief Joseph Pass Cross-Country Ski Trails Map by the Bitterroot Cross-Country Ski Club is available at the trailhead. Note that this only has the groomed trails but is quite up to date. There are a few very short cutoff trails not listed. ALSO, CLICK HERE for the clubs excellent on-line map. A similar map is also available HERE or Here if the 1st link doesn't work.
b. The USFS "Lost Trail and Chief Joseph Pass Cross-country Ski Areas" Map (Revised 01/1995), is somewhat out of date for the groomed Chief Joseph trails, but is the best hard copy source for the un-groomed trails in the area and includes all the trails that we ski most. This map will not be on display, so ask for them at your local Forest Service Office.
b-1. CLICK HERE
for an on-line map that covers the un-groomed trails near
I noted two errors.
b-1a. The map shows the junction of the Ander-Rich and Richardson Ridge Trails incorrectly. CLICK HERE for the corrected location of the Ander-Rich and Richardson Ridge Trail Junction and the south extension of the Ander-Rich Trail.
b-1b. The location of the "Shoofly Cutoff Trail" (in yellow) is incorrect where it joins the Scooter Trail (in red). The "Cutoff" is an easier route to/from Hogan Cabin than the portion of the main Shoofly (in green) that it by-passes. To take the "Cutoff" going north turn right leaving the main (green) trail taking the yellow trail. However on reaching the ridge-top turn left onto the Scooter Trail (red on the map) and go about 0.1 mile and turn right downhill toward the trail shown in yellow. The map indicates that at the ridge-top one should follow the main trail (green) and then turn left. I'm sure there is no connection at this point. Go left at the ridge-top and watch for the sign and trail turning right downhill.
b-2. The XC Ski Trails in the
c. The 1993-1994 Salmon-Challis Nat. Forests William's Creek Summit Cross-Country Ski Trails Map and Description is still the current map for this area. This map doesn't show the Mukluk Trail or the Upper Shoshoni Trail (A telemark run). When we constructed the trails the portion of the trail that follows Deep Creek Ridge was called the Deep Creek Ridge Trail. It's now included with and called the Mukluk Trail. The old Deep Creek Ridge trail west of the original Mukluk trail had not been cleared and was impassible the last time I checked, although it's shown as a motor cycle trail on the Forest Travel Plan. CLICK HERE for my on-line copy of the official ski trail map.
*c-1: There are now several on-line
maps that show most of our trails.
*c-1a: Click Here for a map that shows the trails suitable for mountain bikes in the area and fortunately most of the trails that we ski. This map DOES SHOW THE MUKLUK TRAIL mentioned above. However it does not show the Shoshoni Trail, the Upper Meadow trail spur or Wapiti loop. (Portions of these trails are too boggy for bikes.). The "William's Cr. Road Cutoff" of the Meadow Trail and the Lower Aspen Loop are also not shown. Note that the Black colored portion of the lower William's Creek Trail is not a ski trail. The ski trail portion of this trail ends at the "Big Fir Trailhead". Note that you can "mouse over" a trail or trailhead to see the name. Another
Trail Powder Mountain Home Page & Face Book Page. (Note that conditions at Chief
Joseph will be very similar.)
Trail Maps: Fast loading "JPG" map or slower loading high resolution "PDF" map .
Lost Trail Weather & Snow Conditions, and Webcam. Go to LTpark for
Lost Trail Pass Highway Dept: Idaho Webcam, Montana Webcam (same camera),
Idaho Mountain Pass Report for Lost Trail Pass (May have road conditions), LT Pass Weather Data, Weather History
Montana Hwy 93 Road Report and Montana Hwy 43 Road Report. .
Mtn" NRCS Snotel 1 Hour Readings are the most current snow and
temperature values for the area near the top of the chair lifts. The times are
listed as Pacific STANDARD Time. In addition, CLICK
HERE for 15 daily readings (taken at 01:00 AM Mountain Standard Time) which may be less confusing for a
weekly view. These depths are usually only a few inches more than those at
Chief Joseph Pass. (On
18Nov2012 the Snotel listed 10", with 6" measured at Chief Joe = -4,
and 3" measured at
best weather & snow forecast for the area is The
NOAA Lost Trail "Table Point Forecast"
I often check the: Snow-Forecast.Com's 6-Day Forecast for Lost Trail. If you click on this link be sure inches rather than cm are listed. I've found that the predicted snow depths are considerably less than the above NOAA reports.
* Another useful weather related site is the West Central Montana Backcountry Forecast which covers the LT/CJ area.
** I just found the Lost Trail Powder Mountain Weather Channel 10 Day Forecast and it looks useful.
* 2. Bitterroot
Cross Country Ski Club: (Check
out their major revisions as of 12/07/2012):
Home Page Facebook Page Their Latest Chief Joe Ski & Snow Report.
Note: Also check the Chief Joe Report on the Missoula Nordic Site below.
Nordic Ski Club:
Missoula Area (Includes Chief Jo) XC Snow & Grooming Conditions:
CLICK HERE for a list of snow reports including several near Missoula and also:
Lake Como, Mount Haggin, and Chief Joseph or Click Here to go directly to Chief Joseph.
You may want to scroll down and read previous reports too.
4. The Salmon Chamber of Commerce Winter Recreation Page has a good general overview of local skiing opportunities.
5. Williams Cr. XC Trails Snow & Weather Conditions - New: (See section D for additional snow and weather data.)
The Lemhi Ridge NRCS Snotel HOURLY Readings have been the most current on-line snow
depth values for the William's Cr. Summit area. Although this Snotel is located in
** The NRCS installed a depth sensor at the Morgan Creek Summit Snotel site prior to the 2012-2013 water year which started October 1st. I expected Morgan Creek Summit depths to be slightly less than Lemhi Ridge and William's Cr. Summit. However, currently on 12/04/2012, the Morgan Cr depth is several inches MORE than Lemhi Ridge At any rate it's logical to assume that William's Cr. Summit readings will be somewhere in between the two sites. Click Here for Morgan Cr Hourly readings and Click Here for less confusing Daily readings.
above 3 Hour Readings may also be helpful as an indication of current air
temperatures. Another source (without snow depth) that may have temperatures
similar to that at William's Cr. Summit is Forest
Service Red Rock Peak site. (This link is formatted by NOAA and has the
most current reading at the top.
Another site that MAY be helpful is the Schwartz Lake Snotel near Hayden Cr. The depth sensor at this site is new so I can't compare readings yet, but I would expect that this might have comparable depths to our lower elevation trails.
Cr. Summit Weather: CLICK
HERE for NOAA Forecast for Lat.: 45.093, Long. -114.086 and Click
here for another format.
Click Here for another forecast (Will probably require some adjustment to get it to work. May actually be for Salmon city.)
My Weekly Cross Country (XC) Ski Planned Trip & Trail Condition Report:
** My Salmon, Idaho Cross-Country Previous Ski Trip Reports For This Winter (2011 - 2012) with links to 2008/2009 and earlier.
My Introduction to Cross-Country Skiing 101 page:
My Welcome to Our Cross Country Ski Group page: (Has history of the Salmon Nordic Ski Association, etc.)
My Forest Service & Other Rental Cabins & Yurts for Skiers page:
Salmon, Idaho XC Ski Photos Page:
http://home.custertel.net/~ckeene41/xctripphotos.htm - This site is out of date. I'll leave the link in case I get time to fix it.
Refer to notes on what kind of pictures I can post.
The following link is to the current page, which has numerous local XC Ski Links. (Listed for printing purposes.)
My General Salmon, Idaho XC Ski Page:
Using this map, my vehicle mileage, and recently my GPS, I've created a table that lists individual trail segments. The table above may show that a trail is 2.5 miles long, but it usually doesn't show that it's, 1.5 miles on another trail before it starts.
Go to my draft trail segment table at: http://home.custertel.net/~ckeene41/LtCjTrailSegs.htm for this information.
(BHDL) "Official" XC trail site. This lists most trails in
CLICK HERE for the latest
I'll try and check this periodically and post a notification in my "weekly" ski trip report. But you may want to check this in case I forget.
b. There are three WinterMT.com
sites that list XC Ski Trails in the Lost Trail Chief Joseph Area. Use caution
however because many of the mileages are incorrect. 1. Un-Groomed Trails
in the Chief Joseph Pass area near Wisdom. 2. Summary of Beaverhead trails
including the Groomed
Trails at Chief Joseph Pass. 3. XC
Trails at Lost Trail Pass. All these trails are at least in part in the
Lost Trail Ski Area and all but the
c. An AltaMeadow.Com Description & Map of Chief Joseph Trails: This is a good map of the groomed trails, although it's a little out of date. The "Continental Divide" trail on this map is now "Broadway" with the current CD Trail missing on the map.
d. The Bitterroot NF used to have
an on-line X-C Ski Trails Guide which listed the
Caution: Some web sites and previous maps list other trails in the Lost Trail area. These are for the most part now in the recent Lost Trail Ski Area "Expansion Area". You need to get both a Lost Trail Ski Area Map (See Link at B 1., above) and the Lost Trail & Chief Joseph Pass Map cited in A 2 b., above to interpret these old trail descriptions. The "Wildfire Trail" and "Saddle Mountain Burn" are now part of the expanded Lost Trail Ski area. That doesn't mean one couldn't ski these areas, but the three "Wildfire" Trails and the "...Burn" trail are very hard to find because they have been replaced by trails shown on the Lost Trail Ski Area Map. An alternative for strong cross country skiers or beginning telemark skiers is to ski down the Lost Trail "Candy Stick Trail" to the base of the Huckleberry Lift # 3. Then go down and to the north about 100 yards to the end of the "Saddle Mountain Burn Trail" which at this point follows the
e. A1 Trails Guide: Cross-Country Skiing in
Select 13A for Chief Joseph. This area is managed by the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forests,
Select 13B for the
f. The Idaho Falls Ski Club has a page of XC Ski Area Maps which includes a General Location Map for the Chief Joseph and Mt Haggin Areas. They also have the original Chief Joseph Pass XC Ski Trails On-Line Map that was listed in Section A above.
2. Williams Creek Cross-Country Ski Trails Area: Refer to the Salmon-Challis NF William's Creek Cross-Country Ski Trails Map and Description (cited in A 2 c., above) for a good overview of this area. As of 2002/2003 the Deep Creek Ridge, Upper Shoshoni, and Mukluk Trails were not on the map. Contact me for a larger scale draft contour map including these trails.
a. General description - Salmon Chamber of Commerce Winter Recreation Page
3. Other Local Areas:
Salmon Area Groomed Snowmobile Trails: Currently these are also open to cross country skiers.
Please use courtesy and step aside for snowmobiles. These are groomed for
snowmobilers and their license fees pay in part for this. Conversely many of
the cross-country trails are not open to snowmobiling.
There is a snowmobile map available at the Chamber of Commerce Office in the
Visit Idaho Winter Activities Page Has links to XC Ski Trails. (These
don't include our William's Creek or Lost Trail - Chief Joseph areas). The
closest trails listed appear to be in the
Cross-Country Trails in Other Parts of
c. The Sawtooth Ski Club maintains
groomed ski trails south of
c-1. Blaine County Recreation
District Trail Guides and Maps. This includes
* e. Harriman Trail. Map.
h. Here's a general Montana Snow Sports link. Much is related to downhill skiing but there is some XC info too.
1. SNOTEL Snow Depth
Select any time period. I prefer to view 14 days. These all have readings taken at Midnight Pacific Standard Time. For depth, I find these daily reports less confusing. Although I call these "Depth Reports", many sites don't have depth gauges, so the Depth Column will be blank.
Depth Readings Closest
to Salmon are from several MONTANA NRCS SNOTEL SITES. Two of these sites are actually on the ID/MT divide. Go to the
following site: http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/cgibin/sdr.pl?state=MT
and select "
Currently the closest SNOTEL sites in
2. Multi-Day SNOTEL
The above "Depth Reports" are only taken once a day. The following reports have either one hour or three hour readings. Note that the readings are Pacific Standard Time. Thus if the reading is for 06:00 AM it's 07:00 MST (Mountain Standard Time). These reports are the best source for "Current Temperatures". Sometimes the readings seem to be very current and sometimes there may be a lag of several hours before the data are posted. If the data hasn't been updated for several hours, try the NOAA reports in Section E, below. Each report is sorted by date and time in descending order. The latest reading is on the bottom. The Site Elevation, Time Interval of Readings, and whether the site measures depth are listed for each:
(Elevation: 7900, 1 & 3 hour readings with depth): This is usually the best source for Lost Trail and Chief Joseph snow
and temperature data. This is actually not on Saddle Mountain but rather a mile
or so NW of the Lost Trail Chair Lift #1:
Moose Creek (Elevation: 6200, 1 hour readings w/o depth): South of, and lower in elevation than the base of Lost Trail Chair #2.
Take the Saddle Mt. Depth/SWE reduce it slightly and multiply it times Moose Cr. SWE to get a rough depth estimate.
Lemhi Ridge (Elevation: 8100, 3 hour readings with depth): This is one of the closest sites to our William's Creek ski trails:
Take the Lemhi Ridge Depth/SWE and multiply it times Morgan Cr. SWE to get a rough depth estimate.
Meadow Lake (Elevation: 9150, 1 hour readings w/o depth): West of Gilmore:
Banner Summit (Elevation: 7040, 1 hour readings with depth): If you're going to the Stanley area or driving to Boise this could be helpful:
http://www3.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/nwcc/sntl-datarpt.jsp?site=312&days=7&state=ID - Readings are always very prompt.
To obtain the above reports go to: http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/cgibin/sdr-all.pl and select the desired state and then the desired site.
3. Other Snotel &
Surface Weather Observation Sites:
a. NRCS National Water and
http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/snow/ Has links to numerous snow reports. Note that the following state sites have links to some of the same reports as this site and links to other reports (usually similar).
This text report shows the % of average SWE & Precipitation for all
A slightly different table format report can be found HERE. Check both reports; sometimes one will have an error not in the other.
Scroll down to the
Then look at the Percent Departure from Avg. Column. Subtracting this value from 100 gives the Percent of Normal Value.
The above reports use some of the "
An alternative to the above reports is the similar: Montana % of Average SWE Text Report.
Look for the "
d. The Western US Snow Depth Map has a symbol for each Snotel site that measures depth. The symbol will give a snow depth range.
e. NOAA Snotel, and other surface
weather observations, searchable map.
Once the map is
displayed you can click of a variety of weather sites. Hover the mouse to see
the type and name of the site. Click to display Snotel or other readings.
http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/mso/newlcl.php Note that for sites with multiple stations only one type of station may be shown on the map. For example for Banner Summit, only the RAWS data can be accessed from the map. However one can select Banner Summit Snotel from the list at the bottom of the map.
Rather than using the above map or table you can click on one of the links below. Many of the NRCS Snotel reports list the most recent data on the bottom. These NOAA reports list the most recent data on top. They will often not list all data. I think they weed out data that looks questionable.
Snotel - Saddle Mountain (Elevation: 7900, 3 hour readings with depth): This is usually the best source for Lost Trail and Chief Joseph snow
and temperature data. This is actually not on
NOAA Snotel -Moose Creek (Elevation: 6200, 3 hour readings w/o depth): South of, and lower in elevation than the base of Lost Trail Chair #2. Take the Saddle Mt. Depth/SWE reduce it slightly and multiply it times Moose Cr. SWE to get a rough depth estimate.
NOAA Snotel -Lemhi Ridge (Elevation: 8100, 3 hour readings with depth): This is one of the closest sites to our William's Creek ski trails.
NOAA Snotel - Morgan Creek (Elevation: 7600, 1 hour readings w/o depth): This is also close to William's Creek Summit. One should compare temperatures and SWE values. This doesn't have depth, but does have hourly readings. Sometimes there is less delay in the data. Take the Lemhi Ridge Depth/SWE and multiply it times Morgan Cr. SWE to get a rough depth estimate.
Snotel -Schwartz Lake (Elevation: 8620, 1 hour readings with depth): (near
NOAA Snotel - Meadow Lake (Elevation: 9150, 1 hour readings w/o depth): West of Gilmore.
Snotel - Banner Summit (Elevation: 7040, 1 hour readings with depth): If you're going to the
-- RAWS -- SALMON (Has precipitation, temperatures, etc.): This doesn't have snow
information, but the temperatures can be compared against Lemhi Ridge or
f. Other Snow and Weather History Sites:
Research Institute (DRI) - Western
Regional Climate Center, Snotel Site - Has links to reports and graphs, including:
N.Idaho/W.Montana Map Link to Snotel Graphs, including: Graph Setup Page for Lemhi Ridge Snotel Site, and Graph Setup Page for Saddle Mtn.
In the above "setup pages" select the starting and ending YYYYMMDD, often October 1 to July 15 makes a good display of snow water.
4. Avalanche and Backcountry Conditions: **
Backcountry Weather Forecast
Avalanche danger rating definitions -
US Accidents 11-12
Understanding Avalanche Risk -
Avalanche Awareness -
The Rutschblock Test.
Ortovox Transceivers -
5. Weather Forecasts and Road Conditions.
a. Weather Forecasts: (all links have major revisions Oct 2008) CLICK HERE to learn about Point Forecasts.
NOAA Tabular "Point Forecast" for LOST TRAIL PASS. (This was previously called the Prototype Digital Forecast.)
Other Lost Trail Forecast formats:
7 Day Text Only Format, The Printable Forecast Format is similar with more graphics.
Snow Forecast.Com's Lost Trail Ski Area Forecast. The default is for Metric Units, Click on the "Imper." (Imperial) link for feet & inches.
Another good forecast is the backcountry weather forecast. Look for the Bitterroot --
This doesn't cover as long a period so you need to check it again periodically.
Notice that this lists the "Snow Level" (The elevation where rain changes to snow.). Caution this report isn't usually activated until winter.
William's Cr. Summit (Approx.): CLICK
HERE for NOAA Tabular Point (formerly Digital) Forecast for Lat.:
45.093, Long. -114.086.
This area is for the Lat./Long. for William's Cr. Summit. This is probably not EXACTLY at William's Cr. Summit. The NOAA displayed elevation for this Lat/Long. Has varied. Previously it displayed 7774, then 7564, and recently back to 7,774' - close to the
Other William's Cr Summit Forecast formats: 7 Day Text Only Format, The Printable Forecast Format is similar with more graphics.
Salmon, ID Weather: (Click on the links to get a
NOAA Tabular "Point Forecast" for SALMON, ID. (This was previously called the Prototype Digital Forecast.)
Other Salmon Forecast formats:
7 Day Text Only Format, The Printable Forecast Format is similar with more graphics.
Missoula National Weather Service (NWS), Forecast Area forecasts for selected points: CLICK HERE to select a town or a Latitude Longitude in the Missoula Weather Forecast Area or Click on a location on the map at the bottom. This allows one to get a forecast for more than just an official town. I'm not sure if there are options for the Latitude -- Longitude, but I know that 45.093,-114.086 will work. (Latitude in decimal degrees, a coma, and latitude preceded by a minus sign (for west) and decimal degrees).
b. Road Conditions:
Idaho Roads Home Page: http://511.idaho.gov/
Click Here for a the Idaho Map and Links to "Adjacent States Sites".
MT Travel Info. Home Page: http://www.mdt.mt.gov/travinfo/
Winter Storm Warnings: http://www.mdt.mt.gov/travinfo/scripts/rdrpt.pl?rptname=Hazardous+Weather&box=No
Road Condition Map: needs to be added
1. Telemark Tips at: http://www.telemarktips.com/ is one of the best. Be sure and click on their "Telemark Talk Forum"
2. Couloir Magazine at: http://www.couloirmag.com/ also has some good articles.
3. Cross Country Ski Magazine at: http://www.crosscountryskier.com/.
4. The Rec.Sking.Backcountry "Newsgroup" has messages related to backcountry skiing.
most dependable way to access this is probably via "Google Groups".
This used to be called "Deja News" before Google took it over. Click
HERE to go to the latest messages.
Another way is to do a Google Groups Advanced Search at: http://groups.google.com/advanced_group_search and enter in rec.skiing.backcountry for the newsgroup. I prefer to list 100 messages but limit the search to the last few years. A typical search might be for "wax waxless", without the quotes, in the "With All The Words" box. When you see a message with an applicable subject, click on "View Thread" and then click on the first message. You'll also see the next several answers to the first message. Click on Next 7, or whatever number is showing, to see the next several answers.
Here's another way to read the most recent messages. It won't work on any of the government computers, but if you have set up your computer properly, it should work for those using Salmon Internet, if you have one of the following: Microsoft Internet News, Microsoft Outlook Express, or Netscape. It may be necessary to have Netscape as your default browser for it to work. Click on the following: news:rec.skiing.backcountry and one of the previously mentioned programs should open. Allow 2 or 3 minutes for the messages to display. Click on any message that has an interesting subject. If you want to look at this newsgroup regularly you may want to use the "Subscribe To This Newsgroup" feature. Note that normally the messages are NOT downloaded to your computer only the subject titles. Holler if you want more information on Newsgroups. Be careful with the "alt" news groups. Some are very good, such as alt.genealogy, but some are xx rated. (At least that's what they appear to be based on their titles.)
To print a copy of one of the maps or larger images, it's faster to save the file to your disk and print it later. In MS Explorer, rest your cursor on the link to the desired file and right click and select "Save Target As". You can click on the file later and read it with your browser or other default program for that type of file. I have a $15 Photoworks Plus V2.31 from Seattle Filmworks. It works better for printing maps than MS Explorer or MS Photo Editor. If necessary, I use the "Poster Mode" to distribute the map over several pages.
You can save this file and edit it to reflect your personal needs. To save this file, make sure that it's saved as an HTML file with an ".htm" or ".html" extension (suffix). You can then double click on the file name and your web browser will launch. You can also launch your browser and then open this file (Using File, Open, Browse, etc.). Click on any of the above links to go to that site. If not already connected your web browser will open and will dial your Internet Service Provider (ISP).
Once filed, this can be edited by most modern word processors. For example: if you have MS Office 97, then within MS Internet Explorer Version 5, you can select "File" and "Edit with Microsoft Word for Windows 97". Other Browsers and other word processors will vary as to commands. Note that you cannot line up or space words with the space bar or with tabs in an Internet document. You can insert a "Nonbreaking Space" as was done here, or you can use Tables to accomplish this. In MS Word you enter a Nonbreaking space by typing the Ctrl-Shift-SpaceBar at the same time. Save the document periodically and then go back to the Browser version and hit the Refresh Button to see your changes.
Last revised on web: 1/
01/18/2012 21:30 PM
Previously revised on web:
12/03/2010 13:45 PM
Home Page Location
Email is: ckeene41-b4
followed by an @ and then yahoo.com
1/ Items with an "*" were added since previous
Two ** indicate minor updates.