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Global Skywatch

The Blizzard of ’19 saga continues

As western Montana digs its way out of epic snow.


No strangers to significant winter snowfall, schools, businesses and government agencies in Darby, Hamilton and Missoula cried, “DISASTER!” with closures and shutdowns all up and down the Bitterroot. This last week was more than they were able to handle.

In my neighborhood I have seen just about every type of tractor, truck, tracked and all-wheel-drive vehicle with snow moving capability running up and down our road as people scramble to hire snow management beyond what they were set up to do on their own.

Two different communities in the upper Bitterroot each had two out of four of their snowplows break down. Of course this stuff happens at the worst possible times because that is exactly when you are stressing systems.

I am a year-and-a-half into establishing my new homestead. Every home I have moved into needs about two years of tuning before operation is fluid. Our second winter here is really slamming reality in my face. Those things I have yet to set up the way I want will be done before I complete my second year here this coming August.

Meanwhile, I’m dealing with abnormally deep snow in my corner of the world. On February 27th I posted a video clip and photos under the heading Blizzard of ’19.

Yesterday I attacked a couple of glaciers I had not the time or energy to do earlier. They had the full 25 inches of snowpack that this recent series dumped on us. That was more than my equipment is set up to handle. Thus we had to work extra hard as you can see in the photos and video clips below.

I will do more over the next days and weeks, but not with the intensity I put into this last bit.

Fershur I will not fall behind next winter. The infrastructure will enable my handling every blizzard in timely fashion.

Of course this extraordinary snowpack will expose us to tremendous flooding potential in the spring thaw. I’ll be posting a bit on that when the total snow levels are published. It is not, however, too early to consider your exposure and start planning mitigation.

carving trail through 25 inches from Ted Dunlap on Vimeo.

chicken yard recovery from Ted Dunlap on Vimeo.