A Science for Everyone, Community, Meteorology

Stahl Peak on 5/23

It’s the time when the snowpack can rise quickly – a cool, rainy Spring.  The latest observation is 34.3 inches of water on the pillow – 151% of the 30 year average.  It is definitely a lot easier to click the link than it was to haul the snow tubes up to get the data in the late seventies.

What happens next is a question for the weather forecasts.  NOAA has released these projections for June, July and August. 

The folks who know about these things are calling for a warmer and drier summer than normal.  If that’s the case, it is good to be going in with a little extra water in the high country.

Community, Meteorology

Stahl Peak Snow Pack Still Increasing

This graph, from 4-30-22 shows that the snowpack on Stahl is still increasing.  The upper line on the record suggests that there’s only a week or so left for it to increase.  Still, 127% of the long-term average is nice to see.

NOAA has this posted for May-June-July, suggesting we can expect the chances of warmer temperatures and less than normal precipitation coming up.


Stahl Peak Snowpack in March

Stahl Peak’s snow pillow continues to report that the snowpack is above the long-term average:

The three month outlook (March/April/May) has temperatures leaning below normal and precipitation leaning above. Looking at further predictions, the forecast for the longer term has temperatures above average and precipitation below. In other words, starting out wetter and colder than usual, and being hotter and dryer by the June/July/August forecast.

Temperature is leaning below normal
Precipitation is leaning above normal

Community, The Crispy Cluck

Yum Yum and Then Some! Eating and Drinking with the Crispy Cluck

Tired of beer & wine? Well, then pull up those britches and tighten up those straps and trot, bike, drive or giddey-up to the STAHL PEAK DISTILLERY

Tired of beer & wine? Well, then pull up those britches and tighten up those straps and trot, bike, drive or giddey-up to the STAHL PEAK DISTILLERY

Located at 45 Front Street #5 which is just a wee bit north of Eureka, Mt, next to Route 93 Pizza. Founded in 2019 by Greg Hartley and Jeremy “Chunky” Sharp. This distillery is a proud producer of BIG SKY APPLE MOONSHINE and TEN LAKES VODKA.

On my first, I ordered the Ten Lakes Martini (extra dirty)! Contains Ten Lakes Vodka with vermouth and shaken or on the rocks. It was served in a martini glass with garlic/jalapeno stuffed queen olives. Generous pour, ice cold and delicious.

Inside the Distillery you will find friendly staff and plenty of seating. Decor is “woodsy” meets “hunting/wildlife” motif.

Hours are:

  • Wed/Thursday 4-8
  • Friday/Saturday 12-8
  • Sunday 12-6
  • Closed Monday and Tuesday

The drink menu offers 11 different drinks ranging from the Stahl APPLETINI to a Ten Lakes Bloody Mary or Caesar (made with their homemade tasty mary/caesar mix). Check out the drink menu at https://stahlpeakdistillery.com or on Facebook. Soon to be on Instagram!

Go and enjoy a handcrafted beverage and get a tour from Chunky!

Who said supporting a small business has to be hard?


The Crispy Cluck


Measuring Snow is Easier Now

In the mid-seventies, I would start the week of snow surveys by leaving home a little before 7:00 am, meeting Jay Penney at Grave Creek, then snowmobiling up to Stahl Peak, Weasel Divide and then catching the Grave Creek on the way down.  After that it was a week of motel living as we would sample snow courses four more days, ending with Banfield Mountain.  Later in the decade, it would be 5 days in the Kootenai drainage, then 5 more in the Flathead.  By the end, we were going in by helicopter.

Forty and more years later it’s a lot easier.  The snow pillows are attached to improved versions of the telemetry we pioneered, and solar-powered batteries have replaced the clockwork scrolls that once monitored the pillows 24/7.  (A pillow is a bladder filled with antifreeze that is pressed upward in a well as more snow sits on it, and down as the snow melts.)

Today, there are fewer sites – and all it takes to check the snow depth is this web address: https://www.nwrfc.noaa.gov/snow/   It leads to a map, where you can click on a dot, read the snow/water equivalent, and learn the percentage of normal.  For example, as I write this, Stahl Peak shows 17.6” of snow/water equivalent, and is 103% of average.  Grave Creek matches the long-term average with 7.3 inches.  Hawkin’s Lake shows 110% of the long-term average with 12.8.  Give the site a try – we can all know how much snow is in the mountains, without leaving the living room. I thought it was easier for us with snowmobiles than our predecessors who did all the work on skis and snowshoes – but it is a whole lot easier now