Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

By Sharon Lamar
Upper Swan Valley Historical Society 

Snowshoe trip at 40 below zero


December 27, 2018

USVHS Archives

Pictured (L-R): Norman Schappacher, unidentified, Henry Thol.

Beginning in 1933, the Forest Service began an intensive winter game study in the South Fork of the Flathead to determine the number of big game, forage use, snow depth, temperature, migrations, etc. Within a few years the study included the Swan and Middle Fork drainages.

Forest Service ranger Henry Thol was in charge of the local winter game patrol in 1935. He was a rugged outdoorsman in his 50s who was experienced in mountain travel.

Assistant ranger 27-year-old Norman Schappacher spent much of that winter checking the migration patterns of game near the watershed divide between the Cle...

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