Snowshoe trip at 40 below zero

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 Clearwa...


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