Montucky Clear CUT continued

David Redman pauses for a moment at the peak of Turner Mountain with Dr. David Neuman, head of Turner ski patrol, where items purchased for the patrol with funds raised at past Montucky Clear CUT events were on display.
Photo by Mike Munroe


Add in the 2021 funds raised, and in just three years Redman’s vision to marry his passion for carving to his love for his hometown community has tallied over $72,500 for Turner mountain.

“This 2021 group raised the most money yet for the ski patrol, with the least number of riders present,” said Redman. “To date Turner Ski Patrol has purchased two new rescue toboggans, some chair evacuation equipment, and a vacuum body splint – which the patrol is very excited to have on deck.”
“We even had our 2019 groomer for the Montucky Clear CUT return after his first experience last year to find and purchase property in the Libby area,” shared Redman. “He just fell in love with Libby and the people here and now intends to return with his family often.” The monies generated by the Montucky Clear CUT experience for food, lodging, simply perusing the community and more are impossible to define.
It was definitely a challenging year comparatively to years past. There were the many who had planned to ride just could not due to COVID restrictions in various parts of the country and world. The usual social gatherings were just not possible – even here in Libby. The annual banquet, served “family-style” with laughter and raffle awards was held in the parking lot – a low-power transmitter utilized to communicate with the group.
Though despite it all, event organizers and riders alike are already planning for 2022 – January 31 through February 3, to be exact.  Mark your calendars!  Space is limited and there are many looking forward  and already booking their tickets to what lies in store.

by Stacy Bender

FVCC offers Senior Class series for students 65+

Submitted by FVCC


Registration for the Flathead Valley Community College (FVCC) annual Senior Institute is now open. The program will be held via six consecutive Zoom meetings held on Fridays from Feb. 19 to March 26.

“Senior Institute Perspectives and Insights” features FVCC faculty members presenting on their areas of expertise and research.  The 2021 line-up is as follows:

Feb. 19 “Historical Perspectives from Both Sides of the Iron Curtain” with Dr. Marty Mullins

Feb. 26 “Building the Buzz for Biotech; The Evolution of Biotechnology Education and Industry in the Flathead Valley” with Dr. Ruth Wrightsman

March 5 “I Know How to Pay Attention: A Poet’s Perspective” with Lowell Jaeger

March 12 “American Indians; Past and Very Present” with Dr. Jeff Sanders

March 19 “Why
Science is Indispensable and Woefully Inadequate” with Dr. David Long


March 26 ”Conspiracy Theories” with Dr. Ami Mezahav

Pre-registration is required. Forms available at fvcc.edu/senior-institute. Can be returned via mail or email. Due to safety precautions, in-person registration is not available this year.

Tuition and fees for residents of Flathead and Lincoln counties are $25. For students residing outside of Flathead and Lincoln counties, tuition and fees are $114.60. Classes designed for people 65 and older.

Students who have not attended FVCC for credit classes within the past two years need to complete and submit a free application for admission.

FVCC staff members are available to provide instructions and assistance to seniors who are not familiar with Zoom and/or who lack access to an email account. For more information, call (406) 756-3822 or email Connie Hitchcock at chitchcock@fvcc.edu.

Dog-sledding, cont…

Continued from Page 1


Their dog teams assisted them in travel, exploration, transport of game, fish, water, supplies and sheltering materials. Before small aircraft equipped with skis for landing in snow and ice and pontoons for landing in water, dog teams did the job. By the early 1970’s in small Alaskan villages, snow-machines often called “iron-dogs,” were replacing dog teams.

Joe Redington, Sr., lived in Alaska and spent a lot of time using dog teams in his work. He figured it was important to preserve the culture of sled dogs and their use in Alaska. He surmised that though snow machines were good transport, they could break down and leave a person stranded. Redington thought dogs were more reliable and could save lives, plus he wanted the Iditarod Trail to be recognized as a National Historic Trail.

Those hopes led him to work at establishing the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, contrary to information stating that the Iditarod commemorates the delivery of diphtheria antitoxin to Nome in 1925. That event of 1925 is honored by a different dog sled race called the Serum Run.

In the early 1990’s, in a remote part of the Yaak territory on a seldom ridden trail, a middle-aged wildlife technician for Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks came upon a strange set of tracks. While studying the scene and taking off his helmet, he heard the barking of dogs and it all came together as a musher woman veered around a nearby bend leading her team of dogs.

The technician shut down his iron dog to speak with this interesting woman. She was born and raised in the area and always enjoyed being outdoors and around animals. When contacted recently by The Montanian, this musher shared, “In 1979, I purchased a dog sled and a Siberian Husky. And some good books with information on Northern Breeds and training.”

She then decided she needed more dogs and gradually built a team of 16-18 dogs. She is still mushing today and further shared, “When getting any dog as a pet or work companion you must be honest if you can be a responsible pet owner. Dogs take a lot of time and care.”

When asked about the relationship and companionship of sled dogs and their drivers, she said, “Having a working dog of any breed doesn’t restrict the quality of a companion animal, given proper care and training they can enhance our lives.”

“It’s always fun to find a fresh groomed snowmobile trail where I can make the first track, other than woodsy friends. I only go up five miles before turning around,” she continued to share. “I pick a spot and stop the team – call for a haw (left) or gee (right) come, and the leaders swing out and come back past the sled and everyone swings along and around, the sled skates around and we head for home. I thank God for the beautiful creation and wonderful earth.”

Jeff Ulsamer of Olney, Mont., offers the experience of dogsledding for those who might like to take a ride. He takes riders along a 12-mile trail in his sled pulled by Alaskan Huskies though the foothills of the Whitefish Range.

Ulsamer said, “It’s really for animal lovers of all ages. The dogs have just as much fun as the people, and you too can travel at the speed of dog.” To learn more about Ulsamer’s dog sled adventures or to book a unique winter experience, call (406) 881-2275, or visit dogsledadventuresmontana.com.

by Brian Baxter