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Old 07-24-2011   #1
Helena, Montana
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 488
Tell me about Libby/Troy MT.....

Thinking about making the move.

Never get out of the boat
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Old 07-24-2011   #2
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,909
I spent the summer of 2008 in Libby working on the asbestos cleanup. Libby is a working class town based on logging and mining, I believe. When I was there it appeared the economy was mainly fueled bu the EPA asbestos cleanup. If you want to go out to dinner, be ready for iceberg lettuce and thousand island dressing.

If you've got a job there that isn't dependent on government contracting for the asbestos cleanup, then you may have long-term hope of job security. I'm not sure how long the cleanup will last but its a trip to drive through residential neighborhoods and come across houses where the yard's being ripped up by bobcats operated by guys in white suits and full face respirators.

The Kootenai River runs through Libby en route to Troy and then into Idaho. Dam released, crystal clear, and flowing through a beautiful valley. From the dam through Libby its Class I with some Class II rapids here and there, nothing much but still a nice relaxing after work float. When I was there, the release was pegged at 17,500 cfs all summer long and I really enjoyed spending weekends just chilling and doing laps on the mellow float with camp set up on one of the islands along the way.

Below Libby is Kootenai Falls which, at 17.5 K has some awesome play, a short section of big water Class IV-V and a a couple of 15' or 20' hucks . Then the river continues into Troy as it came out of Libby - Class I.

It looks like there would be some awesome BC skiing in the winter, and I think there's a little ski area nearby with some good terrain.

Over in Idaho are other rivers, one that I loved was the Moyie (sp?). Class III boogie water with a Class IV or two, beautiful scenery, uncrowded.

Be ready for high latitude summers and winter - if you have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), you may want to consider someplace else.

Good luck with your decision,


Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 07-24-2011   #3
Helena, Montana
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 488
Thanks Andy.
Never get out of the boat
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