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2013 Bob Marshall Wilderness Open
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Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: 2013 Open, thoughts and discussion on 03/03/2013 13:19:39 MST Print View

Well, Chris and I bought plane tickets, so the proverbial gauntlet has been thrown down. We have a flight to catch on Thursday morning, which is soon enough for me to feel some tIme pressure to have a speedy journey but should give us enough time to deal with any complications.

In terms of routes, neither of us have been to the Bob before so we are content to take the obvious way. The efficacy of a packraft this year is obvious, but neither of us have any rafting experience, and I don't think near-peak snowmelt is an intelligent time to learn. So I think our main challenge will be stream crossings sans floatation. This will largely come down to conditions at the time, and I was depressed to learn that Dan's swim last year was during significantly lower than average flows. There are options if Strawberry or Lodgepole are not crossable, but they are unpleasant enough to provide motivation to get across. I will be watching the streamflow gauges and snow sensors with great interest.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: 2013 Open thoughts on 03/03/2013 21:18:20 MST Print View

Dead on across the board w/r/t your assessment, and glad you two will be coming.

I was out on the Rocky Mtn front skiing this weekend, and while the high altitude snow pack is in good shape, warm weather the last few weeks has the low stuff already melting off. All that could change quite drastically, and we won't have a good sense of streamflow until the week before. If the Middle Fork is over 8000 cfs at West Glacier I'll be nervous.

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
2013 Bob Marshall Wilderness Open" on 03/03/2013 21:27:15 MST Print View

Montana spring and summer snowpack is almost always best gauged by March snow.

Jacob D
(JacobD) - F

Locale: North Bay
Re: Re: 2013 Open, thoughts and discussion on 03/04/2013 10:24:26 MST Print View

@ Chris & Andrew

Way to get after it guys! A few of us were just discussing this the other night. The general thought was "there's no way I'm going to MT into unfamiliar wilderness solo". Well... now we know who the California contingent will be! I'm really looking forward to hearing how you guys do and gleaning your post trip assessments.

John St. Laurent
(johnstl) - M

Locale: Pacific NW
Water Beta on 03/12/2013 15:14:47 MDT Print View


Give me an idea of how big Strawberry, Cox, and Lodgepole Creeks might be. They look like they might have rather large drainages.

Just curious. I'm totally NOT going that way!

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: Water Beta on 03/12/2013 17:55:48 MDT Print View

Two hints:

-gradient is at least as relevant as basin size (if you have to swim it's nice if the water is slow)

-Granite Creek is occasionally kayaked at the very height of run off

Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Open on 03/13/2013 21:10:19 MDT Print View

Hey Dave, given your penchant for multisport travel, you'd probably appreciate this:

Maybe I should bring a paraglider to the Open... It sure would make those pesky river crossings easier... :)

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
stream crossing made easy on 03/14/2013 09:34:07 MDT Print View

gogogadget copter

Edited by spelt on 03/14/2013 09:35:09 MDT.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Planning questions on 03/18/2013 14:38:48 MDT Print View

So I bought the map set and set the planned route. I convinced myself that this wont be any worse than early season Sierra trips. So now it's down to flight and car logistics. It would be great if I can fly in Friday morning. It sounds like there will be some shuttling going on Friday from the end point to the start. Anyone have any idea what time that would be leaving Bear Creek?

Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Planning questions on 03/18/2013 16:12:40 MDT Print View

Greg, that's what Chris and I are doing. We fly in Friday morning and would participate in the car shuttling. Here's what Dave said earlier about this:

"In early April I'll take a survey of for-sure participants and if numbers dictate suggest that we split the costs of renting a minivan which will get us all to the start. I'd take payment as a reservation at that time."

So no firm plans yet but I am sure we can accommodate you as long as you don't arrive too late.

I was thinking that we could hide the keys to the car shuttle vehicle at Benchmark somewhere so that if anybody has to bail they could have a transportation option there and then also take care of bringing the shuttle car back to Essex.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
I'm booked on 03/18/2013 16:19:20 MDT Print View

I went ahead and pulled the trigger. I fly into great Falls Thursday evening and will either get a hotel in town or head directly to the finish point and crash. I do have a rental so I can help pull off some shuttle logistics. My current plan is to attempt this in roughly two days though conditions will ultimately decide. I fly out Tuesday morning at 7:00am so I will be done on Monday even if it takes some night hiking. I'm looking forward to visiting this part of the country and meeting another batch of BPL folks. I will warn you all about one thing. Snow has a habit of following me. I hiked the PCT in 2011.... Record snow year. R2R2R last year, snow. Hiked a few days with Swami on the AT, snow. See the pattern! Now I just need to just myself back into fighting shape :O

Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: I'm booked on 03/18/2013 16:22:19 MDT Print View

Woo hoo!

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

BMWO on 03/18/2013 17:23:53 MDT Print View

"I went ahead and pulled the trigger."
Excellent. You won't regret it.

I fly out Tuesday morning at 7:00am
Gutsy. Having a bit of motivation is nice, and if things go poorly you're only out a few hundred. I'm supposed to make the 20 hour drive back to Ontario and be at work Tuesday at 6am. My boss can't authorize any more time off than this, but it's a wink-nudge situation because he knows I won't make it.

Edited by dandydan on 03/18/2013 17:26:54 MDT.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
BMWO shuttle on 03/20/2013 07:45:28 MDT Print View

As regards the shuttle, my hope would be to recruit someone to be the driver so that no one will have to go back to Benchmark to fetch it. If a van rental is necessary this also saves cash.

Probable schedule would be leaving the Flathead in the afternoon, meet at Bear Creek in the late afternoon, and shuttle. You can camp at Bear Creek, or in numerous locations along highway 2 to the east, if you are so inclined.

Edited by DaveC on 03/20/2013 07:46:59 MDT.

Chris S
(csteutterman) - F

Locale: Tahoe
Re: BMWO shuttle on 03/21/2013 13:05:46 MDT Print View

I like the idea of recruiting someone to be the driver as not having to go back to Benchmark to fetch a car would certainly make things easier. I'm more than happy to chip in my fair share to make it happen.

Our flight is scheduled to arrive in Kalispell at 11:37am on Friday, so being at Bear Creek in the late afternoon shouldn't be a problem.

Edited by csteutterman on 03/21/2013 13:06:25 MDT.

tyler marlow

Locale: UTAH
River banks on 03/27/2013 12:03:46 MDT Print View

This may be way off base but, is there any viability to following riverbanks? Say maybe hiking the banks of the middle fork? My thinking is that there should be a relatively clear and direct path that's free of snow.

On another note, the new ruta loctura raft seems perfect for this trip!

Cyrus Dietz

Locale: Midwest
Shuttle on 03/28/2013 10:30:42 MDT Print View

My BMWO plans are coming together. At this point Kate and I are driving out from Minnesota and will be camping at Benchmark Creek Campground a couple days ahead of the event. Friday morning we are picking up a rental car and shuttling it to Bear Creek trail head, from there we will head back to Benchmark in my vehicle. I am estimating arrival at Bear Creek around 1:00pm. I will have an empty vehicle with room for 4 or 5 other people plus gear. So if anyone is interested in a ride from there let me know. Having a few people ride share would help cut the cost of the rental car and my carbon foot print…

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Good timing on 03/28/2013 10:36:11 MDT Print View

This could fit my timing quite nicely. I will be at Bear Creek sometime either Thursday night or Friday morning.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: BMWO shuttle on 03/29/2013 10:14:24 MDT Print View

Cyrus, if you could give some folks a ride that would be great. Between you and me we might be able to get away without a rental van. Folks, if you're for sure coming right now I'd encourage you to make arrangements with Cyrus. I can then pick up the stragglers who come out of the woodwork later.

"This may be way off base but, is there any viability to following riverbanks? Say maybe hiking the banks of the middle fork? My thinking is that there should be a relatively clear and direct path that's free of snow."

Not sure why you'd want to, there is a trail the whole way.

"On another note, the new ruta loctura raft seems perfect for this trip!"

Tyler, you're scaring me. There is no water on any likely route which I'd want to float in that boat, especially in late May.

The snowpack below 5k continues to be decimiated by warm weather. What that will mean for us is still up in the air, but the contrast with the last two years is drastic.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
I'm in on 03/29/2013 10:15:35 MDT Print View

Count me in for sure.