Aug 21, 2012 at 9:42 am #1293196
New year, new course to keep things interesting. Benchmark TH (end of the road) to Bear Creek (parking lot where Highway 2 first leaves/meets the Middle Fork, south of Essex).
General idea: a bit less snow, a lot more water to worry about. Maybe.
If you don't know, beta and reports from 2012 are here: http://bedrockandparadox.com/bob-marshall-wilderness-open/Jan 28, 2013 at 9:22 am #1947993
Bumping this as a requested discussion/planning thread.
As noted above the organized start will be Saturday May 25th at 0800 (mountain time) at the Benchmark TH. Mandatory safety meeting in the parking lot at 0740.
This is not a race. If you think you're ready, but would rather sleep a lot and take a ~week to make the journey, do it. Depth of experience is prioritized above all else.
Most likely I'll be offering limited spaces in my truck for those who wish to leave cars at the finish and have a ride to the start Friday evening. We'll camp at the Benchmark campground Friday night.
Any questions, ruminations, recriminations, etc; post here.
I should also note that, based on a conversation with a fellow-traveler this weekend, I'll be taking the Bob Open into broader areas (Frank/Selway, GYE) in years to come. The date will remain late-May, contrary to many comments I've received to the effect of "That'd be fun/I'd do it if it happened in July." In fact, it would be a trail run in July, and that is boring. So if you want to experience this course, get off the couch now.Jan 28, 2013 at 9:37 am #1947998
…it would be a trail run in July, and that is boring.
Hear hear. I like the idea of seeing this event hopscotch around the country to other locations.Jan 28, 2013 at 3:53 pm #1948149
John St. LaurentParticipant
@johnstlLocale: Pacific NW
Such was the luxury of Dave's vehicle last year that I'll put my carpool reservation in now :)Jan 28, 2013 at 4:47 pm #1948169
I have not, nor will I, fix the latch on the tailgate. ;)
I did scout out a good place in August to get burgers Friday night.Jan 28, 2013 at 4:53 pm #1948173
I am envisioning a half dozen half-drunk-with-tiredness hikers lolling about in the back of a mid-nineties Tacoma.Jan 28, 2013 at 6:39 pm #1948206
Are we going to the Buckhorn Friday night? Count me in for a shuttle ride.Jan 28, 2013 at 9:02 pm #1948288
What are your recommendations for maps and planning resources?
I tried really hard to make it last year but couldnt swing it. So I promised myself I'd make it this year.
I may be out on the PCT, but we'll see!
This year's course seems great for my skillset too!Jan 29, 2013 at 5:01 am #1948353
Sounds great. I really like the thought of camping at Benchmark the night before and getting in a little chatting. Last year I was so tired from that 14 hr drive…
Tyler, you can get a lot accomplished with:
– Google Earth
– CairnCarto Maps (North and South Bob)
– Gmap4 – http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php
With Gmap4, switch to the USGS topo's in the pull down menu.Jan 29, 2013 at 5:57 am #1948364
That's what I had in mind Cyrus. I take it you became acquainted last year?
Tyler, I'd start by getting the Cairn maps. They're quite recent, were built with GPS data, and most significantly don't include trails which no longer exist on the ground. Once you think you have a doable route, use Google Earth, sat photos, Snotel, and USGS streamflow data to fill in the blanks (i.e. how snowy will this pass be, how high will that crossing be) as best you can. Aside from last years reports you're going to find almost no first-hand accounts of being out in the Bob that time of year, so some of the crucial stuff will come down to educated guesses (I'm in the same boat, though my guesses are probably more educated than most). Do your best and be mentally prepared to improvise on the ground.Jan 29, 2013 at 6:49 pm #1948631
I am very interested in this… I've been looking for a new challenge to sink my teeth in to. However, never having been to MT before, I'm hesitant to do this solo. Anyone looking for a partner? I'm not planning on racing- my thoughts were somewhere around 4-5 days.Jan 30, 2013 at 7:39 pm #1949109
spelt with a tParticipant
@speltLocale: SW/C PA
If I can make it, I will definitely not be racing.Feb 2, 2013 at 5:34 pm #1950171
I've been chatting with Andrew about this and I'm in. Will likely have a few questions forthcoming.Feb 2, 2013 at 8:35 pm #1950225
Dave, if you have room for Chris and I in your truck, that would be awesome. Otherwise we will probably rent 2 cars at the airport and might be able to carpool with others.
Time to buy some plane tickets…
AndrewFeb 4, 2013 at 8:30 am #1950659
For those who haven't had the pleasure: my truck is an Xterra with no back seats and a hatch which has to be held shut with a bungee. Not particularly luxurious or comfortable. 5 total in the car is the max with gear.
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.
Out of towners are more reliable, both in this respect and as participants generally. Local participation will largely depend on the weather.Feb 26, 2013 at 7:18 am #1958809
Dave, is the truck you've been speaking of the one that took a recent turn for the worse? If so, sounds like s/he had a good run!Feb 26, 2013 at 9:16 am #1958859
Yep, the Xterra is no more (guy pulled in front on me on the way to work last week). We got our money out of it for sure.
Whatever replaces it will be a lot smaller, so that will have to be taken into account.Feb 26, 2013 at 9:20 am #1958862
I highly recommend something of the EJ22 or 22RE variety as they've served me well in my day. Currently very happy with my 3F-E but that's definitely in a small vehicle. Never thought I'd get into a car discussion on BPL… weird.
EDIT: My apologies for the thread drift. Now back to our regularly scheduled BMWO discussion.Feb 26, 2013 at 10:27 am #1958892
Smaller as in a Versa or Yaris.Feb 26, 2013 at 11:32 am #1958918
Event participants better get their names in the hat soon 'cause Dave's future car isn't going to have room for many!Mar 3, 2013 at 12:19 pm #1960884
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.Mar 3, 2013 at 8:18 pm #1961076
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.Mar 3, 2013 at 8:27 pm #1961082
Montana spring and summer snowpack is almost always best gauged by March snow.Mar 4, 2013 at 9:24 am #1961226
@jacobdLocale: North Bay
@ 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.Mar 12, 2013 at 2:14 pm #1964827
John St. LaurentParticipant
@johnstlLocale: Pacific NW
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!
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