2016 Bob Marshall Wilderness Open
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- This topic has 377 replies, 28 voices, and was last updated 6 years, 8 months ago by Mike M.
Jun 6, 2016 at 2:54 pm #3407401
I’m finally back in MN after a week in western MT. I have 100F heat indexes to look forward to this weekend. But first, my (long) trip report:
I fell asleep on Friday night feeling pretty relaxed, finally in Montana after a hectic evening packing the gear and preparing the food the night before. I left the campground having choked down some oatmeal that I was in no mood to eat–but surely the calories were needed for the days ahead. I began with Tyler, with some expectation that we might walk together on and off for the entirety, since we were both sans-packraft and on the same route. But, as I reached the trailhead, the slow buildup of anticipation was released and I was off. The first 23 miles of trail passed very quickly, with easy trail riding just about the Dearborn. I caught up with The Teton group at the river crossing, and we walked together and yo-yoed a little for the next 8 miles or so. Straight Creek Pass came and went in the blink of an eye, though the deadfall on the back side slowed me a little. I eventually left the Teton group at a creek and continued to rocket ahead, feeling good.
It became apparent to me that I had missed the turn to trail 248 over Elbow Pass. I had tried to determine how far I had gone past, and lost about 20 minutes looking at the map and weighing my options. I had calculated incorrectly that I was 2 miles past the trail (I was .77 miles past) and decided that I would continue north on the original route I had planned over White River Pass. I would decide how to handle the Flathead the following day. Until this point, I had not stopped for a break except to collect more water at a stream and covered the ~24 miles at 3.3 mph. The trail north to Benchmark was muddy, but I made OK time despite stopping again in a mile to reconsider my initial decision. As Derek noted, the trail heading north was well travelled and relatively deadfall free. After stopping for dinner at deer creek I made a final push to find a good campsite before I needed to pull out my headlamp. Luckily, there was a beautiful clearing just above the bridge over the SF Sun River. At ~930p I set up camp and hung my food in a very satisfying 10-4 CDT hang…though the breaking strength of the dead tree might not have been ideal. I collected some dead and dry sticks and enjoyed the small fire while massaging balm into my wet feet. As I lay down to sleep I heard the footsteps of something heavy approach my camp. It did a half circle of my tent before heading off in a different direction. Unwilling to see what it was, I (as Abby suggested later) convinced myself that it was an elk and went to sleep.
I awoke just before 6a, feeling quite refreshed and only a little cold (even with an icy crust on the tarp). Was startled by a young male elk walking within 30 feet of me as I fiddled with a knot in the bear bag line. The first miles were a little chilly and stiff, but I was plenty warm by the time I reached tricky ford. The fast water ran just above my knee and were it not for my trekking pole when I slipped, might have gone even higher. Moving upriver just a little probably would have afforded an easier crossing. I was lucky enough to have Derek’s footprints to follow once the snow began, so I did not waste much time worrying about the “right” path as I approached the pass. About 200 vertical feet from the top, Derek began his side-hill adventure. I followed a set of grizzly tracks straight up the slope to the ridge after deciding that I could get my bearings from there. The sights were spectacular from the top, and after a brief respite I walked the ridge slowly, and finally was confident that I knew where to go. I glissaded down to the real pass where I met Derek’s footprints again, and only a minute later, the man wearing the shoes. We chatted while descending the trail and tromped over the occasional obstacle. The creek crossing before the river was a bit hairy, but we were able to find a shallower spot with good footing. We rested on the banks of the river before Derek began inflating his packraft and I went downriver for 200m or so to try to spot a crossing. All I found was fast water, and the clean, white bones of an elk. We parted, and I headed down the river on the south bank. About halfway down I spotted a braid in the river, and picked my way across three sections of the river—none over knee high, and less difficult that Dan suggested. Feeling elated, the deadfall along the trail to the confluence was a little easier. I was a little nervous when the wind picked up to 30-40mph and rain began, but it was short lived, and none of the subsequent showers lasted long. The extensor muscles at the front of my ankle/shin were beginning to hurt, and the long walk downriver was wearing on me. I had hoped to see some animals in the Mud Lake flats, but only a few deer were present. The exposure from the afternoon sun was unpleasant, but the beautiful partially-burned tamaracks were a pleasant balance. The Black Bear pack bridge was a wonderful sight, and I was famished. I ate a large dinner near the horse fencing. At 840p I departed upriver, hoping to find camp before nightfall. I did a little running and a lot of crazed singing to make the time pass more quickly, but the trail was muddy and pockmarked from horse travel, so I only moved at 3 mph with my headlamp for the last hour. I was lucky to find a clearing under some large cedars just north over the Little Salmon Cr pack bridge. I set up my camp, managed to start a fire despite the rain from the afternoon and fell asleep with my food just after midnight.
I awoke at 5a to the sound of moderate rainfall and some thunder. I was motivated, but not motivated enough to break camp in the rain. Luckily the rain had passed when awoke after another 40 minutes of snoozing. I made myself a double iced coffee and scarfed down some trail mix before quickly pulling my stuff together and heading at around 6a. I headed up Little Salmon Cr with urgency. The encroaching brush and spiderweb of deadfall soaked my pants within a mile. I made the trail to Palisade Lake at just under 3 mph. The trail up was a different story as I was slowed to 1.5 mph, though the final push up the snowy slope went quickly, following Derek’s La Sportiva, and the Teton crew’s Saucony Peregrine and Brooks Cascadia prints. At the top, I followed Derek’s footprints, assuming with a GPS and Army Scout training he would not lead me wrong. That was a wrong assumption in this case, and after nearly tipping off the side of the mountain and stayed low and slid between rock and tree until I could safely glissade to the flatter section below. Lots of tricky deadfall on the switchbacks heading down, perhaps the straight line over it all might have been faster—especially since my legs were still easily lifted up and over the logs. Dropping down into the old growth spruce forests was the highlight of the entire walk. It’s the first time I’ve been in the woods and have walked UNDER the trees, instead of through them. Add to that a huge creek exploding off the bottom of the mountain and cascading down 500 ft over a quarter mile and I was absolutely in awe. Soon after, the weight of 14 (17) miles to go set itself on my shoulders and I soldiered on. I bumped into the Teton crew ~.5 miles from the bridge over the creek near the trailhead. I walked with them up to the forest roads, but as they suspected, I thought they were being affected by the sun and dehydration, and back-tracked. As I had no desire to bushwack or route-find over the forest roads to the campground, I picked a known (albeit tedious) route along the gravel road to Van Lake and up the highway in the ditch. I ran the downhills on the gravel, and then along the highway, ran then walked ever other 90 seconds for 2 miles or so. The sun and dehydration was kicking in for me at this point, and thought that I had at least 5 miles on the highway to the campsite. Four miles passed and, as I noted earlier, I walked up the gravel road to the campground ~100+ feet and could not get my brain to overcome the desire to see a sign. Luckily, Dave was kind enough to turn me around after a loud curse, and I ran most of the way back to a happy girlfriend and pup waiting for me with pizza. A sharp rock and slippery can required that I shotgun half of my beer, but it was still delicious.
Dinner and beers with Seth and Derek at a bar in Bigfork were in order, as was a quick return to the hotel for satisfying sleep.Jun 6, 2016 at 4:22 pm #3407416
Pack – MYOQ 45L+; XPac with carbon stays. Shelter – Trailstar + MSR stakes. Sleep – 40F quilt, Neoair Xlite S. Water – Platypus with hose and Katydyn MicroPur tablets. Trekking Poles – Leki Vario Carbon plus snow baskets.
Clothes worn: Stoic Breathe 90 L/S shirt, Arcteryx Rampart Pant, Nike Running Shorts, NRS Neoprene Socks, Light running hat, Cotton Bandana, Inov-8 Trailroc 245 shoes
Clothes carried: Black Diamond Alpine Start jacket, Lowe Alpine 100wt Fleece, Stoic Hadron Down Jacket, Fleece Hat/Gloves, Thick(ish) Smartwool Socks, Montane Versalite WPB, Cuben rain kilt (MYOG)
Misc: iPhone with Gaia Maps, Cairn Map, SPOT, Fenix Headlamp, First Aid, Sunscreen, balm, lighter, pairing knife, bear hanging line, trash compactor bag (swimming a river)
First—all my clothes were dead on. 100wt fleece this year was probably more than necessary, but a nice addition for sitting by the fire. The pants were torn on some deadfall that I powered through, but only a 1” rip, I anticipated damage was a potential. The NRS socks were crucial to my success—no blisters developed, and honestly, I didn’t think about my feet at all the whole trip, despite cold river crossings other discomforts. The snow baskets for my trekking poles were also indispensable. I believe they saved my legs and stability muscles on the snow, and allowed me to be more efficient in ascending (by “striding” up the mountain) and crossing side slopes. I could have saved a half pound with my cuben tarp, but the guy lines needed fixing, and I didn’t have the time. The trash compactor bag was in case I swam the Flathead. My shoes did not offer enough mid-foot stability. They were at the end of the life when I started, and past dead when I finished. I’ll need to find something else for subsequent traverses so that I don’t have to manage swelling for the week after. These shoes performed flawlessly in a long trip in the Winds, but the additional 20 miles a day were more than they could handle. Seth—you probably couldn’t see my footprints because there was not a lot of tread left to leave an imprint on the ground.
A few other notes: Despite the pain in my lower leg extensors (they were TOAST), the additional pain from running was slightly more bearable than 3 mph on straight roads over the last push. It looks like I’m dealing with some tendonitis now, but hopefully it will fade with some diligent calf stretching. My iPhone was dead weight. I forgot to click the iphone off while I was walking, and it was constantly being touched in my pocket—when I pulled it out to take a photo, I was at 3% battery life. Luckily I had footsteps to follow over the passes, but navigating the forest roads would have been easy with gps and maps. I really wanted to swim the Flathead, and am confident that I could have given the mild conditions. There were 2 spots along the north-bound trail that looked very swimmable (braided) but they were probably a half mile away through deadfall and I did not want to walk down to have a closer look, only to find out that it was too difficult and walk back up. Amy and Derek’s warnings were echoing in my ears so I walked. I did consider taking the trail straight west from Black Bear and doing some off-trail stuff over Picture Ridge and taking the trail up Cannon Creek to the ridge east of Swan Peak before descending some less-steep parts and side-hill back to the trail below Lion Creek…but I’m glad I did not attempt it—maybe another time. I will find a packraft this year—I have no desire to walk 113ish miles in 3 days again (at least right now). Food will be different next year. This year, I brought 16k kCals of food—probably about 2x what was needed. I was worried I’d get stuck for an extra day, and packed 4 days of food for that fear, however, I really only needed 2.2 days of food. I brought a lot of homemade dried fruit/date/nut bars (Larabars), but they were not appetizing. Hiking in the Winds I thought they were mana sent from heaven, but not in the Bob. Trail mix is great for sitting and snacking, but bad for maximizing calorie intake in a short period of time. The best food I brought was tabbouleh and refried beans, rehydrated for 2 hours in a Talenti Gelato container. Add some Fritos and BOOM. I ate this dry on my hike down the forest roads, no water to wash it down. I brought 2<sup>nd</sup> Surge gels (100mg Caffeine), It certainly gave me a boost most afternoons, but more VIA would be more appetizing. Gu Shot Bloks and beef jerky were also delicious. Surprisingly, I did not miss hot food at all.
Final notes: The BMWO was different than I expected, though I was not sure what I expected in the first place. I did just enough research to make it, but certainly saw many opportunities for mistakes from poor planning if the preceding weather had not been so mild, or if other issues had occurred. Footsteps over passes made them much easier. I changed course because I did not want to admit to myself that I had missed the turn, and it still troubles that I did not have the capacity to listen to reason when I walked past the finish. Before, I did not know what questions I should be asking (Dave’s blank face when I asked “what is the secret of the Bob?”), but now I do, and I’ve learned a lot from the experience. 100+ miles of the Bob in 3 days is too much to take in all at once, and it washed over me constantly in the last week. I did not expect myself to be capable of moving so fast and consistently. This was my first solo trip in the wilderness, and I hope to do something like it again soon.
Amy and I went to Glacier and saw some big animals. The last photo is a view from above the Sperry Chalet.Jun 6, 2016 at 7:56 pm #3407460
I’d be interested to hear what other folks did for food- my breakfast was two Erin breakfast cookies (300 cals/each) w/ a couple of Vias (hot when I was with John and Thad, cold the last morning- hot is better! :) ) I would snack the entire time on the trail using date based cacao/goji “energy” blocks about 100-ish calories/ounce would eat about 6 oz throughout the day; lunch I brought “butthole” sandwiches- mini bagels w/ peanut butter, honey and bacon, I’d two of these about 300-ish cals each; supper was single dehydrated meals from Hawk Vittles ~ 600 cals and would add two teaspoons of olive oil (another 200 cals)- so roughly 2500-2700 calories/day. Obviously I was running at a deficit, but never was too low on energy. I think some of the reason was that I was always eating, I’d never go more than an hour without some calories. I carried three days of food, which I used all- I had about 2000 calories in just bars as a reserve and never got into them. I did wind my suppers down pretty easily, I might go to 1.5 dehydrated meals for next year- putting me closer to 3000 cals/day.Jun 7, 2016 at 9:22 am #3407520
Sounds like Adrian and Seth had dueling fires within 1/2 mile of each other.
Very impressive Adrian, especially for your first time in such an environment. Your miles make me realize that while I’ve gotten stronger at off trail stuff in recent years, its been at the expense of speed. ~3 mph all day is easy, but pushing much above that is tough. Time to start running again. When you asked me about the secret of/to the Bob I thought you were messing with me. The answer is being mentally committed to being out there alone; without that all the fitness and gear is at best incomplete.Jun 7, 2016 at 4:46 pm #3407591Derek LarsonBPL Member
@derek-larsonLocale: La Sierra Gorda
Mike: My food consumption was comprised of various flavors of Pro Bars, Kind Bars, Hammer Bars and Bonk Breaker Energy Chews. I had 4,000 calories of these bars/chews in a freezer bag for each day (3) and would burn the bag, and empty wrappers at the end of each day. I had 2-3 bars left-over at the end of each day, and ate them before I headed out the next morning. I could have easily taken 10,000 calories and had a few left-over bars. I didn’t eat at any particular time (other than before/after sleep) and never felt I was undernourished. Another thing I did was hike with my 1-liter water bottle in my hand for most of the way, which kept me drinking on a regular basis. During periods of heavy deadfall, the bottle was in a pocket on the back of my pack.Jun 7, 2016 at 6:15 pm #3407606
Derek- thanks. I’ll probably boost my intake a little bit next go round, supper for sure.
I had two water bottles on my shoulder straps (20 oz each) and tried very hard to stay hydrated as well- I think I was going through 8-ish bottles/day
MikeJun 7, 2016 at 9:26 pm #3407630Scott GBPL Member
Really enjoy your guys trip details.
I am by no means an experienced Ultra lite packer but I will throw a rookies food rationing in the mix
I packed 22-24oz. of food /day @ about 120cal/oz was about 2600 cal /day and 2 Via’s/day
Breakfast was 4.5oz of oatmeal, dried cranberries and crushed almonds/cashew with powedered milk that I could eat hot or cold in the baggie. I gotta eat a real breakfast. (about 500cal)
During the day I ate 12-13 oz of snacks , no real meals , that consisted of two 4oz mix bags (about 500cal. each) of nuts, dried cranberries, dark chocolate and pretzle goldfish, with a sprinkle of salt. One Rice Crispy / Hershy bar sandwich ( two flattened rice crispy bars with two hershy bar chunks between) about 2.5oz and 270 cal. One Pure Protien Bar 1.8oz 200cal
Dinner was a Mountain House weighing in at 6-7 oz each and usually 600-700cal, depending on the meal. Someone must have been worried about me cause I found a stash of 4 oatmeal raisin cookies in my bag when I stopped at night , a pleasant suprise and devoured them.
I definitly hiked too long before snacking and did not hydrate often enough as my water bottle and snacks was in my pack at the start and most of the time my water was in my pack pocket and had to stop to get it. After my first break of the day 4.5 hours in, i put almost all my snacks for the day in my pockets which helped eat more often on day 2. I need a shoulder or waste bottle holder next time even if its just 12-16 oz. The only thing I would change is another oz of oatmeal for breakfast and maybe a different Bar.Jun 8, 2016 at 1:53 pm #3407751Seth CunninghamBPL Member
sounds like i had the bad luck to miss several people (Adrian, Dave) by just a little bit out there. I even thought I smelled smoke at one point, but convinced myself it was nothing.
for food, I set my protein intake at 75 grams/day and then add 1 hot meal/day, and then fill in the rest with junk food (target 3500 cal/day). iI spent all spring testing various junk foods ( pop tarts, fried pies, honey buns, cookies) on long road rides, much to the amusement of my roadie friends. I find that I dont tolerate “energy foods” like gu s or powerbars at hiking intensity, but can eat junk food all day. I also used Nuun for electrolytes.
Next time, I will bring 1 or 2 extra hot meals. I may also try more liquid calories (i.e. hammer perpetuem or cytomax) to keep me moving during the day.Jun 8, 2016 at 10:16 pm #3407852Tyler HBPL Member
My thoughts as a rookie on gear and food:
– I brought too much food! I made a couple last minute changes to my food, but I think I had 13-14,000 calories. For hot dinner, 3 mountain houses. I’ve never used these before, not that psyched. No cleanup was nice but they’re bulky and result in bulky trash. Snow peak spork handle isn’t long enough for them. Too salty. Next time I’ll stick to PB and ramen. During they day I snacked on candy bars (6), chewy granola bars (6), fruit snacks (10), a couple Lara and Odwalla bars, gummy candy, a large bag of potato chips. Loved the fruit snacks, most things were fine just too much. I made warm coffee in the morning and a couple times on trail. I had 6 Vias, should have brought 8 or more, I wanted coffee the whole time. Didn’t touch PB packets and crackers (too much work), a huge bag of trail mix, and a couple snickers (gave them to the guy who picked me up!).
– I also brought too many clothes! A huge Patti DAS Parka synthetic belay jacket. Great for the sleeping system but overkill. With that puffy I didn’t need my base layer top. It was quite warm so shorts would have been nice, but I just had light Kokatat pants. Gore-tex shell proved way overkill, didn’t use it even when it was raining. Patti windshirt and hooded sun shirt were awesome.
– Kovea Spider was overkill – just ordered a BRS-3000T per Seth’s endorsement! Having a canister stove was great though. AquaMira was a pain in the ass, I often just chugged unfiltered water. Never used my 2L platypus + hose, just a disposable bottle. MYOG cuben tarp, Borah bivy, old GoLite quilt (called a 20) NeoAir XLite W, and polycryo groundsheet were great. The old Jam is not very comfortable with too much weight. Trekking poles with baskets were key. iPhone was nice for navigation, no troubles, especially with footprints. Used some of my extra charge pack. Brought too much first aid and random other junk like an Opinel.
– Also experienced that lower leg extensor pain, was thinking maybe my shoes were too small for swollen feet. Should have stopped and put them up more, iced in the creek more and barely tied the laces.
Edit: Oh yeah, a @#$%ing packraft!!Jun 9, 2016 at 8:26 am #3407910
where exactly were you guys sore? I had swelling/pain in front of my left ankle where it flexes- much better, but still a little nagging. I haven’t run a lick since last Tuesday, but have a nice 20-ish mile hike/run/snowshoe planned for Saturday :)Jun 9, 2016 at 9:34 am #3407931Tanner KBPL Member
Mike – that is exactly where both of my ankles were sore last year for a few weeks after the Open. I think running downhill with a pack was what got me that trip.
No soreness this year, but you guys all did at least 3x what I did. Kevin’s toe is still preventing him from running, so we at least know we made the right decision not to push through. It’s been tough reading through all of the reports though.
You guys are way more scientific about your food than I am. I brought a bunch of Kind bars (saw Dan drop a Kind bar wrapper last year which made me investigate and realize the high calorie/weight ratio), nuts, dehydrated bananas, pepperoni, and cheese. I’m also addicted to jelly belly sport beans so had some of those along. I didn’t eat a ton on Saturday and was not really lacking energy, however I was pretty cold Saturday night which could have been due to calorie deficiency, a bad sleep system, never warming up from the wet float, or a combination of those.Jun 9, 2016 at 9:48 am #3407935John NBPL Member
Let’s see, more time out=more food but here is what I was packing this year:
Breakfast: ProBar Meal with 2 Via
Hiking: Fig bars, Kind bars, Bear Valley Pemmican Bars, Costco Trail Mix, some rad sesame/chocolate things, Justin’s Honey Peanut Butter packs
Lunch: Butthole sandwiches (toasted bagel, peanut butter, honey and bacon). These keep for days and rock about 800-1000 calories
Dinners: You stoveless guys are pretty brave. I need a hot meal at the end of the day. I had cous-cous with chicken, alfredo noodles with tuna, backcountry thanksgiving (stove top stuffing, chicken and dried cranberries) and nuclear mac and cheese (the kind with the cheese sauce package, about 1200 calories).
Before bed: tea and chocolate, aleve pm
I shop very slowly as I look for the most calories per ounce I can. My only gripe this year was all of the packaging from my food, may consolidate next year and put all my bars in one ziploc, etc.
I didn’t add it up but I was probably somewhere between 3-4K calories per day.
Last year I developed some achilles tendinitis that sidelined a lot of my plans for the summer. Didn’t bother me this year. This year I escaped with a decent blister under my right pinky toe and a shin splint on my right leg. I tried to go for a run on Tuesday but only went a mile or so before my shin started barking. I’m hitting it with a muscle roller pretty aggressively and will bike until it’s good to go.
Regarding my trip report, my phone somehow got wet when sitting in my pocket in a ziploc when crossing a creek so I didn’t get a lot of photos. I’m going to grab Thad’s photos this weekend and get my report up on BPL.
EDIT: Forgot to add fresh cutthroat at Big Salmon Lake. Made packing my spinner well worth it.Jun 9, 2016 at 5:25 pm #3408028Dan GregersonBPL Member
@dlgregersonLocale: Bob Marshall Wilderness
Congrats to all the BMWO participants (BTW, was Abby the first woman to complete the BMWO?), and thanks for the fantastic trip reports and post-game analysis — lots to learn for us sideline cheerleaders.
Question for the packrafters: on two occasions now, people have flipped at the ‘Dead Tree Rapid’ in the Burnt Park area of the S. Fork due to “taking the wrong line.” What’s the right line? I plan to float through there in about 3 weeks, so would be very helpful to know (i.e., river right or left?).
Thanks!Jun 9, 2016 at 5:25 pm #3408029Dan @ Durston GearBPL Member
@dandydanLocale: Canadian Rockies
“…saw Dan drop a Kind bar wrapper last year which made me investigate and realize the high calorie/weight ratio”
Whoops. Thanks for picking that up.
Maybe I should ask KIND Bar for sponsorship and show them this post as evidence of how good I am at spreading the brand ;)Jun 10, 2016 at 7:11 am #3408103
Roughly 300 yards above the tree the river splits into three channels. For years, and as early as this March, the rightmost was the largest, but last month it was the left. They all come back together just above the tree, creating a pretty strong current line. In 2014 I didn’t hit this with enough speed nor enough downstream lean, almost flipped, and took on a lot of water (was in a Scout). Spencer did flip, as mentioned. Luke and Meredith were another 30 yards behind us, saw what happened, hit the transition more aggressively, and were fine. I’m not sure which channel Jason et al. came down, but if they took the right as I did they would have been distracted dodging rocks and perhaps ended up fairly far right, which would make moving left enough to miss the tree tough. Even if they were in the left channel the current still goes squarely under the sweeper, is moving fairly fast, and a 10+ foot long packraft with 500 pounds in it can’t ferry that quickly.
Overall not an especially nasty feature, just a typical sweeper that will punish moments of inattention.
Kate finished the Open in 2013.Jun 10, 2016 at 12:59 pm #3408157
Good to know that I wasn’t the only one with extensor swelling/pain. May have been the running downhill for me too. I’ve still got some pain and discomfort today, but it has decreased. I’m sure the hiking in Glacier for the week after the Bob didn’t help.Jun 10, 2016 at 6:37 pm #3408197Dan GregersonBPL Member
@dlgregersonLocale: Bob Marshall Wilderness
Thanks Dave, excellent description.Jun 13, 2016 at 5:47 pm #3408658
Evidently I’m still licking some of my wounds; went on a 20-ish mile hike/run on Saturday that morphed into a 13-ish mile snowshoe trip (lot more snow in the Big Belts than I thought) and didn’t feel too bad- Sunday I figured I try a short run- uphill I was good, flats I was good as soon as I started on a downhill stretch the front of my left ankle was screaming- anterior ankle impingement as near as I can tell. Looks like running will be out of the cards for awhile.Jun 14, 2016 at 1:28 pm #3408841
Connective tissue recovery is no joke after something like the Open. Weeks, at minimum; and even for well-trained multi-time offenders I think the full process takes over a month. I felt less muscle soreness this year than any other the day after, and that was pretty much gone in 5 days, but I’ve felt a bit of twingyness in my achilles and IT bands for weeks now. It’d be great to take the fitness from the Open and just roll it right into summer objectives with minimal recovery, but that is just not sustainable.Jun 14, 2016 at 1:58 pm #3408855
I was signed up for a short 15k trail race this coming weekend, but am going to bag it
just found out from John that Thad’s injury is a ruptured tendon, he’ll be laid up for awhileJun 15, 2016 at 9:55 pm #3409113Scott GBPL Member
I too have the right ankel anterior pain and swelling over a week pretty bad. Not Noticable now except on extreme range of motion or if i sit for to long. I’ve identified mine as anterior tibialis tendonitis and/or an extensor retinacular strain or irritation as well. I will stand in the river at night next time as long as possible. Everything in Orthopedics heals with 6 weeks of rest and mobility :)Jun 16, 2016 at 6:58 am #3409151
I’ll look those up :)
I’m icing and and taking vitamin I, running is out for awhile- I did take a 5-ish mile hike yesterday w/ my 2 year old granddaughter on my back and it didn’t bother me; running must exert more forceJun 16, 2016 at 10:53 pm #3409338John NBPL Member
Here is my delayed trip report. My phone got wet the first day so I didn’t get many pics. Most of the pics here were taken by Thad or Mike.
2016 would be my second BMWO. I emerged last year with some tendinitis that pretty much derailed the rest of my summer. Despite this, I couldn’t get the trip out of my head, frequently going through pics or reliving the country via Google Earth. Once Dave announced the route for 2016, I got to work planning. The Bob is such a special place that I don’t feel like I do it justice by moving as quickly as I can through country that relatively few people will ever get to see. This year I wanted to take a more moderate approach, with something like 25-30 mpd. Kevin was on the fence about 2016 given some early spring knee surgery and two weeks out, so was Kevin. My hunting partner and friend Thad was preparing all spring. Mike decided to abandon his plan of 40 mpd/sub 3 day about a week before so we decided to hike together at first, Mike peeling off at some point. Feeling less physically prepared but more mentally prepared, we started off on a beautiful Saturday morning.
We had previously scouted up the Dearborn a month earlier so the first 12 miles or so were familiar. The road portion went by much faster than I anticipated. Thad and I eventually caught up to Mike and Dave at the Whitetail Creek crossing of the Dearborn. Dave quickly took off and the three of us worked up toward the pass. The trail was great with very little deadfall and the pass had very little snow, which wasn’t surprising given the mild winter.
We started to hit deadfall coming down the other side. This early in the year, deadfall and blowdown are a given.
The North Fork of the Blackfoot was really cool. My initial plan was to camp somewhere near Carmichal but with such good weather and high spirits, we pushed on down to the guard station.
Some not too skittish mule deer greeted us at the cabin. We ended the day at just under 32 miles, which is a good long day in my book. Thad pitched his tent while Mike and I threw our quilts on the porch.
It definitely got below freezing that night. I was still getting the hang of quilt life so didn’t quite get the draft-free deep sleep I was after but woke feeling sore but ready for another good day. We started up the Dry Fork, which was one of the best areas of the trip. The trail was in great shape w/o a ton of deadfall acrobatics. We stopped near Dahaner station for lunch. We had one good rainstorm in the afternoon but the weather was excellent otherwise. Once again, we pushed a little farther than initially planned (just over 30 miles for the day) and camped near Cayuse Creek the second night. Thad started a nice little fire and we ate, stretched and chilled. We had a little more rain that evening but sleep came much quicker for me.
We woke up and continued our trek north. Our route was planned this year with very little overlap with last year. The trail from the Big Prairie station to across the bridge was the only part of the trail we had been on last year. We ran into some nasty mud between Burnt and Bartlett Creek similar to what we found along the N Fork of Birch Creek, which I think was partially responsible for my tendinitis last year. Luckily it didn’t cause me any issues.
Mike let us know he would continue past Big Salmon solo. Thad and I planned on spending the rest of the day at the lake for a little R&R. We bid Mike good luck just after Salmon Forks and headed up to the lake. The deadfall was pretty bad in this short stretch but the lake was well worth it. We grabbed the first campsite next to the lake and took the liberty to wash our socks and get our feet totally dry. As I was puttering around camp, I looked up and saw a dog come over the hill. I expected the owner to show up at any minute but that never happened. He looked pretty skinny so we fed him what we could and caught some cutthroat out of the lake and made him a nice fish stew. He had a name and phone number on his collar but we thought Bob was a fitting name.
Thad also informed me when we got to the lake that his ankle was hurting pretty bad. He was hopeful some rest and tape would bring the swelling down but in the morning it was worse. I tried my best to convince him to hobble out to Meadow Creek and I would drive around to get him but he’s stubborn. At a not much reduced pace, we took off up Little Salmon Creek the next morning.
The deadfall and blowdown increased substantially on the way up toward Palisade Creek. I tried to reverse engineer my brain and get really excited when I had to climb over and belly crawl under this stuff. I would say my experiment was met with limited success.
We hit Palisade Creek about 1 pm and started our ascent up to the pass. The first patch of snow was around 5K feet with full snow around 5700 or so. This drainage reminded me of Wall Creek, where we lost the trail last year and got turned around a bit. Luckily we had good footprints to follow up, a bonus of not being one of the fast ones. We ended up taking the goat trail on the right side of the pass and scree skiing down to the trail. This was not a good move for Thad’s ankle.
The trail down to Lion Creek was steep and choked with deadfall. Good times.
By the time we hit the creek, Thad was about to pass out from pain. Tylenol 3 to the rescue! We were both pretty tired but found good camp sites lacking as we pushed down the trail. Finally around 8 pm we found a good spot in a cedar grove and setup for our last night.
We woke up and marveled at our luck at another great weather day. It is substantially thicker country on the west side and we moved down toward the finish at a pretty good clip. We had scouted out a good route to take FS roads rather than the highway to Cedar Creek. We hit all of our cutoffs and found our much needed stash of beer.
The last 6 or so road miles went much quicker while sipping beer and we hit the vehicle around 3 pm. Thad has since found out he ruptured a tendon and probably won’t be doing much this summer.
Overall it was a great trip. I escaped with a fairly minor shin splint which is almost completely healed as of today, a big toenail that I will lose (not the first time) and some minor blisters. My gear was more dialed this year and I felt much more at ease so far away from anything. I’m already looking forward to next year.
As for Bob, Thad was able to reach his owner up in Troy, who told Thad that if he wanted him he could keep him. Bob will for sure be on future adventures in the Bob and elsewhere.
Big thanks to Dave for “organizing”, Mike for hiking with us for the majority of the trip and congrats to all participants. We are so lucky to be able to experience such a special place.Jun 17, 2016 at 6:17 am #3409361
Nice report John-thanks! Hope Thad’s injury heals quickly and without surgery- I know he’s very anxious for this upcoming archery season.
MikeJun 17, 2016 at 11:50 am #3409403Dan @ Durston GearBPL Member
@dandydanLocale: Canadian Rockies
Thanks John! Nice read.
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