2023 Bob Marshall Wilderness Open
Jan 9, 2023 at 9:33 am #3769633Josh JBPL Member
just curious for you out of towners doing this, especially those that are coming in solo and flying. how are you handling the transportation aspect? obviously you can rent a car and drive to start but then getting back to the car when you finish… taxi? bum a ride off a local that finishes around same time as you?Jan 10, 2023 at 8:36 am #3769738Tyler JBPL Member
My plan, never having done this before, is to drive from MN (like 16hrs), park at Marias, and coordinate some carpool here around to the start. I believe that has worked out before, but we will see.Jan 11, 2023 at 11:14 am #3769958Mike MBPL Member
Just an fyi on the snow, we were in the Crown Mtn area and for the most part, the snow really sucked (sugar snow) which made for really (really) slow going. The only relief was above tree line where the sun and wind had firmed it up. I found the same snow in the Elkhorn Mtns a week prior. Anyways if anyone is going in, hope you have better snow than we did.Jan 11, 2023 at 12:42 pm #3769962W I S N E R !BPL Member
Looking good Mike. Next year for sure ;)Jan 15, 2023 at 9:13 am #3770234RobBPL Member
Hey I was curious if anyone has ever laid eyes on or floated the section of creek between Big Salmon Lake and SF-FH. From the aerial is looks clean enough, but it also looks like the creek drops into a short but steep gorge. The portage would be easy, but fewer style points.
ThanksJan 15, 2023 at 9:43 am #3770247Will BBPL Member
A kayaker told me that he ran that stretch in 2020. Two more kayakers also ran the creek from 8ish miles above the lake down in the same year and encountered quite a bit of class V. The guy I talked to said that the whitewater below the lake wasn’t worth it for all the wood he had to deal with, but I agree that it looks clean-ish on sat. It’s possible that some wood got flushed between his run and the most recent photos, but I also think it’s possible that he confused the hike up from the SF with painful wood portages on the way down. That he felt that the whitewater was unworthy of the schlepping required to run suggest the difficulty level may be appropriate for a Bob-opener (barring wood), although obviously it doesn’t mean on its own that the rapids are good to go for a stripped down packraft set-up. I bet Dave has looked at some of Big Salmon with a packrafter’s eye, I’d be curious to hear him chime in.
Also that REI hyperlink is autoembedding and I can’t figure out how to remove it which is really weird. Not tryna push product on you all!Jan 15, 2023 at 8:26 pm #3770383RobBPL Member
My map is showing a waterfall called Barrier Falls ~4miles upstream of the lake. The creek looks heinous upstream from there and I would happily walk past it. Below Barrier Falls the creek looks ok; gradient drops enough to be friendly but possibly enough to wood to not outpace some fast walking on trail (just a guess). Floating the lake seems worth it if planning to continue floating SF-FH, but the short stretch between lake and river is giving me pause. If I end up choosing this route, I suspect I’ll walk it. Will, please forward on any other beta you get on Big Salmon.
Looks like REI is testing your product pushing abilities. Maybe if we all click it they will send you a sweet headlamp.Jan 25, 2023 at 1:41 pm #3771406David ChenaultBPL Member
@davecLocale: Queen City, MT
I’ve ran the bit below Big Salmon 3 times over the past decade and always found it fun, with not too much wood (from a wilderness perspective). Never been on it at high water. Scouting or portaging obviously not a big deal.
Below Barrier Falls Big Salmon is probably never more than even with good walking speed on the trail. A lot of flatish water and plenty of beaver action, with some rapids thrown in at higher flows. The ~mile above barrier is as steep and continuous as it looks on sat photos, and portaging is not so simple. Probably a cool stretch for the right crew at the right flow and the right time (i.e. well flushed out) but I can’t imagine ever schwacking over to look at it again.
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