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 #3769958
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 !Spectator
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.Feb 19, 2023 at 8:19 pm #3773626Scott EmmensBPL Member
Hi from New Zealand! Unfortunately I won’t be participating in The Bob this year, or any year in the next wee while, however I am a very keen spectator. I’m pretty fascinated about this event.
Would anyone be prepared to give me an overview of the route planning for this? Obviously not wanting anyone to give away their actual route or plans, but I am keen to hear how you would go about planning for an event like this.
I have ridden the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route so have actually visited Holland Lake, so this start point is of particular interest to me! Montana blew our minds.
Thanks for any info, Scott in NZMar 12, 2023 at 6:24 pm #3775596Fred RBPL Member
I’m an experienced backpacker but a novice to pack rafting. I’m considering rafting to spotted bear. Any thoughts?Mar 12, 2023 at 6:46 pm #3775600James TaylorBPL Member
My guess is that everyone with a boat will be doing something fairly similar. Portage around Mid Creek Gorge though.Apr 14, 2023 at 2:11 pm #3778929Adam RSpectator
David M messaged me on here, but I accidentally deleted the message. Apparently there’s a few people on here with that name, can you re-send your message? Thanks!
Getting excited, only 6 weeks out! A lot can change between now and then, but so far looks to be average year for snow.Apr 17, 2023 at 12:21 pm #3779113Seth CunninghamBPL Member
Looks like I’m in for this year after waffling back and forth all spring. In the end, cheapish flights and the draw of seeing both the South and Middle forks in one trip sucked me in.
I’m flying into Kalispell on Friday evening but would be down to coordinate on a car shuttle. Likely a Monday finish if conditions allow.Apr 17, 2023 at 11:08 pm #3779150
I just booked my flights. My buddy Marc and I will be there. Our first Open. Although my parents live outside of Swan Lake, so I have spent part of every summer for the last 20 years backing packing through the Bob. Just never this early in the season.
Would welcome car shuttle. And I can offer a shower and a home cooked meal if someone needs it.Apr 18, 2023 at 6:54 am #3779153Tyler JBPL Member
I’m driving in from MN, and would love to participate in a shuttle of some kind. Ideally I can drop my car at Marias.May 2, 2023 at 7:09 pm #3780188Scott GBPL Member
Anyone know when the gauge on the S. Fork Flathead will start to read? Curious as to what the levels are now. I bet they will be well over 10K by the start.May 2, 2023 at 7:26 pm #3780190Tom MBPL Member
The gauge must be broken. It usually starts producing data April 1st.May 2, 2023 at 8:22 pm #3780196May 2, 2023 at 9:02 pm #3780201
where, what elevation?May 3, 2023 at 7:24 am #3780210
6500-7500’ middle of the BobMay 3, 2023 at 8:29 am #3780213
RE Twin Ck:
Thank you for your interest in USGS data. We are still waiting to get access to that site and hope to be there in the near future. I believe the battery died over the winter and is likely the cause of why data is not transmitting right now.
AaronMay 8, 2023 at 11:51 am #3780552Adam RSpectator
Finally looked at snotel data since the warm weather… wow! MT and northern ID are dropping like rocksMay 9, 2023 at 12:51 pm #3780624Andrew CBPL Member
Meanwhile, the river gages for the region are all above the 75th percentile. It’s always nerve wracking to eye those reports and try to figure out how the weather will affect route choices. Mike, you should volunteer to replace the battery for them so we can have more data to fuel our anxiety.May 15, 2023 at 10:55 am #3781235James TaylorBPL Member
After a few missed training opportunities and a few ugly, surprising swims this year, I realized I wouldn’t be able to safely run the big water section of the Middle Fork from Schafer down. Other routes aren’t getting me excited enough to put forth the effort required to finish in two days.
One great thing about the Bob Open has always been its ability to inspire people to push further and expand beyond what we already know we can do. In that spirit, I’m going to take advantage of my Bob Open training and current fitness to do a new(?) loop in the Bob that takes advantage of the spring flows and will let me see a lot of the area.
I’ve been toying around with doing a big loop trip that hits as many rivers as practical in May, but can be done in under 8 days. I’d appreciate advice and feedback from anybody watching this forum, as my route has a few off-trail passes on it that make me nervous from Google Earth.
I hope everybody has a great time during this year’s BMWO, and if you’re way off-route, maybe I’ll even see you out there!May 15, 2023 at 11:20 am #3781236
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