Jul 29, 2020 at 6:41 pm #3667278
Tom’s given me inspiration to get this trip report up :) The Chinese Wall in the Bob Marshall is probably the most iconic landscape in the Complex and it is very cool. What’s cooler yet, is hiking up top (off trail)!
This was my second attempt; first trip got scuttled when we hadn’t even gotten on the Wall and bumped square into two separate wildfires.
There were five of us that gave this a go- Dave C, Kevin, John N, Tom M and myself. Our plan was to hike via trails to the northern terminus of the Wall, find a way up and hike it to it’s southern terminus and find a way off and finish it off with more trail hiking.
We started at Benchmark, early evening- hoping to get a ways down the trail allowing us to get on top sometime the following day. We made pretty good time and got in about 11 miles (near Indian Point) before setting up camp.
We were up and at ’em early and headed for Larch Hill Pass. The going is all up, but we were making decent time and finally got our first glimpse of the Wall.
a short break in the shade
we slipped through a pass that drops you into the Moose Ck drainage (this close to where the fires were burning the year prior) and gives you a pretty good glimpse of a good chunk of the Wall
Unfortunately a bunch of the climbing we did evaporates as we drop into Moose Ck. But the vies are stunning and the wildflowers were blooming.
We were closing in on Larch Hill Pass and started looking at a possible route up. We found a saddle that looked promising, steep, but doable.
Miller time; well not really as we had a long ways to go :)
As my grandfather used to say “I wonder what the poor people are doing?”
It was just as I envisioned it- beautiful views up top and easy going, well for about a mile or so and then we promptly cliffed out and had to get off the Wall and find another place to get up.
We had to lose about 2,000′ we fought so hard to get and make a 3-ish mile detour before getting up top again, but we did.
Damn nice views and easy going (again)
Unfortunately we go clipped out yet again- like a big gap in someone’s teeth; down (way down) again and then back up. We were really trying hard to make it to a small tarn near Cliff Mountain- our only source of water on top.
We ate supper, watered up good and then hiked back out of the tarn to make camp.
We were up early again as we still had a ton of country to cover if we were to make it out this day.
We had to make another detour and find another way up.
Someone else knew about this route too (top, center)
On top yet again!
Flathead Alps behind me
We were cooking right along and you’ll never guess, we got clipped out again. This one was a bit more “touchy” or as Tom would say “saucy”
Definitely out of my comfort zone here.
And off we go, yet again!
We were nearing the southern terminus now and had to find a way down to the trail.
While we were excited about hitting the trail, we still had a long 15-ish miles to go and it was getting hot. Somehow we made it back to Benchmark, a little delirious, but made it. A couple of cold IPA’s shook me out of it and we made our way to the Buckhorn Bar for big burgers- well earned :)Jul 29, 2020 at 6:54 pm #3667280idesterBPL Member
@doug-iLocale: The Cascades
Nice trip Mike! Great pics too! I need to get into the Bob one of these days.Jul 29, 2020 at 7:48 pm #3667288
Most definitely!Jul 30, 2020 at 9:14 am #3667607Tom MBPL Member
“Saucy for sure and hot as hell” This was an epic trip with some great people. Great write up and awesome pics Mike. A little pro tip definitely filter the water below Cliff mtn. Hahaha!Jul 30, 2020 at 12:20 pm #3667622Brad RogersBPL Member
@mocs123Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Awesome trip report. Thanks for sharing Mike!Jul 31, 2020 at 6:00 am #3667706
Thanks- it was definitely a keeper! :)Jul 31, 2020 at 12:46 pm #3667738Logan KidwellBPL Member
Great trip report! Thanks for sharing an awesome adventure!
LoganJul 31, 2020 at 3:08 pm #3667769Josh JBPL Member
<p style=”text-align: left;”>Pure awesomeness!</p>Jul 31, 2020 at 5:20 pm #3667781
we’re already scheming a new trip and part of it will have us revisiting some of this trip :)Aug 3, 2020 at 7:08 pm #3668703Ryan JordanAdmin
@ryanLocale: Central Rockies
Thanks for posting this report, Mike – I really enjoyed reading it! It brought back a lot of great memories from when we traversed the top of the Chinese Wall with scouts in 2014. And we faced some of the same challenges in the same areas!Aug 3, 2020 at 8:30 pm #3668732
^ thanks for posting the link- great read and a great adventure; that’s the kind of scouting I would have loved as a kid!Aug 9, 2020 at 1:13 pm #3670132
Hey Mike — thanks so much for posting this trip report!!! I was just about to send you a PM to ask for beta on your trip because I’m planning to attempt the same thing in about a week. Guess you already answered my biggest question, which is whether it’s feasible to travel the entire length from Larch Hill to Haystack in one day — looks like the cliffing-out would make that unlikely, eh? Any advice regarding those spots?
Thanks again!Aug 9, 2020 at 1:54 pm #3670145
Dan- Hi. We came in from the east side and gained the top just shy of Larch Hill- if you’re coming from that side, you’ll see a little saddle- steep, but not technical at all. From there we went about a mile or so and then had to bail to the west side. We dropped down to roughly 7000′ feet and made about ~ mile detour before heading up again. Just past Salt Mountain we had to exit again to the west, again roughly a mile detour. We headed to the drainage that is just north of Cliff Mtn (it was dry when we did it) and followed that up to near where the little tarn sits in a sink. We filled up water bottles there and camped above it.
From there we stayed at between 7600 and 7800′ contouring around- in between Sphinx Mtn and the Wall (pretty cool area). I’m pretty sure we could have gained the Wall earlier, but we continued to contour to we hit the Haystack trail and then gained the top again.
About another mile, we got off the Wall for the last time- it was a little spicy getting off, but not bad. Just kept dropping until we hit the White River Pass trail.
If you start at Larch Hill in the morning, I think you can make it to Haystack in a day. We started clear at Indian Point and made it all the way to that little tarn in a day (albeit a long day :))
Tom and I are headed in there Wednesday (from Benchmark)- we’re going to try jumping on at Trick Pass- we just recently hear about it (near the head end of Moose Ck). Going to ride it out to near Larch Hill; then we’re headed all the way to Marias Pass. Going to hit Redhead Peak and Three Sisters enroute too. Pretty cool route picked out :)Aug 9, 2020 at 8:22 pm #3670189
You Sir, are Awesome. Thanks so much — that detailed info is exactly what I needed. I’ll print that out and carry it on the hike; much appreciated!
BTW, I’m actually doing my own cross-Bob trip, inspired by you BMWO animals (in the best possible meaning of the word). Planning to enter at Swift Res. and exit at Holland Lake, via the top of the Chinese Wall. Hitting the trail on Sunday, so probably won’t cross paths with you all, but that would be cool if we did!
Happy trails!Aug 9, 2020 at 9:04 pm #3670193
Nice! Yeah I think we’ll just miss each other, we’ll be going through Badger Pass on Saturday (and hopefully to Marias on Sunday).
Be sure to post up a trip report.Aug 9, 2020 at 9:23 pm #3670196
Will do. Thanks again.Aug 12, 2020 at 5:17 pm #3670563Jenny ABPL Member
@jenniferaLocale: Front Range
Stunning photos of a great trip. Well done and thanks for sharing.
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