Apr 9, 2019 at 3:17 am #3587813Thad ABPL Member
Getting excited! Snowpack is looking a little below normal, although it looks like we’re supposed to get some more at elevation this week. I’m still trying to figure out how to close things out on the Swan Lake end. I enjoy bushwhacking probably more than most, but the bushes whack back in the Swans. Hoping to get up there the weekend prior to do some scouting. If I can just avoid breaking something in the meantime…Apr 9, 2019 at 3:10 pm #3587887Dan DurstonBPL Member
@dandydanLocale: Canadian Rockies
I’m getting excited too. I was looking at route options last night.
A local recommended Buffalo Joe’s in Depuyer for dinner, and they also may be able to give me a lift from the finish to the start on Friday. I think they have a couple more seats. But if enough folks are already making that shuttle then it would save this fellow a trip.Apr 9, 2019 at 5:41 pm #3587911
I was back up Sunday to scout another swan exit from trail 7. The snowpack is going fast. I will be back up there Friday thru Sunday scouting trail 7 to the S.F. I would post some photos if i could figure out how to resize them properly!!Apr 9, 2019 at 10:24 pm #3587962Dan GregersonBPL Member
@dlgregersonLocale: Bob Marshall Wilderness
Currently snowing at 4000′ outside Kalispell. Got about 2″ as of 4:30 p.m. Uffda!Apr 12, 2019 at 2:31 am #3588406Tyler HBPL Member
Sad to report I’m going to miss out this year. I decided to make a BWCA trip with family happen instead, but I’m already missing this challenge on the horizon. I’ll be working in Glacier during the month of July is anybody wants to swing by. Otherwise see everybody in 2020!Apr 22, 2019 at 1:37 am #3589858Dan MBPL Member
Mike , locals — getting across the south fork between soldier creek and spotted bear area — advise on crossing -??Apr 22, 2019 at 12:22 pm #3589884
Swinging bridge at spotted bear r.s.
Billy Garrett bridge on west side road
Harness and snatch block mission impossible style on overhead cable at tin Creek.Apr 22, 2019 at 4:19 pm #3589902
From the top of snowslide mtn 4/19Apr 22, 2019 at 4:26 pm #3589905
Looking east from snowslideApr 22, 2019 at 8:27 pm #3589929
still deep winter up high :)Apr 23, 2019 at 2:32 pm #3590029
The wife and I drove over to swift res. on Sunday. We have never been to this trail head. The Pondera campground is nice with lots of space and outdoor toilets. I am planning on staying there friday night.
I have a couple questions?
Will the start line be at the Pondera campground?
Is anyone else planning on going on the north side of the reservoir to trail #121? You have to cross a couple miles of tribal land and there is a sign clearly stating you need a permit for any activities. I spoke to friend of mine who has used this trail head before and he said they just motor through without a permit. Thoughts on this?Apr 23, 2019 at 3:19 pm #3590037David ChenaultBPL Member
@davecLocale: Queen City, MT
Comparing snow depth v. SWE for April at the Badger Pass snotel is an ideal study in how the spring snowpack forms. There is a massive spike from the storm two weeks ago (20″ of snow!, 4+ inches of water). The snow depth has dropped a foot since then, while the SWE number has remained steady, even increased a bit. That consolidation is a nice sign of what could end up being a solid snowpack with a nice durable base that will resist becoming rotten as night lows increase.
And yes, the start is at the campground, right by the south side reservoir TH.Apr 23, 2019 at 6:35 pm #3590065ejcfreeBPL Member
“…. he said they just motor through without a permit.
Thoughts on this?”
a man without honorApr 23, 2019 at 7:26 pm #3590069
Just spoke to the BNFW and yes a permit is required. Its $20 and here is the link.
http://blackfeetfishandwildlife.net/ I just got mine.Apr 24, 2019 at 3:49 pm #3590203Will BBPL Member
This is a big ask, but do any of the Montana natives here happen to have a decked packraft I could borrow for the week before the open? I’m meeting two friends and if the water levels allow we’re hoping to do the benchmark loop paddling the white river, SF Flathead, and NF sun. We have 3 boats between us but one of them is a scout. Paddling those rivers in May in a scout sounds definitely silly, probably fun, and maybe pretty scary.
I will buy you one or many beers on Friday before the open, depending on what kind of start you want to get on Saturday morning. And I’ll treat your boat with the utmost care.Apr 25, 2019 at 1:25 pm #3590341Scott GBPL Member
Man, this is coming up fast, I gotta look at the maps again.
I was thinking off the top of my head, Swift to Strawberry- float to Schaffer- head south to Spotted Bear- Float Spotted Bear to SF- and then ???
Anybody floated Middle Fork or Spotted Bear this early in the year. I would think the flows on the upper middle fork would be just about right?Apr 26, 2019 at 1:44 pm #3590490
Scott- I’m not a rafter, but if you peruse past trip reports I’m pretty sure that someone might have floated (or attempted) that stretch. Off the top of my head, adequate flows shouldn’t be much of a concern- wood might be????Apr 26, 2019 at 1:52 pm #3590491
Buffalo Joes in Dupuyer Friday evening? They have burgers/beerApr 27, 2019 at 7:23 pm #3590636
I was back into the swan yesterday up and over into the south fork. I think i have nailed down my route over the range. Defiantly found few do’s and a lot of do not routes. Above 5200′ was accumulating snow rapidly.May 1, 2019 at 4:22 pm #3591196Dan DurstonBPL Member
@dandydanLocale: Canadian Rockies
Yeah Buffalo Joes seems like the place.May 3, 2019 at 1:58 am #3591467Scott GBPL Member
Tom, thats a lot of snow still. How was it packed? Posthole or snowshoes?May 3, 2019 at 3:35 am #3591483
As of a week ago snow shoes were a must. I’m using some modified shifts with good success. I’m heading backwards on the route I’ve chosen over the swan tomorrow and staying the night somewhere in the south fork/h.h. Res area then coming back out Saturday. We received new snow since last week so I will keep you posted on the conditions I encounter.May 4, 2019 at 7:12 pm #3591655Dan MBPL Member
Tom , can’t tell you how much those scouting reports help – we will be flying in from michigan and at this distance ,every update is devoured – my hiking partner and i bought our tickets last week so no backing out now . It sounds crazy but the best we have for training around here is hiking a 5 mile loop we’ve laid out in the sand dunes. Mutiply laps of course — looking forward to fri night !May 5, 2019 at 5:21 pm #3591730James TaylorBPL Member
I’ve bought my airline tickets (Indy to Spokane) and rented a car, so I’m finally doing this. I’ve been collecting gear and
skillsskillz for the past few years and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone soon!
I’ve got a rental car that I plan to leave at the start, because my wife will be picking me up afterwards. It’s a “mystery car” (the cheapest option) so I’ll get whatever model they have leftover to give me. That means I don’t know how many it will seat, but I should be able to give at least 2 others a ride to Buffalo Joe’s and Swift from Swan Lake Campground on Friday, if needed. Message me if you’re interested in a ride and I’ll give you my phone number and email. If I can talk my way into a minivan, I will. I’ll know early on the 23rd and try to update this forum if I have more seats.
I plan on scouting a section of the Spotted Bear River in my Yak on Thursday, as I’m relatively unfamiliar with boating out west. This will hopefully be a major portion of my route and I’d like to rule out any unwelcome surprises. If that doesn’t look good, I’m gonna hike everything and carry a Canyon Flatwater II raft and Olo paddle and inflatable pfd, just for crossing waterways. ~2.5 lbs for the whole water kit. I don’t see records of anyone doing that yet, but it seems like the most conservative strategy for a hiker. The tyrolean option looked cool Tom, but would leave me without a raft for the smaller waterways. Whichever I end up doing, my main goal will be to finish, and not have to turn back or bail. Speed is secondary for me.
Also, thanks Dave for putting this out there as a goal for me to work up to over the last 5 years or so. I am a very different person now than I was then, and this is a big part of why.May 5, 2019 at 5:38 pm #3591732James TaylorBPL Member
There’s a question at the end of this :)
I haven’t heard much about the Elite Race snowshoes from Norther Lites in the BMWO forums yet (or anywhere for that matter). I now own a pair, but haven’t yet used them. I intend to carry them if the conditions warrant it.
The Northern Lites Elite Race snowshoes are 33.6 oz/pair with speed bindings (on my scale). I measure them at 26 inches long. They have two aluminum crampon cleat plates per shoe, and are constructed similarly to Northern Lites’ other shoes. Being the Race variety, I believe the differences are that the frame around the shoe is slightly smaller in diameter, and the race binding has two straps instead of the three on the normal binding. I opted instead for the Speed binding, which is an ounce lighter than the three strap binding (but probably very similar in weight to the two strap binding). I think it will probably spread out the pressure a bit better over my trail running shoes due to its greater surface area. Plus it’s called “Speed,” so. You can specify custom color combinations at no extra charge, and they got mine (custom) to my house within 3 days of ordering.
My assumptions (I don’t own the Shifts) are:
The Shifts are more compact to carry, and less expensive, with possibly better traction on ice, but the Elite Race shoes have a lot more surface area for easier walking on snow, and are about 6 ounces (?) lighter weight. The lighter weight really appeals to me, as they’ll be on my back for a huge portion of the distance.
Foreground is Race crampon configuration, background is normal configuration on a pair of Quicksilver shoes.
Attached to Porter 4400
It seems to me like the Elite Race shoes would be another great option for an event like this one, but everyone seems to prefer the MSR Shifts for these conditions. I don’t know if that’s due to a lack of awareness about the Elite Race, or if it’s something I’m missing because I’ve only ever used snowshoes on two trips. Thoughts?
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