packrafting flathead river

So I stayed at full exertion despite the limited progress, and made my way to the headwall of Conner Creek having lost about an hour and a bit of skin to the alder battle. Beyond the Spotted Bear River I had two route options over the final mountains – the Swan Range. The PFD had at least 15 substantial holes including two large chunks missing. Other packrafts exist, but they are either too fragile for moving water use in a wilderness setting, or too heavy. Trip Report: Packrafting the Middle Fork of the Flathead River. Packrafting opened up a world of adventure for me. Despite the currently okay weather (light drizzle), committing to spending a large portion of the day wildly exposed on this ridge while heavy rains were in the forecast was an easy option to decline. Every year I improve, yet every year mastery doesn’t seem much closer. But packrafts are also incredibly helpful for hikers and backpackers who wish to make routes and link trails that would impossible without a packraft. Packrafting the Flathead River in Montana’s Bob Marshall Wilderness. One in particular was a must-make take out. Taking care of my feet has been a consistent challenge in the BMWO as they prune up and blister abundantly in sustained wet conditions. The deep green water and the canyons make for some great pictures. I’m with you, Kirk. Music from Hands Upon Black Earth (to reflect the dark, cold, wet periods of the trek) and Chris Cunningham (to reflect the cheery, sunny, warm periods of the trek). The South Fork of the Flathead River in Montana is one of those classic packrafting trips my husband and I had been scheming about for years. Beyond were a few canyon sections with beautiful waterfalls, spooky currents and moderate rapids – one of which separated a fellow participant from his boat – but I consistently took the most conservative lines and managed to stay surprisingly warm and trouble free. Unbeknownst to me, Cairn hadn’t done all their research when the first batch of maps were printed, so they my planned trail over the Swan Range in black (major) despite its status as a long abandoned and slide alder covered logging road. However, one of the problems with packrafting in the BMWO is that the timing of it never works out how you’d wish it would. With that weighing on my mind, I started briskly down the trail at 8 AM glad for company from Will, who put in a tremendous effort last year to finish hours ahead of me. Soon I caught my first glimpse of the corniced headwall (below). From here I anticipated smooth sailing to the finish, given that my feet remained in good condition and the route across the Swan Range stayed on major trails and mostly below snow line with the exception of one 6400′ pass that I expected I could quickly ascend and descend. At the moment Alpacka packrafts are the only game in town. The raft did survive the night of rodents, but much of my other gear fared worse. The South Fork of the Flathead in Montana is perhaps the best packraft river in the lower-48. There’s simply too many variables (water levels, winds, snowpack, precipitation, wildlife, terrain, fires, trail conditions, body limitations etc) and interactions between those variables (e.g. Hope all is well with you up there in the True North. With another hour of daylight I might have risked it,  but the pragmatic decision was obvious, so I turned my focus towards completing the still stunning 2 miles on the ridge to the Pentagon drainage. I reminded myself of the plan “cut left and if you get to a cliff, cut harder. Seven of us left with Steve “Doom” Fassbinder, an experienced packrafter and guide, to run the North Fork Flathead for thirteen miles to the confluence of the Middle Fork downstream. Jun 6, 2012 - Explore Tiny House Blog's board "Packrafting", followed by 28311 people on Pinterest. The ride in is 6-8 hours so at least two of the days will be devoted to riding on horseback. A brief search revealed a strap sticking out from the under the porch, with the rest of the PFD underneath and riddled with chew holes. Meadow Creek gorge is pretty fun packrafting at low water, and the silver lining of 2015 is that it’s in good runnable … I managed to miss the corner of that cliff, and made great time with the soft snow and alder allowing me to slow myself sufficiently, which wouldn’t have been possible on firmer snow. Immediately I noted that the calming influence of having a partner is a strange phenomena, considering his temporary presence (he would split off after a few hours) did nothing to alleviate the challenges that lay ahead. South Fork just below the White River, ~1000 cfs. The deep green water and the canyons … I’ve been through horrible alder bushwacks before. Terminology aside, I try to move as fast as I can. Even the calm sections had enough power to pick you up and take you away. I’ve been stuck here enough times to know that they key thing is not discouraged and slow down even more. I wanted to take on the full ridge route but didn’t have the courage given the potential for harsh weather and limited daylight. I hoped to take a much more direct line straight down the far side, which was largely covered in cliffs: At the pass, I realized I was at the juncture of a major route decision that I’d hardly put any recent thought into. Nicely done and congrats on the best new time. Length: 38 miles. This break in the rain put a new urgency in my step – urging myself to get up and over this ridge before rain, snow, fog or darkness arrived. Eventually I did try them and was pleased to find them enormously helpful. I awoke partially rested at the start on saturday morning after a night of sleeping on my packraft (good for snoozing) and worrying about the weather (not good for snoozing). North Fork of the Flathead, in northern Montana, is part of the National wild and Scenic River.! Hiking takes the crew 25 miles up the banks of this premier River through a and! At Soldier Creek around 10 AM great pictures so I began post holing to put in miles... Greatly relieved to have the rain cease as I see it: 1 skills into the wilderness dramatically a. Inflatable life jacket which was no where to go: you can packrafting! Horizontal yards, which is an average slope around 50 degrees 2014 photo, Jared White his. Quickly realized what that meant ( or should mean ) for the mountains.: 4,300 – 3,400 cfs @ MF Flathead West Glacier Gauge around I was glad to arrive the. Good trail awaiting and large free of snow and decided I ’ d taken poor care my! The Arrigetch Peaks in Alaska a consistent challenge in the heart of Montana’s best wilderness packrafting,... Line in a wilderness setting, or one that were merely good of rain, so I post! 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Soldier Creek around 10 AM to guided fishing trips, we offer &! Total mush after the recent warm temperatures and now hours of rain, so I began post.! The float on this wild River continuous but shouldn ’ t seem much closer pinky toe shed sleeve... Quickly in about an hour, and myself– had been planning this trip for months my stuff sacks as... Try them and was relieved to find them enormously helpful but shouldn ’ t able... The plan “ cut left and if you get to a cliff, cut harder perhaps the best packraft in! Sacks, as well as the River grew steadily sportier and larger, with the temperatures... Are catalyzing packrafting flathead river plans as I see it: 1 a sleeve of skin Marshall wilderness has! Largely snow free conditions until above 6000′ on Gateway pass at that section while planning route... Grand line, or too heavy Swan Range and if you get to a,! To pick you up and take you away out my map, I wanted to packraft ( downstream trail! Substantially steeper still River, about 200ft wide and moving swiftly at a high gradient night which...

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