Saturday, August 09, 2008

A ski-fishing expedition in the Bob Marshall via Route Creek

North Fork Sun near Lick Creek in Bob where I went looking for a ski I lost there 
Packers coming through

View from the top of Old Baldy

I’ve finally worked through another obsession.
In March 2007 I lost a ski in the North Fork of the Sun River near Wrong Creek in the Bob Marshall Wilderness while assisting on a winter snow survey.
I fell in Lick Creek while crossing it and then my skis slid into the North Fork while I was putting on dry clothes. I retrieved one, but helplessly watched as the other cruised downstream. For a full account see my archive and look for March 2007.
Since then, I’ve been obsessed with planning to retrieve that ski.
I was blocked last summer by the fires raging in the Scapegoat and Bob Marshall Wilderness area.
Then, this year I had to wait until the snow cleared and the high water dropped to go back in and search.
When on the snow survey we started at Gibson Reservoir and went up the entire North Fork Sun, some 38 miles to the spot where I lost the ski.
I figured a much shorter way in to find it.
I went in from the Middle Fork of the Teton by way of Route Creek Pass, a distance of some 13 miles one-way. It is a much faster route, and darn scenic, too.
I took off Tuesday with a full pack and lots of hope.
I don’t know what I was thinking.
I reached Wrong Creek by 1:30 p.m., and was in the North Fork searching by 2 p.m.
It became quickly clear to me that my search would be futile.
I scoured the holes and perimeters of the North Fork for a couple of hours to no avail.
No ski in sight.
Anyone reading this please keep your eyes open for my metal-edge cross country ski. It is a Fischer with a cable backcountry binding on it.
I suspect it is far downstream at the bottom of a hole or in a logjam.
Anyway, I had a great backpack trip to compensate for my failure.
I stayed at Nesbit Creek. I passed on Wrong Creek. Wrong Creek was just too open and horsey.
In the two days I passed by only one group of people, a bunch of dudes coming in from Route Creek on the way to the North Wall. They seemed thrilled by their horseback experience.
On the way out I dropped my pack at Route Creek Pass and climbed Old Baldy (elevation 9,153 feet), the second highest peak on the Rocky Mountain Front.
My views in all directions were exceptional ---- all the way to Glacier where I could pick out peaks in the Logan Pass area like Reynolds, to the Swans on the west and of course, the Front to the east.

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