Search found 111 matches

by DaveChenault
Tue Jun 06, 2017 6:48 pm
Forum: Montana
Topic: NF Sun River, Bob Marshall Wilderness
Replies: 17
Views: 6261

Re: NF Sun River, Bob Marshall Wilderness

Scary stuff guys, be careful out there.

Lots of big water this year will probably mean lots of new wood, new channels cut, maybe even new rapids in places. No joke. Lots more packrafters in Montana in the last few years.
by DaveChenault
Wed Apr 05, 2017 5:22 am
Forum: Montana
Topic: Calm(er) water trips in Western MT
Replies: 3
Views: 435

Re: Calm(er) water trips in Western MT

Sky is the limit given where you are. Upper main Blackfoot (as you posted elsewhere) is a good one. The lower main Blackfoot is pretty mellow in a packraft once the water drops a bit, but that usually coincides with when it gets crowded. The entire Bitterroot is gorgeous and easy, but again can be c...
by DaveChenault
Wed Jun 15, 2016 8:26 am
Forum: Guide Books
Topic: Glacier NP and Bob Marshall Wilderness Montana
Replies: 3
Views: 1411

Re: Glacier NP and Bob Marshall Wilderness Montana

Here's a link to Dave Chenault's guide to Glacier and the Bob. Really inspiring! http://bedrockandparadox.com/glacier-np-packrafting-guidebook/ The guide has been revised significantly, with just about all of the holes filled in. Thanks for all the folks who have given me feedback about it over the...
by DaveChenault
Wed Jun 15, 2016 8:23 am
Forum: Montana
Topic: Trip Guide to South Fork of the Flathead
Replies: 17
Views: 8715

Re: Trip Guide to South Fork of the Flathead

Good call Dave, I edited my post to reflect some of those ideas. Good stuff. Packrafters move at a different pace than hikers, horsepackers, or the (typically guided) trips on big rafts. While on the water we might see only one other boat in 20 miles, while those users might see 4-5 different packr...
by DaveChenault
Tue Jun 14, 2016 1:42 pm
Forum: Montana
Topic: Trip Guide to South Fork of the Flathead
Replies: 17
Views: 8715

Re: Trip Guide to South Fork of the Flathead

I’ve been thinking about writing a trip summary of the South Fork of the Flathead for a couple years now, but avoided doing so for fear that I would increase the number of people floating it. Ultimately, this might reduce the “remote” feel, lower the fishing quality and likely make it Montana’s sec...
by DaveChenault
Tue Dec 01, 2015 11:21 am
Forum: Partners & Logistics
Topic: Bob Marshall 2016. No longer...
Replies: 7
Views: 1661

Re: Bob Marshall 2016

Will see you there Theresa. Hopefully the kid will be dialed on class 1 by then.

Brad, it is tenuous, no way around it. If you or anyone in your position can wait until mid-May to finalize dates you should have a good sense for what the water is going to do, but before that it's a roll of the dice.
by DaveChenault
Mon Nov 30, 2015 8:34 am
Forum: Partners & Logistics
Topic: Bob Marshall 2016. No longer...
Replies: 7
Views: 1661

Re: Bob Marshall 2016

Hey there Brad - me again. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but your plan for the Bob next summer is unlikely to work out in July/August. I tried to do a similar trip this past summer in early July and water levels were already too low. The good news is that the South and Middle Fork still had ...
by DaveChenault
Thu Jun 11, 2015 6:41 am
Forum: General Discussion
Topic: Upper Middle Fork Flathead River
Replies: 2
Views: 1345

Re: Upper Middle Fork Flathead River

Nice vid Brandon. Fun though Spruce down is, the best parts are upstream from where you put in! I've got some beta for you if you want to spoil the fun: http://bedrockandparadox.com/glacier-np-packrafting-guidebook/ I call the Schafer to Bear Creek section the lower Middle Fork, and Gooseberry to Sc...
by DaveChenault
Fri Aug 08, 2014 4:39 am
Forum: Montana
Topic: Middle Fork of the Flathead
Replies: 10
Views: 5753

Re: Middle Fork of the Flathead

Great info, thanks Dave. What would be the low end of cfs you would float the Schaefer to Essex section? We are planning a trip down the S.fork and hiking over to the middle out to W.Glacier in late August. You can make 1100 cfs work, but 3 Forks down to Granite Creek is very bony and slow. Granite...
by DaveChenault
Thu Jul 24, 2014 6:08 am
Forum: Montana
Topic: North Fork of the Sun
Replies: 1
Views: 912

Re: North Fork of the Sun

It will be questionable. I've only floated that stretch in May and June, with levels in the 1000-1500 cfs range. Currently its at 270 and dropping quickly. http://waterdata.usgs.gov/mt/nwis/uv?cb_00060=on&format=gif_default&site_no=06078500&period=&begin_date=2014-06-01&end_date=2014-07-24 The first...
by DaveChenault
Fri Jun 20, 2014 10:40 am
Forum: Guide Books
Topic: Glacier NP and Bob Marshall Wilderness Montana
Replies: 3
Views: 1411

Re: Glacier NP and Bob Marshall Wilderness Montana

I'll keep updating this as I go, but there are a lot of creeks, and my enthusiasm for investigating some of them is minimal given how woody many tend to be.
by DaveChenault
Fri Jun 20, 2014 10:34 am
Forum: Packrafting Gear
Topic: Double Duck v. Explorer 42
Replies: 3
Views: 2612

Double Duck v. Explorer 42

I'm planning on buying one of these this summer, and am looking for feedback from folks who have used one or the other, ideally from folks who have used both. Mission specs are to carry two folks (and eventually one adult plus one kid) and gear on mild rivers and river crossings. Very occasional use...
by DaveChenault
Mon Mar 03, 2014 12:02 pm
Forum: Partners & Logistics
Topic: Skiing South Fork Flathead
Replies: 3
Views: 701

Re: Skiing South Fork Flathead

I'm contemplating a skiing/boating trip, maybe in the Swan Range. Early May might be the best time. Has anyone done this? Any beta? Access from Seely Lake area, Holland Peak, Gordon Creek??? 3 days skiing, 3-4 days boating. Maybe hike/skin in to Holland Peak area, set up base camp, ski a couple day...
by DaveChenault
Mon Mar 03, 2014 7:05 am
Forum: Partners & Logistics
Topic: APA Roundup carpool
Replies: 2
Views: 732

Re: APA Roundup carpool

Hope it works out Dan.

There is a lot for non-paddling family or friends to do in the area, and Big Creek is actually a pretty convenient base for a bunch of good hiking.
by DaveChenault
Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:56 pm
Forum: Packrafting Gear
Topic: Alpacka Scout
Replies: 3
Views: 1452

Re: Alpacka Scout

The Scout is fine for something like the S Fork Flathead at summer levels, providing your pack isn't too big, and the weather is decent (as you will get wet). I did both the South and Middle Fork in mine this summer and in warm weather it's a fine option for a reasonably skilled boater going UL.
by DaveChenault
Thu Jul 25, 2013 7:11 pm
Forum: Partners & Logistics
Topic: Looking for Bob Marshall advice
Replies: 1
Views: 773

Re: Looking for Bob Marshall advice

The White isn't going to be be floatable at all. Neither is Danaher, and likely not the Sun either. The S Fork above Big Prairie is going to be very slow, with a fair bit of dragging and avoiding gravel bars. Below Big Prairie you'll be floating full time, but in the <2 mph range. Floating, fishing,...
by DaveChenault
Wed May 29, 2013 9:44 am
Forum: Montana
Topic: Middle Fork of the Flathead
Replies: 10
Views: 5753

Re: Middle Fork of the Flathead

Did Strawberry to Schafer this weekend with flows around 10,000 cfs (@West G). A good level, with only one or two rapids I'd call class III. There are several very large, very recent log jams a few miles below Gooseberry. They rate a mandatory but easy portage. On water pace of around 4 mph. Scenery...
by DaveChenault
Wed May 29, 2013 9:38 am
Forum: Montana
Topic: Bob Marshall packraft traffic
Replies: 2
Views: 1358

Bob Marshall packraft traffic

At the start of a trip this past weekend I had a brief but interesting conversation with one of the longer serving wilderness rangers. Suffice to say that the increase in packraft traffic in the last few years is definitely on their radar. He mentioned the visual impact of bright boats, which sort o...
by DaveChenault
Fri Jun 08, 2012 6:07 am
Forum: Montana
Topic: 2012 Bob Marshall Wilderness Open
Replies: 0
Views: 2253

2012 Bob Marshall Wilderness Open

The Bob Marshall Wilderness Open: 2012 official unofficial report Compiled and written by Dave Chenault For a comprehensive set of links to trip narratives, please see below. The Bob Marshall Wilderness Open (BMWO) was devised as a test of wilderness savvy, to be held over Memorial Day weekend each ...
by DaveChenault
Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:00 am
Forum: Montana
Topic: Glacier National Park
Replies: 13
Views: 8869

Re: Glacier National Park

Camas Creek below Trout Lake: -from Trout Lake to Roger Lake the creek is quite swift with near continuous small rapids. Camas Falls around 2/3s of the way down is unrunnable, so floating this section is tenuous and committing. There is a decent bear trail river-left almost all the way down to the l...
by DaveChenault
Mon May 28, 2012 4:44 pm
Forum: Montana
Topic: NF Sun River, Bob Marshall Wilderness
Replies: 17
Views: 6261

Re: NF Sun River, Bob Marshall Wilderness

Put in at Headquarters Creek and floated to just above Sun River Butte this weekend as part of a longer trip. At high water this took barely more than two hours of continuous floating. No river-wide jams, but some wood worth avoiding. The first half had more riffles and rapids than I expected, some ...
by DaveChenault
Mon May 28, 2012 10:05 am
Forum: Montana
Topic: Middle Fork of the Flathead
Replies: 10
Views: 5753

Re: Middle Fork of the Flathead

There is only one Middle Fork gauge of which I'm aware; at West Glacier. All levels cited by me above are from that one. In a normal year early July would probably have flows too high for my taste, at least if you hope to run the harder sections. Better boaters might think otherwise. Cabin Creek rap...
by DaveChenault
Tue Apr 17, 2012 4:20 pm
Forum: Montana
Topic: Middle Fork of the Flathead
Replies: 10
Views: 5753

Re: Middle Fork of the Flathead

Skied in a few weeks and ran Lodgepole to Bear Creek with a portage around the whole Spruce Park section. ~2200 cfs. A great trip and a good level for floating. Taking out at the cabin and putting in at Dirtyface Creek is a painless, if long, way to skip Spruce and turns this trip (at low water) int...
by DaveChenault
Mon Oct 10, 2011 4:27 pm
Forum: Montana
Topic: Glacier National Park
Replies: 13
Views: 8869

Re: Glacier National Park

McDonald Creek is closed to boating from April 1 thru September 30. As in March the creek is frozen, this essentially limits boating to right after rain storms in October. I floated the creek from a bit below Logan Creek down to the lake on Saturday (Oct 8th), portaging all the major rapids. There a...
by DaveChenault
Mon Sep 26, 2011 3:32 pm
Forum: Montana
Topic: North Fork Blackfoot River (MT)
Replies: 3
Views: 1949

Re: North Fork Blackfoot River (MT)

Did the same run lately, at essentially the same water level. It's quality cannot be overstated. No wood this year, remarkably. I found that the aforementioned too-tight drop is runnable. Unfortunately I got pinned threading the needle and had a rough swim. Thankfully, even though the rocks are near...
by DaveChenault
Thu Sep 22, 2011 3:05 pm
Forum: General Discussion
Topic: flyfishing out of your alpacka
Replies: 8
Views: 3272

Re: flyfishing out of your alpacka

It can be done. I've caught trout up to 14" out of the Yak this summer, all on a tenkara rod. The boat spinning around a lot is a nuisance, some sort of anchor would be useful. I've also had fish dive under the boat and throw the hook in the process.
by DaveChenault
Thu Sep 22, 2011 3:03 pm
Forum: Partners & Logistics
Topic: MT rafters! N Fork Blackfoot this Sunday!
Replies: 0
Views: 668

MT rafters! N Fork Blackfoot this Sunday!

Ground water is at unprecedented levels, and I'm taking advantage of it to run the N Fork of the Blackfoot this Sunday. Conditions look perfect. This is packraft/mini-golf class 4. Boulder garden pool drop fun at it's best. Helmets and a bit of confidence are mandatory, but at this level swimming is...
by DaveChenault
Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:55 pm
Forum: Montana
Topic: Glacier National Park
Replies: 13
Views: 8869

Re: Glacier National Park

Kintla Creek below Lower Kintla Lake is good floating, and has enough water surprisingly late (did it a few weeks ago). It's quite wood-free compared to the other N Fork draining creeks in the park, but there are still some wood jams to pay close attention to. A woman in an inflatable kayak got pinn...
by DaveChenault
Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:38 pm
Forum: Montana
Topic: Middle Fork of the Flathead
Replies: 10
Views: 5753

Re: Middle Fork of the Flathead

Probably mid August in a typical year. I.e. 2000-1500 cfs.
by DaveChenault
Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:58 am
Forum: Montana
Topic: Middle Fork of the Flathead
Replies: 10
Views: 5753

Middle Fork of the Flathead

This past weekend, with three others solicited from this forum, I paddled what might be the premier 2-3 (or more) day packrafting trip in the lower 48. In Montana's Great Bear Wilderness we hiked Morrison Creek in to a point just west of Schaeffer Meadows, then packrafted out to Essex. The first day...
by DaveChenault
Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:05 am
Forum: Idaho
Topic: The Selway River
Replies: 4
Views: 2199

Re: The Selway River

We went right about this time last year.
by DaveChenault
Mon Aug 29, 2011 5:30 am
Forum: Montana
Topic: Glacier National Park
Replies: 13
Views: 8869

Re: Glacier National Park

I don't know how tribal stream access works. You need a tribal rec permit to hike on the lands near Glacier, but wouldn't be sure that this alone would cover you will all the locals. I've certainly driven past Two Medicine in the res and thought that it looked good. The stretch above Running Eagle f...
by DaveChenault
Wed Aug 10, 2011 4:36 pm
Forum: Partners & Logistics
Topic: Paging MT rafters: M Fork Flathead over Labor Day
Replies: 2
Views: 1135

Re: Paging MT rafters: M Fork Flathead over Labor Day

Plenty of interest from a variety of folks.

To be clear, the plan is not much of one, yet, and can be tailored to the group who ends up going. So if you're interested, get outta the woodwork!
by DaveChenault
Thu Aug 04, 2011 4:47 am
Forum: Partners & Logistics
Topic: Paging MT rafters: M Fork Flathead over Labor Day
Replies: 2
Views: 1135

Paging MT rafters: M Fork Flathead over Labor Day

With our delayed water levels this year things are looking good for the Middle Fork of the Flathead to be low, but not too low, over Labor Day weekend. I'd like to do a 3 day run of the wilderness section, hiking in from Marais Pass or thereabouts. It'd be more fun to have a crew of packrafts along,...
by DaveChenault
Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:01 pm
Forum: Partners & Logistics
Topic: Stillwater river in the Beartooth's Montana?
Replies: 2
Views: 1074

Re: Stillwater river in the Beartooth's Montana?

The Yogaslackers did this a few years ago and got bouted pretty hard. There's a writeup on this forum.
by DaveChenault
Sun Jul 03, 2011 6:07 pm
Forum: Montana
Topic: Glacier National Park
Replies: 13
Views: 8869

Re: Glacier National Park

Quartz Creek from Lower Quartz Lake to very near the junction with Cummings Creek was very fun today. Good water level, good class II-III+ paddling. Near the aforementioned junction the creek emerges into a ~10 year old burn, and as expected the log jams got out of hand shortly thereafter. For me, n...
by DaveChenault
Sun Jun 26, 2011 5:03 am
Forum: Montana
Topic: Glacier National Park
Replies: 13
Views: 8869

Re: Glacier National Park

Camas Creek from below Lake Roger to the Inside NF road bridge is great, scenic class 1. One river wide log which was an awkward portage as the "banks" were impenetrable willows flooded over the head. Excellent birding.
by DaveChenault
Thu Jun 16, 2011 4:49 am
Forum: Tips & Technique
Topic: Flexible Vinyl Mender?
Replies: 1
Views: 1143

Re: Flexible Vinyl Mender?

Forged ahead. Used a thin coat on each side, let it dry for a minute, pressed together, cure overnight, bead of aquaseal around the edge. Solid. Cleaned each surface with alc and emery paper first.
by DaveChenault
Thu Jun 16, 2011 4:41 am
Forum: Montana
Topic: Montana's Bob Marshall Wilderness - S. Fork Flathead
Replies: 13
Views: 13592

Re: Montana's Bob Marshall Wilderness - S. Fork Flathead

This guage http://waterdata.usgs.gov/mt/nwis/uv?site_no=12359800 is not far above where the South Fork empties into the reservoir. It is below the Spotted Bear river, which adds significantly to the flow. Nonetheless, there will be some pretty huge water in there right now. The upper sections (above...
by DaveChenault
Tue May 31, 2011 3:33 pm
Forum: Montana
Topic: Montana's Bob Marshall Wilderness - S. Fork Flathead
Replies: 13
Views: 13592

Re: Montana's Bob Marshall Wilderness - S. Fork Flathead

Did Scott's route over Memorial Day weekend; obviously a bit of snow was involved. It's a superlative route, in any season, which I'd recommend to anyone. I reckon I had around 3000 cfs on the South Fork, which was very nice. No dragging, fast but not at all pushy. I walked to Basin Creek before put...
by DaveChenault
Sun May 22, 2011 7:05 am
Forum: Partners & Logistics
Topic: Places along the Great Divide
Replies: 2
Views: 980

Re: Places along the Great Divide

For starters you'll go right along the North Fork of the Flathead, which unless it's running high (more than 3,000 cfs) is a great mellow bikerafting float. You could put in by Polebridge and float all the way down to Columbia Falls, which IMO is a good trade for Red Meadow Pass (which is cool) and ...
by DaveChenault
Tue May 17, 2011 7:15 pm
Forum: Montana
Topic: Glacier National Park
Replies: 13
Views: 8869

Big Creek, lower N Fork

Did a fun trip this weekend: http://vimeo.com/23783346 Big Creek would be great floating with less wood. The North Fork below big creek has 3 legit class 3 rapids at these flows (~13,000 cfs), and some freaky standing waves and weird boils. Made Big Creek to the confluence with the Middle Fork in 3 ...
by DaveChenault
Tue May 17, 2011 6:08 pm
Forum: Tips & Technique
Topic: Flexible Vinyl Mender?
Replies: 1
Views: 1143

Flexible Vinyl Mender?

I've got a few strap plates I want to glue on, and was hoping to get the promised tips on using this stuff before I go for it. What beyond the package direction ought I to know?
by DaveChenault
Tue Apr 05, 2011 7:03 pm
Forum: Packrafting Gear
Topic: Packraft paddles: big v. small blade, high v. low cadence
Replies: 0
Views: 876

Packraft paddles: big v. small blade, high v. low cadence

Two questions which are perhaps only sometimes related. Do folks perfer a large surface area blade for packrafting, a small blade, or something in the middle? To what extent does whitewater v. flatwater v. expedition use influence the above? High cadence v. low? Again, parsed for different uses. I a...
by DaveChenault
Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:13 pm
Forum: Packrafting Gear
Topic: New Packrafter here...some gear questions?
Replies: 7
Views: 2456

Re: New Packrafter here...some gear questions?

Forrest had some fancy all-carbon Werner on the Selway last year, and it was night and day stiffer than my Aquabound. Massive, massive difference. Not sure of the model.
by DaveChenault
Mon Apr 04, 2011 4:28 pm
Forum: Montana
Topic: Glacier National Park
Replies: 13
Views: 8869

Nyack Creek

The boating season is now open!

Lower Nyack Creek: meandering class 1+ with some monster river-wide wood jams at the apex of the deeper bends. Balls deep postholing to portage around! Woohoo!
by DaveChenault
Mon Apr 04, 2011 4:25 pm
Forum: Utah & Nevada
Topic: Virgin River
Replies: 4
Views: 1905

Re: Virgin River

Looking forward to a Narrows video next! I did that stretch at 300 cfs in a duckie years ago and had a blast. It'd be a great level for the Narrows in a packraft.
by DaveChenault
Fri Apr 01, 2011 1:37 pm
Forum: Packrafting Gear
Topic: New Packrafter here...some gear questions?
Replies: 7
Views: 2456

Re: New Packrafter here...some gear questions?

I have a four piece Aquabound Shred. Very tough. If you get one, don't use anyones Werner. You'll realize how much stiffer the Werner is and want one yourself.

I don't know how the Sawyer stacks up in that respect. The weight is certainly nice. But I want a Werner now.
by DaveChenault
Fri Apr 01, 2011 1:34 pm
Forum: Design & Do-It-Yourself
Topic: Seat Valve & Floor Abrasion
Replies: 8
Views: 4997

Re: Seat Valve & Floor Abrasion

Hmmm. Well, I guess it can be a good idea to not read the instructions.

I have a blue foam mat I cut to fit inside the whole floor. Helps with heel abrasion in the shallows.