Skiing South Fork Flathead

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mason
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2014 7:11 am

Skiing South Fork Flathead

Post by mason » Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:34 am

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 days, travel down to the river, run the river through Meadow Creek Gorge.

mason
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2014 7:11 am

Re: Skiing South Fork Flathead

Post by mason » Mon Jan 20, 2014 8:33 am

I'm looking at Holland Lake to Upper Holland Lake, Shaw Peak, Una Mountain, ski down south face of Una into Gordon Creek. Anyone?

DaveChenault
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Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2008 6:04 pm
Location: Kalispell, MT
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Re: Skiing South Fork Flathead

Post by DaveChenault » Mon Mar 03, 2014 12:02 pm

mason wrote: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 days, travel down to the river, run the river through Meadow Creek Gorge.

A few years ago I did a traverse from Monture over Limestone Pass down to Danaher. I floated after Cabin Creek down to Salmon Forks, then hiked Big Salmon out to Upper Holland. The South Fork was running ~8000 cfs, and the bit from the confluence down to Salmon Forks was very fast. Burnt Park grows a few good holes at that level.

Early May would probably be the best call for good skiing and an open river. The Gordon trail would probably be a bit gnarly for the bit you'd have to hike/ski down to the South Fork, but such is life. Running Meadow Creek at cold, potentially higher flows with skis on board sounds like a bit much for my taste. Everything else should be at a good level in early May.

mason
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2014 7:11 am

Re: Skiing South Fork Flathead

Post by mason » Fri Mar 07, 2014 7:03 am

Thanks Dave! This trip probably won't happen, no partners. Another route might be via the Lick Lake couloir on Ptarmigan Mt., which is several miles south of Holland Lake, but also in Gordon Creek. The crux of skiing/boating this entire route is the weather: it needs to be cold in early May to allow for hard snow travel conditions and low-ish water. Also, how heavy a backpack do I really want to carry for 20 miles?

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