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TR - NSR - The Adventure Thread

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

   Thought I'd share a few photos from a recent 7 day trip me and a friend and my dog took into the Selway-Bitterroot wilderness. This range is the 3rd largest wilderness in the lower 48, and if not for a skinny dirt road known as the Magruder corridor which separates it from the Frank Church wilderness it would be the largest. 


   The Montana side of the Bitterroots were sculpted by periods of heavy glaciation, the last of which occurred 10,000 years ago. I have spent almost 20 years exploring this beautiful and largely untrammeled area...many "trails" within this vast area receive little to no maintenance.


    Please forgive that I am not the world's greatest photographer.



    Big Creek Lake, where we stayed for 2 nights. The lake is large--2 miles long--and sits at around 6000': 





    Here's a cute shot of Bode biggrin.gif, my black lab/blue tick hound mix...







   On day 3 we left Big Creek lake (seen almost in it's entirety below from 8200') and did some off-trail route finding through some truly beautiful high country (replete with some nasty talus fields!) on our way up and over to Pearl and South Fork lakes.




   Part of the Bitterroot Divide, looking north. The ridgeline(s) here form the Idaho/Montana border. 




   Here you can see Pearl Lake in the foreground and South Fork Lake behind, nestled in a beautiful basin underneath  Sky Pilot, the peak to the right. The route is still off-trail (or no trail) at this point. Pearl sits at about 7500', South Fork at about 7100'.





  I already posted this shot in the "picture of the day" thread, but I think it's a pretty shot. Blooming beargrass at South Fork Lake.




  Couldn't resist another shot of Bode smile.gif





  This last shot is of your's truly and one of the reasons I like this basin...






    Thanks for your indulgence!! Please feel free to share your own adventure pics wink.gif




Edited by zentune - 7/28/13 at 9:54am
post #2 of 17

Pan Fry or Grill? 


Nice TR.  Thanks for sharing!

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post

Pan Fry or Grill? 

Nice TR.  Thanks for sharing!

Cooked 'em up on a rock over the fire with some garlic and butter wink.gif
....away from camp, that is! biggrin.gif

post #4 of 17
Beautiful country up there, Zentune. Way to make the best of the snow-less part of the year in the mountains!

Keep the pictures and reports coming. Thanks for the PM!

Best regards,
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 

   Thanks Bob! I have a few more trips up my sleeve in the next month or so....biggrin.gif I'll post some more. 


 In the meantime I invite anyone and everyone to post their own adventure pictures/videos here if they'd like. smile.gif



post #6 of 17

Nice TR! Beautiful country and great pics. When the subject is that nice, you don't have to be a pro photog! 

post #7 of 17

Beautiful country and beautiful fish.  Thanks for the report.

post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 

   I'm headin' back to South Fork lake in a month or so to take a friend who's never been. I'll do an update with hopefully more (and BIGGER) fish photos and some photos of the unbelievably tangled, downed-log strewn, mostly trail-less, final 3 miles (it's 10 1/2 total...).


    Thanks Bob for the nice words!



post #9 of 17

Awesome pics! Great thread! 


Here's a few from my Summer adventures up until now















post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 

   Looks like you've been busy!!! Those ribs look mighty fine smile.gif



post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 

  So what's Epic's policy on bumping your own thread?? biggrin.gif Another summer spent backpacking in the rugged and largely untrammeled Selway-Bitterroot wilderness has begun...although as you may observe in some of the photos below, "summer" is a relative term indeed!

  Here's a recent little weekend jaunt (8 miles, 2750' vert) up the Bear creek drainage just outside of Victor, MT to Bryan Lake--replete with plenty of rain/ice pellets, wind, G-narly creek crossings, heaps of wolf scat, and much, much more--just enough to get our juices flowing in our quest for adventure. :)


  Speaking of the raging creeks, here's a couple shots of my buddy Jason and I carefully negotiating some very wet and slippery logs which span the north fork of Bear Creek. During late summer this crossing isn't much more than a rock hop, but with the massive amount of snow which still remains up high, the creek was instead a frothing and roiling torrent (I estimated chest-high to over-the-head depth in these crossings). Unbuckle those hip-belts and sternum straps people!!!




  Once safely across we resumed our trek up into the cirque which contained the lake as the light to moderate rainfall continued. Higher and higher we traveled up a trail which in it's own way had begun to resemble a small stream. Not long after this second photo below was taken, at around 5500', we encountered the snow and abandoned the trail (as it was buried) and continued upward cross-country for 2 1/2 miles over a mix of snow free polished granite slabs and snow laden fir forest.....




.......until we arrived at last to the snow filled basin--a basin which revealed a still frozen over Bryan Lake. I wish we had gotten a photo of it, but we were all tired and ready to get a fire going and to set up camp. The lake lies just 150 yards or so beyond the small trees in the first photo below. Our plans to hike up Bear Creek pass and summit Sky Pilot would have to wait for another trip. We expected some snow, but....



  Finally, after an hour of effort (extremely moist wood!) we had a fire and a nice little camp under some larger trees...an OASIS!



  Cozy indeed--if you look closely you can see a 3rd one man tent between the trees in the photo below.



 Soon thereafter the weather broke for an hour or so...out came the food, beer, and vodka :D....



  A nice shot of my buddy Ben soaking up the sun's warmth.




  After a long night of partying and carrying on we went to bed--only to awaken in the morning to a snow/graupel storm and a balmy 36 degree temperature. There was no more time for pics...only time to bail.


 Wisely, we had all been well prepared for these conditions (though I hadn't anticipated the lake to be frozen over :eek) and had the knowledge to stay safe and (mostly) dry. The best parts were the creek crossings...truly exciting!


 Well, that's all for now but I've got more trips (including some high country off trail traverses) in the works :cool so stay tuned..I promise better photos next time. Wish we had gotten some good ones of Bode, my dog (especially when I belayed him across the creeks) but they didn't turn out very good...





  zenny :) 

post #12 of 17
NSR? I saw this elsewhere a few months ago and wasn't able to figure it out then, either.
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 

  Yeah, I'm not sure either. It was just called The Adventure Thread, but when Trekchick moved it to trip reports she added the "NSR" :dunno



post #14 of 17
I think it means Not Skiing Related.

That is a good pic of Bode from last year.
post #15 of 17
I thought it was a location.
post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 

  A few new pics from last weekend (September 6th and 7th)! I know that many here including myself are thinking skiing, but I thought I'd share some decent photos of what was a spectacular overnighter.

  The Selway-Bitteroot is home to many in and out, through, and loop hikes. Recently, a friend and I decided to take on one of the more arduous loops: Fredd Burr creek to Mill creek. A 26 mile 4660' trek through some of the most splendid country I have encountered in this special wilderness--a route which passes by no less than 5 alpine and sub-alpine lakes. Hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I enjoyed taking them smile.gif

  Ok, first up is Fredd Burr reservoir whose yearly drawdown helps irrigate some of the farms and ranches in the valley below. The reservoir is located some 4.9 miles from the trailhead and is quite pretty even when only partially full:

  After snapping a couple of pics on the run, my hiking partner Ben and my stalwart dog Bode sallied forth further up the drainage at a brisk pace as we had many miles to go and much to see. Here's a few shots taken from further up in the Fredd Burr drainage. Lots of beautiful open meadows...


...and slide alder choked avalanche chutes capped by towering rock walls. The pictures don't do this area justice:




  !0 miles and some 2300' later after leaving the trailhead we turned south from what was a westwardly oriented canyon we began the fairly direct 1500' ascent via steep switchbacks up to Fredd Burr lake proper and the Bitterroot Divide. The higher we climbed, the more attractive the views of this glacially sculpted drainage and it's surrounding mountains became...







...until at last we reached the small, yet deep and cold high mountain lake:




 We debated staying at the lake for the night, but that would've left us with a 15 mile hike out the next day (as opposed to the 13 we had planned on) so we continued further and further up another 800 vertical feet or so, through some alpine pocket meadows and boulder fields...





...until at last we reached the pass which granted us entry into the headwaters of the Mill Creek drainage:




 500' below, on the other side of the pass we encountered Lockwood lake, an alpine jewel seen in this pic below in the foreground...



 ...but opted to stay the night at lovely Heinrich lake instead as it lies at almost exactly the halfway point, mileage-wise, of our trip:







  After catching some fish and throwing back a few brews (carried by the ever faithful Bode, pictured with Ben above) we called it a night. Upon awaking the next morning we packed up camp and were back on the trail by 9, reaching the Mill creek trail head some 6 hours later.


 A final shot of Ben with Mill lake just barely visible in the background...




  And that's it! Next year we plan to do the trip in reverse (Mill creek to Fredd Burr). Just as a day hike though :eek!



Edited by zentune - 9/23/14 at 8:21pm
post #17 of 17

Beautiful country.  

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