May 10, 2008

North Fork Blackfoot; Montana (IV)

Six Pin

Crazy avalanche slides overhanging the river

1 comment:

Sparky said...

The North Fork of the Blackfoot is a great adventure close to Missoula. Although the N. Fk. is a larger volume run, this is a really good river for intermediate paddlers to hone some creek running skills without getting trashed. Most of the run is class III, with one or two IV's and Six Pin, a V- at all but high flows. We ran this in early May 2008 after a really heavy snow year and there were enormous avalanche slides reaching down to the river that forced you to run beneath 20-30 foot overhanging snow walls. This was a bit nerve wracking, but really neat.

North Fork Logistics: Class III-IV (V-). To reach the trailhead, turn off highway 200 just east of Ovando and drive to the N. Fk. trailhead. Drive back down toward highway 200 and set a shuttle at the bridge closest to the trailhead (this will save you a 3/4 mile hike when you're done). The putin is three miles or so up the trail after you cross the packbridge. There is a good rapid just upstream of the packbridge that signals the putin.

As of May 2008, there was still lots of snow on the river banks and HUGE amounts of wood. We only had to portage 1 log and Six Pin was clean, but when this thing peaks, lots of new wood will flush down. Take your time and scout very carefully for new log jams. This is a great, remote trip that is easily done in a day and will leave you satisfied.