Photo by Meg Killen

A. Limestone Pass

July 23 - 29

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Project Name: Limestone Pass, Lolo National Forest
Project Dates: July 23-29, 2017
Registration Deadline:  July 15, 2017

Volunteer Limit: 8
Volunteer Spaces Left: 3
Hike-in Difficulty: Strenuous
Project Work Difficulty: Moderate

Location: Limestone Pass, Lolo National Forest 
Type of project: Backcountry Camping
Travel to Camp: 11-12 miles
Travel at Worksite: 1-3 miles each day
Meeting Time and Place: Saturday July 22 @ 7PM, Monture Creek TH 

Basic Project Description

Join Montana Wilderness Association and the Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation as we lead volunteers into the Lolo National Forest section of Recommended Wilderness area, just outside of Bob Marshall Wilderness country. The camp will be located just below Limestone Pass on trail #402. Volunteers will be working on extending the corridor of the trail through brushing and repairing tread. Using loppers and handsaws to clear alder from the corridor and pulaskis and pick mattocks to widen the trail bed and remove rocks. This Recommended Wilderness Area is remote and scenic, with the official Wilderness boundary just a mile or so from the work and camp site.

About the Area

The Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex, or "The Bob" as it is lovingly referred to by its adventurers, is one of the nation's premier Wilderness areas. Comprised of three adjoining Wilderness Areas- the Scapegoat, Bob Marshall and Great Bear, the Bob is over one million acres and contains 60 miles of the Continental Divide. The recently passed Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act has added another 67,000 acres to the complex, bringing the Bob's total acreage just shy of that of Delaware. 

Just this spring, Senator Tester introduced the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act, which would extend the Wilderness protection to an additional 80,000 acres. The BCSA will permanently protect the North Fork of the Blackfoot, Monture Creek, Grizzly Basin the wild Swan Front, and the West Fork of the Clearwater. These areas provide crucial habitat for grizzly bears, westslope cutthroat trout, bull trout, and the largest herd of mountain goats in the vicinity of the Bob Marshall Wilderness.

Meeting Place

Meet with your BMWF crew leader and the rest of your crew at the Monture Creek Campground on Saturday July 22 @ 7:00 PM. The crew will camp here for the evening and depart for the backcountry camp with pack support early Sunday morning. 

Click on this link for directions to Monture Creek Campground from nearby Clearwater (jct of HWY 200 & HWY 83)

Camping Information

The camp for the week will be set up in the backcountry. This means no running water or established pit toilet. There will be water filters for purifying water from a nearby stream. The crew will also dig a latrine for the week. 

The crew will be camped in prime grizzly country- please make sure you are in the know about proper safety precautions in bear country.

Food and Water

Your first meal provided will be breakfast and lunch fixings on Sunday morning. Make sure you have arrived on Saturday with dinner already eaten or prepared on your own. There is no water at the trailhead. Make certain you bring enough water to last you Saturday night and Sunday's hike in.

Please inform your crew leader of any dietary restrictions, or requirements at least a week before the project start date. Even if this means you’re a picky eater…please tell staff! We need you to have full energy for working on the trail, so we want to provide everyone with food they will eat. Volunteers will be expected to assist with cooking meals, and cleaning dishes throughout the week. Please remember to bring your own dishware and utensils.

What to Bring

Please review the backcountry gear list for more information on what to bring. Commonly forgotten items include rain gear, personal mess kits and extra warm layers.

Physical Abilities

The work involved in this project is moderate but the hike in may be be difficult at times. Brushing requires a lot of bending over and taking your pack on and off. While this is one of our easier projects, please make certain you are in good shape and can be nimble and keep up hiking for the length of the project. We'll hike at a pace of approx. 2 MPH. If you have any concerns about your ability to participate, please contact MWA's Stewardship Coordinator Sonny Mazzullo at smazzullo@wildmontana.org or 406.334.7378.

Weather

Prepare for possibility of rain, snowstorms, high winds, cold weather and bugs. Unpredictable weather is to be expected – bring proper gear. It can snow in high elevations – even in September! If we do experience actual summerlike temperatures, be prepared for sun exposure. Bring hats, long sleeves, and sunscreen!

Here is a link to the weather forecast on NOAA.gov. However, don't be fooled; weather on the divide can be very different than predicted. Please be prepared for all kinds of conditions, regardless of the forecast.

Daily Schedule
  • 7:00 AM: Breakfast- this is the time to chow down, pack a lunch, fill waters and prepare necessary layers and gear for the day.
  • 8:00 AM: Hike to the worksite- on Sunday morning this will be our departure for camp.
  • 12:00 PM: Lunch on the trail. One mid-morning and one mid-afternoon break.
  • 4:30 PM: Begin our hike back to camp- once we arrive back at camp we will have some personal time before jumping into dinner prep.
  • After dinner and dishes, you are free to spend the evenings as you wish- taking in a sunset, reading, chatting around the campfire or catching up on some zzz's.
IMPORTANT COMMUNICATIONS NOTE

Volunteers are responsible for checking project website for updates up until the day before the project start date. Last minute changes can take place due to weather, bad river crossings, wild fires or other events out of our hands. If you are traveling before your project, be sure to check your email to receive any last minute updates.  MWA staff may be in the field and unreachable 1-2 days before your project so plan ahead!

REGISTRATION REQUIRED

Do not show up to an MWA project without registering or without receiving a confirmation email from MWA staff. Unregistered volunteers will not be permitted to participate on projects. Minors require a hard copy volunteer registration with two signatures: one from volunteer, one from parent/guardian.

MWA now requires a refundable deposit for project registration. This will help us ensure that everyone who registers is well-intentioned and that MWA will not have to bear the costs of last-minute cancellations. More info available on the registration page linked below. Refundable deposit for this project is $50.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THIS PROJECT

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