VTC #7 - Hi-Line Trail Fire Rehab

Photo by Meg Killen

Project: Hi-Line Trail Fire Rehab

Landscape: Anaconda Pintler Wilderness

Dates: July 22 - 29, 2018

Location: Hi-Line Trail, AP Wilderness - Pintler R.D.
Project Work: Structures & Trail Maintenance
Camping: Backcountry (stock supported)
Project Difficulty: Strenuous
Volunteer Limit: 7
Volunteer Slots Available: FULL
Meeting Time & Place: Sun. July 22, 6:00 PM @ Upper Carpp Creek TH



Project Description

Last summer, the Meyers Fire ripped through much of the northern half of the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness. It destroyed most of the wooden trail structures that are essential to horse and hiker traffic. In order to restore accessibility to the Glover Basin and Tamarack Lake, our volunteer crew will be replacing a burned puncheon along the Hi-Line Trail. A puncheon is a bridge-like structure that provides safe crossing over small creeks and bogs. We'll be cutting logs for stringers and sills, hauling gravel to smooth approaches, setting planks and pounding nails. Its hard work that also requires technical know-how and an eye for detail.

There are few trail work tasks more rewarding than building a new structure. Each day's progress will be tangible and at the end of the week we'll have constructed a burly crossing that will last for years to come. At the end of each day we'll return to scenic Carpp Lake, our home for the week. Carpp Lake is one of three in a chain lakes basin lying in the shadow of epic Warren Peak. We'll camp on the east shore in an area that was unburned in the Meyers Fire.

This project made possible in part by a grant from the National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance.

About the Area

One of the jewels of the Northern Rockies, the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness, managed by the Forest Service, encompasses 158,615 acres. It was designated in 1964, the year the Wilderness Act was certified.

The Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness straddles the Continental Divide along the crest of the Anaconda Range in southwestern Montana, positioned between the Bitterroot Valley to the northwest and the Big Hole Valley to the south. Streams and rivers drain to the Bitterroot and Big Hole rivers as well as Rock Creek. While the Anaconda Range’s permanent snowfields today are modest, the Wilderness protects a spectacular array of glacially carved landforms. These include tarn-pocked cirques, huge U-shaped valleys, knife-edged ridges (arêtes), and moraines. Elevations stretch from 5,100 feet along the canyon bottoms to 10,893 feet at West Goat Peak (one of several 10,000-plus-footers in the Wilderness).

Geologically, the Anacondas include Precambrian and Paleozoic limestones, sandstones, and other sedimentary layers struck with igneous intrusions. Canyon bottoms support riparian forests and willow thickets, while vegetation on the mountain slopes ranges from sagebrush in the foothills through spruce-fir and pine forests to subalpine communities of quaking aspen, whitebark pine, and alpine larch. Along the high Divide, bare rock, tundra, and snowfields reign.

Native wildlife includes many of the large mammals indigenous to the Rockies at the time of Euro-American settlement, among them mule deer, elk, moose, mountain goat, bighorn sheep, wolverine, gray wolf, puma, black bear, and the odd grizzly bear. Description from Wilderness.net

Meeting Time & Place

Sunday July 22, 6:00 PM @ Upper Carpp Creek Trailhead
***Note: this is the upper trailhead - Upper Carrp Creek TH - which is recently updated. Appears as the "Mirror" trailhead in the link above***

Directions from Philipsburg, MT:
Drive south on Hwy 1 for aprox 6 miles
Turn right onto Hwy 38 toward Skalkaho Pass
Continue for approximately 6 miles
Turn left onto East Fork Road/FSR 672
Head South to drive toward the north shore of East Fork Reservoir
Turn right on FSR 5141/261 to continue West on FSR 5141 (NOTE: on google maps the directions indicate FSR 261 as turning into FSR 5141)
Continue west, then south on FSR 5141 for aprx. 12 miles, ending at the Upper Carpp Creek TH

Google Map Directions here.

Camping Details

On Sunday evening, we will car camp at the Upper Carpp Creek TH. Monday morning we will pack into our backcountry camp along the east side of Carpp Lake. This will be a primitive, backcountry camp. Upon arriving at camp we will set up a bear hang, dig a latrine, establish a kitchen with tarp cover, and being filtering water for the week. Leave No Trace and Bear Safety practices will be strictly followed throughout the week.

This is a stock-supported trip, meaning packers will be bringing in all of our group gear and food. Volunteers must be prepared to carry in all of their own personal gear in addition to a trail tool. There is always a chance packers will be able to take a tent or sleeping bag off your back, but do not bank on it. A huge thanks to our packer friends with the Back Country Horsemen!

Hike to Camp: 4 miles, 600' elevation gain

Food and Water

MWA will provide all food and cooking equipment. Sunday evening we will be having a kick-off BBQ with the crew at the trailhead, so come hungry! First meal provided will be dinner Sunday evening and last meal will be lunch on our pack-out day.

Volunteers are expected to help with food preparation and clean up on a rotating basis, but your crew leader will handle primary kitchen responsibilities. We will be filtering drinking water for the week and everyone's help in keeping the cubies full will be appreciated (MWA provides group water filters).

More Information