Packing for the South Fork

Worth an annual visit: the highest praise a route can deserve.  The South Fork of the Flathead merits exactly that.

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10 thoughts on “Packing for the South Fork

  1. How’s the sizing on the Neutro visor? Archaeopteryx sells them in S/M or L/XL so I’m not sure which one is right for my M/L noggin.

    • I have the L/XL. The right size for me, especially when I have more hair. Sizing is tricky with the Neutro as the fabric has some give, but not a ton (maybe an inch total). Half stretched mine is 22 inches in circumference.

  2. Post trip update:

    I swapped the cap 1 tshirt for a cap 2 longsleeve, and the running shorts for board shorts. The warmth of the former was welcome, and the longer shorts provided a bit more sun protection in the raft.

    I was cold the first night. Should have brought my warmer synthetic bag, which ironically weighs a few ounces less.

    Thankfully the bugs weren’t bad. I went to sleep each night with the headnet on, but it got cold enough that I removed it each night when I woke up to piss around midnight.

    I added a 20 oz bike bottle to the nalgene and platy, and needed all that capacity. Probably should have just brought my 6 liter drom w/ hose.

    Didn’t need the axe.

    The Wild Things pants and shirt provided just enough splash and wind protection, and dry super fast. Camo is also good when stalking wary trout.

    Put the first holes in my Gorilla. My feet kicked out on ball bearing scree and I landed full force on rock on the pack, and got 3 ~5mm punctures. Better the pack than my butt.

    Did not have too much food.

    The Scout was great fun on moderate water and in hot temps.

    This was one of the best trips I’ve ever done.

    My feet, legs, and body are shot. I need a week off.

    • Great trip. I should finally get a major break in my work tomorrow, so I’m planning on heading in there the end of this week. Though, not quite as ambitious.

      Any updated thoughts on the 140D material? Ron Bell had an interesting post responding to why MLD doesn’t use the fabric, and it came down to issues like the ones you mention–tear strength and puncture resistance. It’s on the MLD Facebook page, though you’ll have to scroll down a bit by now.

      Well, if you have the weekend off, have you and M seen Game of Thrones season three? It may be the best one yet.

      • The holes were in the black 210D ripstop, which forms the pack bottom. Given the impact in question, and the razor sharp limestone I landed on, anything short of a solid 500D cordura, VX42, DX40, and the like would have suffered similarly. A bit of seam grip and the pack is functionally good as new.

        My take on the 140D gripstop is that it’s an excellent trail hiking pack fabric, and probably pretty good for bushwacking as the weave is so tight and slick. It’s tight enough that I don’t worry about stitch retention in seams, which is more than I can say for cuben. Sharp rocks are always going to be a weak point for lighter fabrics, and if you do a lot of alpine scrambling and canyoneering you’ll want something in the aforementioned 5-7 oz/yard class. At least.

        We’re hooked on GOT, and followed the recent season as pirated online. Bigger highs and bigger lows, I’d say.

    • Organizationally the side and belt pockets of the Gorilla almost make up for it. Almost. I haven’t been using it the last month or so because the extra piece of nylon pressed against me is just too hot.

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