Bonanza to Fenn Ranger Station. Saturday April 24th, 0600 MDT. (?)
That’s 126 straight line miles.
Here’s what is in my head about this. First, that is a big route. Probably close to 200 miles on the ground. Second, that time frame has the obvious potential to be quite challenging. Third, and most important, I don’t know much about the area. I don’t know which trailheads are plowed regularly, which roads get lots of snow machine traffic, how the more open terrain does or does not melt off come early spring. I have my guesses about all of these things, but a decade of the Bob Open has taught me repeatedly that guesses aren’t ideal for the organizational aspect. Adding to the complications, the shuttle from one end to the other is massive, and even six months out we’d all be fools to expect anything in particular of the Coronavirus.
For all of these reasons the Frank Open really isn’t going to be an Open in the sense we’ve come to expect. Even moreso than usual, this is a route I’ve been eyeing for a long time, and if other people want to get in on all or part, that would be neat. Ideally, and with health concerns permitting, we’d be able to figure out a way to make the driving less irksome.
This is almost a packraft mandatory route. There are a handful of ways to use bridges, but the rivers (and in late April I assume streams) are several notches bigger than in the Bob. I chose the start point based on things I want to float, which brings up the second complication, river permits. Having one for stretches of the Middle Fork will make a lot of sense in many cases. As of today, there is almost full availability for the relevant week.
This will also be a ski or snowshoe mandatory route, though I am guessing that in a normal year there is a surprising amount of dirt walking to be had.
Interested? Get in touch.
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