Lincoln-Missoula downriver regatta

The idea: paddle the Blackfoot (and Clark Fork) from Lincoln, Montana to Missoula in less than 24 hours.

Like with the Bob Open 12 years ago, I’m quite sure this will work, but need to figure out the details by doing it. So that will happen this year. Lincoln (at the Stemple Pass road bridge) to the Clark Fork is ~110 miles, and another ~6 on the Clark Fork to the Higgins St bridge. I figure it makes sense to make Brennan’s Wave the finish. River park in Lincoln makes for a logical start, but has very little parking.

Flows are important to make this project doable. The first 45 miles to Cedar Meadows are windy and slow, a decent current will add significant speed. And assuming less whitewater specific craft will end up being the preferred vehicles here, a bit of padding out will make a few of the proper rapids a bit easier to navigate (again, I think). Long days are desirable, and with ~2500 cfs (at Bonner) the goal I am thinking some time around July 4 makes sense.

Should this ever become vaguely organized the “rules” would I imagine follow those of the Open, with specifics prohibiting any outside support (for style reasons) as well as any portaging outside the high water mark. I envision portaging Thibadeau being wise in my 17 foot boat, and want to make sure no one is tempted to use wheels to skip chunks before Raymond Bridge, something whose efficicency could be considerable.

Btw, the light/fat class (e.g. oared craft over 100 pounds dry weight) start would be the Aunt Molly FAS, to make the portaging doable, but still probable.

Anyone who reckons they might be interested reply here and we’ll keep in touch, keep an eye on the flows, and decide on a start date.


One response to “Lincoln-Missoula downriver regatta”

  1. My buddy and I are cautiously curious. Family trip over the 4th means that specific weekend is out and we both are weekend warriors so also need to contend with work scheduling.

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