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Promise Land

Posted: 07.23.2012 by Tyler Bradt

The last couple of months I have been towing around my sweet new $300 1959 camper trailer from race event to race event hitting the scene and getting back into shape.

I have been recovering from my back break at Abiqua falls about a year ago and a finial recent surgery in which to two rods and four bolts were removed from my spine. The recovery went well and I came out of the race tour back on top of my game and ready to charge. I won the Big Fork Whitewater Festival and Bear Creek Race, and placed second at the North Fork Championships.  I arrived back home to Montana just as the classics were dropping into perfect flows. Here are a few of them.

Bear Creek

30 minutes out my front door this has got to be one of the funest creeks in the West. It’s steep continuous slides punctuated by small eddys and log jams doesn’t give this one the friendliest characteristics but the pristine long bedrock slides make the log dodging and two mile hike in well worth the effort.

South Fork of Salmon

This epic multiday run starting near McCall Idaho is one that I have overlooked for years. This year I teamed up with Eric Boomer for one of the best river trips I have done in a long time. We just missed high water but we were still stoked to be heading into the wilderness for a few days of river time. My first reaction to the South Fork was how big it was, hardly a creek at all. Its big water is notorious at higher levels but even at the flow that we caught it at it offered amazingly fun class IV+ whitewater. We put in at the town of Yellowpine, an experience in itself, and paddled the North Fork for 15 miles down to the South Fork. The rapids were good and the consistent gradient had us at the confluence with the Secesh before we knew it. With the added volume of the Secesh, the South Fork becomes a proper river and continues to dish out beautiful whitewater all the way to the confluence with the Main Salmon, another Idaho wilderness classic.

Big Timber Creek

Big Timber Creek is one of the all time classics of Montana. Boasting over 800 feet per mile in some sections this creek is only runable because of how big and clean its character is. From top to bottom Big T is stacked with long granite slides and towering mountains on either side of the river. For any avid class five boater, this creek should be high on the priority list!