Alright, this is starting to get ridiculous… For the second time this week the neighbors are causing a ruckus. Mountain goats are launching rock avalanches down the mountain towards our tents! An unexpected Wilderness experience for sure!
The USFS Middle Fork Wilderness team, including myself, took on some of the River of No Return’s most pristine country; from crystal clear alpine lakes, sharp narrow ridges, to towering summits. The USFS/SBFC team managed to summit Martin Mountain six times and Sleeping Deer Peak once. We logged out over twelve miles of trail, and visited four alpine lakes. Over 12 miles of trail was cleared from Sleeping Deer Lookout through the Cache Lakes Basin past Martin Mountain to the junction of Grouse Creek Trail #085 and Macarte Ridge Trail #4097.
Conversely, the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness fought back against the team by reclaiming the Grouse Creek Trail. The term “Ghost Trail” was best used to describe Grouse Creek. It was not enough to be equipped with GPS technology and detailed maps, the team completely lost the trail at the Macarte Ridge junction. There was no sign of tread or cut logs. Grouse Creek Trail was left as it was – wherever that might be. GPS or map is the only means to navigate in this territory.
The USFS and SBFC teams worked together to uphold the undeniably high level of wilderness character in the Frank Church. The teams were a force to be reckoned with on the trail and also on the alpine lakes. The elite anglers in the crew indulged upon the bountiful and aggressive cutthroat for their evening ritual.
Come next Wednesday the Salmon-Challis SBFC Interns and Middle Fork USFS team will reassemble for one final hitch, those logs across the trail have another thing coming.