RE: RE: Lost gear on Lolo Creek
by James 4-Jun-2002 05:16 PM

   Could I get some directions to get to the Big
Schmitt Rapid on Lolo Creek to retreive my orange 
ws "Y"?  Any information would be greatly


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HI Steve,

We ran Lolo Creek in the rain 
yesterday (a little under 2').  As usual, 
the inner gorge was like being in a 2 
hr. car wreck.  We found one red 
boat, but it was stuffed under a 
logjam in the hard stuff and we were 
unable to get it out without getting 
killed ourself.  The orange Y was 
already up on the river right bank at 
Big Schmidt.

Lolo Creek is one of the runs that 
folks tend to underrate cuz it is so 
manageable at levels below 1' (6"-8" 
perfect for a first-time run).  

I've always felt that you need to be a 
solid Class V- boater to go down 
there-- not because any individual 
drop is so difficult (or unportageable) 
but because you need to be 
over-qualified and make no 
mistakes-- and the inner gorge goes 
on for about 4 miles-- a constant 
challenge.  Hikes out are just 
unbelieveable-- literally 1600' in 
elevation and several miles in the 
heart of the canyon.  For those 
interested in geology, Lolo Creek is 
very atypical in that its canyon was 
cut by a much larger river-- the N. 
Fork Clearwater-- before being 
dammed by the Columbia Basalt 
flows a couple million years ago.  
That's why it has its classic setting.  
And the run is definitely a N. Idaho 

First-timers need to remember that 
the run takes on a dramatically 
different character above 1.5' (old 
gauge) 10.8 (new gauge) and is very 
unforgiving.  I've shuddered many a 
time thinking about hiking out of 
there.  Glad to hear you made it 


We made the mistake of trying to run 
Lolo Creek
at much too high of water level last 
week and got 
totally humbled! Two out of three of 
us lost our
boats and had to make the heinous 
climb out of
the canyon. On top of that, I laid my 
truck on
its side in a ditch on the way to the 
Not a good day!

We lost two WS Y creek boats, an 
AT2 paddle and a 
couple of Werner straight shafts (one 
a break
down). If anyone comes across 
anything, please
let me know. I'll try to come up with a 
reward if anything is still usable.

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