Marc Ankenbauer's 10+ year quest to jump in every named lake in Glacier and Waterton National Parks for charity.
168 lakes. Only 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
ZERO LAKES LEFT!!!
-- Marc jumped into Fisher Cap Lake on Sunday September 8th, 2013 to complete his goal! --
Read about Marc and how this project started...

Snow Moon-Lincoln and the 4th….

Folks, don’t try this at home...or in Glacier!
FULL SAFETY MESSAGE

Well hello all,First of all, I would like to thank many of you for you comments and emails. I write this a little bit for my self but without knowing that people are reading it…its kind of tough to put the time in. So, thank you for your support…I feel like I’m running for office..Jeez..So, back to business. The last week has been…well..HOT actually..Eek!!!

It topped out at 94 the other day…That is just too hot for mountians.  They are supposed to be cold, right?

To give you some understanding of how long this endeavor is going to take.  This is the second 3 lake weekend since I started.  They are just not that easily gain and especially not any longer.  They are all labors.

On Tuesday, my girlfriend and I did an off trail route along a crazy cliff edge that wraps around a mountain and eventually pops us out at two lakes. They are called Snow Moon and Falling Leaf lakes. Amazing lakes too.. It’s been a long time coming for these two since it’s only about 1 ½ miles from the parking lot of Many Glacier Hotel, but not one step is on a maintained trail. Although through the years it has been done so many times, that there is a path. That path leads through the forest and pops out into a scree slope or a field of tiny rocks that is called the “Red Scree Strolls” in the climbing guide. We saw a first year baby grizzly bear dropping off the side of the slope. Where was momma? Dunno…We became a lot louder and kind of gave it a little time before we continued. Eventually you find this path and it follows along the top of a cliff that runs all the way around Mt. Allen.

There may be a trail but aside from it, you’re just a couple thousand feet above Lake Sherburne.
Eventually, it gives way and you drop into a bowl on the side of the mountain and two amazing blue lakes are just sitting there for the swimming. Perfect day for it.


The next day was the 4th of July and it was not a perfect day for anything but laying in water. I decided to surrender the park to the visitors and the heat. A couple dips in the St. Mary river and some fireworks and a grill out…No hiking..

But the next day. Oh, the next day. I decided that if I was serious about the lake idea, then it was time to chomp off a couple of the less enjoyable lakes that no one wants to do with me. So, I dubbed it “crappy lakes that no one wants to do with me” day. Catchy? Huh?

I woke up early and drove the Going to the Sun Road to the west side. The road just opened for the year because of large washouts in November. So, this was my first trip of the year. For those of you who do not know Glacier very well, the west side is lower elevation than the east side. This makes it warmer and covered in much heavier vegetation. This sometimes makes for long approaches to murky, marshy lakes. I ask a lot of my friends, but none of them want to jump in a marsh on a 90 degree day that they had to walk 20 miles round trip to get to. So, I do it my self. All for the love of this goofy project.

So, I digress. I woke up early and got to Johns Lake.

This lake is right off the side of the road, and the marshiest of them all. Marshy enough to have leaches swimming around in it. I DECIDED TO WAIT!!!!!!!!! I figured, I could go against last weeks statement and possibly just do it in the winter and break a hole in the ice. Or, maybe I’ll just get a wet suit or something…But, for a nasty lake that was half a mile from the trail, I figured I could only benefit from waiting.I then wondered up a steep forested ridge for 2 ½ miles till I got to Fish Lake.
This was not quite as bad as Johns. At least I could not see leaches swimming all over the place.
I then did a little plop in-between the lily pads and on to reevaluating my day.I had the option to hike 2 ½ miles back out and end the day. Or, and there is always an or.
I could continue hiking another 17 miles round trip to the king daddy of “nobody wants to do it” land.
Lincoln Lake is an 8 mile, one way hike through nondescript forest to a…..well, an alright lake.
Its home to the highest waterfall in the park. It’s somewhere up in the teens. 1300’ maybe. Something like that. But it’s still not great even with that characteristic.
So, needless to say I hiked in heinous heat up and down and up and down and though the woods to grandmas house to get to the lake. It kind of rotted.
But it’s done. Yeah!!! And it brought me to a grand total of 71 lakes jumped in. That makes me happy.


So, close your eyes and envision your friend Marc. Ok, got it?

So it was so hot as I was walking out, that I started dipping a camp towel and my hat in every steam I came to and plopping it on my head and neck. It kept me cooler and protected me from the sun. Compounding on top of that was the onslaught of classic west side mosquitoes. You feel like they are just in a cloud trying to chase you down. Honestly, at this point your closing in on just losing your mind Your only defense is to keep on walking.

So, as quickly as I could put on a mosquito shirt. For those that do not know what this is, it’s a shirt made of tight mesh so they can’t get to you. Well, I start hiking as fast as I can, bombing down hill with a mosquito shirt on, and a wet towel and floppy hat on my head and neck.

Trekking poles in hands, just trying to Zen out and get to the blasted road. I pop out into a parking lot with a poor unsuspecting couple standing there. I’m filthy, drenched with water/sweat with this ridiculous get up on. Blathering on about bugs and lakes and what not. I was a sight.

 
I beleive that someone else had the same opinion of this lake…..


Who says the life of a lake bidder is glamorous. Well, I honestly think no one says that….

Actually, what in the world is a lake bidder anyway, most would say….You now know the answer to a very seldom asked question.

I will leave you with that vision. I can do no better. I’m pretty tired and must pack for my days off. I’ll keep you informed of my endeavors this weekend.

But you must stop back to see what they are…since, really I have no idea what they will be…Yeah, no plans..

To Life,
Marc

2 comments
Anonymous
Anonymous

Hi Marc! Your blog kicks ass! I'm glad to see that both you and Jesse are still going back to the most beutiful place on earth... I feel like a slacker for not making back up there yet. I just wanted to let you know I really enjoy reading your blog and I wish Jesse and yourself all the best!!! Keep livin' the dream!!!Mike Slavin