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
-- Marc jumped into Fisher Cap Lake on Sunday September 8th, 2013 to complete his goal! --
Read about Marc and how this project started...

The Thanks I’m Giving: A four part series



Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

I’ve had some good years in my life and have been thankful for each and every one.


This one…

This year…

Has been a bit absurd.


I spent last Thanksgiving at the South Pole, for Pete Sake!


Then, in September I finished what will assuredly be the most extensive life adventure I’ll ever undertake.


But, more than anything…

I’m so unbelievably thankful to the dedicated and adventurous souls that battled by my side over the last ten years.

A fella doesn’t have a shot in hell at a good quest without determined, burly and soulful partners.


So, this blog post is for you.

Fisher 1

I assume that most of you wouldn’t mind if you were named online.

But, just in case, only first names will be used.


I’m sure that you all have had your moments of groaning and waiting on me to take my 300th picture of the day.

I’m a shutterbug, to an annoying extent sometimes.

I accept that.

Luckily, so do most of you.


But, you will all be happy one day that I have a bunch of awesome pictures of your mugs.

In a way, this whole project has essentially been a photography portfolio of the unique characters in my life.

Most often, my camera takes pictures of all of you.

My friends and family have been the same ones to sweat and bleed with me as we attacked an arbitrary list of lakes over the last decade.

That list of lakes demanded more of me than i had.

It dominated my life…

IN A GOOD WAY!…mostly…

I couldn’t have accomplished this without the support from all of you and the Glacier National Park community.


So here goes.


I won’t be able to put any logic to this order.

Everyone on this list accompanied me to a lake and waited out the mosquitoes until I was done.

Some of you have gone to dozens.

Others of you spent one, special and probably pretty frantic day in the mountains with me.

Some of you went on a pleasant hike, to a lovely little lake in Glacier National Park and we had a dandy time.

Others of you have spent some of the most arduous, exasperating and endurance demanding days of your lives doing battle with alder thickets and a dwindling clock.

Either way, you all played well larger rolls.

Emotional support, donations, IT help, logistics, beer, dinner, advice, transportation, love and twenty other forms of assistance that I can’t even think of right now.  .

I couldn’t (honestly!) have done it with out each and every one of you.


Scroll to find yourself.


Today is the first installment of (probably about) four posts that highlight the amazing faces that have helped me along the journey.

If you are not featured on this post you are sure to follow.


My amazing wife Jessi. 

Thanks jess 2


Lakes accompanied: McDonald, Pray, Otakomi, Avalanche, Cosley, Glenns, Cracker, Medicine Grizzly, Bowman, Kintla, Ellen Wilson, Waterton Lake, Aurice, Cobalt, Helen, Elizabeth, Atsina, Sue, Stoney, Kootenai, Ole, Windmaker, Snyder,  Thunderbird Pond, Janet, Hidden, Mary Baker, Feather Woman, Akaiyan, Slide, Natahki, Beaver Woman, Buffalo Woman, Snow Moon, Falling Leaf, Kennedy, Red Eagle, Bertha CAN, Upper Kintla, Loon CAN, Goat CAN, Pocket, Buffalo Lake, Beaver Pond 1 CAN, Beaver Pond 2 CAN, Lonesome CAN, Gem, Bullhead and Fishercap Lakes

You have been by my side the whole time, from the day I thought this whole silly thing up.  

That certainly is a long list of lakes by your name.  

You lived and breathed this project more than anyone else…and you supported me the whole way.  

Thank you so much… I Love you 


thanks jess




Thanks pat 2


Lakes Accompanied: Arrow, Trout, Rogers, Whitecrow, Carcajou, Wahseeja, Johns, Lower Quartz, Young Man, Boy, Harrison, Striped Elk, Goat, Numa, Bench, Ipasha, Margaret, Nyack 1, Nyack 2, Gem, Lilly, Evangeline, Ruger, Fishercap Lakes


Pat, although I often try, I can’t tell you how important you have been.  

Simply said, this project would not be finished without you.  

There was a point, when I needed someone better than me to accompany me through the worst Glacier National Park could offer.  

And along came Pat and his bizarre interest in alder thickets and enormous days.  

Dude, you are the man.


thanks pat




Thanks Anna 2


Lakes Accompanied: Logging, Cracker, Ellen Wilson, Governors Pond, Stump Pond, Josephine, Swiftcurrent, Atsina, Sue, Stoney Indian, Kootenai  Windmaker, Slide, Otatso, Halfmoon, Bullhead Young Man, Boy, Harrison, Medicine Owl Lakes


Anna, there are a few people that have been there since the beginning.  

Then there is you, who I actually went to the first purposeful lake with (Logging).  

You, who has debated logistics late into the night more than anyone.  

You, who rallied the worst blisters I’ve ever seen to finish up Medicine Owl with me.  

You my lady deserve one huge Thank You!  


thanks anna




Thanks Wub 2


Lakes Accompanied: Avalanche, Katoya, Morning Star, Pitamakin, 7 Winds, Upper Two Medicine, Iceburg, Two Medicine Lakes


Wub, I wouldn’t even think hiking was a good idea if it wasn’t for you.  

I mean, really.  

The fact that I do what I do is a direct correlation to our friendship.  

Plus, you taught me that it’s alright to leave the trail.  

Thanks for everything brother.  


thanks wub




Thanks Dave


Lakes Accompanied: Hidden, Mary Baker, Feather Woman, Akaiyan , Bullhead, Poia, Swiftcurrent Ridge, Lone Lake CAN, Pecks Basin CAN, Carthew Pond

Dave, you have provided me some of the most insightful hiking outings of my life.  

I respect and admire you; and am proud to call you my friend.    

Thanks for all the support through the years.  


Thanks Dave 2

Nice legs, Dave!



Lakes Accompanied: Bullhead and Fishercap Lakes; but emotionally so much more.

You are a glorious human being and I’m just lucky to have bumped into you and Dave in 03.

Thanks for everything.




Laura or Lala…

Thanks Lala


Lakes Accompanied: Governors Pond, Stump Lake, Josephine, Swiftcurrent, Natahki, Beaver Woman, Buffalo Woman, Jackstraw, Sky Lakes

Lala, you are the best.  

I’m sure that you were there the night this whole thing was plotted.  

It’s been ten years!  Good Golly!  

Thanks for great hiking days, all the Spanish lessons and always making me smile…

and laugh…  

Some times uncontrollably.  



Thanks Laura 2




Thanks Brad


Lakes Accompanied:  Goat Haunt, Gyrfalcon, Redhorn, Nahsukin, Fishercap Lakes

Brad, it was my pleasure.  

You signed up for the original endless bushwack.  

That trip is still probably the most epic of my life.  

Thanks for everything.  

Any interest in going to find that trekking pole in the alders at Nahsukin?  


Thanks Brad 2




Thanks Clay


Lakes Accompanied: Howe 1, Howe 2, Grace, Logging, Fishercap Lakes

You have swam in one lake with me and accompanied me to five.  

But, the logistics, advice and late night pondering sessions were as big a contribution as anyone.

Your knowledge and advice has been enormous.  

Oh, and thanks for making me know that I wasn’t getting any younger and I needed to start knocking off the nasty ones.  

You’re The Man.  


Thanks Clay 2


My Mom:


Thanks Mom


Lakes Accompanied: Indian Springs in Canada

Technically, that is the only new lake we ever went to together.

But we have hiked some serious miles in the park and you’ve even jumped in a couple lakes with me.  

None of this would have been possible with out your love and support…well before I even knew where Glacier National Park was.  

Thanks for everything.   


Thanks mom 2


This year, I’m giving thanks to each and every one of you.

I’ll be publishing the other posts with the rest of your lovely faces on them in the following weeks.

Keep a look out.


To Life,

Marc Ankenbauer

I’m going camping for a bit. In Antarctica…


antarctica pic

antarctica pic


I didn’t want to mention it till it was final, but…

I’ve accepted a job in Antarctica this winter.

I will be the field coodinator for a research project that travels to the far reaches of the continent.

I’ll be one of a four person crew that gets dropped off at remote, high altitude camps on the Antarctic Plateau.

We stay for about a week at each camp then head back to the South Pole to…well not do that for 48 hours.

Then we head back out to a new camp, and so begins the process again.

Antarctica from Above

The camps range from 10,000′ to 12,000′ elevation and approximately 500 miles away from the South Pole.

I’m hoping it won’t be any colder than about -30F or -40F.

There is one heated 8’x16′ building called an AGO, which we hang out in.

We each have our own tent to sleep in though.

Yep, camping in Antarctica for weeks at a time.


I don’t want to even  hear about how winter was cold this year.

Needless to say it should prove to be a once in a lifetime experience..


ago camp

AGO camp building with our tents and bathroom tent…

While overwhelmed I know that I’m truly blessed to have been extended this opportunity.

I’m actually really excited! I think…


Thanks be to my wife who is supporting this idea, all the while doing battle with nursing school.

I love you and thanks for supporting and believing in me.  You’re my hero!

With the help of my Web Design Extraordinaire Matt Mizwicki, I intend to keep new posts coming.

There may be some delays so please bear with me.  I’m sure there will be pretty chaotic access to computers.

Between Antarctica updates and past Glacier Lake Jumping exploits I feel that I have plenty to write about.


My intention is to finish the Lake Jumping Project this coming summer.

We still have one more new lake story to tell and it will be coming out soon.

Throughout the winter I intend to keep telling past stories of some of my favorite lake outings.

This site is still relatively new and I’ve got a decade of stories to tell.


Although its not quite as easy while in Antarctica, our fundraising efforts will be in full swing throughout winter and headed into summer.

Thank you everyone for all the kind donations lately.

You are all Rock Stars!

Camp Mak A Dream works to breathe fun and companionship into lives that are tested daily by fear and uncertainty.

It allows them to be transported to another world if for just a moment.  A world of mountains and Big Skies.

Thanks to all of you who have helped support this positive, driven organization.


I’m profoundly thankful for this opportunity.  It’s more than I deserve, but I’m not sayin’ NO!

Virtually everybody has dreamt of going to Antarctica.

I mean,…thats a lot of pressure.

I joke,…But, really.

I mean its a bucket list item for over half of humanity.

Maybe not the camping part…You know…But Antarctica.


I don’t know if I had this much good Karma built up.

Thanks be to anything that deserves some thankin’!



It is never lost on me how blessed I am to have an able body and the support of some of the world’s best friends and family.

Thats all anyone can ever ask for, you know?

This year I’m going to miss the entire holiday season with everyone I love.

Do me the favor of taking notice of the amazing friends, families and opportunities you have out there.

Don’t let any of it pass by without taking notice of the good in your personal world.

That would be my request, and I don’t think I’m asking too much here people.

Have an awesome winter everyone and eat a second helping at the holiday dinner table for me.

I feel like I’m going to space.

Stay Tuned!



I don’t have any photos of my own yet…  I’ll let Google Images do it for me.,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&bpcl=35277026&biw=1192&bih=484&wrapid=tljp1350290725287010&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=Kc17UOKRBsmUiALe8IHgAg

Also, check out this site which explains the project quite well.  Lots of photos of the facilities.