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...

Fishercap, a moose and some really great friends! #168

Good Morning,

I’m still working through the events of the last 48 hours.

It was a whirlwind.

The Fishecap Lake dip went better than I could have ever expected.

I woke in the morning to a pounding September rain storm.

But, when I opened my front blinds, there was the most vibrant rainbow that I have ever seen.

Glacier Park was telling me it was going to all be ALRIGHT!

Thanks for the reassurance old friend.


Fisher 1


Then, the driving rain continued all morning.

It would have officially been the worst weather that I had ever jumped into a lake in…easily.

Then it all came together.

It was still overcast and misting, but the rain stopped.

Friend after friend parked their cars in Swiftcurrent Parking Lot.

My buddy Clay grabbed my cooler “Dave Michi” which was filled with tasty micro brews.


Fisher 2


He and Dave fell in line with the pack train of friendly faces as we walked the 10 minute soggy stroll to Fishercap Lake.

My mom, Jess my lovely wife, thirty awesome friends and a couple people I’ve never seen before gathered around the rocky shore.

I stumbled through a tear filled thank you speech.

This is the culmination of a powerful time period of my life filled with amazing friends, life growth and obviously experiences never to be recreated.

There wasn’t a chance I wasn’t going to cry.


It was absolutely amazing!

And to top it off, a neighborhood moose came to swim with us.


Fisher 3


Chris Peterson from the Hungry Horse News waded out into the mucky lake bottom with camera in hand.

Chris is easily one of the most avid reporters currently covering Glacier National Park.

Thanks for making it a priority to be there and document the event for me.


Fisher 4


Three seconds after I hopped in, along came Mom, Jess, Laura, Pat, Clay, Ed, Eric and Monica right after me.

Thank you all for that, as I was dealing with some pretty serious stage fright.

This has been a project that while publicly supported, has been executed in quiet remoteness.

Normally, with one or two friends in tow in the middle of nowhere.

To have such a large, supportive turnout was spectacular!


Fisher 5


We then enjoyed Dave Michi’s contents along with a bottle of Champagne (thanks Wilsons)!

And  you know, while we were all standing in a misty, cool September day drenched in glacier lake water…for that moment somehow I wasn’t that cold.

I was just caught, directly in the moment and the love of friends and family.

Thank you all!

For those who came out, for those who couldn’t but would have, to those who have just always been supportive of this nutty endeavor.

Thank you for all the donations and helping me make this about more than a guy and some lakes.

Thank You All!


Fisher 6


I’ll get more written about Fishercap and the trips leading up to this moment.

I just wanted to tell everyone how Sunday went.

It went great!


Fisher 7


Keep an eye out for what I’m sure will be a great article by Chris Peterson at the Hungry Horse News.

Also, a couple other news outlets are starting to be in contact.

I’ll keep you informed as they come out.

To Life and the Future!


Kennedy Lake – Up and over the mountain, twice

Good evening, all

Yes that’s right, it’s night time again and I’m trying to make sure I get this thing updated. I have actually done much since I wrote last. So, here goes….


Back to the lake bids. My girlfriend and I went on a trek last week. In the Many Glacier valley there is Kennedy Lake. It’s quite remote. It is the head waters of Kennedy Creek which is really long.  Poia Lake is fed by this water down the creek a ways. 

Since its so long just heading  straight up the valley would be a horrible bushwack. So, what you do is climb over Appikuni Mountain…..twice…

It’s not the most difficult mountain in the world to climb, but it’s still 3000 feet of elevation gain to the summit. There is an interesting cliffy section near the beginning.

For the most part though, it’s just a super long slope of scree and small cliffs.

These are the moments that make me ask you this question. Now, this is providing that all random actions and systems of the body are for a reason. What, is the purpose, I ask you? In these moments when your in a zen like cloud, putting one foot in front of the other. A thousand feet of loose scree above you, a thousand below. Why at those exact moments, does the theme to Three’s Company get stuck in your head? Anyone????

Sorry for that tanget…I just always get something odd stuck in my head, but I’m sure I’m not the only one….

Well, we got to the top of a saddle that is right below the actual peak, and there was Kennedy Lake. Big, blue and 1500 feet of scree and small cliffs below us. We dropped in on it which took a while. I love it, plenty of people have seen this lake from surrounding mountain peaks, but virtually nobody ever goes down to it. It’s an amazing lake, so much color. Great spot for a short lunch….. and a dip

Short is the word, because now comes the disheartening part. You can’t homestead there, so it’s time to just climb right back up to the same saddle that you were standing on a couple hours ago.
Beleive it or not, there is a person in the middle of that slope in the picture above…Where in the world is Waldo,huh?

All good though, we decided that we would actually summit the mountain this time. Amazing views from up there.

So, we climbed back down into the same basin that we hiked up to, just luckily from a different side. Those cliffs in front there were the beginning of the climb All the way down there at the end of the valley is where our car is parked.

I love long days in this park. You tend to get a great sunset as you’re hiking out.

There is nothing like being absolutely physically tired as you go into auto pilot to get back to that car. You know you did a good long hike when you come back out to the same parking lot, that was busy 10 hours earlier…. but now your dusty car is the only thing left in the parking lot. Everyone else is done with their days task and already eating dinner. Makes you proud. Take advantage of those arms and legs while they work well. Put them to a test,huh? It makes you appreciate having a capable body. Get out there and use it while you have it folks.To Life,Marc

Jackstraw and Swiftcurrent Ridge, Poia Lakes – Wisdom and Booby-Junk Leeches

So, has anyone ever heard of booby-junk leeches? This is more a goofy entry sentence than legitimate question. Everyone knows that right?

Allow me to expand….

My friends Josh and Laura went a swimmin’ with me the other day. Laura who is daughter of one of my most devout readers Chris Kloeck, by the way. Hi, Chris…Thanks for the 70’s TV show insights…

We went to a far flung reach of the park. In the southeastern corner of the park there is a place called Firebrand Pass. People run around here for years before they ever go there. Not because it’s particularly hard, nor cause it’s not wonderful. I think it just gets overshadowed by some of the other, simply jaw dropping parts of the park. Which ends up making this a very peaceful and more wild portion of the park.

Quite nice, really…

So, near Firebrand Pass is Lena lake, and behind it is a saddle. It’s a nice red scree covered saddle between Redcrow Mountain and Bearhead Mountain.

On the other side of that saddle is Jackstraw Lake. And, Jackstraw Lake will be the focus of our adventure today.

This lake is dedicated to Mountain Goats and their wonderful ability to go where no one else goes and leave “a path”….So, about four miles in towards Firebrand pass, we embarked off trail towards Lena lake and the saddle. We had to fight through some thick sub-alpine firs to get there, like normal.

Once at Lena lake though, we found what would prove to be a straight shot mountain goat path up the saddle, and all the way back down to Jackstraw lake.
Ah, you gotta love these mountain goats. I envisioned this to be a well more difficult endeavor.The views from the saddle were as great as any pass in the park and we had it all to ourselves. The tiny rewards in life, right?

We ended up down at what was a wonderful beach that must be the home of thousands of butterflies. They were all over our packs and hiking poles. Pretty great!!

But in come those dreaded booby-junk leeches!!!!!… My girlfriend would say “dun,dun,dun!!!

Like you were listening to a mystery show on the radio in the 50’s and we just learned who the killer was. Very dramatic…

We were swimming in this lake and all was wonderful. Hot days ended in a moment with cold clear water.

Then we noticed one goofy thing about it…As beautiful and blue as it was, there was no outlet, and not much feeding it. So, Jackstraw Lake had already dropped maybe about 15 feet for the season. That may be a major environmental factor that booby-junk leeches thrive on. Their niche, if you will.

I’ll come clean; they were nothing even resembling leeches….Cats outta the bag. But they were tiny little red bugs they were all over the place in the water. They got their menacing name because since they were red it looked like they were filled with blood. And, because Josh found them in his swimming trunks and well “around”…and Laura found them in her sports bra and again, well…”around”…As for me, no booby junk leeches…It’s because I’m bald like a dolphin and booby-junk leeches don’t attack marine animals. Boy, did I luck out, huh? I’d say…jeez…So, we rambled on about our dreaded nemesis the booby-junk leeches as we trudged back up hill and over the saddle…Back to our view at the top..

Bound for a wonderful dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant in East Glacier, Serrano’s…All ends well, despite our harrowing encounter…

As for the next day, I met up with another one of my other most avid readers, Dave. He is out here staying for a few weeks with his wife and hiking it up. He is a monster; the guy can hike over mountains in a single bound while filling you with gobs of wisdom and insight. So, I took him up on a very nice hike to one of the only areas in Many Glacier valley that was not closed for Grizzly bears. Poia Lake was our destination.

We stopped by Poia and Swiftcurrent Ridge lakes for a swim and he dropped knowledge about all the righteous things of the world. Great hike Dave. All in all, what a wonderful weekend.

I hope this finds every one well. I’m wishing you all the best and I certainly thank you for your time. I know these stories personally. So this stuff is for all of you. I would love to hear how every one is doing and what you’re all up to.

As for me, about 6’4” 240lbs…
Drum roll!!!!! Anybody? Hello….

Jeez, this is a tough crowd


To life,


Snow Moon-Lincoln and the 4th….

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,