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...

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,