Middle Fork, Main and…Selway? A 310-mile Packraft/Ski Combo in Idaho


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Proud of your measly little portage? A group of hard chargers in Idaho skied across the Sawtooths to Marsh Creek, then used their Alpacka packrafts to raft down the Middle Fork and Main Salmon, before donning the skis again to hike and tour all the way up and over to the headwaters of the Selway to packraft down it. In all the blistered, goose-bumped bunch traveled 310 miles—100 on skis, 5 on feet, and 205 in boats—over the span of 14 days, crossing only two roads in route.

“It was a lot of effort out, in a relatively short time,” says team member Mike Curiak. “I was emphatically ready to get home to eat and sleep and recover.”

Here’s a snippet: “What Jeff proposed was a 300+ mile route, starting with a ~60-mile ski tour through the Sawtooths that ended at the highest likely point of navigability for Marsh Creek. We’d then inflate boats (with skis stashed inside) and float ~130 miles of Marsh, Middle Fork, and the Main Salmon before deflating boats and starting the big portage: something like 45 miles to get up, over, and down to the Selway. A few thousand feet above the Main we hoped to hit snowline, not just to get skis and boots off of backs and onto feet, but also to fill in some of the matchsticked burned zones. Once at the Selway we’d have an ~80 mile float out…”

Check his awesome photos and read his blog here:



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