A typical picture-perfect Glacier view

CDT thru-hikers typically identify as either NOBO (northbound starting from Mexico) or SOBO (southbound starting from Canada). I’ve decided to call myself a SNOBO, meaning a NOBO turned SOBO due to the snow. Nearly all of the northbound hikers I got to know in New Mexico have now “flipped” up to Canada and are hiking south like us, each walking back to the place from which they left off.

Beauty around every corner

I apologize for the lapse in updates but after hiking through Glacier National Park, the first trail town we reached (East Glacier) did not have great cell service so I had to wait on my update until now. Since I last posted, we’ve hiked another 300 miles, from the Canadian border to near Lincoln, Montana (from which I’m posting this update…thank you Lincoln Public Library!). I’m now about 1100 miles into the hike. Its hard to imagine anything on the trail will possibly top the magical back country in Glacier National Park.

Cougar taking in the scenery on a lunch break
“When superlatives fail, use expletives.”
MAV and Hammer in Glacier
We crossed many snow fields in Glacier and used our micro-spikes on a few of the trickier ones

Mirror image beauty
Zipchip (mini disc) session with Hammer atop a large snowfield
The mountains and me
One of the stunning falls in GNP
This goat didn’t mind us as long as we kept away from his harem
Cougar, Paya, Hammer, Moonshine and MAV. Weeks earlier we all breathed a sigh of relief when Moonshine was air-rescued in very deep snow from the San Juan mountains in the southern Colorado part of the trail
The trail cutting across a Glacier mountain side
Moose sighting, antlers still velvety
Large moose that walked through our camp and put on a show of all kinds moose behavior, the biggest of the three we saw
Sunrise in the Bob Marshall Wilderness
Bighorn strolling through the Two Medicine campground like he’s buying marshmallows for a big cookout

Cougar crossing a snow field in her spikes. It’s not obvious from the picture but a misstep on such can send you sliding down a hundred or more feet of snow slope that typically terminates in rock.
Saw this young moose munching grass during a morning stroll near Many Glacier
In additional to jaw-dropping scenery, I had very close encounters with a couple of moose, two grizzly bears (one small, one very large), mountain goats, big horn sheep, snowshoe hare and marmots.
(From left) T-Pain, MAV and Dos Tacos drying out gear and eating a snack on the front porch of a ranger station in the Bob.
Me in the woods, deftly avoiding the camera’s eye

After hiking through the park for about a week, we continued south through the roadless Bob Marshall Wilderness, known as “the Bob.” We hiked through the Bob (nearly 200 miles) on a single food carry, meaning we went the entire distance without an intervening resupply of food. Over the course of the past couple of weeks we’ve been gradually rebuilding our hiking stamina since being off trail for a few weeks and are now back to walking 20-25 miles per day (yesterday was 30+).

The “Chinese Wall” is one of remarkable features in the Bob Marshall Wilderness
One bit of sad news to report: Cougar, one of the hikers with whom I walked in New Mexico and who started southbound with us from Glacier re-injured a problem knee and had to leave the trail for the time being. She’s such a great hiker and fun person to be around and we’re going to miss her. Meanwhile, MAV, Hammer and I carry on, having added a couple of new hikers (T-Pain and Chicken Fat) as we go. After the extended distance through the Bob under very rugged conditions, we’re all taking a “zero” tomorrow (no hiking) to rest and get caught up on town duties (shower, laundry, eat, re-supply, eat more).
Brisk current in this river in the Bob
Many of the miles we hiked through the Bob were through fire areas littered with blow-downs
Ridge-walking trail in the Bob. From the top you can see your path along the spine of the ridge
The Bob from a ridge, #1
The Bob from a ridge, #2
The Bob from a ridge, #3

Confession: I’m falling asleep at the computer as I try to get this update completed. The two weeks since I re-started my hike have been a whirlwind of miles, climbs and heavy packs that have left me exhausted.

Snowy lake in Glacier from one of the passes
Hammer on the final morning in the Bob
The next trail town (Helena, Montana) is only a three day walk so my pack will be much lighter when I leave Lincoln the morning of 7/3. I’ll definitely try to reduce the time before my next update. Cheers and sweet dreams! Max.

8 thoughts on “SNOBO”

  1. So glad you’re safe (not that I was worried!). Want to hear more about the grizzlies and how you managed food for 200 miles. Did you have a canister or bear hang? Your co-hiker, (Hammer, I think?) has what looks like a very small pack for carrying for 200 miles? Super ultralight?
    Most important, it seems like you’re starting to ‘feel the trail’. Is that happening for you? I’m hoping that it is. Best of wishes and thanks for letting those of us still slogging through the cubicle monkeys to live vicariously! (6 more years and then I’m off on trail when my kids head to college!)

    1. Amy, the 200 mile carry was a bear…definitely hoping not to do another that long. Yep, am feeling the trail more now that we’re climbing much more. And yes, Hammer travels very light, though his pack expands (the top unfurls) for larger loads. I think his “base” weight is well under 10 pounds (8ish?). But the r e are hikers out here quite a bit lighter. Lucky hikes with a base weight of 5 pounds…his pack doesn’t even have a hip belt! As for being a cube monkey, I followed the same path waiting for the kids to get set up before hitting the trail so I can relate. Thanks fir the note and its always great to hear from you! Max

  2. Glad to hear from you again! When in Helena, say hi to the Sleeping Giant for me!

    1. Thanks Charlie! Will be in Helena in 3 days…back on trail at 6:00 am tomorrow. Say hi to Nate, Gemma and everyone else on the team at Prime!

  3. You guys are doing awesome, so very excited for you all!! Love the pictures you and your hiking buds are posting, thank you for sharing your experience with us. Enjoy, Food, Rest, Shower (repeat as often as you can) and I’ll see you guys soon.

    1. OB!!! So glad to hear from you and looking forward to seeing you on trail again. Thanks always for the kind words and best wishes to Mona and your family! Max

  4. Fist pump for a great section completed with more experiences and fun together. Love ya brother!

    1. You’re the best, Mav! It’s already a better hike for walking with you brother!

Comments are closed.