Thursday, December 1, 2011

Backpacker article

page 52 of the January 2012 issue of Backpacker magazine has a survival feature which includes my survival story from this summer, while hiking on the Idaho Centennial Trail along the Idaho - Montana border.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

ICT - A Piece at a time - Leg 7

On October 1 we hiked from Grandjean to Stanley Lake on the ICT. The total distance was 11.4 miles. It took us a little over 6 hours. My yellow lab was our partner on this trip. We had an elevation rise from 5,200 ft. at Grandjean to about 8,100 ft. at the highest saddle during the first 5 miles. The signage for the ICT along the trail is not good, but it is a well worn trail and fairly easy to navigate. Even this late in the year there was water all along the route. The weather was great and the fall colors were glorious. The route we took follows along with a few photos. John and Hank.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

ICT - A Piece at a Time - Leg 6

On September 10th, 2011, Hank and I biked from Burgdorf Hot Springs to the Wind River Pack Bridge on the Salmon River. This is on the Western Alternate section of the ICT. We went up the Jeanette Creek trail from an elevation of about 6,200 ft. to 8150 ft (more pushing than riding). Fortunately a trail crew had come through about 2 weeks earlier and cleared the deadfall, otherwise we would have had to lift our bikes over several hundred logs. We did not have to hop a single log on this trip. Something to seriously consider before biking this section. We thought the downhill trip (about 12 miles) would be relatively easy, but not so. The upper portion was not too bad, but was dusty and rocky. The lower portion on the Carey Creek side was very steep, rocky, rutted and dusty from trail bikes. This made biking treacherous and difficult. Brakes all the way and had to walk the bikes quite a bit. We both took a spill and got wounded, but not seriously. My brake cables stretched 1 inch. There was lots of water along the way if you need it, even near the top.

Overall it was a great trip on the ICT, as usual, with lots of great views and wildlife, but next time I would hike it and leave the bikes at home. The total distance was about 22 miles and it took us 9 hours to complete. Following is a photo of our route and a few more photos of the trip.

Burgdorf Hot Springs to the Wind River Pack Bridge on the Salmon River.

Burgdorf Hot Springs cabin the night before our ride.

Hundreds of these sawed away thanks to a trail crew.

The Salmon River is down in the far valley.

John White and Hank Boomer taking a break at 8100 ft. elevation.

Going to cool off at the end of our ride at the Wind River Pack Bridge.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Paige and Nick,
700 miles is quite an accomplishment! I'd love to read more details about your hike: where you had trouble finding the way, what the ridge north of Magruder road was like, what springs were dry, etc.
Mike O'Brien

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


I am planning a trip for next summer so I am looking for some trail information. I am considering a solo thru-hike. I would like to hike the entire trail system including the alternate routes. I would like to speak with anyone that has hiked the trail especially anyone who has done something similar. I anticipate many questions and I would appreciate any input. Is 1,200 miles accurate for the trail including the alternate routes? I look forward to hearing from you. Thank You,BZ

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

class of 2011

I did it!

it was actually 76 miles left to go, not 65. and I finished on Thursday evening, July 28th, at about 9:10 pm Pacific time, at Lionhead campground. I wanted the big dramatic finish at Upper Priest Falls, but the way it worked out, it was better to go to the falls then work our way south back to Lionhead campground on the northern tip of Priest Lake.

thanks to Stephen Stuebner for his book on the ICT.

thanks to Leo Hennessey for my first taste of the ICT 7 years ago on a work hike on North Fork Lime Creek.

thanks to my chief partner in crime on the ICT, Jerry "Frog" Finnegan. together we are "Doofus and Lark" exploring across Idaho!

thanks go also to the many friends who have joined me for segments of the ICT and for the many family members who have helped me with shuttle rides.

Ron Whittaker

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

He's headin' for home!

As of July 26th Ron Whittaker has completed all but the upper 23 miles or so of the ICT. He's planning to complete his seven year adventure on Thursday July 28th!
Watch out for those snow fields Ron, and congratulations!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Our First ICT Segment--June 23-25, 2011

Hammett to Highway 20/Camas Reservoir
Day 1: 13 miles. Bryan and I set off from the 84 at N. Hammett Hill Road exit at 1:30 p.m. Despite 90-degree temps and relentlessly hot pavement, we got lucky with cool winds, lots of clouds and desert rain showers that made their way around us instead of giving us a good soaking. The trail here is mostly paved and gravel roads, and the trail markers are clearly visible. We saw plenty of wildlife despite the heat, including rabbits, badgers, deer, hawks, pheasant and quail.

Day 2: 16 miles. Set off at 8 a.m. for an all-day, uphill hike into Little Canyon. Great valley views from the surrounding buttes. Climbing out of the valley was finally on-trail, a refreshing break from the noisy, crunchy gravel roads, but it wasn't long before we were back on the road when the trail joined Bennett Mountain Road heading up to Mount Bennett. Lots of cattle out grazing. Sometimes an entire herd was our audience as we passed by. This portion of trail is spectacular this time of year--the flowers are in bloom, the hills are green and the snakes and lizards are sunning themselves. We stopped just short of the summit to make camp and rest.

Day 3: Six miles. Headed out early to take advantage of the cool morning air and meet our noon ride at Cat Creek Rd. and Highway 20. We enjoyed great mountain views once we reached the summit. Near the end of the trail, we surprised a few Harley riders who thought they were alone, enjoying a beer. They asked us a lot about the ICT and wished us luck.

You can view all of our photos here. BTW -- Bryan and I are avid backpackers who are taking on the ICT in segments. We're based in Boise and can help anyone seeking assistance/support as they make their way through the southern portion of the ICT. We'll post our own progress as we complete each segment (give us a few years).

Friday, June 3, 2011

One Month to Departure !

It seems we may be the only ones committed to an unassisted thru-hike on the ICT this summer, but we are excited and finishing up our planning, cooking, and packaging in the coming weeks. We plan to hit the trail on July 4th and thought other ICT enthusiasts might be interested to follow our adventure this summer. I am planning on updating my personal blog with details. I haven't figured out how I will manage this while on the trail, but optimistically, here's the link:

One detail which we are working on currently are resupply locations. If anyone has a list with phone numbers and addresses, we would greatly appreciate it. Thanks !

Paige and Nick

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


We are planning to at least attempt part of the ICT when we visit next year. We will be flying into Bozeman Montanna from UK.
Can anyone advice what section we should do that offers medium to hard challenge, good views etc and where we can pick it up (the trail) that's convenient to where we land.


Monday, March 28, 2011

65 miles left

Hello all:
I am anticipating the completion of my ICT quest this summer. This year will make 7 years that I have been working on it. I have 65 miles left to make the chain complete. The first section is 30 miles on the Stateline Trail, from Missoula Lake north to near Dominion Peak. The last and grand finale' section will be from Priest Lake, near Indian Creek, north to the falls just south of the Canadian border. Targeting last week of July for completion. What plans does everyone have for the ICT this summer? Ron