Advice for a Newbie with a Torn ACL

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Advice for a Newbie with a Torn ACL

Postby mfster » Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:32 pm

So I'm looking for a little guidance in terms of the trips I'm applying for.

This will be my first trip to Glacier (late July). This will also be the first time I've been backpacking since I was a teenager.

I was hiking with a heavy pack doing 10 miles a day when I was just a kid, and I'm much more in shape now than I was then, so I wasn't feeling intimidated about this at all until I tore my ACL in late January.

Even though I got an okay from my orthopedist and I'm working hard at rehab, I'm wondering how my trip choices are stacking up now that my knee is injured. For instance I hear Red Gap Pass and Ptarmigan Tunnel both have very steep descents.

So even though I'm planning on my knee being close to normal by July (and also using trekking poles and a brace!) I'm hoping to hear what you guys think about these trips and how doable they will be with a knee injury.


First choice:

Day 1: Many Glacier to Elizabeth Lake Foot
Day 2: Elizabeth Lake Foot to Mokowanis Lake
Day 3: Mokowanis Lake to Elizabeth Lake Head
Day 4: Elizabeth Lake Head to Poia Lake
Day 5: Poia Lake back to Many Glacier

Second choice:

Day 1: Chief Mountain to Cosley Lake
Day 2: Cosley Lake to Mokowanis Lake
Day 3: Mokowanis Lake to Elizabeth Lake Foot
Day 4: Elizabeth Lake Foot to Elizabeth Lake Head (checking out Helen Lake or Ptarmigan Tunnel during the day)
Day 5: Elizabeth Lake Head back to Chief Mountain

Third choice:

Day 1: Chief Mountain Customs to Cosley Lake
Day 2: Cosley Lake to Mokowanis Lake
Day 3: Mokowanis Lake to Kootenai Lake
Day 4: Kootenai Lake to Lake Francis or Janet
Day 5: Francis or Janet to Waterton

Fourth choice:

Day 1: Two Medicine to No Name Lake
Day 2: No Name Lake to Oldman Lake
Day 3: Oldman Lake to Atlantic Creek
Day 4: Atlantic Creek to Red Eagle Lake Head
Day 5: Red Eagle to St Mary

Thank you!!!
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Re: Advice for a Newbie with a Torn ACL

Postby orin » Tue Mar 06, 2018 6:07 pm

Your second choice would be far and away the least traumatic for knees. The other 3 all have major climbs and descents. In addition, what descending there is on your second choice happens right from the trailhead. So you would get feedback immediately on how things were going. It is also a great trip.
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Re: Advice for a Newbie with a Torn ACL

Postby PeteE » Wed Mar 07, 2018 8:50 am

I think Orin nailed it. #2 is the best route to save wear and tear on your knee.
Good itinerary too.

pete :wink:

PS
Welcome to the chat!
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Re: Advice for a Newbie with a Torn ACL

Postby mfster » Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:01 am

Thanks for the advice!

So I guess I'll switch my second choice to my first choice and cross my fingers!

Although I wonder what the chances are of me getting any of these itineraries anyway.
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Re: Advice for a Newbie with a Torn ACL

Postby PeteE » Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:07 am

mfster wrote:Thanks for the advice!

So I guess I'll switch my second choice to my first choice and cross my fingers!

Although I wonder what the chances are of me getting any of these itineraries anyway.


Don't despair if you don't get that #1 choice in the permit lottery.
The walk up permit process can produce a great trip for you.
That said, make sure you give maximum flexibility on your application.
BIG window of dates if possible. Flexible on campsites.
You can ALWAYS try to improve the permit when you get here.

pete :wink:
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Re: Advice for a Newbie with a Torn ACL

Postby mfster » Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:11 am

PeteE wrote:
Don't despair if you don't get that #1 choice in the permit lottery.
The walk up permit process can produce a great trip for you.
That said, make sure you give maximum flexibility on your application.
BIG window of dates if possible. Flexible on campsites.
You can ALWAYS try to improve the permit when you get here.

pete :wink:


Hey so I was wondering about this date flexibility!

I'm coming from New York and plane tickets are already super expensive, so I need to book soon and I've heard you don't hear back about permits for a while. Also I really want to be there for my birthday, and I have a friend coming who can't be as flexible because of her job.

My plan was not to be flexible about dates, buy plane tickets for those dates, and if I don't get a reservation to do a walk-in and hopefully get something. Do you think that's not a good plan of action?
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Re: Advice for a Newbie with a Torn ACL

Postby PeteE » Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:32 am

mfster wrote:
PeteE wrote:
Don't despair if you don't get that #1 choice in the permit lottery.
The walk up permit process can produce a great trip for you.
That said, make sure you give maximum flexibility on your application.
BIG window of dates if possible. Flexible on campsites.
You can ALWAYS try to improve the permit when you get here.

pete :wink:


Hey so I was wondering about this date flexibility!

I'm coming from New York and plane tickets are already super expensive, so I need to book soon and I've heard you don't hear back about permits for a while. Also I really want to be there for my birthday, and I have a friend coming who can't be as flexible because of her job.

My plan was not to be flexible about dates, buy plane tickets for those dates, and if I don't get a reservation to do a walk-in and hopefully get something. Do you think that's not a good plan of action?


I understand your situation.
Plane tickets and dates are always a problem.
You have to do the tickets early. Sooo...

Get your tickets now because the lottery happens on March 15.
As for the window of dates, just do the best you can within your travel dates, that's all you can do.
If you don't get drawn, the BC Office(s) are very good at getting you a good itinerary as a "wa;k up" when you get here.

Flexibility in sites helps a lot. Maybe you get MOJ instead of MOL, and or, GAB instead of COS.
Very often they can improve your itinerary. Remember that about half of the sites are held open for walk ups. SO....

Flex on sites helps greatly in getting "A" permit. And having permit "in hand" when you get here is far better than having no permit at all....
And having to rely solely on the walk up process.
Make sense?

Happy Birthday...early 8)

pete :wink:

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Re: Advice for a Newbie with a Torn ACL

Postby mfster » Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:50 am

Got it! And thanks!

I ticked off all the "minor changes" boxes but was hesitant about ticking the major changes and last resort boxes since logistics in getting around might be difficult to navigate with one car.
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Re: Advice for a Newbie with a Torn ACL

Postby PeteE » Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:20 am

mfster wrote:Got it! And thanks!

I ticked off all the "minor changes" boxes but was hesitant about ticking the major changes and last resort boxes since logistics in getting around might be difficult to navigate with one car.


Yeah, it may be a good idea to leave it at minor changes.
Major changes and "anything" might produce a permit that you can't do much with, even with changes.
Maybe someone else can opine on that aspect of the process.

The Belly River area is best area for multi day trips and being able to avoid major elevation changes.

Depending on when you're going to be here, there is a pretty good shuttle system(s) to help with getting to/from trail heads.

pete :wink:

PS
Your friend is also eligible to apply for a permit as well.
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Re: Advice for a Newbie with a Torn ACL

Postby PeteE » Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:52 pm

Upon reflection....
One could make a case for leaving you application "wide open" and accept "anything" if they can't give you your preferred itinerary.
Maybe your knee will heal quicker than you think. Then you`d be ready for a much wider range of itineraries.
So even if you get something "crappy" 8) it's a permit in hand.
You can do one of two things:
1. See if it`s fixable using the walk up process upon arrival.
2. Give up the crappy permit and just do a walk up when you get here.

pete :wink:
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Re: Advice for a Newbie with a Torn ACL

Postby mfster » Wed Mar 07, 2018 8:55 pm

Thanks for the advice!

Do you think they only do the last resort option if your top four choices (and the choices with minor changes) aren't available? I was kind of worried for some reason that they might be less likely to give me one of those if I'm too flexible, but I guess it probably doesn't work like that.
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Re: Advice for a Newbie with a Torn ACL

Postby PeteE » Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:59 pm

mfster wrote:Thanks for the advice!

Do you think they only do the last resort option if your top four choices (and the choices with minor changes) aren't available?
In a word--yes. That said, and this is my opinion...ok?

If you list 4 itineraries in order of preference, and you tick the boxes about minor changes, and you comply with all the fine print in "red".
I doubt the "nuclear option" Last Resort - I just want something! would be necessary....especially if you got a good time in the lottery.
And you don't have to accept it if it happened.


I was kind of worried for some reason that they might be less likely to give me one of those if I'm too flexible, but I guess it probably doesn't work like that.
Not to worry.
The BC Rangers try hard to get you as close to what you want in order of your preference.
They know how important these trips are to folks.
You'll see what I mean when you pick up your permit
:mrgreen:


pete :wink:


https://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/ ... l-2016.pdf

Prayers and symbolic offerings to the Backcountry gods for a permit go here 8)
https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4744/3859 ... 9de4_b.jpg
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Re: Advice for a Newbie with a Torn ACL

Postby mfster » Thu Mar 08, 2018 2:10 pm

Okay, I'm convinced! :)
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